The town of North Lauderdale lies just inland of the Atlantic Ocean on Florida’s east coast and was incorporated in 1963.
The city is well known for its holiday festivals that are held every year on Halloween and Christmas.
The North Lauderdale Days celebration is also a perennial crowd pleaser and includes free city pool access, lots of fun, food, and family-friendly activities, and is capped off with a world-class fireworks display.
The city’s central location gives visitors access to a variety of big-city attractions, but also many of the region’s natural and historical sites as well.
Below are 14 things to do in and around North Lauderdale, Florida.
1. Flanigan’s Seafood Bar and Grill
South Florida is known for lots of things, but its laidback vibe and tasty seafood are two that most visitors are anxious to take advantage of.
Flanigan’s Seafood Bar and Grill on North State Road 7 in North Lauderdale is an area favorite that’s known for its ample portions, relaxed atmosphere, and full bar.
Due to its popularity, it’s not uncommon to have to wait for a table to open up, but most guests choose to order a drink at the bar.
For the rare traveler who’d rather stay away from seafood, Flanigan’s also offers non-seafood dishes like ribs, burgers, and a variety of pasta.
2. Hampton Park
Comprised of more than 30 acres in the middle of town, North Lauderdale’s Hampton Park is an easily accessible natural oasis that’s perfect for those who’d like to enjoy nature without spending hours in the car.
The park includes a central lake with two-person paddleboats that are inexpensive to rent; there is more than one playground area as well.
For those looking for a venue for a special outing, like a birthday party or family reunion, there are covered seating areas available to rent as well; though they book quickly during peak times, the park is big enough for those looking for some peace and quiet to find a secluded area.
3. Oriole Golf Club
Located on Margate Boulevard in nearby Margate, the Oriole Golf Club has been open for more than 40 years and is known as a good bang for the buck by those who want to hit the links without dipping into their kids’ college funds.
The club is semi-private but open to the public, which means that during peak times, members get preference when tee times are hard to come by.
Greens fees are the least expensive during the broiling summer months, so if that is when you’ll be visiting, you’ll be glad to know that rates include the use of a cart.
4. Las Olas Boulevard
Las Olas Boulevard is Fort Lauderdale’s trendiest stretch of pavement and winds its way through the city’s historic downtown and business districts.
It’s a popular destination for those looking to do a little shopping in the swanky boutique shops or want to check out some art in the area’s many galleries.
Keep in mind that it’s a pricier area than most others, but with a little legwork, it’s possible to find reasonably priced shops and eateries. If not, it’s still a great place for a morning or afternoon walk.
For festival lovers, there are annual art, food, and wine festivals too.
5. Fort Lauderdale Beach Park
Located along Seabreeze Boulevard in Fort Lauderdale, Fort Lauderdale Beach Park is as scenic and clean a stretch of beach as you’ll find anywhere on the Atlantic coast.
Though the vast stretches of sand are the park’s main attraction, there are also basketball and volleyball courts, a playground, and covered seating areas with built-in barbecue grills.
For early birds who would like a serene swim or walk along the beach before most tourists are out of bed, the park opens at 5 AM, and generally, crowds don’t start arriving until mid-morning.
There are plentiful restroom facilities and outdoor showers.
6. Fort Lauderdale Historical Society & Museum
Located on Southwest Second Avenue in Fort Lauderdale, the Fort Lauderdale Historical Society and Museum are dedicated to preserving and promoting the area’s interesting history.
The society and museum are housed in a historic building that’s located in the city’s Old Village and Riverwalk areas.
In addition to their permanent exhibits, the museum’s staff offer a variety of educational and instructional programs throughout the year. If you happen to be visiting between October and May, you’ll have access to guided walking tours that are offered on the first Sunday of the month.
The area includes a library, gift shop, and other historic buildings as well.
7. Everglades Holiday Park
For its sheer number of activity options, Everglades Holiday Park is one of South Florida’s most popular vacation destinations.
Holiday Park is part zoo, part theme park, and part archaeological site, and most families who visit consider it one of the standouts from their trip.
Gator shows and airboat tours are among the most popular activities, but the park also features a variety of live entertainment, educational programs, and even world-class largemouth bass fishing.
