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What To Do In Fort Lauderdale After Cruise Before Your Flight – 12 Fun-Filled Attractions

Are you wondering what to do in Fort Lauderdale after cruise before your flight? If you have time after disembarking from your cruise, there are many places to see and things to do near Fort Lauderdale. Known as the ‘Venice of America’ because it has 270 miles of scenic waterways, Fort Lauderdale is worth exploring. And it is only a 10-minute drive from the Everglades Port, the 3rd busiest cruise homeport in the world. It is also a main gateway for cruise holidays.

Fort Lauderdale in Broward County, Florida, offers tourists a wonderful sub-tropical climate, beautiful beaches, exotic Everglades, exclusive shopping malls, museums, botanical gardens, gondola tours, waterway cruises, and fun parks, all close to the Everglades Port.

What To Do In Fort Lauderdale After Cruise Before Your Flight – 12 Fun Attractions

Fort Lauderdale is famous for its fantastic semi-tropical climate, sunny weather, and ocean breezes. It has 23 miles of beautiful beaches, natural attractions, fantastic museums for all ages, and historic buildings and landmarks. There are upscale shopping malls, fantastic hotels, and holiday accommodations, as well as many excellent restaurants and street cafes.

Explore Fort Lauderdale before you leave the beautiful sunshine state of Florida. Below are some attractions to visit in and around Fort Lauderdale.

1. Swim At Fort Lauderdale Main Beach

The best way to get from Everglades Port to Fort Lauderdale beach is to take a taxi for the 5-mile distance.

The beach offers a playground for the kids and a lovely area with tables where you can enjoy a family picnic. The sea is beautiful and crystal clear with calm and shallow waters, an ideal swimming area for children. 

There are a variety of cafes and restaurants where you can sample the local cuisine. Stroll along the walking paths and browse some of the quaint shops for souvenir shopping. A sprinkle of entertainment venues can also be found here for fun and amusement for the whole family.

2. See The Lovely Creatures At Butterfly World

Visit Butterfly World in Tradewinds Park and enjoy the sunny outdoors with beautiful butterflies and birds. You can take a 25-minute drive by taxi from the Port.

You will see some of the more than 20,000 butterflies as you walk within the tropical, flowering gardens. There are 6 aviaries filled with these beautiful creatures as well as magnificent exotic birds. Learn more about the butterflies at the butterfly museum and see the bugs at the live bug zoo. There’s an outdoor café for snacks and drinks, a gift shop, and a garden center.

3. Visit The Naval Air Station Fort Lauderdale Museum

You can visit the Naval Air Station Museum for an exciting outing where you can learn more about the Naval Air Force, its history, and its heroes from World War II. It is just a 10-minute drive by taxi from the Everglades Port. This museum is dedicated to keeping the memory alive of the crew of flight 19 that flew out from Fort Lauderdale in 1945, only to be lost somewhere in the Bermuda Triangle.

You can view a trainer flight simulator and what a soldier’s barracks looked like when this base trained U.S. pilots from 1942 to 1946. On display are vintage ship and aircraft models, war diaries, personal memoirs, and Word War II letters. The museum is full of history and artifacts and has been added to the U.S. Register of Historic Places.

4. Enjoy A Gondola Tour

Take an exciting tour of the inter-coastal waterway canals in a Venetian Gondola. A taxi will take you a short 12-minute drive from the Port to one of the Gondola Tours in Fort Lauderdale (Riverfront, Gondolas West, or Las Olas). 

View the magnificent waterfront mansions and spectacular yachts along the way. Some tours will take you to serene areas with dense foliage and native wildlife like manatees and iguanas.

5. Fun Times At The Xtreme Action Park

If your family enjoys action activities and games, then a visit to the Xtreme Action Park is a must. It is only a 17-minute drive from the Everglades Port. This park has a gas-powered go-kart racetrack, a High Indoor Ropes course, Bowling Lanes, and a Roller Skater Rink. 

There are virtual reality games, arcade games, and Laser Tag to keep the whole family entertained. You can buy refreshments at the Pit Stop Kitchen and a Pit Stop Sports Bar for adults.

6. Browse The Museum Of Discovery And Science

The kids will love this museum’s interactive exhibits and outdoor Science Park in downtown Fort Lauderdale. 

