During the Seminole Indian Wars, Fort Lauderdale consisted of only three forts. In the early 1900s it became a busy trading post on the New River which passes through the centre of the present city. It is now an important business centre, popular beach resort and giant cruise port.
300 miles of waterway surround the city and near the mouth of the New River lie many arrow straight canals, dug in the 1920s; this area is known as The Isles, the most desirable place to live in the city. South of this area is Port Everglades, the world’s second largest cruise port after Miami. The best view of all the waterways can be had from the revolving bar of the Pier 66 Hotel (named because it takes 66 minutes for it to fully revolve).
Water Boat Taxis operate up and down the New River including Downtown and north to Commercial Boulevard and out to the Pier 66 Hotel. Jungle Queen, an old fashioned river boat, chugs up the New River to a private island styled as an Indian Village.
Other places of interest include Stranahan House built by pioneer Frank Stranahan in 1901, the oldest surviving house in the city which became a trading post, post office, bank and meeting place in the city. The Museum of Discovery and Science, one of the largest and best of its kind, which includes a simulated ride to the moon and a 3D IMAX theatre. A local History Museum charts the area’s history up to the 1940s. An impressive post modern building forms the Museum of Art which houses a large collection of CoBrA Art, (Copenhagen, Brussels and Amsterdam expressionist painters of 1948-51) and many other artists including Cuban.
One of Fort Lauderdale’s most picturesque streets is Las Olas Boulevard, between 6th and 11th Avenues, offering casual and chic boutiques. The international Swimming Hall of Fame has many fascinating historical exhibits and costumes recording the sport. Bonnet House is a plantation style house built in 1920 by artist Frederic Barlett with examples of his work and his wife’s, including murals. Monkeys and swans inhabit the grounds as well as an orchid greenhouse and collection of shells.
Places to Visit
Cruise along the waterways on a water taxi taking a day ticket. Take a day cruise to Miami’s South Beach on a Catamaran Ferry. Visit some of the Museums. Walk along the beautiful beach front or the Riverwalk at New River. Shop or dine in Las Olas Boulevard. For serious shopping visit Galleria Mall. Have a night out at the Pier 66 Hotel – enjoy a drink and marvelous views at the Pier Top revolving Lounge and dine at the Pier 66 Grill or Pelican landing at the close by Pier 66 Marina (remember to book in advance)
Please contact me for comprehensive advice concerning properties in Fort Lauderdale, cruising in general and the vast choice of tailor-made land and cruising packages I can recommend and book.
Contact Simon at Designer Travel Tailor-made Holidays & Cruises
Photo: Marina at Fort Lauderdale (RG) 48