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Holiday Guides for North America - United States

Fort Lauderdale Holiday

Rich in history, glamour, nightlife, shops and - above all - restaurants - Fort Lauderdale is well worth a visit.

The city of Fort Lauderdale, Florida, is busy and lively, with a strong cultural and historical identity.

Nicknamed 'The Venice of America' because of its extensive canal system, Fort Lauderdale is considered the south western corner of the Bermuda Triangle.

Located in Broward County and on the Atlantic Ocean, the city was founded in 1911 and has a population of around 170,000 people. Now very popular with tourists, it is warm year round and caters to most tastes, with busy nightlife and a rich history.

Fort Lauderdale was first settled by Seminole Indians in the 18th century, with the modern city created following a battle in 1838. Largely an agricultural community, the city and its suburbs experienced rapid growth at the end of WWI.

Local sights of interest include a house built in 1893 by a young man from Ohio, Frank Stranahan, as a trading post, post office, bank and town hall for the area, the Calvary Chapel, the Bonnet House Museum and Tropical Gardens, the Museum of Art Fort Lauderdale, the Old Fort Lauderdale Village and Museum and the Museum of Discovery and Science.

Fort Lauderdale has several miles of excellent beaches and is a popular destination for watersports, particularly fishing, boating and yachting. The city has a glamorous marina, with a number of excellent restaurants and is popular with cruise passengers.

Visitors can take a trip down the river on the Jungle Queen Riverboats, wander in nearby Hugh Taylor Birch State Park, buy goods at the Anhinga Indian Trading Post, take in the plants and animals of the Everglades at the Big Cypress Seminole Reserve and find out about the area's Native American past at the Ah-Tha-Thi-Ki Museum.

Fort Lauderdale has a vibrant nightlife, with nightclubs and bars lined across the beachfront and Los Olas Boulevard, and a lively gay and lesbian scene. There are a number of good music and arts venues, jazz clubs, piano bars and the impressive Broward Center for the Performing Arts and Bailey Concert Hall.

Sports fans can take in hockey, baseball and basketball at one of the excellent stadiums, visit the Swimming Hall of Fame, play golf, scuba dive, take tennis lessons, or bike and hike in the beautiful national parks nearby.

Shoppers will delight in the art galleries, boutiques and the vast Fort Lauderdale Swap Shop flea market. The city is also home to some impressive malls and shopping centres and quirky antiques and books stores.

Fort Lauderdale has more than 3,500 restaurants, ranging from basic diners to international cuisine, with a heavy emphasis on fresh seafood. Food tends to be plentiful and of a very high quality, with European, Asian and Latin American flavours all on offer.

The Fort-Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport is one of the fastest growing in the United States and the city is also accessible from Miami International Airport and Palm Beach International Airport.