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Fort Lauderdale's BB&T Center is just the Beginning of Western Broward's Attractions



Fort Lauderdale's BB&T Center in Sunrise, Florida is probably the most popular entertainment venue in the ever-growing western Broward County. Just a few miles west of Downtown on Sunrise Boulevard, this easily accessible center offers locals and visitors a like top names in entertainment, sports, circuses, ice shows and even trade shows. This sophisticated and very modern edifice is directly across from the wildly popular Sawgrass Mills Mall, which is billed as the state's second most popular tourist attraction after Disney World (but as a word of warning: just don't park there and walk across the street; your car just might get towed.) In fact, the BB&T Center is near many attractions that are must-see experiences. Who hasn't heard of Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Hollywood, Florida? It's just a few miles southeast of here and certainly worth a visit, even for those who do not gamble. Why not experience the beauty, and even the danger, of South Florida's outdoors with a visit to Everglades Holiday Park? See what this part of the world is known for with gators, exotic birds and endless miles in the Everglades. Golfers, too, can find some of the area's best golfing at Plantation Preserve Golf Course & Club, among other stellar courses, just near-by. Who says that Fort Lauderdale is only good for its beaches? Come out west and enjoy!


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Seminole Tribal Fair and Pow-Wow


More than 25,000 visitors, both local and visitors alike, attend this popular annual event, always held the second weekend in February at The Semiole Tribe of Florida on Stirling Road in Hollywood, Florida. Festivities include dancers, performers, and artisans from more than 100 tribes across the Americas. This festival showcases the fascinating history of the Seminole culture, with contests that put talent, archery, clothing, log peeling and fine arts- and crafts-making to the test. Events include Wyatt Earp gunfighters, Seminole ballet, rodeo, alligator wrestling, and a panther show. Great for young and old alike and as educational as it is entertaining.


Buehler Planetarium & Observatory


Located on the A.Hugh Adams central campus of Broward College is the Buehler Planetarium & Observatory. This fascinating facility is one of the most advanced planetariums in South Florida with its Zeiss M 1015 projector and its modern digital audiovisual equipment. You've seen the sand and the sea; now see the stars sprinkled across the Ft. Lauderdale sky. One of few free attractions in the area, the Buehler Planetarium & Observatory enables visitors to spend an evening gazing at the majestic night sky through a collection of high-tech telescopes. From glowing moons and flashing stars to the vivid orbs of planets, the views are truly spectacular and, on Wednesday, Friday and Saturday evenings, completely free.




Among the most trying links in Greater Ft. Lauderdale, Plantation Preserve Golf Course & Club is conveniently just west of Downtown in the center of the city of Plantation, and located on the historic land once occupied by the Plantation Golf Club. This public golf course's 18 holes are surrounded by Everglades-inspired wetlands and a one-of-a-kind linear park and multi-use trail. Golfers revel in Plantation Preserve's course-wide Sea Dwarf Paspalum playing surface, five sets of tee boxes at every hole, GPS-equipped golf carts and state-of-the-art practice facilities. Additionally, the picturesque clubhouse terrace is the ideal place to savor tasty drinks, dishes and the obligatory post-game recap.


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The extensively renovated Jacaranda Golf Club, eight miles from Fort Lauderdale in the pleasant city of Plantation and offers a brilliant balance of tradition and modern technology within a setting of vivid greens, azure skies and snow-white sand in this 36 holes semi-private course. The East Course, a highly lauded links that regularly hosts PGA and USGA tournaments, and the West Course, a demanding shot maker's design, are both outfitted with first-class Paspalum tee boxes and Tifdwarf greens. Jacaranda's reasonable prices and attentive staff receive kudos, too. And for those novices who wish to improve their game, head golf professional, Andrew Michael, and his staff offer instruction for the beginner, intermediate, and advanced level player of all ages.


