Amusement park at the Swap Shop — Photo courtesy of Dale Mack
Fort Lauderdale's famous Swap Shop is a notable shopping landmark known all over the country, with more than 12 million visitors per year; it boasts of being the second largest attraction in all of South Florida.
Located just a few miles northwest of downtown Fort Lauderdale, this 80-acre shopping and entertainment complex even includes its own car museum and video game arcade, as well as outdoor vendors.
This is clearly the epicenter for great deals on everything from clothes, shoes, fragrances, accessories, kitchenware, linens, video games, antiques and more. There is almost literally no end to the choices, with its over 2000 vendors in this amazing indoor/outdoor flea market.
Also, plan to grab a quick lunch here from one or more of the many stops offering the best international fare.
Fort Lauderdale's Swap Shop — Photo courtesy of Stanley T. Bird, Jr.
But it doesn't end with just shopping and eating. This is entertainment central.
With an amusement park at the main entrance, who can resist a ride? It's especially great for the kids.
At night, one of the Swap Shop's most unique features is the Fun Lan Drive-In Movie Theatre. There aren't many of these left, and this is an original. Gather your friends and family, buy some snacks and settle in for that special feature film that can only be appreciated from the front seat of your car or the back of a pick-up.
The Swap Shop is most noted for its expansive flea market. This is open every day, and weekends are especially busy with more vendors and an endless supply of everything and anything one could think of. What is more fun than looking through row after row of possible treasures?
Farmers market at the Swap Shop — Photo courtesy of Stanley T. Bird, Jr.
And don't forget: A trip here is not complete without stopping in the farmer's market. There are fresh fruits and vegetables galore here from many vendors on row after enticing row, with everyone's favorites, along with displays of fresh and colorful flowers.
Pick up something for dinner later on, set the table with an amazing bouquet and celebrate those incredible finds.
There's plenty of parking on either side of Sunrise Boulevard, and the Swap Shop is conveniently right on the bus route; it's only a short cab ride from the beach or most hotels.
Swap Shop is well worth the trip and the time. Unique photos from your visit here can be posted on Facebook or Instagram to bring back great memories – and a return trip.