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.
Water taxis sound fantastic – maybe because they remind me of Venice!
It’s a little pricey for trying to get around long term, but for a day or two it’s perfect.
Thanks for the priceless tip. I definitely need to go here. My family loves anything with water. We are planning to spend part of our Summer going around Florida. Aways fun and happy memories for us at this beautiful Sunshine State.
If you are going to be in the area definitely check it out. There’s also a Miami water taxi. I have happy Florida memories too.
I love the idea of a water taxi!
i want to go! i love anything on the water.
I didn’t realize how cool it was until I started working on this story. 🙂
We were in Ft. Lauderdale over the summer and Hurricane Issac was coming through, so no water taxi for us. Heading back in May so hopefully I’ll finally get to check it out:)
If you’re in Ft. Lauderdale and you don’t have your own boat I think it’s the way to go for sure.
Looks like a great way to see the town!
It really is. Otherwise all you see is walls. 🙂
I have a major thing for boats – I would LOVE this!!
Well it’s not as sexy as a yacht but it’s definitely a boat. 🙂
I love water taxis. (There’s a terrific one between Manhattan and Brooklyn in New York.) If I get to Fort Lauderdale I’m definitely taking one!
I supposed the vaporettos in Venice are water taxis too. Very cool way to move around. I’d love to see Manhattan from the water taxi!
I’m a native Floridian and have lived the last several years in Ft. Lauderdale. Thanks for an awesome post about our city and some really great tips for visitors 🙂
that’s a lovely compliment. thank you for reading and commenting.