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The vibrant town of Fort Lauderdale sits just north of Miami and enjoys the warm weather of the Florida coast. It’s a busy port town with plenty to interest tourists and a history that began with the early slave trade. These days, Fort Lauderdale is seen as an extension of Miami, and located just a short drive from some of the region’s most popular visitor attractions, it’s an exciting destination for cruise ships sailing across the Americas.
While most holidaymakers head to Florida for the delights of Orlando and its theme parks, Fort Lauderdale has a host of interesting sights to rival those of Disneyland. It offers a blend of cultural landmarks as well as modern fun-filled attractions, and with a great local transport system, exploring the area is easy to do. When your cruise ship anchors in the port of Fort Lauderdale, take time to visit some of these popular site for an wonderful excursion on shore.
Ft Lauderdale Flea Market
Shopping at flea markets might not be a traditional tourist experience, but when you’re in Miami things might not be what they seem. The Ft Lauderdale Flea Market is an enormous bazaar filled with stores and stalls from local vendors, fairground rides and 14 drive-in movie screens. It’s open seven days a week and is certainly an unusual tourist attraction.
Originally a colonial family home, this large estate has been turned into a museum and art gallery and is particularly enjoyed for its extensive landscaped gardens. It tells a unique side of Miami’s history and is a wonderfully relaxing place to spend a day.
Museum of Discovery and Science
This unique museum offers visitors the chance to explore the history and culture of Florida through the use of visual and interactive exhibits. Giant replica dinosaurs and simulator airboat rides are always popular with kids.
As a large modern conurbation in urban Florida, Fort Lauderdale has plenty of conventional shops and malls to visit. Tourists can enjoy shopping for the latest fashions with high-end designers as well as recognisable high street chains around the city.
Right next to the Port of Fort Lauderdale is a shopping district known as the Harbour Shops and South Harbour Plaza. It’s a designated modern shopping mall designed to serve the private yachts that berth in the marina but it opens its doors to all visitors. Inside, there are bespoke boutiques, spas, salons and shops with a nautical theme. One or two excellent restaurants can also be found here and the Fred Astaire Dance Studio is a nightclub with a difference.
Restaurants in Fort Lauderdale are typically chain restaurants that span the state, but the town does feature some excellent fine-dining restaurants that take advantage of the fresh fish and seafood as well as the great range of locally grown produce. While cuisines are very international here, because of the population’s incredibly diverse background, there are still a few local delicacies that are worth getting off your cruise ship to try. A local favourite are the blue crabs that are native to the area. And you won’t have to head out at night to catch your own, as most good seafood restaurants serve them daily.
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