Everyone’s least favorite part of going on vacation is planning. Choosing where to eat, what to see, and when to do everything can quickly send you spiraling. What if we told you that you don’t always have to do all of the planning? Below, we’ve compiled the best ways to spend 4 days in Fort Lauderdale so you don’t have to lift a finger! If you’d like even more local options, be sure to check out our free Fort Lauderdale Travel Guide. It’s packed with even more dining, shopping, and sightseeing recommendations!
4 Days in Fort Lauderdale: Your Ultimate Guide
Day One: Relaxing Beach Day
Morning: Soak up the Sun at Hugh Taylor Birch State Park
Good morning and welcome to “The Venice of America!” Whether you drove in from Tampa or flew all the way from Chicago, you’re probably travel-weary and ready to relax. That’s why we recommend kicking off your Fort Lauderdale vacation with a long, lazy morning at the beach! You’ll love the bright blue waters and sugar-white sand at Hugh Taylor Birch State Park. Soak up the sun as you finalize the rest of your itinerary, then check out the kayaking, canoeing, hiking, and biking options available at this scenic state park.
Afternoon: Migrate to Fort Lauderdale Beach
If you decided to do some outdoor adventuring at Hugh Taylor Birch State Park, you’ll want to take it easy for the rest of the day. Continue your relaxing beach day by visiting iconic Fort Lauderdale Beach Park! If you’ve had your fill of sun by the afternoon, there’s no shame in simply strolling the picture-perfect shoreline. Best of all? You won’t have to worry about dealing with raucous revelers (this is no Miami Beach).
Evening: Enjoy a Casual Dinner on the Water
After all of the salty, sunny fun you’ve had, you’ll most likely be starving come evening time. Don’t let hunger get the best of you! Keep with your day’s casual, beachy theme by dining at one of the best Fort Lauderdale waterfront restaurants. We recommend trying Coconuts, a laid-back eatery situated on the Intracoastal Waterway. After you’ve entered “food coma” mode, head back to your comfortable, spacious Fort Lauderdale Stays vacation rental. That’s what we call a day well-spent!
Day Two: Day (and Night) Out on the Town
Morning: Stroll Las Olas Boulevard
Can’t quite decide how to kick off your day out on the town? Go for a stroll along Las Olas Boulevard! Sometimes, simply exploring can be a fun adventure in and of itself. Check out the luxurious yachts coming and going in the channel, pop in some unique shopping spots, and see the sights as you pass some of Fort Lauderdale’s swankiest nightlife spots. It’s still morning, so stick to a mimosa or Bloody Mary if you’re going to sip on anything with a kick (Fort Lauderdale is home to many fabulous brunch spots)!
Afternoon: Early Dinner (and a Show!) Aboard the Jungle Queen
We know that walking around the city can work up a sizeable appetite. That’s why you need to make an advance reservation aboard the Jungle Queen Riverboat for a fun and unique dinner! Sail away and enjoy an all-you-can-eat meal of BBQ, shrimp, chicken, and a variety of yummy sides. Colorful actors and actresses will entertain you during the meal. Be sure to check the calendar for availability before booking your trip.
Evening: Experience Some Fort Lauderdale Nightlife
If you’re looking for a fun nightlife experience without the crazy crowds of Miami, look no further than Fort Lauderdale. Whether your ideal night out is intimate and chill or full of divas and dancing, you’ll feel right at home here. Check out some of our favorite Las Olas bars and pick the place that speaks to you. Or, choose from our list of Fort Lauderdale gay bars. There’s something for everyone here!
Day Three: Go Off the Beaten Path (and Underwater!)
Morning: Go Snorkeling or Scuba Diving
The best way to go off the beaten path in Fort Lauderdale is to go underwater! For an experience you’ll talk about for years to come, try snorkeling off the coast of the city! There are several places where you can discover submerged reefs and tropical fish! We recommend checking out Pompano Beach or Vista Park Reef. If you’re certified and feeling a little more adventurous, Fort Lauderdale is a fabulous place to go scuba diving!
Afternoon: Take Surfing Lessons
After getting your feet wet with some aquatic activities in the morning, why not spend the rest of the day in the water? Now is the perfect time to learn something new, and there’s no better place to learn surfing than Fort Lauderdale. Take a crash course on day three and come home with an impressive skill you didn’t have before!
Evening: Avoid Dinner Crowds and Cook a Delicious Poolside Meal
By dinner time on day three, you won’t want to battle the crowds at one of Fort Lauderdale’s most popular seafood restaurants. Make your dinner reservations for the next day, then head back to your comfortable, private vacation rental and grill up a delicious, casual meal! Ask us about our favorite grill recipes and nearby grocery stores, then treat yourself to a meal you can enjoy barefoot (and beside the pool!). Don’t want to cook at all? Let Fort Lauderdale Stays take care of it with our private chef Concierge Service!
Day Four: Experience Fort Lauderdale’s Unique Culture and History
Morning: Start with a Farewell Brunch
We think the best way to spend four days in Fort Lauderdale is to leave on the morning of day five. That way, you have four full days to spend in “The Venice of America!” We recommend kicking off day four with a delicious brunch. Check out Rooftop 1WLO for its famed, fancy version of beer pong—“Chambong.” Or, make a reservation at Tap 42 for a beloved, bustling brunch. There are so many breakfast-meets-lunch spots in the city, it’s hard to go wrong!
Afternoon: See the Stranahan House
Once you’re full of brunch and bubbly, you’ll be ready to get out and explore some more! We think your fourth day in Fort Lauderdale should be all about culture and history. Start with a visit to the Stranahan House—a supposedly haunted museum built in 1901. Take a guided tour and enjoy the thrill of spying on spooky spirits!
Evening: Take a Boat Tour for a New Perspective
Finally, immerse yourself in Fort Lauderdale’s unique, nautical culture by taking a boat tour around the city. As you cruise along, you’ll learn the history of “The Venice of America,” its landmarks, and its canals that mimic those in the real Venice, Italy. Try touring in a gondola for a truly one-of-a-kind experience!
The last and most important part of each day will be getting a peaceful night’s rest in your quiet Fort Lauderdale vacation rental! Whether you choose to stay in Fort Lauderdale Beach, Wilton Manors, Las Olas, Imperial Point, or Poinsettia Heights, you’ll fall in love with your gorgeous property’s beautiful touches and premium amenities. Nothing beats coming back to complimentary Starbucks coffee, a spacious yard filled with tropical flora, and a pristine, heated pool. What are you waiting for?