48 Hour Guide to Fort Lauderdale Fun

When you’ve only got a couple of days to get away, look no further than the sunny skies, palm trees, and warm breezes of Fort Lauderdale.

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When you’ve only got a couple of days to get away, look no further than the sunny skies, palm trees, and warm breezes of Fort Lauderdale. This south Florida city has the perfect mix of sandy beaches and serious fun. Slip on a pair of flip-flops, roll down the windows, and cruise along to find plenty of fun with little effort. The memories you make in just 48 hours in Fort Lauderdale will keep you warm all year long.

Life’s a Beach

A view down Fort Lauderdale Beach  with palm trees and white sand with footprint tracks under blue sky on the edge of turqoise water.

Waste no time! Drop your bags at the hotel, change into your bathing suit, and head straight to the beach. The clean, white sands and gentle waves mean the stretch of beach along A1A between Las Olas and Sunrise Boulevard is great for everyone. Build a sand castle, take a leisurely walk, or just lounge with a good book.

Beauty and the Bonnet

The inland waterway at Bonnet House Museum in Fort Lauderdale during daytime is lined with palm trees under a clear blue sky with a thatched roof building at the end of the waterway

When you’re ready for a break from the beach, there’s no better place for strolling than the nearby Bonnet House Museum & Gardens. Listed on the National Register of Historic Places, it honors one of the town’s pioneering families. The historic, oceanfront estate has a great collection of art and personal items along with a garden that gives you a shady, cool spot to catch your breath in the Fort Lauderdale heat.

Las Olas at Night

When the sun goes down, there’s only one place you should be: Las Olas. The boulevard is filled with Fort Lauderdale’s best restaurants and shops. You can people watch from a sidewalk table while enjoying everything from burgers and pizza to steak and lobster. Sip an after-dinner espresso at Caffe Europa on Las Olas. In the mood for something sweet? Hoffman’s Chocolates are sure to please. Pick up a dark chocolate-covered pretzel for a great sweet-salty flavor combo.

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Brunch Time

Start the day with java and open-faced sandwiches at The Alchemist, voted the best coffee shop in Broward and Palm Beach counties by The New Times. Other great options are Voo La Voo Cafe with Parisian-style outdoor seating and the legendary Floridian Restaurant, which you may have already spotted on your evening jaunt to Las Olas.

Stretch Your Wings

A red, black and white butterfly sits on a bright green leaf at Butterfly World in Fort Lauderdale

If you’d love to have hundreds of butterflies flying around you, Butterfly World just down the road in Coconut Creek is the perfect place for you. The sanctuary is filled with tens of thousands of colorful butterflies as well as tropical birds and lorikeets brave enough to eat out of your hand. It’s an experience you — and your kids if they’re with you — will never forget. The site even throws in a learning opportunity with details about ways to protect the more than 150 different butterfly species in the sanctuary.

See Live Music

Downtown view of Fort Lauderdale skyscrapers high above the busy city streets, illuminated at dusk

Fort Lauderdale is filled with some of south Florida’s best live music venues, so there’s sure to be some rock, jazz, funk, or reggae music to get you moving. Check the schedules at the Culture Room, Revolution Live, and Broward Center for the Performing Arts for a night sure to wrap up your 48 hours in Lauderdale with some sizzle.

You didn’t get too sunburned for a selfie in Fort Lauderdale, did you? Share your photos and tips for a great getaway on our Facebook page.

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