It wasn’t long ago that Fort Lauderdale was synonymous with spring break. But local hipsterati have been working hard to elevate their entertainment offerings beyond the collegiate bacchanal. Today’s Lauderdale has all the markings of a trendy destination: an artsy mural district, a craft-ale trail, a third-wave café scene. Check out FATVillage for its street art-plastered walls and monthly ArtWalk; and The YARD area in Wilton Manors for syphon coffee and ironic T-shirts. With its focus on all that is indie-cool, Fort Lauderdale has officially graduated.
Here are four things to do.
1. Stay at Plunge Beach Hotel
The new Plunge Beach Hotel, with its boho-chic design (think Acapulco chairs, driftwood lamps and surf-inspired artwork) and modern eateries that include beachside street food at Backflip Beach Bar & Kitchen and creative gastro-pub fare at Octopus.
2. Drink craft beer
Taking in the city’s exploding craft beer scene. Try veteran ale house Funky Buddha Brewery in Oakland Park for one of its bourbon-barrel-aged brews. Then, make your way to Riverside Market, where patrons help themselves to bottles from the rows of fridges and count their beer caps to pay.
3. Tour the Everglades
Go next-level on the Everglades airboat tour by signing up for the Red Eye at Sawgrass Recreation Park. After dark, you’ll spot gators and other things that go bump in the night.
4. See mermaids at Wreck Bar
Watch “living mermaids” through the portholes of the Wreck Bar at B Ocean Resort. Catch the early show or a later, over-21 burlesque edition.