With its glistening beaches and lively atmosphere, Fort Lauderdale is an incredible destination in Florida to experience the Atlantic Ocean’s coastal serenity. During a short weekend trip, mom and I escaped wintery Connecticut and spent the majority of the time at the beach. We were total beach babes and although we didn’t get to do a lot of sightseeing, we discovered plenty of things to do near our resort, Ocean Manor Beach Resort.
If you’re short on time and only have a day to spare in Fort Lauderdale, this itinerary highlights fun things to do in Fort Lauderdale especially if you want to primarily take advantage of the beach.
From seeking nirvana through yoga or happy hour at a tiki bar, here are some fun ways to enjoy Fort Lauderdale Beach.
24 Hours in Fort Lauderdale
Fort Lauderdale Beach: Beach Bum Edition
Wake up and join a yoga class on the Fort Lauderdale Beach. Every week, members of the city’s yoga community meet on Fort Lauderdale Beach for an hour of “slow HATHA flow” yoga. Here you can practice yoga postures, breathing techniques, and meditation while listening to the soothing waves.
Each class is led by one of South Florida’s best yogis, who emphasize openness and freedom of expression through yoga.
Classes are donation-based and open to all levels (even newbies). Don’t forget to bring your own mat and towel and a cash donation of $10 USD.
Hit the Beach
Since Fort Lauderdale is home to 23 miles of picturesque white sand beaches, my trip to Southern Florida wouldn’t have been complete without spending some time at a local beach. Right outside Ocean Manor Beach Resort, I spent most of the afternoon exploring Fort Lauderdale Beach and the nearby Lauderdale-By-The-Sea.
Fort Lauderdale Beach is a beautiful family-friendly beach studded with luxurious beachfront condominiums, villas, and resorts. The water is warm and inviting. There are also plenty of beachside restaurants and bars to satisfy your appetite.
Surprisingly there weren’t that many beachgoers in the Fall. However since Fort Lauderdale Beach was not crowded this was the perfect place to relax, people-watch or spot large pelicans. But if you’re looking for something more adventurous, hop on a jet ski, join a boat cruise or go paragliding.
Hidden Gem: Anglin’s Fishing Pier
Next, I strolled to the Anglin’s Fishing Pier, the longest pier in South Florida. The historic Anglin’s Fishing Pier is open 24/7 for sightseeing, live music, and boatless fishing. You can also rent fishing supplies onsite or walk to the end of the pier for views of the Atlantic Ocean.
This privately owned pier charges $2 USD for admission to walk down the boardwalk. There you can admire marine life in the Atlantic Ocean or watch the sunset.
Although I decided to skip this attraction, I still had a great time admiring the ocean views from the beach. This area is also lively in the afternoon and offers a variety of dining options like fresh seafood and cafes that serve casual Caribbean fare.
For some evening fun head over to the Bamboo Beach Tiki Bar, a thatched-roof tiki bar with a beachfront setting and a “made to order” menu.
Aside from having the best location (beach front), Bamboo Beach Tiki Bar has a decorated happy hour food and drink menu and half priced cocktails and appetizers five nights a week; Monday through Friday from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m.
Dinner at Casa Calabria
Mom and I ended the night with a candlelight dinner at Casa Calabria, an authentic Italian restaurant right on the Ocean Manor Beach Resort.
Many locals say it’s the best Italian restaurant in South Florida!
Casa Calabria serves delicious regional dishes from Calabria, a region in Southern Italy known for fine deli meats and hard cheese. Since all of the recipes are passed down, the restaurant pays tribute to the owner’s family and heritage. At the restaurant, you’ll even see family photos hanging on the walls.
The extensive wine list and exceptional singing from the piano bar created a lively and welcoming atmosphere. Can I add that the piano man was extremely talented! He played a variety of tunes in different languages including songs from Taylor Swift and Andrea Bocelli.
Sing along or get up and dance!
We could have easily stayed out all night but unfortunately since we had an early flight to catch, we didn’t get a chance to check out more of Fort Lauderdale’s nightlife, nevertheless, I’m more than happy with how our evening turned out.
Sometimes all you need is a quick getaway and that’s exactly what a trip to Fort Lauderdale was for us. Whether you choose to go on a leisurely stroll along the boardwalk, relax in the sand, feel one with the universe or treat yourself to one of the best happy hours in town, Fort Lauderdale is an enjoyable beach destination in South Florida that I can’t wait to head back to.
About Danielle: Danielle Desir is a Travel Finance Strategist that uses her financial background and knack for financial planning to encourage affording travel. On The Thought Card, Danielle shares planning strategies, saving tips, flight deals and even talks about her student loan repayment journey.
About the Thought Card. The Thought Card is a travel finance blog that specializes in affording travel and making it a financial priority in your life. The Thought Card shares travel planning and saving strategies, cheap flight deals and practical personal finance tips like how to pay off your student loan debt and save for a car.
Using the latest travel apps, technology, and gear, I take a city; see the sights, taste the food, smell the roses, hear the stories and feel the love. All in 48 hours. Then, using videography & editing, photography and writing I retell and share those stories with my readers and viewers.
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