Before Hurricane Isaac was a twinkle in the weatherman’s eye, our family headed to Fort Lauderdale Beach, Florida for some get-together get-away time. Florida is not necessarily the ideal place to be in the hottest part of the summer, but with a swimming pool and ocean waves to wash the sand and sweat away, we didn’t suffer too much.
This was an extended-family group totaling sixteen, so some activities were planned in accordance with the numbers. While dinners together were noisy and probably a challenge for wait staff, they were definitely fun.
We stayed at the Sheraton Ft. Lauderdale Beach. This hotel has buildings on each side of Seabreeze Boulevard, connected by a 2nd floor walkway. With our rooms on the beach side we were able to catch the sea breeze and observe the beach volleyball courts.
The hotel offered the Beach Bar & Grill, the Wreck Bar, and Dos Caminos restaurant, and we took advantage of each of those, along with eating at nearby restaurants. The Wreck Bar was interesting because of the beautiful aquariums set in two walls and the windows which gave an underwater view of one of the swimming pools. One evening we walked a couple of blocks to the Oasis Café, which had porch swings for seating. We had one ‘dress up’ dinner at the 15th Street Fisheries; and another evening we took the water taxi to Pirate Republic, where the seafood was exceptional. Our favorite place for breakfast was a block from the hotel, the Bahia Cabana. Seating was outside at picnic tables, and watching boats come in and out of the marina kept the kids entertained.
Ft. Lauderdale has many interesting sights, but we most enjoyed taking a water taxi tour along the intercoastal waterway. While still at home, I had purchased a Groupon for a tour of the waterway; but we discovered that we didn’t need to do that. The regular water taxi route comes with a running commentary about the homes and yachts and businesses, along with some of the history of the area. I would recommend checking the water taxi schedules and picking a day when you enough time to take the full route. Huge mansions line the waterway and a few have served as movie locations, businesses, etc. There are also some stops that have commercial areas with shopping and restaurants.
I know that our group of sixteen didn’t begin to see all the marvelous sights that Ft. Lauderdale has to offer, but the combination of those we saw plus the beach and ocean made it a vacation that had something for everyone, from 7 to 70!