Top Attractions for First Time Visitors

The Beach

You can’t visit Fort Lauderdale without soaking up the sun and taking a dip in the Atlantic. Fort Lauderdale Beach stretches for seven lovely miles from Holiday Park near the Port Everglades Inlet all the way to Hugh Taylor Birch State Park on the southern end. Where you choose to post up for the day depends on your group’s interests. For a lively beach scene near casual restaurants and nightlife like The Clevelander, aim for the central beach near Las Olas Boulevard. Looking for a more secluded spot? Head south to where the white sand beach turns to mangrove trees at Hugh Taylor Birch State Park. This state park also has a network of short hiking trails through the lush landscape.

Las Olas Boulevard

Fort Lauderdale’s most iconic street, Las Olas Boulevard, is a must-do during your first visit. This charming street connects the central beach to the financial district with shopping, dining, art galleries and attractions. Add an electric scooter, bike or cart rental for an especially fun way to explore the palm tree lined boulevard. Stop at a sidewalk cafe for people watching or indulge in some retail therapy at shops like Francesca’s and Tommy Bahama.

Riverwalk District

As its name implies, the Riverwalk District has a delightful pedestrian walkway running alongside the New River in the heart of downtown Fort Lauderdale. Stroll the promenade and pop in and out of shops, museums and restaurants as you soak up the yacht harbor views. Don’t miss the Museum of Discovery and Science where you’ll find laser light shows, a wildlife exhibit and interactive science activities. If you worked up an appetite walking Riverwalk, grab some fresh seafood right on the water at Wild Sea Oyster Bar & Grille.

Everglades Holiday Park

Looking to embrace nature and see some wildlife? Then make the half hour drive west of downtown to Everglades Holiday Park. Here you can take an open-air tram tour or speedy airboat adventure into the incredible River of Grass that is the Florida Everglades. On the tour, keep your eyes peeled for alligators, turtles, herons, egrets and even dolphins.

Butterfly World

For another nature-filled Fort Lauderdale attraction that both kids and adults will enjoy, consider a stop at Butterfly World in Coconut Creek, just north of the city. As you may have guessed, this unique attraction is actually the world’s largest butterfly house, home to thousands of gorgeous butterflies and exotic birds. Wander through lush enclosed gardens and get up close looks at stunning species like blue morphos, monarchs and giant owl butterflies from around the world.

Bonnet House Museum & Gardens

History buffs and nature lovers alike will adore a tour of the Bonnet House Museum and Gardens in Fort Lauderdale. Tour the preserved 1920s estate and art museum of the Bartletts, a prominent local artist family who lived on this 35-acre tropical estate. The house’s architecture is a lovely blend of Caribbean and old Floridian style. Outside, don’t miss the tranquil orchid and rose garden.

NSU Art Museum Fort Lauderdale

When the Florida sun gets too intense, head indoors to soak up some arts and culture at NSU Art Museum Fort Lauderdale. The museum’s collection focuses primarily on post World War II art, including an impressive selection of work by American painter William Glackens. Don’t miss the exhibit of Visionary Africa, showcasing contemporary African art. On the first Thursday evening of each month, entry is completely free.

How to Get Around Fort Lauderdale

Fort Lauderdale is fairly spread out, so you’ll likely need to utilize a mix of transportation beyond your own two feet during your trip. Here are some options for getting around this scenic Florida city:

Public Transportation

Broward County Transit (BCT) runs public buses throughout the Fort Lauderdale region. Routes generally operate daily from around 5 a.m. until 11 p.m. Consider downloading the MyRide Trip Planner app to view routes and purchase mobile tickets. While the public bus is an affordable option, routes only hit major thoroughfares and can be inconvenient for attractions well off the main roads. Visitors also report buses running behind schedule quite frequently. Have patience and avoid the bus system completely if you’re in a time crunch.

Taxis and Rideshares

When you need quick, direct transportation, hailing a taxi or calling an Uber/Lyft are solid options in Fort Lauderdale. Just keep in mind rideshare surge pricing is common during busy evening hours and rainy days. Download the apps in advance if you plan to use Uber or Lyft regularly during your trip. Some reputable local taxi companies include Yellow Cab Broward (954-777-7777) and City Cab (954-585-8888).

Charter Buses

For special events or moving a medium or large group around Fort Lauderdale, look to charter bus rentals as the most convenient transportation option. Make one quick phone call to Fort Lauderdale Party Bus Company at (954) 369-0981 and we’ll match you with a clean, comfortable bus ready to escort your group directly wherever you’d like to go. Whether you need transportation for a corporate outing, wedding group, church retreat or family reunion, our charter bus team has a rental solution. Call or request a quote online and we’ll break down the best bus and pricing options for your Fort Lauderdale excursion or event transportation.

Ready to Get Started?

We hope this guide gives you a helpful introduction to planning your first getaway in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. With swaying palms, stunning beaches and outdoor adventures juxtaposed with incredible dining, nightlife and culture, the city offers the best of laidback tropical vibes and cosmopolitan energy. When you’re ready to turn your Fort Lauderdale dreams into reality, turn to Fort Lauderdale Party Bus Company for group transportation. Our charter bus rentals can pick up your crew from the airport, shuttle you between hotels and attractions, provide event transportation and so much more. Just give us a call at (954) 369-0981 or request a quick quote online to get rolling.