To experience hands-down the coolest dining in Fort Lauderdale (and fit in some street art, rotating events, and local businesses) head to Flagler Village’s development The Hive for restaurant Heritage, helmed by chef/owner Rino Cerbone. The speakeasy-style location is a more unique spin on Italian-inspired food, with menu items that include wagyu-stuffed peppers, lemon-crema razor clams, a whipped-potato and cheddar pizza, and fresh pistachio panna cotta.
Things to do in Fort Lauderdale
While you can get around Fort Lauderdale in your own car or via rideshare, it’s almost a crime to visit the yachting capital of the U.S. and not go out on a boat. Because Fort Lauderdale is teeming with waterways, there are many options for getting out on the waves: The local water taxi ($35 per person for hop-on-hop-off access) makes 11 stops, milling from Shooters waterfront restaurant to Los Olas Boulevard. For a more private experience, hire your own electric gondola tour, or spring for a boat charter on Sailo or Get My Boat: For a two- to three-hour sail, choose one that stays within the canals and intracoastal waterway, where you’ll get a gilded real-estate tour. For a longer trip, head farther south toward Miami for crystal-clear water and possible dolphin or manatee sightings. But you don’t have to venture out of Fort Lauderdale for excellent swimming—the public beaches lining North Fort Lauderdale Beach Boulevard are pristine, and have lifeguards.
Back on land, head to Flagler Village fort art galleries, Circle House coffee house’s decadent donuts, nonalcoholic bar Karma Kava’s elixirs and hookah, and Chick‘nCone for crispy chicken served in a waffle cone. A short walk away lies Sistrunk Market‘s food hall, patios, cooking classes, and distillery tours.
And it wouldn’t be Fort Lauderdale without a little taste of its party scene: Lona Cocina Tequileria, located inside the waterfront W Hotel, is a favorite for ocean views, a $5 margarita happy-hour special, and a legendary lobster quesadilla.
Where to stay in Fort Lauderdale
It’s rare that a hotel is a game-changer for a destination, but in a city of older-build properties The Four Seasons Hotel and Residences is just that: The 189-room spot has brought the hospitality scene in Fort Lauderdale to the next level. Many of the rooms have floor-to-ceiling windows overlooking the ocean, giving the effect of being on a cruise ship. In addition to its beachfront location, there’s a kids’ club, two pools, a coffee shop, and a top-tier spa (rooms start at $795).