Everglades Holiday Park
Photo courtesy of Dale Mack


The whole family will be thrilled at this live experience where you can come face to tooth with grinning gators at this most raved-about family attraction in the magnificent Everglades. An easy drive west of Fort Lauderdale, you will climb aboard a state-of-the-art covered airboat and be learn from knowledgeable guides at the Everglades Holiday Park. Be entertained and educated while passengers delight in striking panoramic views of the Everglades, colorful exotic birds and, of course, enormous wild gators that sidle right up to the boat. Afterward, a sidesplitting and informative live gator show affords the opportunity to hold and take pictures with a young alligator.




While most visitors expect the Florida Everglades to be a large swamp crawling with alligators and snakes and reptiles of every kind, they find so much more. This gift of nature is a mosaic made up of many forms of wildlife and birds in their natural habitat. The Sawgrass Recreation Park for a fun way to learn more about the Everglades. Visitors take a narrated airboat tour where the guide points out native flora and fauna. Next is the alligator and reptile exhibit. Then, travel through reconstructed Seminole villages where Indian guides explain tribal customs and history. Finally you'll visit the vanishing species exhibit, which includes birds and a Florida panther. The entire tour lasts about two hours. Afterwards, you may visit the gift shop or cafe for refreshments. Fishing licenses, guides, and boat rentals are also available.


Flamingo Gardens


Containing some of the last natural jungle growth in South Florida, Flamingo Gardens is one of the oldest Botanical gardens in this part of the state and a fasicnating place to visit. Consisting of a one-and-a-half-acre free-flight aviary featuring wading birds, a crocodile lagoon, river otter and bobcat habitats, wetlands, and a citrus grove make this lush tropical setting a fascinating place to visit. Visitors can choose to take a narrated tram tour or to walk a lovely paved path to see the grounds. There is also a small museum housed in the original home of the previous owners, which includes period furniture. Several cafes and shops are conveniently located within the grounds.


Seminole Hard Rock Hotel and Casino
Photo courtesy of Dale Mack


Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Hollywood, Florida - just west of downtown Fort Lauderdale - sizzles every night of the week. This is the place where people flock for classic entertainment, the finest dining venues, unique shopping, a superb hotel and perhaps a little hope that their dreams will come true in this internationally known entertainment powerhouse. While it is true that most people come for the glittering casinos and a chance at the big winnings, there are even more exciting things to do here; just ask any of the locals. This amazing multi-faceted entertainment complex houses some the area's best restaurants, a popular comedy club with some of the nation's top comedic names stopping through, the Hard Rock Live music venue, a few great bars and absolutely the best nightclubs.


Sawgrass Mills Mall
Photo courtesy of Dale Mack


Billed as the second most popular tourist attraction in the state of Florida after Disney World, this Fort Lauderdale sprawling shopping mall's more than 350 stores are brimming with unbeatable bargains. Also noted as being Florida's largest outlet mall, Sawgrass Mills is home to such popular retailers as Last Call by Neiman Marcus, Nordstrom Rack, Sacks Fifth Avenue OFF 5TH and TJ Maxx. Shoppers also find high-end designers, including Kate Spade, Coach and Burberry. After a successful shopping spree, the adjacent IMAX theatre and nearby offering of restaurants such as P.F. Chang's and The Cheesecake Factory, offer exceptional ways to unwind. And don't worry: There's more than enough parking!




Clearly one of western Broward County's most popular attractions, being the home to the Florida Panthers Hockey Team as well as many events from world-shaking concerts to political rallies. Previously known as the Broward County Civic Arena, The National Car Rental Center and the Office Depot Center, this entertainment venue continues to offer top names in music and sports, trade shows, circuses and ice shows, among others. Built in 1998 this modern and sophisticated edifice features a 25,000-seat center for concerts, over 20,000 for basketball events and nearly 20,000 for hockey, 17,000 square feet for trade shows. Two food courts are available, all with plenty of parking provided.


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Meet Dale Mack

Dale Mack has been involved in Fort Lauderdale tourism and promotions for over twenty years. Working for Travelhost Magazine in Dallas, Texas, he was especially drawn to the edition...  More About Dale

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