It definitely isn’t the cheapest attraction in the area and can get downright crowded at times, but with all there is to see and do, you’ll likely find it a great value.
8. Parker Playhouse
Community theaters and playhouses are often overlooked gems that should be taken advantage of when visiting a new area.
Located in Fort Lauderdale’s popular and trendy Riverwalk district, Parker Playhouse has been a staple of the city’s cultural community for nearly five decades.
From Broadway-style plays and stand-up comics to orchestras and educational programs designed for the community at large, there’s nearly always something going on at the Parker Playhouse. The best way to keep up to date is to check the calendar of events section of their website periodically.
The playhouse is located on Southwest 5th Avenue in Fort Lauderdale.
9. Bluefoot Pirate Adventures
Though the waters off Florida’s vast coastline were once home to roving bands of pirates, those days are long gone; but it is still possible to get a taste of pirate culture at Bluefoot Pirate Adventures on Seabreeze Boulevard in Fort Lauderdale.
Think of it as a Medieval Times but with the knights and wenches replaced with swashbuckling pirates and toothless sailors with eye patches and hooks for hands.
Bluefoot Pirate Adventures take place on cruises along the Intracoastal Waterway and generally last about 90 minutes.
Activities include treasure hunts, historical reenactments, and water cannon battles.
10. Boca Raton History Museum
Known for its towering gold dome, the Boca Raton History Museum is an easily recognized icon on North Federal Highway.
The dome sits atop the city’s historic Town Hall which was built in the ‘20s. Now, it’s a museum dedicated to preserving Boca’s history that stretches back centuries more than all other cities in the area.
Forty-minute guided tours are available which include the museum’s permanent exhibits and other significant historic buildings adjacent to the museum.
For those who aren’t quite ready to hit the road after a guided tour, it’s possible to book tours of other Boca historic sites from the museum, so ask staff when they’re available.
11. Boca Raton Museum of Art
Located in Boca Raton’s popular Mizner Park, the Boca Raton Museum of Art is one of South Florida’s cultural and artistic icons, and their permanent collection includes nearly 5,000 works of art.
A good portion of the museum’s permanent exhibits are comprised of contemporary art in a variety of mediums. They also host several temporary exhibitions from other institutions throughout the year.
Lectures, art-related films, educational and instructional programs, and lectures are available too, so the museum is the kind of place that many art lovers spend a significant amount of their time while in the area.
12. 26° Brewing Company
After a long day on your feet in the sweltering Florida sun, there’s no better way to kick back and relax than with a cold beer or two.
Located on East Atlantic Boulevard in Pompano Beach, 26° Brewing Company is known for their wide variety of craft brewed beers that come in an array of distinct flavor profiles.
The brewing company is also home to a number of local food trucks that serve up tasty and reasonably priced fare; many of them have international influences.
Live music and holiday festivities are big too, and it’s okay to bring your dog.
13. Daggerwing Nature Center
Daggerwing Nature Center is a favorite attraction for families with animal and outdoor loving children.
Located on Park Access Road in Boca Raton, in addition to its outdoor trails and varied habitats, the center includes a large exhibit hall that’s part classroom, part laboratory, and part interactive museum.
The outdoor portions of the facility are easily explored by ground-level trails and elevated boardwalks. It’s common to see gators, snakes, turtles, and a variety of wading and predatory birds too.
The trails are open from sunrise to sunset, and the exhibit center is open from Wednesday until Saturday, so check online before making the trip.
14. Hillsboro Inlet Lighthouse
Hillsboro Inlet Lighthouse was constructed on its current site in 1907, but its parts were built thousands of miles away in Michigan, then shipped to Florida and assembled.
The lighthouse’s beacon-producing lens was built in France, making it a uniquely Florida attraction with both national and international significance.
Guided tours of the facility are available on Saturdays and Sundays, and for those who’d rather see things for themselves, the lighthouse is open on Sundays, Tuesdays, and Thursdays.
The ferry to the lighthouse departs form Alsdorf Dock, and it’s possible to climb to the top, but for safety reasons, you’ll need to wear close-toed shoes.