Looking for nighttime activity that's out of the ordinary? There are many ways to play after-hours in Greater Fort Lauderdale. Night owls and nature enthusiast can meet the world's oldest living creatures, listen to the exchange of Indian legends by the campfire or spot nocturnal sea life on the ocean floor.
Greater Fort Lauderdale is home to such a unique natural landscape, diverse flora and fauna, rare ecosystems and sixty-nine miles of natural reef. "There is no better place to experience the Everglades, glide through a remarkable system of waterways and explore underwater secrets than in Greater Fort Lauderdale," said Nicki E. Grossman, president of the Greater Fort Lauderdale Convention & Visitors Bureau. "Few vacation destinations can match our natural wonders and, when the lights go out, the real fun begins."
Top nighttime adventures in Greater Fort Lauderdale include:
Get Out of Your Shell with Sea Turtles… Each May through October; sea turtles begin their ancient ritual of crawling onto Fort Lauderdale's pristine moonlit beaches to nest. Visitors can witness this natural wonder on guided nighttime turtle walks, and get a front-row view of giant endangered loggerheads, as well as leatherback and green turtles laying their eggs. The "Moonlight Sea Turtle Walks" offered by the Museum of Discovery and Science begin at the museum at 9 p.m. during June and July with an informative, hands-on session about land, fresh-water and salt-water turtles. Visit www.mods.org for a list of scheduled dates.
Discover the Waterways By Moonlight… Greater Fort Lauderdale is not called the "Venice of America" for nothing! More than 300 miles of navigable waterways and an average air temperature of 77 degrees make Fort Lauderdale a prime location for kayaking day and night. A hidden jewel for kayakers is West Lake Park, a coastal mangrove wetland, part of Anne Kolb Nature center in Hollywood. West Lake is one of the last pristine areas located in an urban area. No motorized boats are permitted here, so it's a kayaker's dream. Full Moon Kayak offers guided tours by the light of the silvery moon once a month. Paddle by fish, crabs, wading and shore birds and birds of prey. On the tour, take a break and enjoy the company of fellow paddlers over a glass of wine and snacks provided by the guides. www.fullmoonkayak.com
Live Like a Seminole Indian…The Seminole Indians of Greater Fort Lauderdale invite travelers to "Spend a Day with a Seminole." During this overnight program offered at Billie Swamp Safari within the Big Cypress Reservation, visitors enjoy round-the-campfire Indian folklore storytelling and even sleep in an authentic Chickee hut. The Seminoles are the only Native American tribe who allow tourists to stay in such traditional-style dwellings on their reservation. The overnight package also includes a snake and alligator show and a nighttime swamp buggy eco-tour. www.semtribe.com/safari
Eco-Tour Under the Stars…Travelers that want to experience the mysterious Everglades by night but don't want to rough it, can also have a nocturnal wildlife adventure on an evening swamp buggy eco-tour at Billie Swamp Safari. Hear the sounds and calls of the wild and see animals from around the world that share this wildlife preserve including alligators, crocodiles, antelope, bison, snakes and countless species of birds. Don't be surprised when the searchlight picks up glints of yellow, green and orange; those are just the eyes of reptiles and wildlife reflecting back at visitors! Exotic flora and fauna indigenous to the protected Everglades can also be witnessed. www.semtribe.com/safari
Dive the Underwater World by Night... Fort Lauderdale has exciting diving spots by day, which is a completely different world by night. A whole new cast of underwater characters come out when the sun goes down. Most of the fish seen during the day hide away to sleep and many that can't be found during the day can be seen all over the reef. Nighttime is the best time to see crabs, lobsters and shrimp going about their business. Deep Relief Dive Charters offer evening dives that depart at 6:30 p.m. and can accommodate large and small groups as well as private charters. Visit some of the best diving destinations in Greater Fort Lauderdale, including the Pompano drop-off, a beautiful area that has one of the most spectacular reefs in South Florida consisting of a large flat mass of rocks and reefs that stretch from Fort Lauderdale to the Pompano Pier with depths ranging from about 12 to 35 feet.
For more information about nocturnal adventures in Greater Fort Lauderdale visit www.sunny.org.
About Greater Fort Lauderdale From the seagrass to the sawgrass, Greater Fort Lauderdale boasts more than 34,000 lodging accommodations at a variety of hotels, luxury spa resorts, and Superior Small Lodgings reflecting a “beach chic” vibe. Visitors enjoy 23 miles of Blue Wave certified beaches, discover 300+ miles of inland waterways that run from the Intracoastal Waterway to the Everglades, dine at thousands of restaurants and eateries, get immersed in a thriving arts and culture scene and indulge in top shopping. For more info, contact the Greater Fort Lauderdale Convention & Visitors Bureau at (800) 22-SUNNY or visit www.sunny.org.
The Greater Fort Lauderdale Convention & Visitors Bureau can also be followed on Twitter at www.twitter.com/visitlauderdale or become a fan on Facebook at www.facebook.com/visitlauderdale or join us on Foursquare at www.foursquare.com/visitlauderdale. To have Greater Fort Lauderdale in the palm of your hand, download the free iPhone applications, Defrost Your Swimsuit and ‘Fork’ Lauderdale, and Mild to Wild the LGBT mobile site at www.sunny.org/apps.