If you’re seeking sandy beaches, palm tree-lined streets, extravagant shopping, dining and entertainment, Fort Lauderdale is the place for you. Often dubbed the “Venice of America,” the city’s navigable waterways and canals attract thousands of yachting enthusiasts from across the globe. You’ll enjoy the typical Florida sunshine and average temperatures of 60 – 80 degrees Fahrenheit for over 6 months straight, from December – April. This is also the peak tourist season and rates for flights and hotels tend to be on the higher side. From May, the city experiences frequent, heavy rainfall and average temperatures climb steadily to 90 degrees Fahrenheit by peak summer. From June – November, the city is prone to hurricanes. If you’re planning to visit during this time, try to book refundable flights and hotels.
Direct domestic flights to Fort Lauderdale are offered by Southwest Airlines, United Airlines, Alaska Airlines, Delta Air Lines, jetBlue, Virgin America, American Airlines, Spirit Airlines, and Silver Airways. Other airlines offering non-direct flights from other US cities to Fort Lauderdale include Hawaiian Airlines, Caribbean Airlines, British Airways, Copa, Bahamasair, and Norwegian.
Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport is in Broward County, Florida, just 3 miles from Downtown Fort Lauderdale. There are several ways to travel from the airport to the downtown area.
Broward County Transit (BCT) operated route #1 stops outside the airport’s Rental Car Center Stop 7, and runs to Broward Central Terminal in Downtown Fort Lauderdale. Buses leave the airport every 20 – 30 minutes and the journey takes approximately 25 minutes. The regular one-way fare is $2.00 USD. On the weekends, the Sun Trolley bus runs from the airport to the Welcome Center in downtown for free from 9.00 a.m. – 5.00 p.m. However, the trolley does not allow luggage on board and is mainly an attraction for those who have long layovers at FLL. Such visitors can stow their luggage at FLL airport and make a quick trip to explore the downtown area.
Ride the airport’s Tri-Rail Shuttle Route FLA 1 bus from your arrival terminal to Fort Lauderdale – Hollywood International Airport Station, which is at Dania Beach. This ride takes 10 – 25 minutes depending on which terminal you arrive at. From here, you can ride the train to Fort Lauderdale station in the city center in exactly 9 minutes. Trains depart every 20 minutes and the cost is $3.75 USD. Total journey time via Tri-Rail will be 20 – 45 minutes.
Metered taxis are available at the curbside of all arrival terminals. For a ride to Downtown Fort Lauderdale, you can expect to pay approximately $17.00 USD – $25.00 USD depending on your exact destination. An additional $3.00 airport surcharge is applicable and the ride takes between 10 – 20 minutes depending on traffic. Ride-sharing companies such as Uber and Lyft also operate from the airport.
Shared-ride vans and luxury sedans
To book door-to-door rides through shared-ride vans or luxury sedans, head to the Transportation Podium located outside the baggage area on the lower level curbside. GO Airport Shuttle provides a zone-based flat fare from the airport to your preferred destination. Approximate fares to the city center are $11.00 USD – $16.00 USD per person for a shared-ride, and $40.00 USD – $45.00 USD for a private car for exclusive use.
Several hotels around the airport offer complimentary transportation for their guests to and from the airport. Pick up and drop off locations are located in designated areas on the lower level curbside at all the terminals.
The airport’s Rental Car Center (RCC) offers 12 rental car companies in one building, right next to Terminal 1. You can use the courtesy shuttles from any arrival terminal to reach the RCC. It’s definitely worth checking for deals on car rentals with momondo.
One of the easiest ways to get around in Fort Lauderdale and visit the surrounding towns is to hire a vehicle and drive yourself. Driving in the city is easy as the streets are laid out in a grid-based pattern with “avenues” running north-south and “streets” running east-west. However, if you don’t wish to be stuck behind the wheel, and are going to spend most of your time within the city, here are some of the other modes of transportation to get around in Fort Lauderdale.
Trolleys and buses
Sun Trolley operates along the beach and downtown, as well as to Las Olas Boulevard. The downtown link service is free while fares for the Beach and La Olas links is $1.00 USD for a single ride or $3.00 USD for a day pass. Broward County Transit (BCT) offers buses throughout the city. Regular one-way fare is $2.00 USD or you can purchase an all day pass for $5.00 USD.
The water taxis that use the city’s waterways are a fun and interesting way to visit the major attractions. Taxis travel along the Intracoastal and New River stopping at 12 popular sights. You can hop on and off the boats all day for $26.00 USD (for adults) and $12.00 USD (for children ages 5 – 11).
Taxis are easily available throughout the city, but rides tend to be far more expensive than public transport, unless you’re travelling in a group. Ride-share options such as Uber and Lyft are also available.
Cycling is an excellent way to explore some parts of the city. Check out the city’s bike-share program, Broward County B-cycle. You can access bikes at several bike stations around downtown and pay $5.00 USD per 30 minute ride up to a maximum of 10 rides per day.
Top car rentals in Fort Lauderdale
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Fort Lauderdale’s numerous activities and sights, and opportunities for waterfront relaxation, make it an excellent short-stay destination. You can decide whether to spend your days within your beachfront resort, feasting your eyes on gorgeous beaches and crystal blue waters, or venture out and explore the city. Here are a few suggestions on what to see and do in Fort Lauderdale.
Watch out for spring break partiers
Fort Lauderdale attracts large crowds of college students looking for beach fun, alcohol, and excitement during their spring break. At this time the beaches are flooded with boisterous crowds, wild parties, and loud music. If you don’t like this sort of thing, you should avoid visiting Fort Lauderdale during the spring break season.
Be beach ready
Respect the beach warnings, especially during hurricane season. Watch out for needlefish and jellyfish that sometimes make an appearance, even in shallow waters. Cover yourself with plenty of sunscreen, stay hydrated, and try to rent umbrellas while sitting on the beach. The Florida sun is warm and welcoming, but you may be surprised at how quickly it can give you a sunburn or heat stroke.