With Tampa, Miami and landlocked Orlando taking in most of the tourists, Fort Lauderdale is often overlooked. Home to more than 100 marinas, Fort Lauderdale is considered as the “boating capital of the world.” The city is perfectly aligned with the 3000-mile inland channel on the Eastern coastline. Known as the Intercoastal Waterway, this channel has saltwater rivers, the Atlantic Ocean and almost 300 miles of smaller waterways.
Fort Lauderdale is one of the few places in the world that offers access to freshwater fishing and saltwater fishing. While the waters of the Atlantic Ocean and the Gulf of Mexico are made up of saltwater, many of the smaller waterways in Fort Lauderdale are composed of freshwater. There are also beautiful coral reefs nearby for avid scuba divers.
Whether you’re sailing, cruising or on chartering a yacht, a boat rental in Fort Lauderdale is the perfect way to explore all this city has to offer on the water.
Here are 5 amazing ideas for a Fort Lauderdale sailing trip:
Fort Lauderdale boasts a mile-long waterfront promenade with stunning views of the Fort Lauderdale skyline. In addition to the natural, lush scenery, visitors on holiday can visit boutiques, restaurants and even museums on “Florida’s Most Beautiful Mile.”
Fort Lauderdale hosts mega yachts floating off the coasts and mansions dotting the cliffs along Millionaire’s Row. The Riverwalk offers a glimpse of how the one percent live.
A few miles away in Hollywood, Florida, there is a 2-mile oceanfront boardwalk on Dania Beach. Tourists can stroll along the sandy beach, take a dip in the ocean and then discover the old-world charm of the nearby hamlet Lauderdale-by-the Sea.
2. 300 Miles of Canals
Fort Lauderdale is nicknamed “Venice of America” because of its 300-miles of meandering canals broken up by natural inlets.
When Fort Lauderdale was settled in the late 1800s, the main waterway was the New River. It was used for transportation and now lies in the shadows of the skyscrapers that dot the river banks. The miles and miles of canals were all man-made and expanded over the years.
They are frequently used now by the locals to park their boats or yachts. Fort Lauderdale boasts over 40,000 registered yachts in the area. The canals can be seen from the remaining train tracks and skyscrapers.
3. Sail to the Bahamas or Key West
From Fort Lauderdale, you can sail to the Bahamas, Key West or even Miami. the Bahama island Bimini is just 50 miles from Fort Lauderdale, a boat trip or a short ferry ride is the perfect way to reach the island.
Fort Lauderdale hosts many boats, cruise liners and even Yachts. Port Everglades is one of the top cruises’ ports in the world. Fort Lauderdale is also home to hundreds of marinas.
When sailing from Fort Lauderdale to the Bahamas, you’ll be crossing the strong currents of the Gulf Stream. You can charter a boating vessel, or a powerboat can travel from Miami to Bimini in under 3 hours.
Bimini is a fishing hotspot full of Hemingway memorabilia celebrating the famed author’s two-year stint as a resident of the island in the Bahamas. Be aware that there is a $300 tax for boats cruising into the Bahamas.
4. Boat Shows/Festivals
What would the “Boating Capital of the World” be without a few boating shows and festivals?
In December, the Seminole Hard Rock hosts a Winterfest Boat Parade. The 12-mile parade travels along the Intercoastal Waterways to Pompano Beach.
The Winterfest Boat Parade is a longstanding Christmas tradition in sunny Florida. It’s been part of Fort Lauderdale’s charm since the 1970s. More than one million people fill up the viewing areas along the parade’s route. It’s the largest annual event in Florida.
An International Boat Show is held in late October in Fort Lauderdale. In addition to featuring vast amounts of boats and yacht for all types of sizes, there are boating exhibitions of all type of nautical equipment.
For the landlubbers, Fort Lauderdale is a gambler’s paradise. The coastal city offers 14 different casinos and racetrack/casinos. Seminole Casino has gaming at three locations in and surrounding Fort Lauderdale – the Seminole Classic Casino, Seminole Casino Coconut Creek and the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino.
If blackjack and poker aren’t your games, the Isle Casino Racing in Pompano offers horse racing four days of the week, as well as slots and table games.
For those who love to relax in the sun or swim, there are 24 miles of beaches in Fort Lauderdale. This stunning city in southern Florida, provides ample activities to people who love the sea.