When we talk about romantic destinations, it is impossible not to think of Venice; water, gondolas, striking architecture, and a romantic atmosphere.

Well, let me tell you something, if you mix all that with a tropical scene and a couple of captivating attractions, the result is: Fort Lauderdale…

There’s a reason it’s called “The Venice of America”.

If you’ve ever visited this striking location, you’ll know all the marvels it hides among its premises. If you haven’t, you must know that in between the elite shopping, gourmet dining, and relaxing beaches in Fort Lauderdale, there are so many romantic things to do in Fort Lauderdale that you and your sweetheart will want to stay forever.

Whether your ideal date includes long walks on the beach, low-lit dinner, a slow boat ride (gondola) or enjoying a night at the theatre, Fort Lauderdale has everything for every taste.

Where to take a date in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, USA

A Gondola ride

Gondola Ride, Fort Lauderdale, floridaOne of my favourites and one of the most iconic romantic rides, both in Venice and Fort Lauderdale, is the Gondola.

Some would think, “Wait! There are gondolas in Fort Lauderdale?”

Well, yes! There are many agencies that will take you into the most fascinating experience you can think of along the countless Intracoastal Waterway canals Fort Lauderdale hosts.

Imagine gently gliding past tropical foliage by your special someone’s side, while you listen to the sound of the water and the warm tropical breezes caress your skin… There’s definitely nothing like it!

You can embark one of these fantastic rides in many sites. Las Olas Gondola, for example, is a 15-year-old company offering ideal romantic excursions in Fort Lauderdale.

75 minutes of an unforgettable ride while you listen to low music and your gondolier paddles behind you. They also offer packages that include champagne and ice and even a message in a bottle and a rose for surprising your love.

They are located in downtown Fort Lauderdale at the end of SE 1st Avenue, at the base of the Las Olas River House, the tallest icon of Fort Lauderdale.

Gondolas West is also a great choice specially for those who are environmentally-conscious. Their boats are emissions-free and totally silent. They can carry up to six people with plenty of comfortable seating space and even a centered table with cup-holders.

The company offers two-hour tours, perfect for enjoying wildlife and also learn about the area’s history. They offer complimentary water and soda during the trip. They are located at 801 Seabreeze Blvd.

The third option I’d like to give you is Riverfront Gondola Tours, another environmentally-conscious company offering 1 ½ hour tours along the glistening waters where you can enjoy breathtaking views of waterfront homes, large yachts, and native wildlife.

Riverfront Gondola Tours operates with electric boats holding up to six people. If you want the boat for yourself, you can ask for the exclusive tour. They offer complimentary cold water and tableware and incredible seasonal offerings.

A lovely dinner on Las Olas Boulevard

Las Olas Boulevard - Fort lauderdale, florida

Las Olas Boulevard

Las Olas Boulevard is known for being one of the most iconic Fort Lauderdale areas not only for its one-of-a-kind shops, unique galleries, trendy boutiques, and busy nightclubs, but because of its elite restaurants.

What could be better for you and that special someone other than spending a night of candlelight wining and dining with romantic music while you enjoy breathtaking sunsets and Mediterranean architecture views? Hardly nothing!

TIP:  If you are fond of gastronomy, plan your trip for the fall. From 1 October to 6 November where Dine Out Lauderdale takes place, a variety of local restaurants offer massive discounts when chefs open its doors to offer its culinary creations and the best wines at very cheap prices.

Take a look at these fancy options:

Located in the heart of Ft. Lauderdale, Good Spirits Restaurant flashes back to the mid-century era, a time in which style and glamour lived alongside effortless elegance.

Good Spirits Restaurant is a creation of Frank Zaffere, a thirty-year restaurateur who devotedly ensures that every dish and every cocktail served has been crafted to introduce yesterday’s lifestyle to today’s generation; a place to enjoy over and over again.

Doc B’s Restaurant + Bar is set in a comfortable and inviting atmosphere at 452 N Federal Highway and it incorporates the highest quality ingredients to its menu which includes a variety of entree-sized salads, very special entrees, crave-worthy burgers and sandwiches, indulgent desserts and so much more.  They also delight its diners with an extensive craft beer, wine and spirits selection in addition to signature cocktails.

