13 Best Things to Do in Fort Lauderdale for Young Adults: Cool Activities for Millennials and Gen Z

by Flora
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Are you looking for fun things to do in Fort Lauderdale for young adults? Here’s our ultimate bucket list of cool and unique attractions for millennials and Gen Z-ers. So let’s dive into these amazing places to hang out in Fort Lauderdale.

Fort Lauderdale envelops you in a vibe that’s both laid-back and lively. This city is a shelling paradise that’s also one of the most scenic places in Florida. It’s a place where sun-kissed beaches meet vibrant city streets. Wander the scenic pathways of Hugh Taylor Birch State Park or dive into the bustling atmosphere of Las Olas Boulevard, a hub of culture, cuisine, and nightlife.

Renowned for its stunning waterfronts and dynamic nightlife, Fort Lauderdale is paradise for young adults seeking both relaxation and adventure. Here, every sunrise promises a new adventure and every wave invites a surf. Let’s dive into all the coolest stuff in Fort Lauderdale that makes this city a haven for young adventurers.

The best things to do in Fort Lauderdale for young adults right now

Top Things to do in Fort Lauderdale for young adults

In this guide, we’re embarking on an exciting journey through Fort Lauderdale’s best offerings for young adults. From the thrill of catching waves at Fort Lauderdale Beach to the cultural treasures of the NSU Art Museum, Fort Lauderdale’s diverse attractions are calling. Let’s start this adventure!

1. Hit the beaches

Fort Lauderdale’s beaches are where the city’s heart beats the loudest. They offer a slice of paradise for anyone looking to soak up the sun and surf. It’s the ultimate fun activity in Fort Lauderdale for adults who love the ocean or just want to enjoy a day under the Florida sun.

Imagine starting your day at Fort Lauderdale Beach, where the vibe is as lively as the waves. It’s a place to see and be seen, to join in a game of beach volleyball, or to simply lounge and enjoy the atmosphere. But if you’re craving something a bit more secluded, head over to Hugh Taylor Birch State Park. It’s a serene escape offering tranquil beaches and a chance to connect with nature.

Fort Lauderdale's beaches are where the city's pulse resonates the strongest, bustling with life and energy.
Fort Lauderdale’s beaches are where the city’s pulse resonates the strongest, bustling with life and energy.

For those looking for cool stuff to do in Fort Lauderdale, don’t miss out on the chance to try paddleboarding or snorkeling right off the coast. The clear waters offer a glimpse into an underwater world teeming with colorful marine life.

Let’s grab our sunscreen, shades, and best beach vibes, and head to where the ocean meets the sky. Fort Lauderdale’s beaches are calling, and it’s time to answer.

2. Explore Las Olas Boulevard

Las Olas Boulevard is where Fort Lauderdale’s pulse races the fastest. This iconic boulevard is great for fashion, art, and culinary delights. It truly offers a taste of the city’s sophisticated yet laid-back lifestyle.

Start your Las Olas adventure with a caffeine boost from Ann’s Florist and Coffee Bar. This is where the aroma of fresh coffee blends with the beauty of floral arrangements. It’s the perfect spot to plan your day or simply people-watch. For a midday treat, pop into Louie Bossi’s Ristorante, a bustling spot known for its mouthwatering Italian cuisine and lively atmosphere. Their outdoor seating is ideal for soaking in the Las Olas vibe and is known as one of the best food scenes in Fort Lauderdale.

Las Olas presents an unforgettable blend of experiences, encapsulating culture, cuisine, shopping, and vibrant nightlife alike.
Las Olas presents an unforgettable blend of experiences, encapsulating culture, cuisine, shopping, and vibrant nightlife alike.

As the sun dips, the boulevard’s nightlife sparkles to life. YOLO (You Only Live Once) is a go-to, offering innovative cocktails and a chic outdoor lounge perfect for evening gatherings. Not far away, The Balcony, an upscale two-story bar, serves up New Orleans-style dishes with a side of live music.

From cozy coffee shops and gourmet restaurants to some of the best bars in Fort Lauderdale for young adults, Las Olas offers an unforgettable blend of experiences.

3. Take a water taxi tour

Fort Lauderdale’s nickname, “Venice of America,” comes to life when you hop on a water taxi and glide through the city’s intricate network of canals. It’s an adventure that offers a unique glimpse into the luxurious waterfront lifestyle. This makes it one of the top fun things to do in Fort Lauderdale for young adults.

