Sometimes you just need a little getaway, right? After months of a signature Chicago winter wreaking havoc on my psyche and my poor skin being just about as pale as can possibly be, I set my sights on something different. Something sandy, something beachy, something warm… something known as Fort Lauderdale!
One part Spring break mecca, one part megayacht capital USA, the FTL is a fine destination for those looking for a relaxing getaway, luxe vacation, or party time, alike. Personally, I think a little of all three should have a presence in a well-rounded trip, but you do you, babe.
I was mixing business with pleasure this time around, but still made sure to siphon off a little “me time” which ensured at least some sand between my toes and a lot of yummy, local cuisine in my belly. A condensed ‘Best of Fort Lauderdale’ was exactly what I ended up with, and it was pure, seaside bliss.
The resort I stayed at, Lago Mar, came with high recommendations and I saw why immediately upon arrival. Situated idyllically between the Intracoastal and beachfront, nothing but pristine water views surround this 10-acre property.
I stayed in a lovely suite with oceanfront and pool views – score! – as well as a fabulous entertaining and living area appointed with a kitchenette and expansive hang space. This would be a great set up for a family or those looking to stretch out a bit. Some awesome amenities like a ‘hammock garden’, lagoon-style pool, tennis courts and putting course kept me more than busy on my off time.
A few additional highlights were, of course, my dining excursions. The culinary scene in Ft. Lauderdale definitely skews a bit touristy — I mean, it kind of has to right? All of those beaches and bikini clad co-eds… it just screams Hooters and rum runners. Fortunately, I was able to uncover a few gems that draw more of a local crowd and relaxed vibe.
The first up, Louie Bossi, is a trendy Italian joint with a killer outdoor patio.
This was a far cry from the fruity cocktails and conch fritters I was expecting from Floridian fare, but was a very welcomed departure. Sitting outdoors under the night sky, sipping a beautiful Barolo, eating gorgeous salumi and braised veal bolognese… mama mia, happiness achieved! Louie’s has great cluster seating, a sexy little fire pit and the clientele to match — this spot just screams girls’ night. I’d love to bring my ladies back for a little fun and fusilli.
No trip would be complete, however, with at least a little dose of the coastal stuff. I made the rounds at a few local seaside establishments and found nothing I loved until Coconuts.
What a darling, little, open-air shack o’ yum! I loved Coconuts and their “be nice” mantra posted everywhere – even on the namesake cocktail – which was delicious, by the way. This is Fort Lauderdale living all wrapped up in a pretty little postcard. Order up fresh shucked oysters, fish tacos, coconut shrimp, and yes, those conch fritters, too. Luckily, you don’t have to order a killer view or an ocean breeze, those come gratis.
What a splendid, little respite! It really is amazing what a little sand and sun does for the soul. Until next time… adios, Fort Lauderdale.