Another great option is The Terrace Grill at 299 N Federal HWY, where you will be able to enjoy American-/ Italian-inspired cuisine while you delight with a starry night view. With a savvy setting design, the restaurant wisely makes use of its space to offer diners a huge bar where they can taste some of the most refreshing cocktails and wines. 

Remember, these restaurants can be a considerable distance from each other so if you want to make the transportation process simple you might want to make your car rental booking in advance!

A night at the theatre

The Classic Gateway Theater - Fort Lauderdale, florida

The Classic Gateway Theatre

This is a classic. Watching a film holding hands with your boo with low lighting and snacking on treats is a must if you’re thinking of a romantic night out.

Whether you choose an indie movie, a classic film, or a romantic comedy, enjoying a good movie is the perfect chance to spend time with your special someone.

Here are some of my favourite theatres in Fort Lauderdale:     

The Classic Gateway, an old-fashioned theatre located at 1820 E Sunrise Blvd. This is a true jewel of the old days, opened since 1951, with an expansive lobby, a sit-down café and the smell of the world’s best popcorns.

They play anything from regular movies, to special events such as indie & LGBT film festivals.  

A movie theatre and restaurant rolled into one! That’s what AMC Dine-In theatres are. If you have issues deciding whether to eat out or watching a movie, this is your solution. AMC Dine-In theatres offer you a fresh, hand-crafted menu for you to enjoy your movie while you delight with the best flavours and drinks – definitely, a one-of-a-kind experience. They are located at 3401 NE 26th Ave in Coral Ridge 10.

If you are into technology, The AutoNation IMAX 3D Theatre experience is something you won’t forget. This is the only place in Florida to offer 2D and 3D movies using the new IMAX with Laser system, one of the most extraordinary theatre experiences in the world.

The cinemas come with a six-story-high screen, measuring 60 ft. high x 80 ft. wide and a unique theatre geometry – stadium seating! The AutoNation IMAX 3D Theatre is located at 401 SW 2nd Street, Fort Lauderdale.

A date on the beach

Of course, we could not miss the beach.

If you are in Fort Lauderdale with your boo, one of the things you cannot leave aside is visiting its beaches. Breathtaking sunsets, warm breezes, blue waters and tall palm threes make the perfect scenario for a romantic date.

Although all beaches here have the Blue Wave certification for being considered clean, free of contaminants and safe for swimming, Fort Lauderdale Beach is one of my favourites.

Here, you can stroll along the award-winning wave wall and splendid, palm-lined promenade while enjoying the unique buzz in the air. Plus, if you want to try something other than walking, you’ll also have the chance to swim, jet ski, snorkel and dive in the exceptionally clear waters.

Deerfield Beach Pier - Fort Lauderdale, florida

Deerfield Beach Pier

Another beautiful option is the Deerfield Beach Pier. Walk all the way down to the end of the pier with a snack and drink and enjoy the magnificent views this spot provides all day long.

You can take the most amazing photos of the sunset from here and you can even arrange individual, private, or group fishing lessons. They provide rod, bait, and tackle to each participant.

And last but not least is the Hollywood Boardwalk. Known as Florida’s best beach boardwalk, this will be a regal experience.

Apart from its pristine waters and white sand, you can enjoy views of the Atlantic Ocean on one side and a row of resorts like Diplomat Resort & Spa Hollywood, Trump Hollywood, and Margaritaville Hollywood Beach Resort on the other.

Lining the boardwalk, you’ll find an excellent choice of restaurants and cafes, where you will be delighted with exotic dishes such as the delicious Peruvian ceviche. 

You must bear in mind that although Fort Lauderdale is not what I would call a “big city”, public transportation might not be the ideal way of moving around when love is in the air.

A great idea to savour the romantic ambience at its most is by booking a car rental in Fort Lauderdale so you can avoid all those totally non-glamorous setbacks of taking a bus, a trolley or even a taxi. Besides, it will be way less expensive at the end.

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Isabel Leong

Isabel Leong

An explorer at heart, the world is Isabel's playground. She enjoys seizing every moment exploring every hideout and doing the unimaginable, like bungee jumping in Phuket and couchsurfing in Europe. If she had wings, she’d definitely be soaring right now. Also a fitness trainer, if she’s not at the gym, you can find her doing yoga or rock climbing! Read more about her on belaroundtheworld.com/about.