Cruise past opulent mansions, mega yachts, and lush tropical landscapes. The water taxi is the most unique gateway to explore Fort Lauderdale’s diverse attractions, making it one of the best things to do in South Florida. Enjoy stops at key locations like Las Olas Boulevard, the Historic Stranahan House Museum, and the buzzing 17th Street Causeway.

Hop aboard a water taxi and glide through the city's intricate network of canals, soaking in the picturesque views.
Hop aboard a water taxi and glide through the city’s intricate network of canals, soaking in the picturesque views.

But here’s the best part: the captains double as tour guides, sharing tales of the city’s history, celebrity gossip, and insider tips. It’s like getting a scenic tour, history lesson, and local’s guide to the city all rolled into one.

So, are you ready to set sail on a water taxi and discover the beauty and excitement of Fort Lauderdale’s waterways? Let’s grab our sunglasses, catch the next taxi, and embark on a journey through the “Venice of America.”

4. Dive into the arts at NSU Art Museum

For a cultural deep dive right in the heart of Fort Lauderdale, the NSU Art Museum is waiting to be explored. This museum visit is an immersive journey through contemporary and 20th-century art that challenges, delights, and inspires, making it one of the best places to visit in South Florida.

The museum is renowned for its extensive collection of works by the American painter William Glackens, the avant-garde Cobra movement, and a fascinating array of African and Oceanic Tribal Arts.

NSU Art Museum offers a perfect blend of intellectual stimulation and aesthetic delight, catering to art enthusiasts and curious minds
NSU Art Museum offers a perfect blend of intellectual stimulation and aesthetic delight, catering to art enthusiasts and curious minds

A visit to the NSU Art Museum provides a perfect mix of intellectual stimulation and aesthetic enjoyment. It’s a place to lose yourself in art, discover new perspectives, and maybe even leave a bit more enlightened than when you arrived.

So, are you ready to explore the vibrant world of art and culture at the NSU Art Museum? Let’s set a date to dive deep into the collections that make this museum a cornerstone of the city’s cultural scene. Who knows what inspirations or discoveries await within its walls?

5. Adventure in the everglades with Sawgrass Recreation Park

Embark on an unforgettable journey into the heart of the Everglades with Sawgrass Recreation Park. This trip is an opportunity to dive deep into the wild, untamed beauty of Florida’s natural wonder.

Picture yourself aboard a state-of-the-art airboat, the engine roaring to life as you set off across the water. With Sawgrass Recreation Park, you become a true explorer, cutting through the glassy waters at thrilling speeds. The park’s expert guides bring the Everglades to life, pointing out hidden alligators basking in the sun and graceful egrets soaring overhead.

At Sawgrass Recreation Park, you'll feel like a true explorer as you glide through glassy waters at exhilarating speeds.
At Sawgrass Recreation Park, you’ll feel like a true explorer as you glide through glassy waters at exhilarating speeds.

But the adventure doesn’t end with the airboat tour. Sawgrass Recreation Park invites you to wander through their animal exhibits, where you can come face-to-face with rescued wildlife. It’s a chance to learn about the efforts to protect these incredible creatures and their habitats.

So, are you ready to venture into the Everglades with Sawgrass Recreation Park? Let’s grab our adventure gear and set out on a journey that promises to be as enlightening as it is exhilarating. The wild awaits, and it’s calling your name.

6. Enjoy the nightlife at Riverwalk

This picturesque waterfront promenade is home to stunning views. But it’s also a lively scene of bars, restaurants, and entertainment venues that come alive at night.

Venture over to The Wharf Fort Lauderdale, an open-air venue that’s part bar, part food hall, and entirely fun. With its laid-back vibe, live music, and variety of food trucks, it’s an ideal spot for those looking to relax and enjoy the waterfront setting.

The Riverwalk area provides a glimpse into the city's vibrant nightlife scene, offering an array of entertainment options.
The Riverwalk area provides a glimpse into the city’s vibrant nightlife scene, offering an array of entertainment options.

But the night doesn’t have to end there. For live music enthusiasts, Revolution Live is a must-visit. This intimate concert venue hosts a variety of acts, from up-and-coming bands to well-known artists, making it a great place to discover new music and dance the night away.

