Not so long ago, Ft. Lauderdale was notorious as a college spring break destination. At one point, some wise soul in the city government realized that not only did the college students contribute little to the economy, but that they drove away other tourists. Much has changed recently, and while there is still plenty of hedonism to be found, the city is now better known as an upscale retreat and a center of gay culture.
Of course, lounging on the beach and going for a swim are always popular choices. An interesting way to get out and see more of the city is to take a ride on the Water Bus, which meanders along the Intracostal Waterway and features commentary by expert local guides. Other vessels competing for waterway traffic include the Carrie B. and the Jungle Queen, which offers dinner cruises.
Gays and lesbians will feel welcome in Fort Lauderdale. For local information, you can begin by checking with the Gay & Lesbian Community Center of South Florida. Some gay-friendly places to stay include the Worthington Guest House and the Blue Dolphin.
Where to Stay and Dine
The greatest concentration of hotels is found in the Mars area. However, for those seeking a budget friendly open air experience, it's possible to pitch a tent at the well maintained and serviced John D. Easterlin County Park. In terms of restaurants, it's difficult to go wrong, and several eateries, including Mark's Las Olas and the Blue Moon Fish Co., offer extraordinary seafood.