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best attractions in fort lauderdale

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Ft Lauderdale, FL

Best Attractions in Fort LauderdaleIn an area with dozens of attractions and points of interest, you may have trouble deciding where to spend your time. Here are the highlights for this destination, as chosen by AAA editors. GEMs are “Great Experiences for Members.”

Whether built by prominent families or by founders whose names are etched on the pages of city history, house museums serve as tangible links to another time while opening a window to the lifestyles and personalities of former occupants. Bonnet House Museum & Gardens, a AAA GEM attraction, illuminates the lives of artists Frederic and Evelyn Bartlett, one of the area's most cultured “wintering” couples. Insulated by 35 lush acres of mangrove jungles, fruit orchards and hardwood hammocks, the estate can easily be mistaken for a park. Décor in the plantation-style home ranges from classical to whimsical, reflecting the breadth of the Bartlett's tastes and travels.

In sharp contrast is Historic Stranahan House Museum, a pioneer home on the New River. Frank Stranahan operated a ferry and trading post that he later enlarged and converted to the family home. During the settlement period, social and commercial activity centered on Stranahan's. With its Florida vernacular architecture and period furniture, this restored house speaks volumes about frontier life.

Delve into more area history at a complex of early buildings, exhibits and a research facility operated by the Fort Lauderdale Historical Society at History Fort Lauderdale.

Fun Things to Do with Kids

“Captivating” describes the experience at Butterfly World, a AAA GEM attraction in Coconut Creek. Thousands of free-flying butterflies as well as lorikeets, hummingbirds and other winged whimsies delight visitors as they stroll through a lush tropical rain forest, a botanical garden abloom with nectar producing plants, a macaw exhibit and an aviary. Visitors can even witness metamorphosis through glass enclosures in the butterfly emerging area.

Flamingo Gardens in Davie is a showcase of Florida's feathered friends, particularly larger types such as flamingos, wading birds and birds of prey. For a true eco-encounter, ride the tram through this 60-acre habitat filled with alligators, otters, bobcats and panthers.

Sure, the Museum of Discovery and Science is a science buff's playground. But anyone who has ever wondered “How'd they do that?” is sure to find answers here. Hands-on exhibits simplify scientific principles while exploring the latest technology and the amazing gizmos it begets. Plan on spending several hours at this AAA GEM attraction, particularly if accompanied by children.

Adventure Travel in Fort Lauderdale

Exhilarating airboat trips across Florida's Everglades are arranged at Fort Lauderdale's Sawgrass Recreation Park or through Everglades Holiday Park Airboat Tours .

See all the AAA recommended attractions for this destination.

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Ft Lauderdale, FL

AAA Inspected & Approved TOP Hotels

In-person hotel evaluations are unscheduled to ensure the inspector has an experience similar to that of members. All hotels must meet the same basic requirements for cleanliness, comfort and hospitality to be AAA Approved. A rating of one to five AAA Diamonds tells members what type of experience to expect, from no-frills to highly personalized.

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Fort Lauderdale Marriott Harbor Beach Resort & Spa

3030 Holiday Dr. Fort Lauderdale, FL 33316

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Renaissance Fort Lauderdale Cruise Port Hotel

1617 SE 17th St. Fort Lauderdale, FL 33316

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Best Western Plus Deerfield Beach Hotel & Suites

1050 E Newport Center Dr. Deerfield Beach, FL 33442

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Hilton Fort Lauderdale Marina

1881 SE 17th St. Fort Lauderdale, FL 33316

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Travel Information

City Population

165,521

Elevation

7 ft.

Sales Tax

The sales tax in Broward County is 6 percent. A tourist development tax of 5 percent is levied on rental accommodations.

Emergency

911

Police (non-emergency)

(954) 828-5700; Sheriff (954) 764-4357

Fire (non-emergency)

(954) 828-6800

Time and Temperature

(954) 748-4444

Hospitals

Broward Health Imperial Point, (954) 776-8500; Broward Health Medical Center, (954) 355-4400; Holy Cross Hospital, (954) 771-8000.

Visitor Information

512 N.E. 3rd Ave. Fort Lauderdale, FL 33301. Phone:(954)462-6000

Air Travel

Airline tickets, information on flight reservations and flights are available at

Rental Cars

Hertz, at the airport, offers discounts to AAA members; phone (954) 764-1199 or (800) 654-3080.

Rail Service

The Amtrak station is at 200 S.W. 21st Terr. For trip information and reservations phone (800) 872-7245.

Buses

The bus terminal serving the destination is Greyhound Lines Inc., 515 N.E. 3rd St.; phone (954) 764-6551.

Taxis

Cabs are plentiful. Fares are metered and are $4.50 for the first mile and $2.40 for each additional mile (plus 40c per minute during stops). The largest company is Yellow Cab, (954) 565-5400 or (954) 777-7777.

Public Transportation

Broward County Transit, (954) 357-8400, provides transportation to all sections of Fort Lauderdale and its outlying areas. Buses also are available between the downtown area and the beach. Sun Trolley offers many routes that service the downtown and beach areas; for information phone (954) 761-3543.

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