It was my first time in Ft. Lauderdale and I quickly realized there was only one way to truly get to know the city touted as “The Venice of America,” and that was by boat. If you’re not lucky enough to have one (or know someone who does) don’t despair. One way you can experience it on a boat is by taking a Water Taxi.
The Water Taxi is really quite a deal – for only $20.00 you can ride all day. It’s the perfect way to see Ft. Lauderdale’s intracoastal waterways, and get you can get off and on as often as you like. At each stop you’ll find bars, restaurants, shopping and cultural attractions in the area. And you don’t have to worry about a designated driver.
If you are staying at one of the hotels on the regular route, you can call ahead and arrange for the water taxi to pick you up. There are several to chose from and my pick would be the historic Riverside Hotel. I did not stay there but I liked the location and the old world ambiance. It’s right on Las Olas Blvd. so you can easily walk to restaurants and shops. If you want to be closer to the water there’s the Hilton Marina Hotel where you can also connect with the Water Taxi bound for the Hollywood Beaches.
If you have only 24 hours in Ft. Lauderdale, here’s a suggested itinerary and I’ve included beach time. (even though I’m not really a beach girl)
Head over to Las Olas, a charming neighborhood of galleries, shops, and restaurants. I liked the small and somewhat European feel of Las Olas, and could have easily spent the better part of a day there strolling the boulevard, stopping for a coffee or cold drink, and browsing the art galleries.
Have a continental style breakfast at Gran Forno Pronto, or get your coffee and pastry to go. You can catch the Water Taxi at the Riverside Hotel next door.
The Water Taxi takes you on about a two to three hour tour. You can drool over the million dollar yachts and multi-million dollar homes. It really is mind boggling how many celebrities and gazillionaires keep a home (and the prerequisite yacht) in Ft.Lauderdale. The tour guide on the water taxi will give you the inside scoop.
If you’re a beach person you can get off at either stop 7 or 8 for the Ft. Lauderdale beaches. There you can also pick up a bottle of water or something to rehydrate while you’re soaking up the Florida sunshine. You can spend the day at the beach then return to Las Olas in plenty of time for an alfresco dinner and drinks.
If you’re a romantic type, you can end the evening with a gondola tour of the canals. Or hop back on the Water Taxi for the night ride. A great way to end a beautiful day in sunny southeast Florida.
All materials copyright Penny Sadler 2013.