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Friends Getaway

White-sand beaches, countless bars and restaurants, and plenty of outdoor activities make Fort Lauderdale a great place for anyone to visit. But when it comes to traveling with friends, this South Florida destination is a particular draw. Boat tours, museums, shopping, spas and sunshine allow you and your friends to find something that appeals to everyone. Whether you’re renting a stand-up paddle board for the morning or getting lost in a butterfly garden, Fort Lauderdale is an explorer’s paradise.

Day

1

MORNING
  • Perk Up on the Patio.

    Located just steps from the beach, Burlock Coast Marketplace provides the perfect place to fuel up. With local selections like Panther Coffee and Zak the Baker’s freshly baked bread, you’ll be ready to take on the day.

  • Find Your Sea Legs.

    Whether you and your friends hope to rent a 21-foot boat for water-skiing or a 26-foot sun deck for cruising, Best Boat Club has plenty of options. Located at Bahia Mar Yachting Center, the club also rents paddle boards, bicycles and kayaks and can help you schedule a chartered fishing or snorkeling tour.

AFTERNOON
  • Hit the Beach.

    Start a beach volleyball game or simply sit back, read and enjoy the view on Fort Lauderdale Beach. Miles of white sand, palm trees and a brick-lined, beachfront promenade have transformed this beach from a college hangout to a major draw for travelers hoping to sun in style.

EVENING
  • Fresh Fare.

    Return to The Ritz-Carlton, Fort Lauderdale for dinner at Burlock Coast, where seafood and spirits are a wonderful way to end the day. Helmed by Brazilian chef Paula DaSilva, Burlock Coast features fresh, locally caught fish and shellfish, surf-and-turf options and a variety of raw bar offerings and savory sides. Say good night after a handcrafted cocktail or a glass of one of dozens of available wines.

Day

2

MORNING
  • Recharge at the Spa.

    Start your day with a trip to The Ritz-Carlton Spa, Fort Lauderdale, where several invigorating treatments await you and your friends. Try the Cleansing Ceremony, an 80-minute exfoliation treatment followed by a toxin-releasing massage. Several additional balancing treatments are also available.

  • Get Juiced.

    Keep your Zen morning in motion with a visit to Burlock Coast for a freshly made juice, the perfect post-spa pick-me-up.

AFTERNOON
  • Hit the Beach.

    Widely considered the best way to see the city, the Fort Lauderdale Water Taxi might be the prettiest cab ride you’ll ever take. Part tour, part transportation, you’ll be afforded the best views of the city while enjoying stops at local favorites like the Las Olas Riverfront. Ask the concierge at The Ritz-Carlton, Fort Lauderdale for assistance with booking your tour.

EVENING
  • Eat Local.

    No visit to Fort Lauderdale would be complete without a sampling of fresh seafood — and that’s what Boatyard is known for. Enjoy a dynamic variety of the freshest daily catches from local fishermen, like the Florida Paella and Snapper Provencal.

  • Drink Local.

    The Elbo Room Dive Bar touts itself as being world famous — and for good reason. This Fort Lauderdale mainstay has been around since 1938 and became even more popular when it was featured in the 1960 film “Where the Boys Are.” Now, it’s a draw for locals and visitors who love music, inexpensive drinks and a bit of, well, flair. Just remember: “dive bar” is in the name, and this destination accepts cash only.

Day

3

MORNING
  • Become Art-Iculate.

    The NSU Art Museum Fort Lauderdale is situated in a modernist, 75,000-square-foot building designed by Edward Larrabee Barnes. And its collection is nothing short of exceptional. From Andy Warhol and Frida Kahlo paintings to the creations of countless masters of photography and sculpture, it contains more than 7,000 pieces. Among them are the works and archival pieces of famed American painter William J. Glackens.

AFTERNOON
  • Cruise Around.

    Go ahead, laugh a little — Segways do look a bit strange. But given Fort Lauderdale’s layout, they’re a great way to explore the city. Young Jon Rosen founded Segway Fort Lauderdale as a way to honor his late father. Now, it’s one of the biggest tourist attractions in town, guiding visitors on tours of yachts and mansions, the riverwalk, or a full 10-mile stretch of the city.

  • Retail Therapy.

    For some of the best shopping in town, take a stroll down Los Olas Boulevard, where hip boutiques and art galleries are nestled next to charming restaurants and sidewalk cafes.

EVENING
  • Toast to the Trip.

    Enjoy fresh sushi and inventive salads paired with creative cocktails at Grille 401 on Las Olas. You can’t go wrong with classics like a margarita or mojito, but more adventurous sippers may want to try the Gimme a Beet — beet-infused Grey Goose vodka, pineapple juice and fresh squeezed lemon.