A breathtaking journey through nature awaits in Greater Fort Lauderdale, home to the world-famous Everglades, which offers vast, untouched wilderness like no place else on earth. An exhilarating airboat ride with Sawgrass Recreation Park provides an amazing look at wildlife, from exotic birds like peacocks, bald eagles and wading birds to alligators and panthers.
Two more of the area’s top nature attractions are Butterfly World and Flamingo Gardens. Butterfly World is the largest butterfly park in the world, where visitors can see more than 20,000 live butterflies from every corner of the globe. Flamingo Gardens offers 60 acres of native and exotic plants and trees and 90+ species of Florida native animals.
Dozens of parks, preserves and nature centers also offer pristine settings to marvel at tropical beauty. Hugh Taylor Birch State Park has a freshwater lagoon, nature trails, shaded picnic areas and rentals for kayaks, paddleboards and bikes; as well as direct access to Fort Lauderdale beach. The Anne Kolb Nature Center at West Lake Park is one of the largest urban parks in Florida that stretches 20 acres along the Intracoastal Waterway. Visitors can climb (or take the elevator) to the 68-foot observation tower or follow the boardwalk to see wading birds and other native wildlife; drop a line at the fishing pier or paddle the mangrove estuary. More unforgettable nature encounters await at Snake Warrior’s Island, a 53.3-acre nature preserve along the Great Florida Birding Trail; and Tree Tops Park featuring 23 acres of nature trails.
The area’s 24 miles of golden beaches and 300 miles of scenic waterways also provide unforgettable nature encounters with the chance to see dolphins, manatees and more. Scuba divers can explore the largest collection of warm-water wrecks in the Western world, where thousands of fish and other creatures abound. Lauderdale-By-The-Sea and Hollywood beach are the only beaches in the continental USA where one can dive or snorkel among living coral reefs just 100 yards off the beach. Boating, standup paddleboarding and kayaking are other popular ways to get a fascinating view of nature, and there are plentiful charters and eco-tours offered throughout this water wonderland.
TRUE BOATER’S PARADISE
Known as the ‘Yachting Capital of the World’ and the ‘Venice of America,’ Greater Fort Lauderdale is also a true boater’s paradise. Plentiful marinas, charters and cruises are ready to answer every boating whim, whether clients are arriving by boat, want to rent one or enjoy one of the area’s many captained excursions.
They can hit the open water of the Atlantic Ocean or cruise the Intracoastal Waterway to see the colossal mansions and superyachts of Millionaires’ Row.
They’ll also discover many dock-and-dine establishments to indulge in the area’s world-class culinary scene. Plan their visit around an exciting boating event, such as the Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show, the world’s largest in-water boat show, or the Seminole Hard Rock Winterfest Boat Parade.
One of the most popular sightseeing cruises is the Water Taxi, where they’ll listen to fun facts about the area, then hop off to shop and dine along lively Las Olas Boulevard, enjoy a swim on Hollywood Beach or paddle the coastal dune lake at Hugh Taylor Birch State Park – to name just a few Water Taxi stops. Families will love a cruise with Bluefoot Pirate Adventures, where kids can pretend to be pirates, or a journey down the New River aboard the Jungle Queen Riverboat, which includes a stop on a tropical isle for a barbecue and variety show. Couples can rediscover romance on a sunset sail or gondola ride, while groups will appreciate the revelry of Cruisin’ Tikis – they provide the ice and passengers can bring their own drinks of choice.
Learn more about Greater Fort Lauderdale and if you aren’t a ‘Lauderdale Loyalist’ yet, register for Visit Lauderdale’s free training program to access all sorts of tools and tips to sell like never before.