Fun in the Fort Lauderdale Sun

best of fort lauderdale

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.

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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.

best of fort lauderdale

best of fort lauderdale

best of fort lauderdale

best of fort lauderdale

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.

best of fort lauderdale

best of fort lauderdale

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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.

best of fort lauderdale

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.

best of fort lauderdale

best of fort lauderdale

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.

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