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Discover Fort Lauderdale: Ultimate City Guide

November 16, 2023
26,7.344N 80,8.238W

Unveil the vibrant essence of this Fort Lauderdale guide, a sun-kissed gem in Florida that transcends beyond its pristine beaches. This comprehensive guide is your key to exploring a city pulsating with cultural richness and entertainment diversity. Whether you’re a local or a traveler, Fort Lauderdale’s array of events will captivate your senses and enrich your experiences.

Fort Lauderdale, a sun-kissed city in Florida, is not just a haven for beach lovers but also a bustling hub of cultural, social, and entertainment events. In this comprehensive guide, we will explore the diverse and vibrant events that take place in Fort Lauderdale guide, offering insights into why these events are a must-visit for both locals and tourists alike.

Understanding Fort Lauderdale’s Event Landscape

Before diving into specific events, it’s important to understand the broad spectrum of happenings in this dynamic city. Greater Fort Lauderdale hosts a wide range of events, from art festivals and culinary experiences to music concerts and sporting events.

Greater Fort Lauderdale plays host to a number of events worth traveling for. From waterfront music festivals to boat shows, food and wine fairs, neighborhood art walks, and pro sports games, the Greater Fort Lauderdale events calendar is constantly full.

Throughout the year, you’ll find spectacular annual events like Pride Fort Lauderdale, the state’s oldest Pride celebration. In spring, Tortuga Music Festival puts on a three-day concert in the sand at Fort Lauderdale Beach Park to raise money for ocean conservation and research by bringing big-name acts like Tim McGraw and Luke Bryan. Fort Lauderdale beach is also the locale of the annual Fort Lauderdale Air Show, starring the U.S. Navy Blue Angels, and in October, the largest in-water boat show in the world, the Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show, brings more than 1,500 boats (including pretty swanky superyachts) to marinas and waterways around the city.

Greater Fort Lauderdale also knows how to turn up the dial and throw memory-making holiday events, like the 4th of July Spectacular on Fort Lauderdale beach and Las Olas Oceanside Park (complete with bands, a kids zone, and a 23-minute firework show). Perhaps the most anticipated event of the year is a Christmas favorite, the Seminole Hard Rock Winterfest Boat Parade, dubbed the “Best Show on H2O.” More than a million viewers tune in to watch decorated boats of all sizes, from mega-yachts to barges and paddle boards, parade along the 12-mile route. Catch the spectacle in person if you can. 

In early January, the week-long Visit Lauderdale Food & Wine Festival places the county’s top and emerging chefs and restaurateurs on prime display through poolside BBQs, bar competitions, and grand tastings at the beach. And if you’re visiting in the spring, downtown Fort Lauderdale turns into a four-block street fair helmed by the city’s best chefs and restaurants during the Las Olas Wine & Food Festival. In addition to eating your way around town, you can also sample a selection of more than 100 wines from international wineries while dancing to live music and DJs. 

In summer, post up on the sand in Oakland Park for free, family-friendly concerts and food trucks, or enjoy weekend live music along the Broadwalk in Hollywood, where movie night takes place on Fridays at ArtsPark at Young CircleFriday Night Sound Waves brings free music, a makers market, and food vendors to Fort Lauderdale Beach every Friday, while the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Hollywood attracts some of the hottest events in town year-round, including big-name acts like standup comedian Amy Schumer, Alicia Keys, Green Day, and Bruce Springsteen. 

Sports are just as much a fabric of Greater Fort Lauderdale as the beaches. You can watch Lionel Messi and Inter Miami play all their home matches at DRV PNK Stadium here in Fort Lauderdale. Snag front-row seats to both Division 1 college teams as well as the pros like the Florida Panthers ice hockey team, who play from October through April at the Amerant Bank Arena, which doubles as a concert venue for some of the biggest shows in South Florida.


Whether you want to embrace the great outdoors at the many parks and natural wonders—the grand dame of them all being the Florida Everglades—snorkel or sunbathe along 24 miles of beautiful beaches, or eat and drink your way around world-class bars and restaurants, Greater Fort Lauderdale has plenty to offer in every neighborhood.

Get your bearings and soak up the sights on a tour of your choosing—by yacht, Water Taxi, paddleboard, gondola, or bike. See why the city is dubbed the “Venice of America” while cruising along a small stretch of the 300 miles of inland waterways running through the area and eyeing mansions and superyachts on the iconic Millionaires’ Row along the way.

Restaurants Galore

Fort Lauderdale Beach is home to hotels with farm-to-table restaurants showcasing Florida’s finest produce and seafood, world-class steakhouses, and swanky Japanese establishments led by teams trained by celebrity chefs, offering a cosmopolitan yet coastal chic ambiance.

For those exploring the area via the Water Taxi, stops around Las Olas or The Wharf Fort Lauderdale provide access to a variety of local food pop-ups, including BBQ and tacos, and a James Beard Award-nominated chef’s sit-down restaurant.

Las Olas, nestled among galleries and boutiques, attracts a stylish crowd to lobster bars, gastropubs, and Asian-fusion restaurants. Some offer private picnics on gondolas cruising downtown’s canals. Along the Intracoastal Waterway, restaurants with terraces offer views of yachts and serve lavish brunches, daily catches, and extravagant seafood towers.

Greater Fort Lauderdale’s seafood offerings range from casual beach bars to fine dining with sophisticated wine lists. Neighboring areas like Dania Beach and Hollywood feature unique experiences such as old-fashioned ice cream parlors, underwater mermaid dinners, and Polynesian tiki fire shows, popular among families.

The region is also peppered with European-style cafes, wine and beer bars, rooftop restaurants, and casual options like delis and smoothie bars, perfect for a quick beach snack.

Each August, Dine Out Lauderdale invites food enthusiasts to explore the area’s best restaurants, offering three-course meals at three price points: $45, $55, and $75.

Places to Stay in Greater Fort Lauderdale

Find superb places to stay that offer spa-tacular services, luxury amenities, and easy access to airports, cruise lines, and the beach. Greater Fort Lauderdale’s hotels are not just a place to stay, they’re a place for visitors—no matter your interests—to play!

Much of Greater Fort Lauderdale is within a seashell’s throw of the ocean or waterways, but the region’s many beach hotels put you right near the shoreline. Fall asleep to the crescendo of crashing waves and wake to the sun rising over the Atlantic. Best of all, these beachfront hotels are also close to world-class restaurants, shopping, and nightlife, allowing you to enjoy all that has to offer even after you’re done dipping your toes in the surf as the sun goes down.


  1. What is the best time of year to visit Fort Lauderdale for events?
    Fort Lauderdale hosts events year-round, but the peak season is during the winter months when the weather is most pleasant.
  1. Are these events suitable for families? Yes, many events in Greater Fort Lauderdale, like the Riverwalk Fall Festival and the Broward County Fair, are family-friendly.
  2. How can I find more information about these events?
    Visit the official Greater Fort Lauderdale website or the individual event websites for detailed information, schedules, and ticketing

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