Fort Lauderdale: Like No Place Else

Pristine beaches, shore diving, an international film festival and alligators are among the attractions that make this Florida city unique.
By: Ray Brasted and Susan Lazarus
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Chris Grundy and Matt Muenster handle an alligator at the 2014 Blog Cabin in Winter Haven, FL.

Photo by: Tony Flora/ AP Images ©2014, DIY Network/Scripps Networks, LLC. All Rights Reserved.

Tony Flora/ AP Images, 2014, DIY Network/Scripps Networks, LLC. All Rights Reserved.

There is probably no other place in the world where there is so much to see and do year-round in a residential setting and just minutes from your front door.


Pristine beaches offer convenient enjoyment for residents who want to slip away from the office or the house. On the way to a meeting? Detour to A1A, kick off your oxfords and stroll down to the ocean. Feel the warm breeze and listen to the squawking of the seagulls gliding overhead. For many residents who came to Fort Lauderdale for a vacation or business trip and decided to make it their home, easy access to the beach is tantamount to living in paradise.


The subtropical weather is unique in that it really never gets as hot as folks from the north might think and rarely is cold enough to be uncomfortable. "Cold" fronts last hours, or a day or two at the most, and that means temperatures might dip below 50 degrees.


There are yachts here on every isle, and Fort Lauderdale boasts the largest boat show in the nation, but you don't have to be rich to share the same waterways as the wealthy. Miles of the Intracoastal Waterway offer recreational opportunities for boats of any size down to kayaks and dinghies.


Commercial fishermen share the reefs and deep-water angling with residents who just want to get out for a few hours. Don't have a boat? Get down to the docks early in the day and join a group heading out. The captains provide the fishing gear and bait you will need.

If freshwater fishing is your passion, head for any of the local inland canals, or drive 30 minutes to the Everglades and you can find some of the best bass fishing in the country.


ow many cities can offer you the chance to go alligator hunting? If you want to see the source of your alligator wallet or handbag up close and personal, you can do it here.

Scuba Diving Right from the Shore. Lauderdale-by-the-Sea, just a few miles from Fort Lauderdale, was declared the "Shore Diving Capital of the U.S." by Broward County some years back. More than 75 ships, freighters and tugboats have been sunk off the shores of Fort Lauderdale to form a mecca for reef fish and divers.


Almost any place else in the world, planning for a cruise is a major undertaking. In Fort Lauderdale you can be off to the Bahamas, the Florida Keys or other nearby destinations as quickly as you can get to Port Everglades. Don't have time for a two- or three-day getaway? Head out for a day or evening. Port Everglades is minutes from downtown Fort Lauderdale and cruise lines are quick to welcome you aboard.

Independent Film

Fort Lauderdale's Cinema Paradiso, a converted church with tiered seating, a stage and a courtyard for receptions, is a treasure. The annual Fort Lauderdale International Film Festival runs for about a month, making it the world's longest film festival. CEO Gregory Von Hausch welcomes film buffs to be a part of the festival and enjoy independent film year-round.


Like to gamble and see top entertainers? Head over to the Seminole Hard Rock Casino for first class gaming and shows. The development of new casinos in Fort Lauderdale has added another outlet, in case you didn't have enough to do already. There are several horse-racing tracks and the unique sport of jai alai, billed as the fastest sport in the world because of the speed of the balls during play.

International Community

Fort Lauderdalians are from all over the globe. Walk along Las Olas Boulevard downtown and you might hear more foreign languages than you hear English. Welcome to the neighborhood.

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