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Top 10 things to do in Fort Lauderdale

Find out what to see and do in Fort Lauderdale, one of America’s holiday hotspots for 2015.

Thinking about heading across the pond but haven’t decided where to?

Nicknamed ‘the Venice of America’, Fort Lauderdale and the surrounding areas in south Florida have plenty to see and do: from soaking up the sun on South Beach to alligator spotting in the Everglades. Judd Hall recommends these top 10 things to do in Fort Lauderdale for an unforgettable trip.

1. Get a feel for the city on Las Olas Boulevard

Spend a day hanging out on Las Olas Boulevard and you’ll soon see what makes this town so popular. American cuisine isn’t all cheeseburgers and French fries, as restaurant Johnny V Las Olas proves. Fashionistas should head to Elektrik Boutique for Floridian style, whilst art lovers should check out Blue Gallery.

Las Olas Boulevard.

2. Take a water taxi

Driving around Fort Lauderdale you’ll see homes and businesses right on the water, hence the city’s nickname. Water taxis are a cool, alternative way to get around and make a great two-and-a-half hour tour.

Take a water taxi.

3. Stay at the Fontainebleau

Roll like a rockstar at the Fontainebleau Miami Beach hotel. A playground for the rich and famous, including the Rat Pack, and featured in iconic movies such as Goldfinger, the Fontainebleau is also home to more than a dozen restaurants, lounges and bars. Do some celeb spotting of your own at the hotel’s famous nightclub LIV.

Stay at the Fountainebleau.

4. Soak up the sun on South Beach

Take a drive just 23 miles south of Fort Lauderdale and spend the day sunning yourself on Miami’s famous South Beach. Watch the beautiful people strut their stuff along the promenade, and you might even spot a celeb or two. Once the sun goes down head to Story to dance the night away.

Soak up the sun on South Beach.

5. Explore Key West

Cat lovers and literary fans should visit Ernest Hemingway’s house, where you can find descendants of his six-toed cat. Mallory Square is worth visiting for the Sunset Celebration, a party of wacky costumes and street performances. Alternatively, check out Duval Street and the world famous Sloppy Joe’s.

Explore Key West.

6. Get artsy in Wynwood

Again, head to Miami to see some of the best in American contemporary art. Wynwood Arts District is home to many artist studios and galleries. Come to town in early December for Art Basel, which showcases emerging artists from around the world.

Get artsy in Wynwood.

7. Relax in Little Havana

Little Havana, the historic heart of Miami’s Cuban community, is a great place to experience a slice of Latin American flavour in south Florida. Shop for cigars or sample something spicy on a food tour to really see what snack and specialties the area has to offer.

Relax in Little Havana.

8. Spot ‘gators in the Everglades

The Everglades, beginning near Orlando at the Kissimmee River, are home to various species of marine life, including sea turtles and manatees. Take an exhilarating ride on an airboat to see the area or get up close and personal with the alligators who live here with a bike ride through Shark Valley.

Spot 'gators in the Everglades.

9. Camp out under the stars at the Dry Tortugas

Just 70 miles west of Key West lies Dry Tortugas National Park. The park started as a prison during the Civil War, but now it’s a great place to snorkel. To get the full back-to-nature experience, spend a night camping on the premises, but be sure to bring everything you’ll need (water, too) it’s certainly no glamping experience!

Camp out under the stars at the Dry Tortugas.

10. Go diving for shipwrecks

More than 100 reef and wreck sites are scattered along the south Florida shoreline from Key West on up. The Gulf Stream current in the area means that close to the shore the waters are clear and balmy, perfect for snorkelers. Certified divers can see some of these wrecks close up or the area is also very good for drift diving, if you’re not feeling particularly energetic.

Go diving for shipwrecks.

More: 10 best things to see and do in Miami

Judd Hall is Skyscanner’s Content Manager for the US and Canada, Judd’s interests run the gamut: sport, theme parks, rock music, vacations with his family around the world… and pugs.