To celebrate its colorful history and today’s vibrant communities, the Greater Fort Lauderdale Convention & Visitors Bureau has launched an Urban Experience Guide providing insightful vacation ideas, tips and planning resources for the culturally diverse traveler. With a booming culinary scene, a calendar full of festivals, and lots of gathering spots, it is the perfect setting for social groups, families and couples. There are over 120 countries represented and 60 languages spoken in the area, making it the most diverse destination in Florida.

Greater Fort Lauderdale is a friendly beach resort setting filled with history and multicultural influences that are visible as the city of Fort Lauderdale celebrates its Centennial throughout 2011. Native Floridian and oral historian Dr. Kitty Oliver provides informative commentary in the guide on the area’s historical backdrop that spans 10 decades and the significant contributions African Americans have and continue to make in Broward County.

One tradition that still remains strong is the family reunion especially during the summer vacation months. Family groups from five to hundreds can choose from a multitude of accommodations, including luxury resort hotels from the Lauderdale Luxe Collection, to Superior Small Lodging properties offering a more intimate feel and anything in between. The area continues to see increases in multicultural meetings, reunions, and tourism.

For outdoor events, Greater Fort Lauderdale features a large network of parks that have relaxing walking trails, boat rentals, nature tours, pavilions and picnic areas. The Central Broward Regional Park is home to the first U.S. cricket field, and makes for a great outing location and high-energy bonding experience. Families can also enjoy time together by visiting attractions such as the African-American Research Library and Cultural Center and the Old Dillard Museum, both offer cultural events and group tours – often free - where visitors can learn more about their family history.  Exciting festivals, music and dance concerts catering to all ages, occur year-round celebrating African-American and Caribbean culture. To make the reunion planning process fun and easy, the Urban Experience Guide gives important tips and provides inspiring ideas for family events, games, and projects to bring relatives even closer together.

“We encourage our visitors to feel at home while discovering the dynamic multicultural activities and businesses that make Greater Fort Lauderdale an area to gather, celebrate and play,” said Albert Tucker, vice president of multicultural development, Greater Fort Lauderdale Convention & Visitors Bureau. “This new guide is a useful travel resource to plan a meeting, family reunion, get vacation ideas, or simply embrace the multi-ethnicity in our community,” said Nicki E. Grossman, president of the Greater Fort Lauderdale Convention & Visitors Bureau.

Whether on vacation, in between meetings or family events, there is plenty to explore and enjoy in Greater Fort Lauderdale. The Urban Experience Guide lists attractions, activities and restaurants to fit everyone’s personality. For a shopping break, the destination features awe-inspiring buying experiences such as fashionable Las Olas Boulevard and the famous 50-acre Sawgrass Mills Mall. There are many flavorful gems in Greater Fort Lauderdale that diners can choose from, including five-star restaurants and local favorites such as Betty’s Soul Food Restaurant and the Jamaican Jerk Machine. For some old-fashioned sightseeing, a water taxi ride is a good start to navigate the Intracoastal Waterways and cruise to downtown Fort Lauderdale’s Riverwalk Arts & Entertainment District. 

Throughout the guide, colorful “scan tag” icons provide readers instant access to information or view videos right from a Smartphone. Find out the latest fashion trends and tipsfrom Sun-Sentinel’s fashion columnist Rod Hagwood or listen and learn about Fort Lauderdale’s African-American history from Dr. Kitty Oliver and hear why Albert E. Dostson, Jr. of 100 Black Men of America enjoys holding multicultural meetings in the destination. It’s easy, just download the app by logging onto http://gettag.mobi, then start scanning for exclusive online and video content.  

For more information on the Urban Experience Guide and destination-wide multicultural experiences, please visit www.sunny.org/multicultural

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