Ft. Lauderdale FL Homes for Sale

Venice of America



With more than 300 miles of navigable waterways and 40,000 resident yachts, it is no wonder that Greater Fort Lauderdale is known as the "Venice of America." But visitors need not have a yacht for their water view of Greater Fort Lauderdale. Water Taxi of Fort Lauderdale provides a scenic affordable mode of transportation to and from many restaurants, shops and the theater. For entertaining and informative guided voyages through the canals and waterways, the Jungle Queen, Carrie B and Riverfront Cruises offer day tours and dinner cruises. These water taxis also provide entertaining and informative commentaries on the sights -- historic and contemporary -- as well as insight into some of Greater Fort Lauderdale's celebrity residents.


One of the destination's most significant transformations in the last two decades can be seen in the new and improved hotels that line Greater Fort Lauderdale's magnificent beachfront (which stretches for 23 miles and features five officially designated Blue Wave beaches signifying that they are among the top beaches in the country) and other popular areas. Before closing in the 1980s, The Diplomat on Hollywood Beach was one of the largest and most prestigious hotels in the area. In January 2002, it re-emerged as the $800 million Westin Diplomat Resort & Spa ready to rival any resort property in the country. Another significant chapter in Greater Fort Lauderdale's transformation is the development of new five-star luxury on Fort Lauderdale Beach. The state's first St. Regis, located on the former site of the Candy Store, a popular jaunt during the Spring Break era, also Florida's first W Hotel, a new luxury Hilton and two properties by real-estate mogul, Donald J. Trump will all line the beachfront area that once had more nearly 400,000 college students swarming.

Experience South Florida's fragile ecosystem from the Everglades "The River of Grass" to the beauty and wonder of the butterfly to sea turtles nesting on shore. At Billie Swamp Safari, experience the Everglades via airboat or swamp buggy. View gators and a variety of water fowl in their natural habitat. Even spend the night in a Chikee hut. At Butterfly World, witness metamorphosis in living color as thousands of butterflies from around the world glide and soar amid lush botanicals. Get a glimpse of sea turtles laying their eggs on our 23 miles of beach from May-August.

Immerse yourself in Greater Fort Lauderdale's undersea world where reefs are made of living coral and dead ships. Where gulfstream currents bring a treasure trove of brilliantly colored exotic aquatic wildlife. And where life begins anew through an artificial reef program which provides a safe harbor for that wildlife, augments the delicate natural reefs and even stems beach erosion.

From diamonds and precious antiques to discounted designer wear, shopping in Greater Fort Lauderdale is quite an adventure. At Sawgrass Mills, the world's largest value and entertainment mall, more than 300 brand-name and designer outlets, specialty shops and restaurants offer upscale products at substantial savings. The Galleria, close to Fort Lauderdale's beach, offers another opportunity for sophisticated shopping with such stores as Saks Fifth Avenue and Neiman Marcus. Fort Lauderdale's Swap Shop, the largest in South Florida, covers 80 acres of bargains for treasure and trivia hunters. While there, ride a giant carousel or enjoy the free daily circus. Or shop "where shopaholics of the world unite" at Festival Marketplace, where you can browse through over 800 stores of new, name-brand merchandise at below-outlet prices. If you pine for the treasures of yesterday, then Antique Row in Dania Beach is the place to head. And, when all is said and done, check out the latest fashions, the most eclectic galleries and some of the best dining in South Florida on chic Las Olas Boulevard. When you are ready to "shop 'til you drop" relax and grab a handsome cab.... and discover a comfortable and charming way to window shop.

What do Cancun, San Padre Island and Daytona Beach have that South Florida once had, but does not want again? The six week ritual known as "Spring Break." Fort Lauderdale is no longer "where the boys are"but where well-heeled Europeans, sophisticated Northerners and laid-back Mid-Westerners come to relax and vacation. From the late 1980's into the early 90's, Greater Fort Lauderdale was a destination in transition. The area is one of the fastest growing travel destinations in the United States.


Philip Vias, P.A.