Fort Lauderdale is the perfect middle point between Palm Beach and Miami! For something a little more fast paced than Palm Beach, but not as crazy as MIA, this is truly the perfect middle ground!

From boats that coast through intertwining intracoastals, to fun and fine dining, Fort Lauderdale has it all! Plus, hotels around this area of South Florida are a bang for your buck!

Most people spend just a couple days in Fort Lauderdale, so if you’re looking for a quick trip, here’s a two day itinerary!

Disclaimers: 1. If you choose to travel right now, please be cautious and courteous of others. Wear a facemask, wash your hands, and practice social distancing. 2. This post is in collaboration with Hotels.com, however all opinions are my own.

Day 1 in Fort Lauderdale:

Arrive at Your Hotel in Ft. Lauderdale

There’s a wide range of hotel options in Ft. Lauderdale, so where you stay should depend on what you like to do! If you’re a beach lover, stay closer to the shore. But if you like lively cities and nightlife, definitely go with Las Olas Boulevard!

Wherever you choose, you’ll quickly realize it is quite easy to get around! So check in, freshen up, and get ready for a fun day in the sun!

Head to Ft. Lauderdale Beach

Naturally, the first thing you probably want to do in Fort Lauderdale, is go to the beach! Pack some reef friendly sunscreen, plenty of water, and walk or ride-share there!

The best areas to catch some rays are the actual “Ft. Lauderdale Beach” or you can go a bit further to Hollywood Beach. Around these areas you can also find some shops and restaurants as well. You can choose to have lunch at one of them, or pack some snacks from a grocery store and have a picnic on the beach!

Freshen Up and Head to Happy Hour on Las Olas Boulevard!

After a long day at the beach, head back to your hotel to freshen up! Set plenty of time aside in case a nap is needed! Then, throw on some Florida-flare, and get ready for the happiest part of the day, Happy Hour!

There’s tons of restaurants and bars on and around Las Olas Boulevard, and most of them have incredible happy hours! Since you only have a day or two, here’s a few of my favorites to help you decide which one to hit up! Most start at 4pm and end at 6 or 7pm. Just check their info on maps here!

  • Oyster  Place
  • American Social
  • Rhythm and Vine
  • Rocco’s Tacos
  • Shooter’s Waterfront
  • El Camino
  • Apothecary 330
  • YOLO
  • Blue Martini
  • Tap 42

Enjoy a Night on the Town

best things to do in fort lauderdale
Photo via Sunny.org

After you grab those happy hour deals, nighttime will likely be setting in. If you’re not too tired, you can head to another venue for a drink, or even dinner if you’re still hungry!

Right now most places are open, but please be sure to wear a mask, and wash your hands! It’s also best to make a reservation to avoid crowding in case you need to wait for a table.

You can use the list above for some ideas of bars to go to, or here’s a few more:

  • Bar Rita
  • The Wilder
  • Original Fat Cats
  • Whiskey Neat
  • Stache Drinking Den
  • Elbo Room
  • Rock Bar
  • Poorhouse
  • Rooftop @ 1WLO
  • The Brass Tap

After your fun-filled first day, take a ride-share back to your hotel, and enjoy a cozy night in your comfy bed!

Day 2 in Fort Lauderdale:

Breakfast at Your Hotel or a Cafe

Wake up early and enjoy your included breakfast, or head out to a local cafe! Make sure you load up because you’re going to need a lot of energy for this fun-filled day!

If you prefer to go out for breakfast, here’s a few options!

  • Nanou French Bakery and Cafe
  • Myra Harbor Cafe
  • La Crepe
  • Michael’s Bistro
  • New York Marina Deli
  • The Foxy Brown
  • Floridian Restaurant
  • Boulevard Kitchen + Juice Bar
  • Fresh First
  • Colada Cuban Cafe

Simply search anything on your maps for the location, menu, opening times, and any temporary closures!

Stroll Through Bonnet House Gardens

best things to do in fort lauderdale
Photo via MyFortLauderdaleBeach.com

One of the top recommended things to do in Fort Lauderdale is to visit Bonnet House Museum and Gardens. Built in 1919, this 35 acre estate was meant to be a wedding gift from a wealthy settler to his daughter.

Much of the old fashioned decor is preserved inside the house, which is now the museum. Outside is a sprawling garden you can get lost in for hours!

Sunset Cruise on the Intracoastal and Millionaires Row

Yes you read that correctly, there’s a place called “Millionaire’s Row” in Ft. Lauderdale. As the name implies, it’s a row of mega-mansions along the intracoastal owned by, of course, millionaires! 

There are several boat cruises and tours you can take that will take you along the calm wates of the intracoastal. Some even offe booze cruises! You can go earlier for some fun in the sun, or a little later for a stunning sunset cruise!

Dinner in Downtown Ft. Lauderdale

Using the lists I mentioned earlier, make a reservation for one of the many amazing restaurants in downtown Fort Lauderdale!

Want to explore more areas of South Florida? Check out my post about the city i grew up in, West Palm Beach!

Do you have any additional tips for Fort Lauderdale! Share them with everyone below!

Fort Lauderdale, Florida is one of the most fun places to take a short staycation! Perfectly situated in between laid back Palm Beach and crazy Miami, this sunny South Florida city has it all! In this Fort Lauderdale staycation guide you'll find lists of the best happy hours, bars, restaurants, places to stay, and things to do! #florida #fortlauderdale #ftlauderdale #miami #vacation #vacationideas