Fort Lauderdale is renowned for its white-sand beaches, waving palm trees, picturesque seaside promenade and a variety of world-class hotels and wining and dining venues. However, if you are keen to explore beyond America’s very own coastal Venice, there are a number of fun-filled day trips you can take from Fort Lauderdale, by boat, by car, or by plane.
Read on to find out more and start planning your unforgettable excursion from Fort Lauderdale today.
Explore The Everglades
Whether you are living in Fort Lauderdale or just passing through, there’s no better opportunity to visit Florida’s world-famous Everglades, just over an hour’s drive away.
This vast wetland preserve, with its sawgrass marshland, eerie mangroves and tracts of pine, is home to a plethora of flora and fauna, including several endangered species, such as the West Indian manatee and the leatherback turtle.
Spanning a staggering 2,400 square miles, the Everglades offers plenty of opportunity for action and excitement as well as wildlife-watching. On dry land, you can go hiking and biking through the unspoilt prairies, while kayaks, canoes and boat trips allow you to experience the haunting beauty of the Everglades from a fresh perspective.
Take In Natural And Cultural Wonders In Biscayne Bay
Another natural gem within easy reach of Fort Lauderdale is Biscayne Bay, home to not just one but two aquatic preserves and a national marine sanctuary.
Attracting over 2 million visitors each year, the Bay offers plenty to see and experience on a day trip from Fort Lauderdale, both on land and in the water. Scenic walking and boating trails allow you to immerse yourself in the beauty of the shoreline, with its lapping waters and mangrove thickets. However, if you’re keen to get a glimpse beneath the surface, then you can also sign up for some of the unforgettable water-based activities available, such as scuba diving trips, snorkeling, and glass-bottomed boat excursions into the Bay.
Once you’re back on dry land, you can refresh yourself at one of the many local bars and restaurants, where you can dine on freshly caught seafood or choose from a smorgasbord of global delicacies.
Of course, Miami is also home to an abundance of shopping opportunities, so before you head back to Fort Lauderdale, a little retail therapy may be in order.
Have A Slice Of Key Lime Pie In Key West
Key West is a much-loved tourist destination, thanks to its laidback vibes, mouth-watering seafood, and its unique attractions, such as The Hemingway Home and Museum – not to mention the world-famous key lime pie.
While you can drive to Key West from Fort Lauderdale, it may be more convenient to hop on a quick one-hour flight so you can enjoy a leisurely day spent exploring the area’s many seaside’s charms. Not sure what to do with your car while you’re gone? You can find Fort Lauderdale Airport parking information at Parkway Parking and choose from a wide range of convenient and affordable parking options.
Once you touch down in the tropical paradise of Key West, the place is your oyster – and, indeed, fresh oysters could be on the menu, as well as succulent lobster, clams, freshly caught fish, and so much more. There are plenty of tempting eateries to choose from if you’re feeling peckish, serving up a panoply of Floridian, Caribbean and Cuban fare as well as delicacies from further afield.
One of the most popular places to eat in Key West is Blue Heaven, which serves ‘breakfast with the roosters’, lunch and dinner. If you arrive in the morning, you can choose between pancakes, homemade granola and banana bread; but if you grab a table later in the day, there is a choice of southern specialties such as a Tennessee Cheeseburger, Jamaican Jerk Chicken, or Heritage Pork Tenderloin.
Once you’ve refueled, it’s time to explore Key West. There are plenty of beaches to visit, where you can swim, snorkel or sunbathe, but Key West is also home to other natural and cultural attractions, such as Hemingway’s former residence, the Harry S. Truman Little White House, and Key West Butterfly and Nature Conservatory. You won’t be able to cram everything into one day, but it will give you a good excuse to come back to Key West in the future.
Soak Up The Sun In The Bahamas
Last but not least, if you love to travel by water, you can catch the ferry from Fort Lauderdale to the Bahamas. Disembark at Bimini, and you will find yourself in a setting worthy of a holiday brochure, with its verdant foliage, gin-clear waters, and white sandy shores.
Formerly a favorite haunt of Hemingway and Martin Luther King Jr., Bimini is home to its fair share of attractions, including The Dolphin House Museum in Alice Town, erected by poet laureate, Ashley Saunders. Decorated with sea glass, colorful seashells and other reclaimed materials, the museum gives visitors an intriguing insight into the history of Bimini and the mind of the museum’s creator, who describes himself as being inspired by dolphins. In fact, Saunders claims that it was an encounter with a local pod of wild cetaceans that was responsible for turning him into the artist he is today.
Another unique attraction found in this sun-drenched corner of the Bahamas is the eerie Bimini Road, an underwater rock formation that is supposed to be part of the fabled Lost City of Atlantis. Whether this legendary status is true or not, the Bimini Road is a popular spot for scuba divers, so if you are a keen underwater explorer, you should add it to your Bahamian itinerary.
Finally, before you head back to Fort Lauderdale, you may want to catch a boat to Bimini’s famous Healing Hole, another popular diving and snorkeling spot. The salty lake waters here are supposed to have a range of health benefits, and there are some who like to connect it with the mythical Atlantis.
Whatever the truth behind its mysterious properties, it’s certainly worth making the trip to visit this tranquil saltwater lake on Cat Island before returning to Fort Lauderdale.