5 Things to Do Before You Cruise from Fort Lauderdale

Are you getting ready to cruise from Fort Lauderdale to work on your tan and visit a ton of exotic locales? Well, before you get on that ship, know that Fort Lauderdale itself is packed with attractions to keep you and your family entertained. Here are five of the best attractions Fort Lauderdale has to offer that will surely spice up your pre or post-cruise itinerary in our list of five things to do before you cruise from FTL.

Everglades Holiday Park, Fort Lauderdale

Want to get a feel of what South Florida looked like prior to all the people and construction showing up? A trip to Everglades Holiday Park will give you that feel, where you're bound to see more alligators than humans frolicking around. Best of all, you won't see these prehistoric creatures in solely manmade exhibits, you'll see them in their natural habitat. An Everglades airboat tour is a must for any Florida visitor, and that's just what Everglades Holiday Park specializes in. During the course of your tour, you're bound to have run-ins with the aforementioned gators, turtles, birds, and more. If you're feeling adventurous and would like to venture out on your own, boat rentals are also available. Renting your own boat offers up the perfect opportunity to partake in some of best largemouth bass fishing on the planet. Want to get extremely up close with some of Florida's native wildlife? Schedule a 45-minute animal encounter where you and your kids will get to pet and play with pigs, snakes, skunks, and yes - even gators (the smaller ones, of course!).

Fort Lauderdale Swap Shop

South Florida certainly has its fair share of shopping options, but if you're looking to shop without breaking the bank before cruising the open seas, make a stop at the Fort Lauderdale Swap Shop. It's one of the largest flea markets in the world, and home to nearly 2,000 vendors that sell a little bit of everything under the sun. Whether you're looking for fashionable handbags without designer price tags, furniture with tons of Florida flair, eye-catching jewelry, or even luggage for your upcoming cruise, you're sure to find it at the Swap Shop. Worried about dying of thirst or hunger in the South Florida heat and that you may literally shop til you drop? Don't. The Swap Shop has a plethora of food and beverage options to help fuel your shopping voyage. Oh, and if you're looking for some added entertainment while there, check out the Swap Shop's drive-in theater where you can watch the latest movies from the comfort of your own car.

Fort Lauderdale Museum of Discovery and Science


You'll get a heavy dose of entertainment and education when you visit the Museum of Discovery and Science (or MODS, for short). The museum features something for visitors of all ages, and many of its exhibits allow you to interact in a hands-on manner so you can find out several quirky ways in which the world works. Some exhibits at the Museum of Discovery and Science can be found year-round, such as the Storm Center that explains the details behind Florida's fierce and infamous hurricanes. You can also get a closer look at dinosaurs that once roamed the great state in the permanent Prehistoric Florida exhibit and the Dino Boneyard. Besides the permanent exhibits, the museum also features a wide variety of traveling exhibits, like the Archimedes exhibit which was featured at the time of this writing. Want to beat the heat by sitting in a cooled theater? You can do so in the museum's world renowned IMAX 3D theater. It boasts a screen that's nearly three times as large as most screens you'll find at the average movie theater. As for what you can watch on the Museum of Discovery and Science's huge displays, the offerings range from science-related documentaries to major Hollywood blockbusters.

Fort Lauderdale's Las Olas Riverfront

Don't have a lot of time to waste before your cruise out of Fort Lauderdale? Don't worry. A quick trip to the Las Olas Riverfront will give you the true essence of South Florida, and you don't need multiple days to experience it. If you're visiting with your family and the kiddos are tagging along, it's best to visit Las Olas during the daytime. At night, the area tends to attract more of a party crowd due to its array of bars and clubs, plus a daytime stroll through the area gives you a much better tan! What can you do on Las Olas? A better question is what do you want to do? You'll find a slew of stores to quench your shopping thirst, and a range of restaurants to quench your actual thirst and hunger. In terms of entertainment, there's a movie theater that will keep your body cool and your eyes and minds occupied in South Florida's record temperatures. You can even hop on a water taxi to check out the sights and experience a form of transportation you won't find in most places. Las Olas is a must visit before you board your cruise ship!

Sawgrass Mills Outlet Mall

When making a list of locales to visit before you depart from Fort Lauderdale on a cruise, plane, etc., there's a bit of a problem: There are too many options to discuss! Unfortunately, we only have room for five in this article, and the fifth and final spot is occupied by Sawgrass Mills. It's one of the largest outlet malls in the entire United States, and with over 350 stores, you'll probably whip out your wallet at least once as soon as you enter one of its many doors. Besides variety, Sawgrass Mills delivers something else: Savings. As a side note, you may notice a bunch of people walking around with luggage by their side. That's because, just like you, they're only visiting! Be sure to check back often for more things to do before you cruise in South Florida! And if you're looking for more local events or travel guides for Fort Lauderdale, click here.

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