Holiday Hotspot – Fort Lauderdale Florida
Everglades National Park Florida
Located on the Atlantic Coast, north of Miami, Fort Lauderdale is a residential resort city with a Venice-like series of canals and waterways. It has grown considerably since its beginnings as a 19th century fort commanded by the city's namesake, Major William Lauderdale. It acquired its reputation as a tourist destination in the early 20th century after the East Coast Railway brought more investment and real estate development.
The city nowadays is best known for its beach, boating opportunities, and busy seaport. Fort Lauderdale's promenade – a wide palm-tree-dotted pathway is a magnet for runners, skaters, walkers and cyclists. The beach is also one of the nations cleanest and best. Stretching 7 miles to Lauderdale-by-the-Sea, it has dedicated family-, gay- and dog-friendly sections. Boating, diving, snorkeling and fishing are all extremely popular. Listed on the National Register of Historic Places and designated a Ft. Lauderdale landmark, Bonnet House Museum & Gardens is a mix of art, architecture, history and ecology. The estate was once the winter retreat of the Birch/Bartlett family. www.bonnethouse.org Your kids will love Fort Lauderdale's Museum of Discovery and Science. The museum is home to over 200 exhibits including the largest living coral reef in captivity, bats, and snakes, an aerospace exhibit and IMAX theatre. www.mods.org
Nearby Everglades National Park is home to 14 rare and endangered species, including the American Crocodile, the Florida Panther and the West Indian Manatee. A large portion of the park is primitive, explored only by adventurists and researchers – but visitors have ample opportunity to walk, camp and canoe through the flat and watery park. www.florida-everglades.com Whether you’re a high-end shopper who worships Prada, Dolce and Gabbana and Gucci or a bargain hunter looking to score a deal on electronics, clothing or merchandise, there’s something for everyone at Sawgrass Mills twenty minutes drive away. The largest outlet mall in the USA and the sixth largest mall in the country, Sawgrass have 350 stores – not to mention an entire section devoted to dining and entertainment. www.simon.com
Sawgrass Mill Premium Shopping Outlets Florida
Hyatt Regency hotel on Pier 66 is three miles from shopping on Las Olas Boulevard and 3.7 miles from the Broward Center for the Performing Arts. Standard rooms feature marina views, while upgraded rooms and suites have private ocean-view balconies. Suites also add separate living areas. Free Wi-Fi is also available.
Restaurants include a high-end steakhouse and a cocktail lounge. There's also a 3-pool complex with cabanas, a gym and tennis courts, plus a spa, meeting space and a free beach shuttle. Hyatt Pier 66 is also ideal located for cruise customers with shuttle service to and from Port Everglades. www.hyatt.com My preferred car rental company on this trip was Avis & pick up is available in downtown Fort Lauderdale or at the airport. When you join "Avis Preferred", you receive fast track service at the rental counter to beat the queues. The more you rent, the higher you can climb through membership tier levels – unlocking benefits such as upgrades and free weekend rentals. www.avis.com Miami International Airport services most major carriers, with direct flights from Dublin on the award winning Aer Lingus. Hire car options are also available for travelers who wish to fly to Orlando direct from Dublin airport.