Cruising from Fort Lauderdale: 3 Ways to Extend Your Vacation

    When planning a trip from one of the top ports in the world, be sure to include vacation time on shore.

    Port Everglades, which has the largest cruise terminal and docks the largest cruise ships in the world, benefits from its sunny beach-city location and being so close to Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport. Cruising from Greater Fort Lauderdale is the perfect opportunity to extend your tropical holiday, so plan ahead to take full advantage of your time around the Port.

    Beautiful Beaches

    After days at sea, relax on one of the Blue Wave Beaches in Greater Fort Lauderdale, certified by the Clean Beaches Council of Washington, D.C. Just north of Port Everglades, chic Fort Lauderdale Beach has great people-watching, shopping, luxurious resorts and spas and ocean-view cafés. Pompano Beach and Deerfield Beach have popular family-friendly piers for fishing. Pompano Beach also offers up gaming entertainment and Florida's only harness racing at Isle Casino. Quiet Hillsboro Beach has an historic lighthouse that was completed in 1907. Tiny Lauderdale-By-The-Sea, north of Fort Lauderdale, attracts scuba divers to its living coral reef that is within swimming distance of the beach.

    Head south of the cruise port to the natural beauty of Dania Beach – site of Von D. Mizell-Eula Johnson State Park – for bird watching and kayaking. Families will enjoy Hollywood Beach with its 2.5-mile pedestrian broadwalk designed for biking, roller blading and long walks. Farther south, Hallandale Beach, is close to an excellent 18-hole golf course and the casinos at Mardi Gras Gaming and Gulfstream Park.

    beaches of a Fort Lauderdale Cruise

    The beaches of Fort Lauderdale will leave your whole gang smiling.

    - Lauren Tjaden for VISIT FLORIDA

    Harbor beach Marriott Resort Spa in Fort Lauderdale

    The Harbor Beach Marriott Resort & Spa in Fort Lauderdale.

    - Kara Franker

    Great Shopping

    Island ports are not the only places to do your vacation shopping. Greater Fort Lauderdale is home to Sawgrass Mills, one of the largest designer outlet malls in the United States. The Colonnade Outlets at Sawgrass specialize in designer deals, from Prada and Burberry to Kate Spade and Coach. Near Fort Lauderdale Beach, the Galleria Mall has department stores such as Macy’s, Dillards and Neiman Marcus along with popular U.S. chains and restaurants including Capital Grille, Seasons 52, Blue Martini and Truluck’s. Even closer to the cruise port are the unique boutique shops and sidewalk cafes of Las Olas Boulevard.

    Everglades Adventures

    Visiting the Everglades, the largest subtropical wilderness in the United States, is a must for travelers who love nature. Everglades Holiday Park and Sawgrass Recreation Park, located west of Fort Lauderdale, runs airboat trips through the shallow, grassy waters. (The Everglades is known as the “River of Grass.”) Expect to see plenty of alligators and wading birds in their natural environment.

    When You Go: When planning your Fort Lauderdale cruise, remember that the Greater Fort Lauderdale area has a wide variety of accommodations from beachfront luxury properties to cozy small lodgings within five miles of Port Everglades. Many of them offer free transfers to the port, making it easy to add days to your stay. 

    To plan your pre- and post-cruise trip and see all that Greater Fort Lauderdale has to offer, see Visit Lauderdale.


    Sawgrass Mills near Fort Lauderdale

    Sawgrass Mills has more than 2.4 million square feet, so dress comfortably with good walking shoes.

    - Zipporah Sandler

    Onboard onto a Fort Lauderdale cruise

    At Everglades Holiday Park, climb aboard a state-of-the-art covered airboat for an unforgettable ride into the Florida Everglades.

    - Peter W. Cross for VISIT FLORIDA