For young adults seeking fun places to go in Fort Lauderdale, the Riverwalk area offers a taste of the city’s vibrant nightlife. The night is young, and Riverwalk is waiting to show you a good time.

7. Paddleboard through the canals

Fort Lauderdale’s extensive network of canals offers a unique way to explore the city from the water, and what better way to do that than on a paddleboard? This leisurely activity is perfect for young adults looking to mix exercise with sightseeing, earning its place as one of South Florida’s best places to live.

Imagine gliding through the waterways, paddle in hand, as you navigate through the city’s “Venice of America.” The canals wind past luxurious waterfront homes, under charming bridges, and alongside lush, tropical foliage.

Hop on a paddleboard and explore the city's canals for a relaxing and enjoyable adventure that's both tranquil and fun.
Hop on a paddleboard and explore the city’s canals for a relaxing and enjoyable adventure that’s both tranquil and fun.

For those new to paddleboarding, no worries! There are plenty of rental shops and schools along the canals that offer lessons and guided tours. They’ll have you standing up and paddling with confidence in no time. Plus, it’s a great workout and a fantastic way to spend time with friends or make new ones.

So, are you ready to hit the water and see Fort Lauderdale from a new angle? Let’s grab a paddleboard and explore the city’s canals for an adventure that’s as relaxing as it is fun. It’s one of the coolest ways to experience the unique charm of Fort Lauderdale.

8. Visit the Bonnet House Museum & Gardens

Nestled between the beach and the bustling city, the Bonnet House Museum & Gardens offers a serene escape into Fort Lauderdale’s history. This historic estate, once the winter retreat of artist Frederic Clay Bartlett, is a gem providing a glimpse into early 20th century life.

As you wander through the Bonnet House, you’re transported back in time, surrounded by original furnishings and personal effects of the Bartlett family. Each room tells a story. This includes everything from the whimsically painted ceilings to the intimate courtyards, offering a personal look into the lives of its former inhabitants.

The Bonnet House Museum & Gardens combines art, history, and nature, creating a unique and captivating experience for all.
The Bonnet House Museum & Gardens combines art, history, and nature, creating a unique and captivating experience for all.

Spread over 35 acres, the estate’s grounds are a lush oasis of native Floridian plants, tranquil ponds, and vibrant orchids. It’s a place where you can stroll at your leisure, discovering hidden nooks and exotic wildlife, including playful monkeys and majestic swans that call the gardens home.

For those seeking fun places to go in Fort Lauderdale, the Bonnet House Museum & Gardens offers a unique blend of art, history, and nature. It’s an opportunity to slow down and appreciate the beauty that surrounds us.

9. Shop ‘til you drop at the Swap Shop Flea Market

For an eclectic shopping experience, the Swap Shop Flea Market is the place to be. This market is a vibrant mix of outdoor bargain hunting, entertainment, and local culture.

Imagine rows upon rows of vendors under the Florida sun, selling everything from vintage clothing and antique furniture to handmade jewelry and fresh produce. You never know what you’re going to find, but you’re almost guaranteed to leave with something special, quirky, or downright unexpected!

The Swap Shop is home to the world's largest drive-in movie theater, adding to its allure as a must-visit destination.
The Swap Shop is home to the world’s largest drive-in movie theater, adding to its allure as a must-visit destination.

The Swap Shop is also home to the largest drive-in movie theater in the world. Yes, you read that right. After a day of bargain hunting, you can kick back in your car and catch a flick under the stars, making it a perfect spot for a laid-back night out.

So, are you ready to dive into the bustling world of the Swap Shop Flea Market? Let’s grab some sunscreen and make a day of exploring all the quirky and fun finds this market has to offer. Who knows what treasures await?

10. Chill out at Secret Woods Nature Center

Hey, ever feel like you just need to hit the pause button and escape into nature? Well, Fort Lauderdale’s got this hidden spot called the Secret Woods Nature Center, and it’s the perfect place to do just that. It’s like stepping into another world and all you’re left with is the soothing sounds of nature, making it one of Florida’s hidden gems that you should visit. Seriously, for young adults looking for a chill vibe in Fort Lauderdale, this place is a slice of paradise.

