Aerial View

Planning Your Trip

rcBreakText rcBreakWhiteText

Sunny days at the beach and evening cocktails cooled by an Atlantic breeze are nearly guaranteed experiences for every weekend getaway to Fort Lauderdale. Be sure to pack these commonly forgotten items.

Resort Pool
Resort Pool
What to Pack

If you are going to The Ritz-Carlton, Fort Lauderdale for business, the resort’s conference area has a one-of-a-kind terrace overlooking the Atlantic Ocean for outdoor cocktail parties and a grand ballroom with a stunning ocean-view foyer and a reception space that fits 520 guests.

Summer Escape

Summer days in Fort Lauderdale can get hot, but the cool breeze off the Atlantic will keep you from heading indoors. Bring these essentials to make the most of your time around the pool, on the beach or out in the big, wide ocean.

Women should bring an extra-long scarf that can work two shifts as a wrap skirt at the pool by day and a light shoulder cover-up at night.

Sturdy, waterproof sandals for every member of the family are a must-pack; you never know when you might want to swap beach days for boat days.

A waterproof beach bag (or pouch within) is vital to keep e-readers and tablets safe from unexpected ocean swells or rain showers.

Weekend Getaway

This fabulous corner of Florida is the perfect spot to spend a weekend exploring. The adorable boutiques and open-air cafés will be waiting with open arms. Here’s what to throw in your weekender bag.

Comfy tennis shoes for biking since #RCMemories bicycles are a part of your reservation and there are plenty of boutiques and restaurants to explore right outside the resort on Las Olas Boulevard.

Bring a lightweight tote that you can bring along on a bike excursion to carry your purchases — some boutiques offer discounts to shoppers who don’t ask for a bag.

Consider a mosquito-repellent scarf — companies like Ex Officio and Orvis offer stylish options, which are useful whenever you travel to warm climates.

Evening Chic

Hitting the town is an essential part of any South Florida vacation. The nightlife runs the gamut from 5-star restaurants to excellent music venues. Make sure you are part of the hip set by packing these essentials.

South Florida is known for its nightlife, but there’s no official dress code. For women, beach dresses and shorts can go from day to night with added accessories.

Wedge and platform sandals can do double duty at the pool during the day, then out on the dance floor after the sun sets.

If you’re a man packing a coat or fitted dress shirt for dinners out, know that Floridians love cuff links with personality, e.g., with a favorite sports team or band.

Burlock Coast
Burlock Coast
What to Reserve

An ocean-view dinner at Burlock Coast restaurant, a spa experience inspired by the sea and a private poolside cabana are among the must-reserve experiences for a romantic getaway in Fort Lauderdale.

Fresh snapper is a dish you cannot miss while in South Florida, and nowhere is it served fresher than at Burlock Coast. The restaurant is also revered for its inventive cocktail menu, which includes handcrafted options like the Mamajuana Old-Fashioned created with local orange bitters and honey and the Rita Lavender, which blends tequila, lime, Curaçao and house-made sea froth.

Bask in the best that Florida has to offer while also melting away your cares in The Ritz-Carlton Spa, a full-service experience that has sea salt wraps and citrus scrubs in addition to a marble steam room. One treatment that cannot be missed is the Cleansing Ceremony, in which spa technicians use detoxifying ingredients to stimulate circulation, help tone the skin and revitalize the mind.

The adorable local yellow Water Taxi lets you explore the best of Fort Lauderdale’s oceanfront. The boat stops at several locations on the Intracoastal Waterway like the gourmet coffee restaurant Bistro on the Beach, a favorite brunch spot for locals, and the Bonnet House Museum & Gardens, a 35-acre plantation-style home with exotic gardens that often hosts art exhibitions and musical performances. (One ticket per day per room is provided to the guests.)

Enjoy the ultimate in comfort and privacy while scoring some shade in an oceanfront cabana. Bring the experience to another level by booking the Natural Oasis Cabana package. The reservations include a fresh fruit display, a Cabana Captain who is always at your service, plenty of much-needed bottled water and a flat-screen TV so you can be entertained while you soak up the sun.

