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  • Fort Lauderdale

    Fort Lauderdale travel guide

    Overview

    Known as the 'Venice of America,' Fort Lauderdale is a city of islands, built on a network of canals, rivers, bays, and waterways. With 23 miles (37km) of beaches, this is a popular stop for cruise ships in Florida. This sophisticated yet casual resort town situated in the heart of the Gold Coast, attracts families and couples from all over the United States, and beyond.

    Boating is a favourite Fort Lauderdale pastime, as is cycling, or simply strolling along the beachfront promenade. Near Fort Lauderdale, divers can enjoy one of the only living coral reefs in the United States accessible from shore. There are sporting facilities galore throughout the city, particularly the world renown golf courses.

    Those in search of culture will be captivated by the Broward Center for the Performing Arts, the Florida Grand Opera, the annual Film Festival, and numerous art galleries and museums. Fort Lauderdale's downtown shopping street is the broad avenue of Las Olas along the river, lined with fashion boutiques, art galleries, restaurants, and sidewalk cafés. Diners are supremely well catered for, with more than 3,500 restaurants covering greater Fort Lauderdale. These range from intimate cafés to al fresco waterfront terraces, quaint bistros, and ethnic eateries to cosy steakhouses. As with most of Florida, the local treat is fresh seafood.

    Fort Lauderdale's facilities and attractions will please any visitor on holiday, and if that is not enough, the exciting city of Miami lies only 40 miles (64km) away, perfect for a day trip.

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    English Pronounciation

    Fort Lauderdale enjoys a tropical rainforest climate, with little variation in temperature throughout the year. The average monthly low temperatures seldom drop below 66°F (19°C) year-round. Summer, between May and October, is the wet season, with high humidity and average high temperatures of between 86°F (30°C) and 90°F (32°C). Most of Fort Lauderdale's rain comes in the form of afternoon thunderstorms. Winters, between November and April, are a bit cooler and drier, although some rain is still likely. The average high temperatures between November and April hover more comfortably around 75°F (24°C) and 82°F (28°C). The hurricane season runs from June to November, with major storms most likely to hit between September and October.

    Palm Beach International Airport
    Location: The airport is located six miles (10km) west of Palm Beach.
    Time: GMT -5 (GMT -4 from mid-March to the first Sunday in November).
    Getting to the city: There is a public bus service, Palm Tran, connecting to various points in the Palm Beach area, departing from Level 1. Shuttles are available to take passengers to West Palm Beach and connect with TriRail, which runs trains to Miami, and the Amtrak station. From there, passengers will find rail services to a number of US cities near and far. Taxis, door-to-door shuttles, and rental cars are available and many hotels provide transport for guests. A few mobile app based taxi services are available, although some are restricted from the airport.
    Car Rental: Car rental companies represented at the airport include Alamo, Avis, Budget, Dollar, Enterprise, Hertz, Thrifty and National.
    Airport Taxis: Taxi companies Yellow Cab, ExecuCar, Imperial Transportation PBC, as well as SuperShuttle are available and can be booked in advance. Ground transportation desks are located at each end of the terminal.
    Fascilities: Facilities at the airport include bars, shops and restaurants, a spa, ATMs and currency exchange facilities. The Traveler's Service Center on the second floor offers meeting rooms and business facilities, including fax, internet and photocopying. Disabled facilities are good; those with special needs should contact their airline in advance.
    Parking Parking rates at the airport range from $7 a day in the Economy Lot, to $30 a day in the Premium Lot. Parking that is distant from the terminal is serviced by regular shuttle buses. Short-term parking costs $1 per 20 minutes, with a maximum charge of $17 a day.
    Website: www.pbia.org
    Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport
    Location: The airport is located 26 miles (42km) north of Miami and six miles (10km) from downtown Fort Lauderdale.
    Time: GMT -5 (GMT -4 from mid-March to the first Sunday in November).
    Transfer Between Terminals Free shuttles ferry passengers between the terminals from 6 a.m. to 9 p.m., seven days a week. If changing terminals, travellers may have to go through security again.
    Getting to the city: Shared shuttle vans with GO Airport Shuttle can be booked at the transportation desks located in each terminal. They offer a door-to-door service from the airport to most local destinations. Broward County Transit (BCT) bus services and TriRail feeder buses operate from bus stops outside the terminal buildings. The TriRail train service connects the airport with Miami-Dade County. Taxis are available outside each terminal. Twelve major rental car companies are located at the Rental Car Centre.
    Car Rental: Car rental companies, such as Avis, Budget, Dollar, National, and Hertz are located at the Rental Car Centre. Passengers arriving at Terminal 1 should follow the signs to the Concourse B Pedestrian Bridge. All other terminals have a shuttle bus service located on the baggage claim level that ferries passengers to the Rental Car Centre.
    Airport Taxis: Taxis are available from the lower level outside each terminal. Rate comparison charts are posted at the Transportation Booths located outside the baggage claim area of each terminal.
    Fascilities: There are ATMs, currency exchanges, shops, bars, and restaurants throughout the airport. Each terminal has a business centre, with fax and photocopy facilities available in the Terminal 2 business centre. Disabled facilities are good; those with special needs should contact their airline in advance. There are also pet relief areas and medical services.
    Parking There is ample short and long-term parking available adjacent to the terminal. Hourly parking is charged at $3 every hour up to $36 per day, and daily rates are similar with a daily limit of $15. The Palm and Hibiscus parking garages are also convenient and connected to all four terminals.

    Useful Contacts:

    The easiest way to get around Fort Lauderdale is by car. The city is set up on a grid and is easy to navigate. Hiring a bicycle is also a popular option, as biking is an efficient way to cover downtown Fort Lauderdale and the beach. There are bicycle lanes in some of the main tourist areas. However, those driving or cycling should note that the east side of Fort Lauderdale, between downtown and the beach, is crisscrossed with canals, which can only be crossed by bridge, making a good map vital. Broward County Transit (BCT) provides bus service in Fort Lauderdale, although tourists sometimes find the service frustratingly slow or limited. A regular one-way bus fare is $2. The Sun Trolley offers seven free routes around Fort Lauderdale. Most useful to tourists is the Downtown Link, which operates between 9am and 5pm, Monday to Friday, every 15 to 20 minutes.

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