Fort Lauderdale harbors a hidden gem known as the Secret Woods Nature Center, inviting exploration into its natural wonders.
Fort Lauderdale harbors a hidden gem known as the Secret Woods Nature Center, inviting exploration into its natural wonders.

There’s this butterfly garden that’s all kinds of magical, with colorful butterflies fluttering around you. Then you’ve got the mangrove boardwalk, which is super cool because you get to see all this aquatic life up close without getting your feet wet. And if you’re curious about the plants and animals you’re seeing, there’s an interpretive center that’s got all the answers.

So, if you’re on the hunt for fun and laid-back activities in Fort Lauderdale, why not spend a day at the Secret Woods Nature Center? It’s a chance to unwind, maybe learn a thing or two, and just enjoy being in the moment. Who knew getting away from it all could be right in our backyard?

11. Check out the Craft Beer Scene

Fort Lauderdale’s craft beer scene is on fire. For those looking to sip on some unique brews, there’s no better way to spend an afternoon or evening. This city is bursting with innovative breweries that are pushing the boundaries of traditional beer. It’s one of the cool things to do in Fort Lauderdale that combines fun, flavor, and a bit of local culture.

Let’s start with Funky Buddha Brewery, a place that’s become almost legendary in the South Florida beer scene. Their Floridian Hefeweizen is a must-try, but honestly, everything they brew is gold. The vibe here is laid-back and they’ve got this awesome outdoor space where you can chill with friends.

Fort Lauderdale boasts innovative breweries pushing the boundaries of traditional beer, offering a taste of creativity and craftsmanship.
Fort Lauderdale boasts innovative breweries pushing the boundaries of traditional beer, offering a taste of creativity and craftsmanship.

Next up, you’ve got Tarpon River Brewing, right in the heart of downtown. It’s a cool spot to hang out, with a great food menu to match their tasty beers. Their motto is all about celebrating the Fort Lauderdale lifestyle, and once you step inside, you won’t want to leave.

So, who’s ready for a brewery hop? Let’s gather the crew, plan our route, and get ready to toast to the best craft beers Fort Lauderdale has to offer.

12. Take a day trip to Key West

This road trip is a voyage through the stunning Florida Keys, where the ocean meets the sky, and every mile brings a new breathtaking view. Hitting the road to Key West is an unforgettable experience.

Imagine cruising down the Overseas Highway, windows down, music up, with the Atlantic on one side and the Gulf of Mexico on the other. The journey itself is part of the adventure, with plenty of spots to stop along the way, like the quirky Bahia Honda State Park for a quick dip or a photo op.

Heading to Key West promises an unforgettable adventure, ensuring memories to cherish on the scenic road trip journey.
Heading to Key West promises an unforgettable adventure, ensuring memories to cherish on the scenic road trip journey.

Once in Key West, the southernmost point of the continental U.S. awaits, along with its laid-back vibe and historic sites. Visit Ernest Hemingway’s Home and the vibrant Duval Street, famous for its bars and cafes. It’s a place where you can soak up the sun, dive into the local culture, and just enjoy the unique atmosphere.

So, are you ready to embark on a road trip to remember? Let’s pack our bags, grab some snacks, and set off for Key West. Adventure awaits on the open road, and there’s no telling what fun and discoveries lie ahead.

13. Experience the Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show

Mark your calendars for late October to early November because that’s when the Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show sails into town. This is the largest in-water boat show in the world, making it a must-visit for young adults exploring fun things to do in Fort Lauderdale.

Imagine wandering through miles of docks, where yachts and boats of all sizes and styles are on display. Witness sleek speedboats and opulent super yachts that have to be seen to be believed. It’s an awesome chance to step aboard these vessels and meet industry experts.

Embark on a nautical wonders adventure to the Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show. Image Credits: Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show
Embark on a nautical wonders adventure to the Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show. Image Credits: Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show

It’s best to plan ahead and purchase your tickets online to ensure you get a spot. Prices vary depending on the day you visit. But you can also purchase special experiences, like VIP tours or exclusive lounge access.

The Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show is a full-on event featuring live music, culinary delights, and seminars. It’s the perfect blend of education, entertainment, and luxury.

So, are you ready to dive into the world of luxury boats and yachting culture? Let’s set sail for the Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show. See you at the docks!

The best things to do for young adults in Fort Lauderdale for all types of travelers
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