Broward County

People come to South Florida for a number of reasons, but the biggest has to be its amazing beaches, which put many others in the U.S. to shame. Broward County has 23 miles of beaches and is a popular destination for snorkeling, scuba diving, boating, and a variety of water sports and leisure. here, you’re sure to find a slice of paradise that’s everything you dreamed it would be. To help you locate your personal sweet spot, here’s a rundown on the characteristics of a few of these beaches: Pompano, with its well-stocked waters, is the home of the annual “Fishing Rodeo,” Lauderdale-by-the-Sea has the best snorkeling in the region (some say in all of Florida), and Fort Lauderdale itself is known for its entertaining people-watching. Not all beaches are created alike, and that’s a good thing! In Fort Lauderdale you can find your perfect sunny spot on the water.

Of course, as the saying goes, man cannot live on beaches alone. He also needs shopping and dining. (Forgive the slight paraphrasing.) These Fort Lauderdale also has those in abundance. The main destination here is the city’s own Riverwalk, the perfect spot for lunch and a boat ride along the river on a sunny Saturday afternoon. It also opens up to residents each Sunday morning for a special event known as “Jazz Sunday Brunch,” where local vendors provide the brunch and local musicians supply the jazz. It’s a great start to your Sunday. Another area you’ll want to spend some time in is Las Olas Boulevard. This upscale area is your happy-hour hangout. Just be careful not to mix drinking and shopping– all too easy to do in Las Olas — or of course, drinking and driving. During the day Las Olas is a sight to see, with beautiful homes and yachts on display by their owners, Las Olas residents all.

If you have children, you may be wondering what Fort Lauderdale has that will interest them, aside from the beaches. This area of Florida, home of the Everglades, is an all-natural playground. The best place to experience the beauty of the local Everglades system is Sawgrass Recreation Park, where you can take an airboat and soar over the swamps, before descending into the glades for an up-close-and-personal look. The Billy Swamp Safari is another good way to introduce little ones to the Everglades.

Dry off from a day at the swamps or on the beach with a visit to the Buehler Planetarium at Broward Community College. Seeing a show puts the universe at your kids’ fingertips– and, along with area beaches and marshes, may just ignite a lifelong interest in science and the environment. You can cement that appreciation at the Museum of Discovery and Science. There you’ll find exhibits on subjects like the human body, space, rocks and minerals, today’s technology, and the Florida ecosystem.

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