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Do Florida, Venetian style

With intricate canals and waterways and over 4,000 restaurants, Fort Lauderdale has been dubbed the ‘Venice of America’ and rightly so. With upscale shopping, fine dining and sun-soaked beaches, this is a glorious place to kick back and enjoy some gelato.

Essential information for Fort Lauderdale

Local time

Language

USA flag
American English

Currency

US Dollar $
Official currency of the United States

Flight information

9-10h
Miami (MIA)
Direct flight

Flight schedule

  • Daily flights from the UK
are our main airline partner

Do I need a Visa?

Yes. You'll need to obtain approval no less than 72 hours prior to travel to the US via the ESTA (Electronic System for Travel Authorisation (ESTA) scheme.

Find out more about Travel Visas here »

Getting around

To navigate the waterways of Fort Lauderdale, hop on board the waterbus, approx $10 for an unlimited day pass.

Winding waterways and sea views: Fort Lauderdale Holidays

Known as the ‘Venice of America’, Fort Lauderdale is a sun-drenched web of waterways and canals, all of which lead out past the city’s golden beaches and into the beautiful Atlantic Ocean. Home to a huge array of water-based activities, including deep sea fishing, diving and water skiing, Fort Lauderdale has plenty to keep you busy (even when you’re back on dry land!).

Whether you’ve got a passion for sports, nature, shopping and dining out (or all of the above), holidays to Fort Lauderdale have it all. Start the day with a round of golf at one of Florida’s top courses, grab a bite at a waterfront café, and in the afternoon explore the swampy Everglades and see if you can spot a ‘gator’ (from a safe distance, obviously). At night, stroll down Las Olas Boulevard, window shopping to your heart’s content, then tackle a plate of the best seafood you’ll find for miles around.

Better still, immerse yourself in the glitz and glamour of the waterways, kick back and relax on the beach, or grab your snorkel and dive into the crystal-clear water. Our Fort Lauderdale holiday packages let you do it all. And if you’re after even more fun, you’re also not toofar from those famous Florida theme parks. Ready to plan your getaway? First step, check out some of our Fort Lauderdale highlights...

There’s bucketfuls of brilliant beachside accommodation in Fort Lauderdale, so sand and sun-worshipers are spoilt for choice. Here’s a few of our favourite places to stay.

Pelican Grand Beach Resort - For poolside fun and immediate beach access, you can’t go wrong with the Pelican Grand Beach Resort. This grand hotel overlooks the beautiful Fort Lauderdale coast and its excellent swimming pool and (very) lazy river are ideal for kids and adults alike.

Sonesta Fort Lauderdale - Within walking distance of both Las Olas Boulevard and the Riverwalk Arts and Entertainment District, the Sonesta Fort Lauderdale is the perfect choice for those that like to divide their time between the beach and the city.

  • Tour the Everglades: home to many plants and animals that you won’t see anywhere else in the country, the Florida Everglades are perfect if you’re a bit of an adventurer and want to see an alligator up close and personal (safely, of course!). Sign up with an airboat tour operator and head out into the swamp.
  • Shop till you drop: this city plays host to some of the best shopping streets in the whole of Florida. Las Olas Boulevard is teeming with unique boutiques and specialist shops, the Galleria Mall is where you’ll find the big names, and the Swap Shop is an excellent flea market that will keep bargain-hunters busy for hours.
  • Watersports galore: pristine beaches and beautiful waters are one of Fort Lauderdale's principal attractions, so you should really make the most of them. Swim, fish, sail, snorkel, or scuba dive, then head ashore for a round of golf, a game of volleyball, or enjoy some quiet time on the beach - the choice is yours.
  • Take an excursion out of the city: Fort Lauderdale is within easy reach of both the glamour and Art-Deco cool of Miami, and the natural paradise that is the Florida Keys. If you want to get out of the city for a few days, these are two great options.
  • Car: renting a car is probably the easiest and most popular means of moving around the city and surrounding area. As part of our Fort Lauderdale holiday packages, we’ve teamed up with a number of rental services to ensure you get the best deal.
  • Boat: Fort Lauderdale is a city of canals and waterways, so many people move around the city by boat. Water taxis are available in many locations and can be an exciting way to travel.
  • Bicycle: Fort Lauderdale isn’t a huge city, so bicycle hire can be an excellent way to get out and explore. After all, there’s nothing nicer than being able to cycle down to the beach for a morning dip everyday.

On holidays to Fort Lauderdale, one thing’s for certain: you’ll be spoiled for choice when it comes to eating out. With so many tasty options to choose from, here’s a few of our must-eats.

