Why You’ll Love: Florida’s Fort Laud­erdale

Woman's Weekly (UK) - - Hello! -

Si­t­u­ated on the south-east­ern coast of Florida, Fort Laud­erdale is worlds away from the theme parks of Or­lando, its fa­mous cousin. Aside from miles of gor­geous beaches, Fort Laud­erdale is drip­ping in cul­ture and home to some of the best restau­rants in the state. You’ll truly be spoilt for choice.

Where to go

Among the many, many things to do and see in Fort Laud­erdale, a trip to the Flamingo Gar­dens wildlife sanc­tu­ary (flamin­gog­a­r­dens.org) has to be on your list. Its 60 acres of beau­ti­ful botan­i­cal gar­dens fea­ture more than 3,000 species of rare and ex­otic plants, as well as some of the old­est trees in Florida – mak­ing it a must-see for any­one with green fin­gers! It’s also a sanc­tu­ary for in­jured and aban­doned an­i­mals and is home to ot­ters, panthers, an adorable black bear called Josh – and, of course, flamin­gos!

Con­tinue the na­ture theme by head­ing to Saw­grass Re­cre­ation Park (ev­er­glades­tours.com) for an air­boat tour deep into the saw­grass (sedge), where you’ll look out for hid­den wildlife (in­clud­ing alligators!) in their nat­u­ral habi­tat. Af­ter your tour, there’s the ex­otic wildlife ex­hibit which, like the Flamingo Gar­dens, is home to adopted an­i­mals. You might even get the chance to han­dle a baby ‘gator.

If you like art, make your way to down­town hol­ly­wood for its mu­ral Project. here, artists are com­mis­sioned to brighten up the build­ings with beau­ti­ful, orig­i­nal works of art. there’s a free tour of the mu­rals on the third Satur­day of ev­ery month, often with a chance to talk to the mu­ral­ists, as I did. It’s a great op­por­tu­nity to find out just what goes into their in­cred­i­ble de­signs.

Where to stay

the W Fort Laud­erdale (wfort­laud­erdale.com) is right on the beach, with stylish rooms, two great pools, bars with just the right amount of buzz, and staff who can’t do enough to help. But, as nice as the on­lo­ca­tion restau­rants are, I rec­om­mend you ven­ture out­side a few times…

What to eat

One of the most well-known restau­rants in Greater Fort Laud­erdale is Billy’s Stone

Crab, where you’ll find de­li­cious, freshly caught seafood, in­clud­ing the epony­mous stone crabs. Fish lovers ab­so­lutely have to try the sword­fish at Beach house on Pom­pano Beach. For great food in a su­per-stylish set­ting, spend the evening at Point Royal in the very spe­cial diplo­mat ho­tel (diplo­ma­tre­sort.com).

Travel de­tails

A dou­ble room at the W starts from £172 per night. Bri­tish Air­ways flies direct from Lon­don Gatwick to Fort Laud­erdale. taxis are eas­ily avail­able, and we used Florida tours (florida­tours.com) to get around.

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