Every year for Riley’s birthday, instead of a party and presents, we love surprising our little guy with a fun vacation. We typically like staying home for ski season so his October celebration is the perfect opportunity for us to escape to warmer weather before we’re surrounded by snow. This year for his 9th birthday, we surprised him with a trip to Fort Lauderdale. We chose this location for the beaches and the weather, and since we had already done a theme park trip to Legoland Florida earlier this year, we figured it would be fun to spend his birthday lounging around, swimming and soaking in the sun.
Since I was unfamiliar with the area, I googled “things to do in Ft. Lauderdale” before booking our hotel and found myself intrigued by an article on Culture Trip which listed the top things to see and do in 24 hours. I ultimately used this as a guide for our 3 day trip and here’s what I thought about our hotel, the beaches and the restaurants we went to.
While looking for accommodations, I knew I wanted a hotel on the beach and something close to the airport since we weren’t renting a car. Initially, I took my search to google and compared prices, I then went to Hotwire.com and searched the same beach side areas through Hot Rate hotels. Hot Rate hotels are the deeply discounted portion of Hotwire that hides the name of the hotel, but provides you with little information on what you may be booking. By doing a little research and comparing, I knew I was booking B Ocean Resort for $65 less than booking directly through the hotel website.
B Ocean was amazing. The location was hard to beat plus they had a private beach and a pool right next to beach access. They also had great restaurants and drinks. One of the bar’s even has a mermaid show! In addition to accessibility, the hotel was a very quick walk to other restaurants and shops. When we wanted to save money on food and drinks, it was only a 10-15 minute walk to find choices outside of our hotel. Overall, the rooms were nice, the beds were comfortable, and everyone was very friendly and accommodating. We wouldn’t hesitate to stay here again.
This little diner located in the popular area of Los Olas boulevard has been in business since the 1930’s. The historical significance makes this 24 hour diner a staple in Fort Lauderdale. Many websites I read raved about this place as a “must see”, so on our first morning, we walked the 2.3 miles from our hotel with high expectations of what our breakfast would be like.
Unfortunately, our expectations fell short. The portions were big and the servers were very friendly, but the food was awful. I ordered the fried cod and eggs while Riley ordered the chocolate chip pancakes. The potatoes on my plate tasted burnt and the cod had a very weird rubbery texture. Riley’s pancake was also very heavy and had absolutely no fluff to it. We found it difficult to finish our food even though we were tired and hungry from our walk. Overall, despite the raving reviews online, I recommend skipping this place. I felt like it was an overly hyped tourist trap.
Since our hotel was right next to Fort Lauderdale Beach, we found ourselves strolling across it whenever we needed to walk over to the shops and restaurants nearby. Prior to this trip, I would not consider myself a beach person. Although I was born in the Philippines and raised on the West Coast, I never found playing in the ocean appealing. I enjoyed looking at it, maybe dipping my toes in, but the admiration was always from afar because it was always too cold and the thought of what might lurk beneath terrified me.
All of that changed during this trip and thanks to Fort Lauderdale, I became a mermaid. The beaches were gorgeous, the sunsets were amazing, and the water was the perfect temperature. As I dug my toes into the soft sand under the ocean, I didn’t feel any seaweed! I thought I would be spending this trip hanging out in the pool, but here I was diving in and swimming around in the ocean.
So yes, not only do I recommend Fort Lauderdale beach, but I think I may have left a part of my heart there.
We discovered G & B Oyster Bar during an evening walk to pick up pizza for dinner. Initially, I had planned on dining at the neighboring Coconuts Restaurant for our final evening, but this place looked intriguing and I knew my husband would love some raw oysters during our vacation. On our final evening in Fort Lauderdale, we walk to G & B’s where we tried fun dishes like gator for an appetizer and ordered all the raw oysters we could handle. I figured this would be the best place to try raw oysters for the first time… I typically watch from the sidelines as my husband devours them, but after we ordered our first batch, I was hooked! I recommend the West Coast oysters as well as the steamers. This was definitely a memorable meal and the perfect way to end our vacation.
Overall, it was such a wonderful trip. I had no idea Fort Lauderdale was so amazing and now I want to make this destination a yearly tradition. Whenever it gets a little too chilly in Colorado, I picture myself back in the warm Atlantic Ocean and remember that feeling of never wanting to get out. Not only did I enjoy the escape, but I was thrilled to discover this other side of me that I never knew existed. Thank you, Fort Lauderdale for turning me into a mermaid. I can’t wait to get back to you again.