  • Tacocraft: as you’ve probably guessed, Tacocraft is home to some of the best Mexican food in Fort Lauderdale. It boasts a lively social scene, great atmosphere and a large food and drink menus. We’d recommend giving the delicious ahi tuna-filled tacos a go.
  • 15th Street Fisheries: when it comes to waterfront dining, there’s no better spot than 15th Street. Decked out (the restaurant is literally located on an open deck in the marina) like a traditional Florida boathouse, the seafood here is simply sumptuous.
  • O-B House – Fort Lauderdale: The ‘Old Breakfast’ House is a Fort Lauderdale institution and the perfect place to take a real American-style breakfast. Famous for its use of only the freshest of produce, it’s very popular amongst locals and tourists alike.
  • Las Olas Boulevard: if you’re unsure of what you want to eat or don’t have a specific restaurant in mind, you’ll probably want to head to Las Olas Boulevard. This is Fort Lauderdale’s principal shopping and dining street, and you’ll find a whole host of great bars and restaurants lining the Las Olas pavements.

Fort Lauderdale has a subtropical climate, making it perfect for a sunny getaway year-round.

  • November – April - With average highs of around 25°C and all day Florida sunshine, we can’t think of a better time to visit Fort Lauderdale.
  • May – October - Enjoy highs of around 32°C and make the most of the longer summer days as the city heats up along the famous waterways.

Fort Lauderdale holidays are a unique opportunity to explore a side of the Sunshine State that few people get to see. If you enjoy life on the water, dive on in and take a look at our Fort Lauderdale hotels to find the perfect package holiday for you.

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Latest Foreign & Commonwealth Office repatriation travel advice


Over the past few weeks, we have repatriated our customers from overseas who wanted to come home.  

Please visit this page to keep up to date with the Government’s travel advice on returning to the UK, and to register for email alerts.
 

Your holiday may be affected by travel restrictions or cancellations

We are continually reviewing our flying schedules, taking into account the  Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) advice against all non-essential travel. Depending on when you are due to travel, your holiday may be affected and we’ll email you to let you know as least 21 days before travel.

You’ll be away before you know it

Your next holiday is only a click away - our website has thousands of options ready to book. But if you need more help, just give us a call on 0344 472 9499.

Looking for inspiration? Explore our destinations and holiday types and save your faves to your very own Wishlist. Or dive right in to our 2021 holiday offers.

For extra piece of mind, new bookings made before 30 September 2020 for travel up 30 April 2021 also have the flexibility to amend free of charge. If you need to change don’t worry, you can move your holiday as far out as 31 December 2021 subject to availability.

How would you like to talk to us?

With many customers needing our help, we are prioritising those customers due to travel before 31 December 2020. Log in to Manage my booking where you can message us about your options or you can give us a call. Bear in mind you may have to wait longer than expected. We continue to review this and working to open up these options to more customers. In the meantime check out our FAQs to see if this can help answer any immediate questions.

Stay tuned for the latest updates


Rest assured; we will notify you as soon as we know if your holiday has been affected.  

We are continually reviewing our flying schedules, taking into account the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) advice against all non-essential travel. Depending on when you are due to travel, your holiday may be affected and we’ll email you to let you know as least 21 days before travel.

Please look out for emails from us or visit our dedicated Covid-19 (Coronavirus) page for the latest updates.

Let’s talk


If you need to speak to us to change or cancel your booking you can call our team on 0344 472 9646.

For the latest information on Covid-19 you can check our FAQs here.

Payment flexibility


Don’t worry if you’ve missed a payment or just need a little more time to pay; we have options available to help you. If your holiday is going ahead as planned, you can continue to pay for your holiday in Manage my booking, even if travelling in less than 12 weeks. If you’re unsure, you can delay any additional payments by choosing a new time to travel by requesting a call back in Manage My booking for one of our team to look at options. If your holiday is more than 6 months away, you may wish to set up a Direct Debit to spread the cost. This can be arranged whilst rebooking or afterwards in Manage my booking.

We're flexible with your holiday plans


We understand that you may wish to change your holiday plans and we appreciate the need for flexibility. 

We'll be in touch by email letting you know how to register to change your holiday plans. You can also log into Manage my booking to find the details there. 

Please look out for emails from us or visit our dedicated Covid-19 (Coronavirus) page for the latest updates.

You're holiday is going ahead as planned


If we haven’t notified you of any changes, your holiday will be going ahead as planned but if you prefer to move your holiday to a later time we can help. You can call our team on 0344 472 9499 who can look at options for you.

Thank you for your patience and understanding


Payments are being prioritised based on when the request was made, working in order from March 2020 onwards. We will always try to process refunds at the earliest opportunity, for requests before August our maximum timeframe is 120 days. As we are steadily reducing the maximum processing time for each new request, for refund requests made in August, we expect the maximum processing time to be 80 days, from the date the refund is requested. For those requesting a refund in September, we expect it to be processed within a maximum of 60 days, and then reduce to 30 days for refunds requested in October, before returning to normal levels.

We'll be in touch soon


To finalise the amendment, one of our customer advisors will phone you. We need to work through amend requests in departure date order so we can prioritise those with the most imminent travel plans, so you may have a longer wait than usual until we’re able to ring you back. We will help everyone that wants to move their holiday.

I returned early from holiday and have further questions?


You can contact our team by emailing feedback.backhome@virginholidays.com to discuss options on unused portions of your holiday. If you need to contact our team about amending an existing holiday or requesting a refund please log in to manage my booking.

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