You can enjoy various science demonstrations and shows. Experience hurricane winds in the Storm Center, learn more about the Everglades, and take a simulated journey to Mars, flying through the skies in a cockpit simulator. Watch educational programs in the IMAX with a laser and 3D theater. 

There are several animal species like baby alligators, bats, snakes, geckos, tortoises, frogs, turtles, rabbits, and much more for you to view. There are dinosaur eggs, prehistoric fish fossils, minerals, and rocks on display. A fun-filled day with much to see and learn awaits you at this museum.

7. Visit The Flamingo Gardens

It is just a 20-minute drive from the Port to the Flamingo Gardens, with over 3,000 exotic and rare plants and trees. The area was a citrus orchard before becoming the first botanical garden in South Florida. It is said that there were always nesting flamingos on this land, and then peacocks were introduced. 

During your visit, you can see thousands of magnificent orchids in the gardens and many other species of plants. You can take a narrated Tram Tour to the tropical rainforest area and tropical fruit tree groves. Also, see the lovely collection of rare and endangered cycads from around the world.

In 1990 the Bird of Prey center and Everglade Wildlife Sanctuary opened, giving permanent residence to injured wildlife. You can view the alligators, owls, hawks, eagles, a black bear called Josh, and the Caribbean flamingos. Other habitats to view are river ottos, panthers and bobcats, turtles and tortoises, and bird aviaries. This is an outing that everyone will enjoy.

8. Take An Airboat Ride To The Everglades

There are several tours that you can choose for your Everglades visit. Enjoy a 1-hour airboat ride and narrated tour of the Everglades. You will see wildlife from the boat, like alligators, deer, raccoons, native birds, and maybe a snake. Your tour guide will highlight local plants and share some exciting folklore stories.

What To Do In Fort Lauderdale After Cruise Before Your Flight

The Everglades comprises subtropical wetlands, and the flowing river is surrounded by marshes, sawgrass prairies, and swamps. Some tours offer lunch at a waterside restaurant. After the lunch break, you will tour the mangroves, where you can see sea turtles, osprey, manatees, and dolphins that live there. A tour of the Everglades will be a great experience for the family. 

9. Take A Family Pirate Adventure Cruise

The whole family will enjoy this 1-hour, fun-filled cruise that is only a 13-minute drive from Everglades Port. You will board the Bluefoot vessel as you sail the Intercoastal waterway in Fort Lauderdale. 

The kids will look great in their pirate costumes and maritime tattoos as they enjoy their treasure hunt adventures and stories told by the captain. They will learn to talk like pirates and participate in fun, interactive pirate activities. Remember to take some water or cold drinks for the journey.

10. Enjoy A SUP PUP Kids Paddling Tour

This tour is not only for kids but for adults as well. Enjoy a personalized tour as you paddle with your family along the Las Olas canals. The water is filled with wildlife like iguanas, fish, and birds; if you are lucky, you might even see manatees. 

You will be guided by instructors joining you on this 1 and half-hour-fun excursion. Take along a hat and sunscreen. Children aged 2 to 6 will ride with their parents, while the older ones can have their own paddle boards. A lovely way to spend time on the water with your family.

11. Visit Uncle Bernie’s Amusement Park

Take a 15-minute drive from Everglades Port to Uncle Bernie’s Amusement Park for a fun day. The kids will love the rides on the bumper cars, Fire Chief, Wacky Worm, and the Carousel Cinderella. There are many other rides to enjoy and games to play. You can treat the family to classical fair carnival foods like hotdogs, popcorn, cotton candy, snow cones, and cold drinks. 

12. Do Some Shopping And Dining At The Las Olas Boulevard

Stroll along the beautiful palm-lined Las Olas Boulevard in Fort Lauderdale for souvenir shopping. Visit and browse the many stores, galleries, museums, and boutiques that rise above the Intercoastal waterway. This boulevard is 2.5 miles long and is pedestrian friendly. Rest from your walk and enjoy a meal at one of the various restaurants and sidewalk cafes before continuing your shopping spree.

Closing Thoughts

If you have some time after disembarking from your cruise, there are many places to see and things to do near Fort Lauderdale. The city has much to offer visitors, so take advantage of being in the area and explore! From taking an airboat tour through the everglades to visiting butterfly world, there is something for everyone to enjoy in Fort Lauderdale. No need to be stuck in the airport– get out and explore Fort Lauderdale!

Mona Marks


Mona loves group travel of all kinds, and she finds cruises are the perfect setting for that.

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