5 Travel tips for attending the Fort Lauderdale Boat Show 2017

Best restaurants to visit during FLIBS

Fort Lauderdale is making a name for itself as a foodie destination, thanks to a tempting mix of new and tried-and-tested eateries. No matter what you are in the mood for during the Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show (FLIBS) there are plenty of options available.

Dedicated to serving only “clean, fresh food with an emphasis on flavour,” Market 17 Farm Fresh Restaurant and Bar has quickly become popular. The wine country-inspired menu changes daily, the dessert and cocktail menus are updated seasonally and the wine list is extensive.

For the meat lover, there’s nothing like an evening at the Brazilian steakhouse Chima. Waiters walk around doling out fine rotisserie cuts of beef, lamb and chicken, and there’s also an ample salad bar serving up far more than just salad.

Lest we forget a lunch spot on this list, Coco’s Asian Bistro & Bar is the ideal place to break away for a lunch meeting during FLIBS (but equally good for happy hour and dinner). Try a bento box or its to-die-for pad thai.

Maybe it’s the New York influence on South Florida, but Fort Lauderdale is blessed with many excellent New York-style Italian eateries. Enjoy the old school appeal, excellent service and big servings at the classic Anthony’s Runway 84. Head over to the exclusive Café Martorano for pumping beats, an ever-changing menu and lively chef Al Hilarcik’s sumptuous 'Chicken Al'. For a more romantic evening, Valentino’s Cucina Italiana serves up gourmet Italian in an elegant atmosphere.

Picture courtesy of Valentino’s Cucina Italiana

Best spas to visit during FLIBS

There’s no better way to cure sore feet and a busy mind after the Fort Lauderdale boat show than taking time to visit one of these stellar spas.

The elegant and modern Elizabeth Arden Red Door Spa, in the Galleria Mall, has a long menu offering everything from deluxe massage therapies and make-up services to a full-service hair salon.

A local’s favorite, the Arabian-themed Casbah Spa & Salon pampers with sumptuous massages, a variety of pedicures (from soothing lavender to reflexology raindrop) and hair and skin care services.

The 8,500-square foot Ritz-Carlton Spa offers true luxury in 11 treatment rooms, with services also available on the hotel’s tropical pool deck. The spa offers seasonal pairings of facials, massages and body treatments.

PIcture courtesy of  Vector Lifestylepic/Shutterstock.com

The best beach bars to visit during FLIBS

The 1960 film Where the Boys Are put Fort Lauderdale and its beautiful beach on the map. Perhaps the best way to enjoy this sparkling shore after a long day at the Fort Lauderdale boat show is while sipping a drink at one of its iconic yachtie watering holes.

For a luxurious take on the beach bar, head to the Pool Bar on the fifth floor Ocean Terrace at the Atlantic Hotel. Delicious fresh fruit cocktails and light fare is served on the pool deck, which boasts stunning views of the beach below. It’s the ideal place to feel part of the beach scene without getting sandy.

Set in a restored historical home across from the beach, Casablanca Café is favoured by locals for its Mediterranean-inspired menu, but also for its commanding beach views (pictured) and relaxing ambience. The drinks menu is about as engaging as the food, and Casablanca’s patio is the ideal place to unwind after a long day at the show or before a night out on the town.

Picture courtesy of  Casablanca Café/Shutterstock.com

The best sights to see during FLIBS

If you have some time before or after the Fort Lauderdale boat show then there are plenty of sights to take in and enjoy.

The historic Bonnet House Museum & Gardens makes a wonderful place to tour during the day, taking in the beautiful gardens, home and art collection. Due to the threat of development thanks to its prime location on Fort Lauderdale beach, Bonnet House was listed by the National Trust and the Florida Trust for Historic Preservation as one of America’s 11 most endangered sites in 2008.

No trip to Florida is complete without a tour of the ancient Everglades. For a truly Old Florida experience, avoid the crowds and rent your own private airboat – complete with captain and guide – and take the family on an adventure not soon to be forgotten.

It’s easy to see how Fort Lauderdale earned its nickname “Venice of the Americas” once you see the miles of waterways that crisscross the town. There’s no better way to see Fort Lauderdale than from the water – take the tender out for an Intracoastal cruise (and on the myriad connecting waterways), or be a tourist for the day and jump on the popular Water Taxi.

One of Fort Lauderdale’s oldest attractions, the Polynesian-themed Mai-Kai has a Polynesian Islander Revue that fascinates audiences with traditional dances and fire-throwing shows on stage.

Picture courtesy of Holbox/Shutterstock.com

The best luxury hotels to stay at during FLIBS

In recent years, Fort Lauderdale has shed its spring break image as a slew of luxurious hotels have popped along its shores. If you are looking for good night's sleep during the Fort Lauderdale boat show check in to one of these hotels.

The Ritz-Carlton, Fort Lauderdale is modelled after ocean liners of a bygone era. The name Ritz simply exudes luxury, and this location doesn’t disappoint with fabulous beach views from the tropical pool deck, a swanky wine room, opulent suites, a spa and delectable dining in its Prohibition-inspired Burlock Coast 'restaurant-café-market-bar'.

Modern and sophisticated, the W Hotel stole the limelight when it opened on Fort Lauderdale beach, attracting visitors with its chic pool area, plush accommodations, and cool lounges and restaurants.

The Fort Lauderdale Harbor Beach Resort & Spa by Marriott offers a true resort feel set right in the sand on the southern end of the beach. Completing a $50 million renovation last year, this child-friendly resort offers upgraded spa, dining and entertainment facilities and comfortable accommodations.

Picture courtesy of W/Facebook.com

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