Port Everglades — Photo courtesy of sunny.org
Whether you're disembarking or waiting to board your long-awaited cruise, consider your time in Fort Lauderdale a delightful extension of your vacation. This is a city that knows exactly how to welcome cruising enthusiasts from the moment they arrive to the moment the leave. Fort Lauderdale's prestigious Port Everglades is the one of nation's largest cruise ports, hosting every major cruise line and home port to the world's largest cruise ships, Royal Caribbean's Oasis of The Seas and Allure of The Seas.
Within blocks of the port are some of the city's most intriguing attractions, finest restaurants and best shopping, so why not take a half day to explore and enjoy? With rental cars easily available and cab drivers well-versed in the city (and, by and large, honest and dependable), taking a short stint here can be care-free and just as much fun as the cruise itself for the entire family.
Fort Lauderdale Beach — Photo courtesy of Sunny.org
A trip to the beach is a must-do for great fun and priceless memories. The legendary Fort Lauderdale Beach is located just a short ride from Port Everglades. Enjoy the sand and the surf and get a first-hand experience of what draws so many people to the Venice of America.
Las Olas Boulevard — Photo courtesy of Sunny.org
Take in a quick lunch at any number of incredible eateries that will satisfy your desire to truly dine in style. Head to the very prestigious and happening Las Olas Boulevard. It is here were visitors and locals come to wine and dine, shop and enjoy the company of others who love quality.
A great restaurant any time of the day or night is Mango's. Though best known for its great jazz music at night, Mango's is an excellent family-friendly option during the day. The menu boasts delicious sandwiches, burgers, salads and desserts, and you can always expect friendly, quick service. Don't forget to order their signature mango salad dressing and the to-die-for Key Lime Pie, a must for visitors!
If it's shopping you need to do, you're at exactly the right spot. After eating at Mango's stroll down Las Olas and enjoy the stellar boutiques and shops. Zola Keller and Chico's are just steps away for top fashion, and across the street is the Sunglass Hut for that special look. If you're already dreaming of owning a vacation home in Fort Lauderdale, then take a peak at the inventory at Coldwell Banker Real Estate. You never know!
Time is nearly up and if you're heading back to the port and need to pick up last-minute items such as suntan lotion, towels, nautical equipment or even snacks, stop at the nearby Harbor Shops on 17th Street. Publix is one of Florida's favorite supermarkets and it is a convenient stop for the snacks and accessories. Bluewater Books & Charts offers those nautical items that you may not realize you want. And for the gamers in the family, Game Stop is the place to stock up for those days at sea.
There's no doubt that a half-day spent in Fort Lauderdale will be a complement to the entire cruising vacation, and you will enjoy all that this world-class city has to offer.