The No-Nonsense Guide to Moving to Fort Lauderdale
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.
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 is less congested than its larger counterpart, Miami International. 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 St during weekends and major holidays, as beach traffic can be an issue.
Moving Companies, Storage & Marina Facilities
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. (www.robovault.com) 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 option dry storage option is harbortownmarina.com 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 boats and 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 boasts 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 host to community events for boaters and non-boaters alike.
What’s Fort Lauderdale Like?
Fort Lauderdale has always been known as a smaller city famous for it’s 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 it’s 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 perfect 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 luke 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. Young professionals 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. Condos provide a low maintenance option and a social environment for those that enjoy being a part of a neighborhood community.
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
- Las Olas Isles
- Rio Vista
- Coral Ridge
Oceanfront Homes & Condos
Fort Lauderdale has two oceanfront neighborhoods:
- Fort Lauderdale Beach
- Galt Ocean
Fort Lauderdale has only one true gated community:
- Bay Colony
Communities close to Las Olas Blvd & Downtown
These communities have walkability to restaurants and shops:
- Colee Hammock
- Victoria Park
A Perfect Day in Fort Lauderdale
To take full advantage of Fort Lauderdale, I recommend experiencing and doing things that make Fort Lauderdale 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 a 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 many galleries, 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.