Fort Lauderdale: located 60 miles north of Miami, it’s the 2nd or 3rd largest cruise port in the world (depending on which figures you’re looking at) and home port to some of the most famous ships in the world.
Fort Lauderdale takes it’s name from the fort of the same name that was built there during the Second Seminole War in 1838. Rebuilt several times, it was finally abandoned at the end of the war in 1842, and for decades after that the region was abandoned with only the odd family living there until the building of the East Florida railroad in 1896. As in many places, development followed the railroad and the city was incorporated in 1911 with a population of 336.
In 1925 the size of the town exploded with the population of the town increasing from 5625 to 15315 in less than twelve months thanks to a property boom, which was followed in 1928 by the opening of Port Everglades. The city was a base for the Navy with a Naval Air base during WW2; after the war this base would become the foundations for what is now Fort Lauderdale – Hollywood International Airport. Modern downtown Fort Lauderdale is thanks to a regeneration project started in 1986 which developed the area of Las Olas Boulevard and Waterfront; the 1980’s also saw the re-branding of the resort from the previous mayhem of Spring Break vacations. As of 2010 the population of Fort Lauderdale is 165,521.
Cruise ships dock at Port Everglades. The record for ships in at once is fifteen, however it is not uncommon to see five or six in on a normal day during the peak season.
Nearest airport is Fort Lauderdale – Hollywood International Airport, however most international flights arrive and depart from Miami International Airport which is approximately an hour drive away.
The nearest post office to the port can be found on SE 17th street across the road from the north port gate, and the nearest ATM is located at Publix at the Habourside Shops complex just off SE 17th Street.
There is a bike rental stand just outside the North Port gate (on the right by the bus stop as you come onto SE 17th Street). You can rent from the stand using a credit card with ability to pay by 30 minute intervals or get a 7 day pass. More information can be found at Broward B-cycle.
Areas of Fort Lauderdale
SE 17th Street
SE 17th Street is the nearest shopping area to the ship starting right outside the North gates of the port, and is where you’ll most likely end up if you follow the crew. The development of the area can see the effect of the port in the support of stores that are unusually large for their location. There is also a large selection of restaurants to suit most tastes, as well as being a magnet for WiFi.
Clothes and Shoes: Ross Dress for Less, Payless Shoes
Electronics: Radio Shack, Staples
Food and Drink: Publix, International Store, Wallgreens, CVS, Total Wine
Other: Dollar Tree, Books (Secondhand Books), GameStop, Bluewater Books & Charts
To Eat & Drink
American: Duffy’s Sports Grill, Joe’s Cafe
British: Waxy’s Irish Pub
Coffee: Starbucks, Panera Bread
Fast Food: McDonalds, Burger King, International House of Pancakes, Papa John’s, Pizza Hut, Einstein Bros Bagels
Ice Cream: Cold Stone Creamery
Italian: Carrabba’s Italian Grill
Japanese: Tokyo Sushi
Sandwiches & Subs: Firehouse Subs, Subway
Thai: Coco Asian Bistro & Bar, Siam House
Downtown (Las Olas)
Las Olas Boulevard and Riverfront make up the downtown area of Fort Lauderdale, home to museums, design and boutique stores, and restaurants. There are also street and park events running throughout the year such as wine, jazz, and art festivals. It can be reached from Port Everglades by regular taxi or from just off SE 17th Street by Water Taxi.
To See & Do
Museum of Art
Museum of Discovery and Science: child friendly museum with exhibits on flight, medicine, and the Florida environment; also has an aquarium and an IMAX cinema.
A wide selection of small boutique clothing and art stores. A list can be found on the Las Olas Boulevard Website
Local & Organic: Las Olas Green Market (Every Sunday)
To Eat & Drink
The seafront. Only a few minutes over the bridge from the port it’s home to many familiar tourist brand restaurants and hotels. It can be reached by Bus 40 or the Trolley Bus from SE 17th Street or by taxi from any terminal.
To See & Do
International Swimming Hall of Fame
Fort Lauderdale Beach
To Eat & Drink
Bubba Gump Shrimp Co
The closest mall to Port Everglades. It can be reached by Bus 40, from just outside the north port gate (near Walgreens) and costs $1.75 each way, or by taxi from the terminal for between $15 to $20.
Clothing and Shoes: Victoria’s Secret, Gap, Abercrombie and Fitch, Hot Topic, Banana Republic
Electronics: Apple, Brookstone
Body & Makeup: Sephora, Bath & Body Works
Department Stores: Macy’s, Neiman Marcus
For a full list of stores visit the Galleria Mall website
Further from the port than anywhere else we’ve mentioned, however as the 6th largest mall in the USA with over 350 shops and restaurants it can be worth a trip if you have the time. It can be reached by the Cow Bus shuttle which leaves in the morning from the main terminals at Port Everglades or by taxi.
Clothing and Shoes: T K Maxx, Clarks, Hugo Boss, American Engle, Bebe
Sports: Addias, Foot Locker
Body & Makeup: The Body Shop, Bath & Body Works
Department Stores: Boomingdales, Target
Other: Sanrio, Toys’R’Us,
For a full list of stores visit the Sawgrass Mills website