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While it may not get the same attention as its limelight-stealing siblings Miami and Florida Keys, Fort Lauderdale can certainly hold its own when it comes to sun-drenched vacays. This seaside city has plenty to offer, from trendy cocktail bars along Las Olas Boulevard to sun-kissed beaches and resorts aplenty.

Sunscreen, comfortable shoes and a hat are Fort Lauderdale essentials. Just be sure to pack your appetite, as the dining here is next level.

With 23 miles (37 kilometres) of pristine beaches, you’re spoilt for choice when it comes to spots to soak in a little ‘vitamin sea’. Central Beach and Lauderdale Beach draws visitors like moths to a flame with resorts, beach parties and bars. For those who aren’t too fussed on the sand, Las Olas Boulevard is also a popular pit stop as it’s lined with restaurants and boutique shops. One thing is for certain; you won’t be bored in Fort Lauderdale.

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If you’re here for the glossy brochure (the resorts, the bars, the bustling streets, the beach), Central Beach is it. If you’re not too fussed on the ocean views and prefer the cocktails, nightclubs, restaurants and shopping, the Las Olas area is for you. For those who tend to gravitate towards guesthouses over resorts, Lauderdale-by-the-Sea (also known as LBTS) is a family-friendly beach town on the outskirts of the main city that offers a quieter pace.

Fort Lauderdale is a sun-soaked haven for many Americans escaping the winter chill to thaw out. For temps warm enough to swim, aim to travel between December and April. It can get busy around the holidays though, so best to do some specific research on dates when you have a rough idea.

You could spend days skipping from sand to sip spot but for those who are keen to see a little more of Fort Lauderdale, there’s plenty on offer. Explore the city from a different perspective in a water taxi, go wildlife spotting at Flamingo Gardens, watch the superyachts in the marina, check out the murals in Hollywood (not to be confused with Hollywood California), take a daytrip for a little gator-spotting in the Everglades, check out the museums, catch a show, step back in time and learn the area’s history at Stranahan House and see the turtle nesting sites at Lauderdale-by-the-Sea.

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