Visiting Fort Lauderdale

Fort Lauderdale is a great destination for both young and old. You will find food, hotels, and activities to fit everyone’s interest and budget.

Ft. Lauderdale Beach

Member Rating 4 out of 5 by Norman on April 17, 2006

Fort Lauderdale Beach is one of many fine Florida Beaches. The main part of the beach runs from the south on A1A (take the 17th Street Causeway over from the city) to north of Sunrise Boulevard, about 5 miles. Here, you will enjoy the sand and beautiful Atlantic Ocean. There are busy times of the year when the beach is crowded.

Across the street from the beach are numerous restaurants, bars, and shops. There are no buildings on the beach in this area. As you move south and north of this area, you will find many hotels "on the beach." The beach is free. More parking can be found at the southern end than the northern area.

Just north of Sunrise Boulevard, across the street from the beach, is Hugh Taylor Birch State Park, This is a nice area to have a picnic in the shade. There is an underground tunnel that connects the park to the beach.

Hollywood Beach
Fort Lauderdale, Florida

John U. Lloyd State Park

Member Rating 5 out of 5 by Norman on April 17, 2006

For a less crowded, more natural beach setting, drive south to John U. Lloyd State Park in Dania. For anyone who prefers nature rather than buildings, this is the place to go. Even though this beach is only across the inlet from Ft. Lauderdale Beach, you will have to drive west to US 1, then south on US1 to East Dania Beach Boulevard east to A1A, and the park entrance will be just north.

Visit John Lloyd to see what South Florida used to look like. This natural beach is surrounded by natural hardwoods, mangroves, sea oats, pines; and a small inland waterway meanders through it. During your visit you may see fish, rays, numerous birds, small crabs, and probably a raccoon. In the summer, sea turtles lay their eggs on this beach.
There is ample parking, a small snack bar, and bathrooms in two areas of the park. There is a variety of watercraft available for rental.

John U. Lloyd state Park is my recommendation for a place to spend a morning or a day. There is a small entrance fee. No charge for parking.

John U. Lloyd State Park

Park Brochure

Florida’s State Parks

John U. Lloyd State Park
Dania Beach
Fort Lauderdale, Florida
(954) 923-2833

Museum of Discovery and Science

Member Rating 5 out of 5 by Norman on April 17, 2006

The Museum of Discovery and Science (MODS) is the most-visited museum in Florida. Its 85,000-square-foot facility has many activities for both children and adults.

Young ones will enjoy the Discovery Place, a wonderful play and learning area for those under 7 years old. Here children can climb, build, make bubbles, play with wet sand, use computers, and even pick oranges and take part in their distribution. It is nicely separated from the rest of the museum by a low "fence," and the museum staff does monitor the area, so older children are not allowed in. Siblings of young children are allowed to play with their brothers and sisters.

On the first floor you will visit Florida Ecoscapes, seeing exhibits with animals depicting different areas of the state. On display are turtles, numerous fish, sharks, eels, sea urchins, star fish, horseshoe crabs, bats, opossum, frogs, snakes, spiders, lizards, insects, and alligators. Their enclosures make the animals highly visible, with some tanks having windows to give the visitor an underwater view.

What makes this museum special is that animals are presented to the visitors up close and personal. The museum staff allow you to touch the animals and readily answer your questions, which is so much better than just looking at them through the class. For children this is a special experience.

Upstairs you will be able to control a robotic hand, play virtual volleyball, see dinosaurs, visit space, solve puzzles, build with magnetism, and interact with many other exhibits. This is truly "infotainment."

Two favorites are the rides the Mars Rove and the MMU, Manned Maneuvering Unit. The Mars Rover is an over 8-minute ride in which you take part in a Mars mission inside a simulator that moves with a projected movie. Everyone can ride, as long as the little ones can sit in their own seat with a seat belt. The MMU is a ride that you control. You fly the MMU to a satellite that emits a light that must be aligned with a receiving station on earth. This is a bit of a challenge because the machine balances you, so you get a feeling of floating. The MMU does have minimum and maximum size limits. These rides are not just for kids.

There is a huge area for traveling exhibits, which changes three times a year. An IMAX is part of the museum, where you can experience regular and 3D movies on a five-story-high screen with amazing sound.

Visitor Information:
The combination ticket, the exhibits, and an IMAX movie is a great value.

Museum of Discovery and Science
401 Southwest Second St
Fort Lauderdale, Florida, 33312
(954) 467-6637

Overview of Ft. Lauderdale

Member Rating 0 out of 5 by Norman on April 17, 2006

Fort Lauderdale is a great destination for both young and old. I have been fortunate to have lived in South Florida all my life. You will find food, hotels, and activities to fit everyone’s interest and budget.

We say there are two seasons here, wet (the summer) and dry (the winter). You will find the best weather from November through April, with warm days and comfortable nights. If you arrive in the summer, expect daily temperatures in the upper 80ºs, with high humidity, and lows only dropping into the 70ºs. That’s the time when the ocean or swimming pool is most inviting.

The airport is nice, with five separate concourses. Security for departure is slow, so allow yourself more time than you would at most airports. There is ample parking, and easy access to car rentals. The airport is about 4 miles from downtown Ft. Lauderdale, and about 5 miles from Ft. Lauderdale Beach. Link:
There is limited mass transit. There is a bus system that runs throughout the area, which may be useful, but not nearly as convenient as other major cities. Given the time, the system is far-reaching and will take you all over Broward County. My advice, rent a car.

Activities are abundant, though for many the surf and the sun are the major attraction. Beyond the beaches you may visit the Museum of Discovery and Science, the Swap Shop (a huge flea market), Sawgrass Mills (a shopping complex), and with a drive, Everglades National Park. You may boat, fish, snorkel, scuba dive, watch a play, enjoy a variety of entertainment, watch a sporting event, or enjoy one of the many shows and stars that perform in the area.

Ft. Lauderdale’s Visitor’s Web site:

Florida’s State Parks

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