Fort Lauderdale, Florida - The Yachting and Spring Break Capital
Fort Lauderdale is a city in southeastern Florida, just north of Miami, known for its beautiful beaches and boating canals. Beyond beaches, Fort Lauderdale is famous for arts and culture, events and yachting. Unknown to many, Fort Lauderdale is the home of the annual Largest In-Water Boat Show in the World. With over 50,000 registered yachts and 100 marinas, Fort Lauderdale is known as the yachting capital of the world.
Fort Lauderdale lies about 30 miles north of Miami (although traveling between the two cities, it's hard to know that they're all that separate) and is part of the Miami metropolitan area. With over 180,000 residents, it is the 10th largest city in Florida. With 165 miles of inland water ways weaving througout the city, Fort Lauderdale is known as the Venice of America.
Fort Lauderdale will be known by most as a tourist destination, especially as an extension of Miami's vibrant spring break scene, but the city is much more than that. With a booming real estate market and a vibrant economy spanning marine, finance, insurance, high technology, avionics, aerospace and film/television, both Fort Lauderdale and it's county, Broward, are diverse and offer a wide array of opportunities.
Tourism is a major pillar of the Fort Lauderdale story. With average temperatures year-round in the mid 70 degrees, and over 3,000 hours of sunshine per year, nearly 15 million visitors travel to Fort Lauderdale every year. The city is a major cruise port, with around 5 million cruise passengers passing through its Port Everglades cruise terminall every year, making it the third largest cruise port in the world.
Things To Do in Fort Lauderdale
Fort Lauderdale Beach is perhaps the most obvious destination for travelers to Fort Lauderdale. On the Atlantic coast, the pristine beach is comprised of beautiful clean sands and azure waters. Less crowded than Miami's beaches, Fort Lauderdale offers a more up-scale and laid back atmosphere. Running the length of the beach is a great promenade with local merchants, a variety of dining options and a wide array of hotels and condo-residence hotels. Another beautiful beach is Las Olas Beach that is complemented by Las Olas Boulevard, where visitors can find blocks of bars, restaurants and shops offering a break from sun and fun on the beach.
The Intracoastal Waterway is a vast network of canals winding through the city. While you can find access to all of these canals from roads and walkways, the best way to experience the canals, including meals at restaurants all along the area, is by boat. Check out Anchor Yacht Rentals for great opportunities to rent a boat, whether a small day cruiser or a 50 foot, 60 foot, 80 foot or larger motor yacht. Pulling up to dock at a canal restaurant and being served aboard your vessel by the restaurant's wait staff is a fun and unique way to have a dinner out. Being on your yacht to for a cruise to Biscayne Bay is also a great way to spend an evening and to sometimes take in some great fireworks.
While the beautiful beaches draw the tourists to the ocean, there are numerous things to do once you're there. It's easy to find jet ski and wave runner rentals, offering the opportunity to ride just offshore or throughout the canals of the waterway. Seaplane tours and bike rentals are also great ways to see a lot of what the area has to offer and bask in the beautiful weather. The region also offers trips to the Everglades for airboat tours, deep sea fishing, snorkeling, diving, party boat tours, kayaking tours and so much more.
Of course, the nightlife, restaurants and shopping are world class. As a global travel destination, nearly all cuisines can be easily found and bars and clubs are plentiful. Professional sports also draw attendance with Miami's franchise teams just a short drive away. Fans can take in NFL games with the Miami Dolphins, NBA games with the Miami Heat, MLB games with the Miami Marlins and MLS with Miami FC. Fort Lauderdale's NHL team, the Florida Panthers offer ice fans a popular diversion in the tropical heat.
Real Estate Investing in Fort Lauderdale
Fort Lauderdale is definitely benefiting from the recent boom in South Florida as financial firms and tech companies are quickly migrating to the area. As a key part of the larger Miami metro area, Fort Lauderdale real estate has continued strong (despite recently higher rates) as demand for all classes of properties continues strong.
The pricing pressure in the market can make it difficult to find the best investments for return, whether looking at short-term or long-term rentals. Owing to the strong tourism market, Fort Lauderdale offers generally strong performance in short-term rentals, however, with strong demand across the area. There are also a wide variety of properties in the area that make attractive investments, including:
- single family homes
In some cases, with certain condo developments and condo-hotels, Fort Lauderdale is really optimized for the short-term rental market. Not only can owners generally opt to manage their own rentals (or work with independent property management), but many condos and condo-hotels offer turnkey service, including maintenance, housekeeping, reservations/booking and full resort services. Among the marquis brands offering condo-hotel ownership in the area are:
- Conrad (the luxury Hilton brand)
- W (the luxury Marriott brand)
- Four Seasons
- Ritz Carlton
When the world shut down for COVID, Florida was one of the only areas that remained largely open. The state experienced a tourism boom as travelers locked out of other states flocked to Florida. As well, the remote work push drove people to Florida's weather and amenities and many chose to stay, driving property markets higher. With the influx of new residents to the Miami-Fort Lauderdale area and the continued strong tourism in the area, south Florida, and Fort Lauderdale, is one of the best markets for short term rental investing - but is also a great longer-term rental investment market.