Fort Lauderdale, Florida, has no shortage of eccentric draws. The Fort Lauderdale Swap Shop is one of the wackiest yet most popular places to visit in South Florida! Even if you’re traveling to “The Venice of America” for its beautiful beaches, excellent restaurants, and warm-weather activities, stopping by this historic conglomerate of shopping and carnival-style attractions offers a unique glimpse into South Florida’s budget-friendly entertainment scene. Here’s everything you need to know about it!
Before packing your bags for beautiful Fort Lauderdale, it’s best to create an itinerary. In addition to visiting the Fort Lauderdale Swap Shop, check out the countless other fun things to do in the area. For a complete list of the best Fort Lauderdale restaurants, outdoor activities, and much more, simply download our free Vacation Guide! This valuable resource has helped so many travelers plan unforgettable South Florida getaways.
What You Need to Know About the Fort Lauderdale Swap Shop
About the Fort Lauderdale Swap Shop
If you’ve never before been to the Swap Shop, know that it’s unlike any other attraction in Fort Lauderdale. This over-the-top spot is equal parts flea market, Ferrari museum, carnival, drive-in theater, and food court. Despite its non-traditional appearance and offerings, the Swap Shop is one of Fort Lauderdale’s most interesting things to do! The 180,000-square foot complex features everything from a farmers market to a tire shop where visitors can get their windows tinted. Whatever you come to do or see at this quirky spot, you’ll remember the trip for years to come!
History of the Swap Shop
What is known today as the Fort Lauderdale Swap Shop would not exist without the hard work and dedication of its long-time owner, Preston Henn. Henn opened his first business, a drive-in theater, in 1963. What was then called The Thunderbird Drive-In had just one screen at the time, but more were added as sales increased. Henn, a natural-born entrepreneur, expanded his business to include more of his personal passions. Eventually, the Swap Shop was born! The main building opened in 1979 and was enclosed with air conditioning in 1988. There are now 11 movie screens in Henn’s original drive-in theater; it’s the world’s largest of its kind! Additionally, the shopping component of Henn’s attraction now features over 200 vendors including upholstery, electronic repair, and clothing shops.
What to Know Before You Visit
The original Swap Shop location (closest to the city of Fort Lauderdale) is located in Lauderhill at 3921 West Sunrise Blvd. On Mondays, Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Fridays, visitors are welcome between 9:30 a.m. and 5:00 p.m. On Thursdays, the hours are 7:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Weekend hours are 7:30 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. The Swap Shop is even open on holidays!
A Cozy Condo Is Waiting in Fort Lauderdale!
The Fort Lauderdale Swap Shop is only a small part of what makes our city so unique. We encourage you to come and see for yourself! After catching a movie at the Swap Shop, make sure you come back to the comfort of a private vacation rental. Fort Lauderdale Stays properties offer a chic, private, and convenient way to see the best of “The Venice of America.” Whether you’re in town to see off-the-beaten-path sites like the Swap Shop or to attend a signature event like the Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show, our gorgeous rentals and premium amenities will suit you perfectly.