Why you should go to Fort Lauderdale !

Fort Lauderdale, a city of waterways, is known as the Venice of America and the Yachting Capital of the World. It forever became the quintessential spring-break resort town in 1960 with "Where the Boys Are," but it's a full-service destination today with museums, theater, art walks, nightlife, casinos, shopping, music festivals, horse racing, wilderness adventures, yachting, professional sports and fine dining. Its busy international airport has non-stop flights to more than 125 US cities and service throughout the hemisphere and to Europe. Port Everglades is the third busiest cruise port in the world and the 10th business container port in the US. And, yes, its beach remains iconic with 23 miles of golden sand from one end of Broward County - of which Fort Lauderdale is the county seat - to the other.

What makes Fort Lauderdale a standout destination for LGBTQ travelers is Wilton Manors, which isn't just a gayborhood but whole municipality having one of the highest LGBTQ populations in the US, sandwiched on some lists between Provincetown and Palm Springs. The two-mile-square (5 sq m) community was a rather nondescript residential neighborhood until the 1980s when a gay gentrification began. In 1988, it elected the first openly gay government official and by 2000 was the second town in the nation to have a gay majority on the city council. LGBTQ-owned businesses predominate with Wilton Drive - the main thoroughfare - an arts and entertainment district.

The annual Stonewall Pride festival in June draws 20,000 - 30,000 participants as does the Wicked Manors Halloween street party in October. It also has beach bear weekends, LGBTQ movie and theater festivals and the Stonewall National Museum and Archives.

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Getting around

The best way to get around Fort Lauderdale and environs is the car. Public transportation is available but time-consuming. Bikes are subject to the elements. But you could spend your vacation without a car - relying on the occasional taxi or Uber - if you are staying around Wilton Manors (a drive from the beach but near clothing-optional resorts and gay nightlife) or on the beach where hotel rates will be higher, but you are within walking distance of the sand, shops, restaurants, bars and other attractions. In addition to the usual options, there's also trolly service and water taxi around Fort Lauderdale.
Passengers flying into Fort Lauderdale now can go to the Rental Car Center in a building next to Terminal 1 where 12 agencies have desks. Free shuttle services is available from Terminals 2, 3 and 4 with pickups just outside baggage claim. For agencies off-site near the airport, go to bus stop #7 near RCC and use the courtesy phone. At agencies around Fort Lauderdale, you can also rent stretch limos, party buses and scooters.
Scenic bicycle routes include Hollywood Broadwalk, Fort Lauderdale Beach, Parkland, Weston, El Mar Drive in Lauderdale-By-The-Sea and the Rio Vista and Coral Ridge neighborhoods and mountain bike trails have been created in Markham (Sunrise) and Quiet Waters (Deerfield Beach) parks. Brian Piccolo Park has a velodrome, biking paths and skate park. Broward B-Cycles, a bike-sharing program, has 27 stations between Pompano Beach and Hollywood. Some parks and hotels also rent bikes. Terrain is invitingly flat, but it can be hot, muggy and rainy in some seasons.
The closest thing South Florida has to a Metro is the Tri-Rail, a commuter train that links Miami, Fort Lauderdale and West Palm Beach with 18 stations along the way and connections to the three airports. It connects to Metro Rail in Dade County and several Amtrak stations along the 71-mile (114 km) route.
Though not used much by tourists, the Broward County Transit Bus System covers the country with nearly 300 buses on fixed routes with over 1,600 bus stops. The one-way cash fare is $2 with bus passes available. You can also flag-and-hop the red-and-yellow Sun Trolley with seven routes around Fort Lauderdale - days and hours vary - with rides free except the Las Olas & Beach Link, which cost $1. There's also service from downtown to the airport on Fridays and Saturdays.
Fort Lauderdale International Airport offers the choice of taxi, bus, shuttle, Uber and Lyft. Limo services are available around town or to Miami. Fares posted in cabs relate to the most direct route rather than a set fee and do not reflect traffic obstacles like construction. A taxi ride from the airport to cruise port is around $17 and to the beach or Wilton Manors around $25. There's a $3 add-on to fares from the airport.