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Cruising Article –05/25/2011

Family fun in Fort Lauderdale, Florida

Caribbean cruise destinations

Fort Lauderdale is one of the most family-friendly destinations in South Florida, making it top spot to visit for parents taking their children on a Caribbean cruise.

One of the biggest reasons that Fort Lauderdale is such a great place for families is the amazing natural landscape that surrounds the city. The Everglades are a vast natural wetland, earning a designation as a UNESCO World Heritage Site for its unique ecosystem and amazing biodiversity. When you visit this epic stretch of water and grass on a thrilling airboat ride, you can see many different endangered species that make their home in the swamp. Another great natural attraction is the Flamingo Gardens and Wildlife Sanctuary. This 60-acre reserve offers tram rides around its property, giving you the opportunity to spot many different exotic plants and free-range flamingos and other birds.

Many families visiting Fort Lauderdale love having some aquatic fun. Within the city limits, you will find seven miles of spectacular white sand beaches, where you can splash in the waves, go jet-skiing or just lie out in the sun. Meanwhile, 20 miles to the south, you can spend a day at Miami's legendary South Beach. If you're interested in going boating, take a ride on the Intracoastal Waterway, a series of more than 300 miles of inland canals that run past some of the area's most beautiful estates.

To better understand the culture of Fort Lauderdale, you can visit Bonnet House, a 35-acre property that now serves as a museum to educate visitors about the area's history and ecosystem. When you want to pick up a souvenir of your trip, you won't want to miss Las Olas Boulevard, a trendy street with lots of art galleries and boutiques, and Sawgrass Mills, one of South Florida's biggest shopping centers.