2021 Guide to Moving to Fort Lauderdale
(This article was updated on February 22, 2021)
Fort Lauderdale has recently grown in popularity due to its ideal location between Palm Beach and Miami. With its Caribbean blue waters, endless canals for boating, warm winters, and first class restaurants and shopping, many locals and foreign buyers are deciding to call Fort Lauderdale home.
Arriving in Fort Lauderdale
Fort Lauderdale Hollywood International is located less than 10 minutes from downtown Fort Lauderdale. Miami International Airport and West Palm Beach are also options. Each is about an hour’s drive, depending on traffic. Locals prefer Fort Lauderdale/Hollywood International since it has less traffic, however, Miami International is popular because of its larger selection of international flights.
If you are driving to Fort Lauderdale from out of town by car, Interstate 95 and Florida’s Turnpike are the major highways that run north to south through Fort Lauderdale. Try to avoid rush hour as both can have delays. It’s also best to avoid A1A, the road that runs along Fort Lauderdale Beach between Sunrise Blvd. and 17th Street during weekends and major holidays, as beach traffic can be an issue. Fort Lauderdale has recently grown in popularity due to its ideal location between Palm Beach and Miami. With its Caribbean blue waters, endless canals for boating, warm winters, and first class restaurants and shopping, many locals and foreign buyers are deciding to call Fort Lauderdale home.
Relocating to Fort Lauderdale
There are many local moving companies in Fort Lauderdale that can help pack and move your belongings. Make sure to read reviews or get a recommendation as some tend to be better than others. Two companies I recommend are Father And Sons Moving & Storage and Two Men And A Truck. Don’t forget to reserve an elevator ahead of time if you are moving into an apartment or condo as the management will need to put a protective cover on the elevator. Building management typically only allows residents to move in on certain days and specific times, as to not disturb everyone else living in the building
There are plenty of storage facilities around for your everyday household items and furniture, but for value items such as fine art, antiques, and exotic cars I recommend Robo Vault. It’s a hurricane proof and highly secured air-conditioned facility located just off of I-595 in Fort Lauderdale.
Fort Lauderdale is nicknamed The Venice Of America because of the miles of canals that run through the city. If you need to store a boat or yacht there are three options:
- Waterfront Marinas
There are plenty of waterfront marinas in Fort Lauderdale. They are typically used to accommodate larger size boats and yachts. These marinas typically offer a full range of services as well, such as boat detailing, dry storage, and engine repairs.
- Private Residences
Many private residences located on the water will rent their docks out to others when not in use. This is a good option if you need a specific location, or if you use your boat quite often, since your boat will always be in the water and ready to go.
- Dry Storage
For smaller boats, dry storage is the preferred option. It’s secure, keeps your boat clean, and limits the amount of damage salt water has on your vessel. A good drystorage option is Harbor Towne Marina located in the city of Dania Beach, just south of Fort Lauderdale.
The Lauderdale Yacht Club is regarded as one of the best yacht clubs in the country and offers all forms of yacht storage, maintenance, and services. The Lauderdale Yacht Club also boasts an exclusive membership for vessel owners and is capable of storing and servicing luxury vessels of any kind. In addition to storing your boat, the Lauderdale Yacht Club is home to several restaurants, a waterfront pool, a club house, and a host of other luxury amenities. The dining room and recreational areas of the Lauderdale Yacht Club are open to the public and they are often used to host community events for boaters and non-boaters alike.
What’s Living in Fort Lauderdale Like?
Fort Lauderdale has always been known as a smaller city famous for its spring breaks and snowbirds. Today, Fort Lauderdale is a thriving city with plenty of nightlife, shopping, cafes, fine dining, and culture. Locals consider it a good alternative to our busy and fast paced neighbor to the south, Miami. Fort Lauderdale has been dubbed “The Yachting Capital Of The World” due to a thriving marine industry and abundance of yachts.
At the heart of the city is Las Olas Blvd. This European style street is lined with galleries, boutiques, cafes, restaurants, and bars. It runs from the beach to the downtown business district. This is the place to be at night and during the weekends. Residents can also access the Riverfront walkway connecting the Performing Arts Center, Art Museum, IMAX Theater, and Museum of Science from Las Olas Boulevard.
One of the characteristics that makes Fort Lauderdale so special is its access to public beaches. Unlike many other cities in South Florida where condominiums litter the prime oceanfront real estate and block access for locals, Fort Lauderdale has miles of public beaches. A boardwalk lines the beach perfectly for walking, jogging, and biking.
In addition to the many condos and single family homes available in Fort Lauderdale, it is also a vibrant tourist community. Las Olas and Collins Ave. (A1A) are lined with luxury hotels like the W and the Four Seasons that often host high-end clientele and travelers from around the world. Although tucked away in this quiet corner of South Florida, Fort Lauderdale is truly a global destination with a robust mixture of cultures, cuisine, and activities.
As South Florida has exploded in popularity over the past decade, Fort Lauderdale has attracted industry headquarters for some of the world’s leading companies, providing plenty of career opportunities and an influx of capital into the region. Companies like AutoNation, Citrix, DHL, Embraer, and Microsoft all have massive operations centers in Fort Lauderdale that employ hundreds of professionals.
Who lives in Fort Lauderdale?