Ritz Carlton Hotel image
Ritz Carlton Hotel image

For a weekend getaway or an overdue escape with friends; Fort Lauderdale offers the ideal destination for sunshine, adventure and relaxation. The hotel’s experts have curated itineraries to help you make the most of your visit


Hit the Pool. The nautical design of The Ritz-Carlton, Fort Lauderdale — it resembles a cruise ship of sorts — celebrates water, and the seventh-floor, ocean-view pool deck is no exception. Take to the water early to watch the sunrise, then enjoy a mimosa from the Club Lounge.


Browse Bonnet House. This museum and garden was once home to American artist Fred Bartlett and his wife, patron Evelyn Bartlett. Tucked into 35 acres on a coastal barrier island, the property retains the same whimsy and charm it had when it was built in the early 20th century. In addition to being open for public tours, the property also hosts outdoor concerts and an annual orchid festival.

Lunch at a Local Favorite. Some of the reviews for Gilbert’s 17th Street Grill read like this: “The 17th Street Grill made me the best hamburger I’ve ever eaten in my life” and “All I can say is, ‘Wow.’ Perhaps the best burger I’ve had in years.” You get the idea. This lunch spot is a favorite among Fort Lauderdale residents and visitors alike.


Hail a Water Taxi. Given Fort Lauderdale’s location right on the water, a water taxi is a great way to get a feel for the city. With stops along Las Olas Riverfront, the (reportedly) haunted Stranahan House, the 15th Street Fisheries and a handful of bars and restaurants, a coastal cab affords you a lot of scenery in a little time.

Get an Afternoon Pick-Me-Up. Should you need a light bite or an iced coffee, try Warsaw Coffee Company. This Fort Lauderdale favorite specializes in delicious daily sweets (try the guava and cheese pastelito), as well as freshly brewed coffee and tea.


Rum Coast. Return to The Ritz-Carlton, Fort Lauderdale for a signature rum dinner at Burlock Coast, where multi-course dinners paired with specialty rums are a wonderful way to end the day. Chef de Cuisine Gavin Pera and Beverage Director James Camp have carefully collaborated on a menu of fresh, local, seasonal fare paired with sensational rums.

Have a Nightcap. Wrap up your day at Apothecary 330 Cocktail Club, where the motto is Carpe Noctum. At this speakeasy-style bar, tucked inside Pizza Craft restaurant, bartenders create custom cocktails and only ask one thing: “Please be patient. Quality cocktails take time and love.”


Load Up. At Old Fort Lauderdale Breakfast House (O-B House, for short), the servings are plentiful, the space is airy, and the food is top-notch. Consider the “vacationer” breakfast: two fresh eggs cooked to order and served with a freshly baked muffin and a cup of fresh fruit topped with a dollop of cultured, organic Vermont yogurt.

Watch for Gators. No trip to South Florida would be complete without a trip to the Everglades, and an airboat tour makes that possible. Hourlong tours are inexpensive and accessible and include hotel pickup and return.


Get Beachy. Known for its expanses of pristine sand, Fort Lauderdale has more than eight beaches to explore. Consider Hollywood Beach for a dose of retro cool. Its boardwalk runs 2.5 miles along the water and includes cafés, a dog beach, shops and more.


Walk the Boulevard. Although the water taxi makes a stop along Las Olas Boulevard, there’s no better way to explore it than on foot. As it runs from the business district to Fort Lauderdale Beach, this road is packed with shops, galleries, restaurants, boutiques and Mediterranean-inspired architecture.

Time Out. Traveling can be exhausting — we understand. Return to The Ritz-Carlton, Fort Lauderdale and relax at The Ritz-Carlton Spa, Fort Lauderdale. Opt for the Intuitive Ocean treatment, which harnesses the benefits of the ocean to nurture and relax.


Have a Mai-Tai. Fort Lauderdale’s Mai-Kai restaurant is considered a landmark, both for its décor and its cuisine. Plus, it’s home to a Polynesian floor show that garners rave reviews. The extensive menu includes Chinese dishes as well as island-inspired barbecue. For dessert, try the Florida classic Key lime pie or the Polynesian Surprise, an ice volcano covered in fresh tropical fruit and set ablaze tableside.

A Final Toast. At American Social, people are encouraged to celebrate together — whether it’s a vacation, a birthday, an engagement or retirement. This gastropub features “pull your own” beer taps and is a great place to say salud to South Florida.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.