I don’t typically gravitate to solo travel but the summer in Toronto has not been the best this year. So in a spur of a moment I picked a warm place nearby and booked a 2 night, 3 day vacation in Fort Lauderdale by the Sea. This was my first time in Florida so I had no expectations and for some reason, most people were slightly puzzled by my choice. But I’ve heard good things.
Here in this little corner of Florida everything was perfectly suiting to what I was looking for: a relaxing weekend in the sun and some great seafood. Outside of Fort Lauderdale by the Sea, things seemed to be different: the resorts are bigger, the streets are busier, there are way more cars on the roads, and the restaurants are way emptier. But here, the sand was soft and buttery, a gentle breeze was a welcome break from the heat, and the nights were dark and quiet. Perfect for a quick solo getaway.
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Some of my favourite things from that weekend
In full transparency, I did very little research on the hotel or the area. It was a spur-of-the-moment decision and this place seemed nice. It turned out to be wonderful and in a great location which really made the weekend an amazing one. Read more about the hotel here.
At the entrance it’s a divey outdoor bar with live music (the singer takes requests ) and a basic drink selection. Past the bar is the entrance to the fisherman’s boardwalk which you can explore at the low cost of $2. The boardwalk is very colorful, offers a great view on the beach, and is a nice place to sit back for a bit.
Surrounded by a mix of bars and restaurants this area is also an entrance to a public beach, decorated with all sorts of sea-themed items from benches to lighting. Aruba cafe, located a few short steps from the Pier, seems to be a popular destination. With its wide selection of seafood items and mixed cocktails, it draws in a lot of locals and tourists alike. I spent a solid couple of hours on their patio enjoying the sun, people-watching, and splurging on a Cold Seafood Sampler Platter (worth every penny).
As a couple sitting next to me at a bar the night before called it, this restaurant is a “real fancy place mama.” Open for dinner and lunch it feels a bit like a private club. The restaurant is quite beautiful in the traditional upscale way, has a lovely enclosed patio, and is surrounded by oversized tropical plants which offer a nice outlook on the water. The staff is friendly and the menu is fantastic: cold water oysters, fresh crab and lobster, and every other staple dish you might be in the mood for.
An area is a popular place for turtles to nest so the beach gets really dark at night. With the sand being at bearable temperature after sunset this is a perfect environment to sit back and relax looking up at the starry sky. Call me corny but it’s a great way to end the day.
Note: August sun in Florida is not kind, you will need sunblock. Let’s just say I went from eggshell white to a trendy burgundy in less than 4 hours, with SPF on and all. In the sun’s defense, I did fall asleep on my belly in the peek afternoon sun.