Fort Lauderdale is by no means a sleepy town. Its abundant nightlife and options for outdoor activities draws a large number of young professionals who are drawn to the downtown district as well as attractions and beaches along the A1A. There are numerous sport leagues available to join including tennis, kickball, basketball, and soccer.
Families young and old are also drawn to Fort Lauderdale’s safe and quiet neighborhoods. Single family homes give families the space they need to grow, and many come equipped with a yard for kids to play outside safely.
Retirees tend to reside near the water and the beach, maximizing their time to relax. Condos and single-family homes are both good options. Both are available for a great value as well as luxury units with the best amenities and locations. Upscale condos provide a low maintenance option and a social environment for those that enjoy being a part of a neighborhood community.
Best Luxury Neighborhoods in Fort Lauderdale
There are a variety of upscale neighborhoods throughout Fort Lauderdale. Typically buyers
choose their neighborhood based one of the following criteria:
Waterfront Homes & Condos
The four most prestigious waterfront communities in Fort Lauderdale are:
- Harbor Beach (see map)
Harbor Beach is one of the most luxurious neighborhoods of Fort Lauderdale and the perfect place for boaters and yachters to reside. This community is filled with upscale mansions, waterfront docks, and great views of the canals and Atlantic Ocean.
- Las Olas Isles (see map)
The isles located off Las Olas Blvd. are often referred to as the “Las Olas Isles.” However, there are seven separate neighborhoods that make up this area. This community consists of single-family waterfront homes but new construction and rebuilds in the recent years has further increased the prices and luxurious nature of these residences.
- Rio Vista (see map)
Rio Vista, or “River View” in Spanish is a boater’s dream. Its luxurious waterfront homes lie on the many isles that are connected to the New River Intracoastal waterway. Additionally, the ocean can be accessed quickly by those with boats or yachts.
- Coral Ridge (see map)
Coral Ridge is a unique neighborhood with a wide array of architectural home styles to choose from. As a result, these designs separate Coral Ridge from other communities that have a common “cookie-cutter” look. The neighborhood also has a myriad of golf course and waterfront residences.
Oceanfront Homes & Condos
Fort Lauderdale has two oceanfront neighborhoods:
- Fort Lauderdale Beach (see map)
Also known as “Central Beach,” Fort Lauderdale Beach is filled with condominiums, hotel condominiums, and townhouses. This community is an exciting place to be a part of as new developments are constantly being built and the area is on its way to being vastly transformed over the next decade.
- Galt Ocean (see map)
Also referred to as the “Gold Coast’ of Fort Lauderdale, Galt Ocean offers multi-unit residential structures that give residents direct beach access and the benefit of living in a resort-like atmosphere. The community is also only a few blocks away from popular shopping destinations in the county, such as the Galleria at Fort Lauderdale and the Coral Ridge Mall.
Fort Lauderdale has only one true gated community:
- Bay Colony (see map)
Bay Colony is a gated and upscale single family community with 24-hour security. The waterways are uniquely deep and wide, making it suitable for boaters with large yachts.
Communities close to Las Olas Blvd & Downtown
These communities have walkability to restaurants and shops:
- Colee Hammock (see map)
Colee Hammock consists of single family homes, townhouses, condominiums, and luxury condominiums. In addition, there are a number of differ home styles available such as contemporary, Art Deco, Mediterranean, Cape Code, Southern, and more. Colee Hammock also features a wide range of waterfront homes along the Tarpon River and New River or along one of the Intracoastal waterway canals.
- Victoria Park (see map)
Victoria Park neighborhood in Fort Lauderdale is the combination of quiet and eccentric. While it has quick access to Fort Lauderdale Beach and is only blocks from downtown, its waterfront ambience and captivating neighborhoods make it an unexpected peaceful hideaway.
A Perfect Day in Fort Lauderdale
To take full advantage of Fort Lauderdale, I recommend experiencing and doing things that make the city vibrant and unique.
Start off your day watching the sunrise as you walk along the public beachside boardwalk. After a quick dip in the ocean, head over to Coconut’s Waterfront Cafe for a taste of fresh Florida seafood. Local fisherman often bring their catch to this waterfront mainstay before heading back into port, making the selection at Coconut’s, and other Fort Lauderdale seafood restaurants, as fresh as possible.
After lunch, take a walk along the Riverfront and stop in the Fort Lauderdale Museum of Art, The Discovery Museum Of Science, or one of our historical museums depicting what life was like when the city was originally founded. If you are looking for something more active, take a bike ride along Fort Lauderdale’s boardwalk or try out one of the many attractions available for beachgoers. Parasailing, snorkeling, and even scuba diving are all available just along the beach block. Additionally, some of the best fishing charters and captains are ready at the bow to take you on your next trophy fishing expedition.
Before dinner take a stroll along Las Olas Blvd. where you can shop at one of the manygalleries, boutiques, or cafes. For dinner, I recommend grabbing a bite at one of the many restaurants lining the Blvd. Louis Bossi is a great Italian restaurant that is regarded as one of the best in South Florida and on par with fine Italian dining in New York and the Northeast. If you are in the mood for steak or seafood, head on over to Lobster Bar.
In the evening, you can watch a broadway show at the Performing Arts Center, or grab a drink at one of the trendy bars. YOLO and Rhythm And Vine are two great options that are filled with a great crowd of young professionals and vacationing partygoers.