Located just an hour north of the glitz and glamour of Miami, Fort Lauderdale is a little more subdued and a lot more diverse. This ocean-front community is filled with artists, beautiful homes, waterways, great restaurants and miles of beautiful beaches framed by a picturesque serpentine wall. Fort Lauderdale is a wonderful place for a vacation and a great place to call home!
If you are thinking about moving to Fort Lauderdale, you likely already know about the area’s tropical climate- sunny, warm weather with frequent, brief bursts of rain. Likewise, you are probably familiar with the sandy beaches and throngs of smiling tourists. You may be looking forward to lazing away the days fishing, sunbathing and swimming, and if you’re more of an adventurer perhaps kayaking or snorkeling too. These are all fabulous draws to the region, but there is much more to this thriving not-so-little town of 167,000.
Is Fort Lauderdale a good place to live in for you? Here’s what you need to know to in order to determine.
Fort Lauderdale embraces its ocean and river heritage
In fact, nearly 40,000 residents live aboard their yachts. The 162 bridges and nearly 500 miles of waterways have rightfully earned Ft. Lauderdale its nickname, “Venice of America.” Besides the obvious perks of sailing and other watersports, the city’s waterfront bars and water taxis have birthed Fort Lauderdale’s unique form of entertainment- the waterway bar crawl.
The city has a place that’s right for you
Fort Lauderdale is a colorful cross between a yacht capital/beach town, and a hip, urban mini-metropolitan. It merges all these personas seamlessly to create a truly unique vibe. Finding the right neighborhood might take some time, as the city has a wide variety of neighborhoods and quite steep rents in most. Some of the best places to live in Fort Lauderdale include Victoria Park, Rio Vista, Sailboat Bend and the Isles.
Artists flock to Ft. Lauderdale
Whereas many other cities’ arts districts lose their flair for commercialized restaurants and bars and overpriced “boutique” retail hotspots, Fort Lauderdale’s FAT Village and MASS district are still very much a sanctuary for creativity. These districts’ lofts and studios house innovative artists, whom you can meet at the monthly Art Walk events organized in the neighborhoods.
There is no shortage of impressive restaurants
Whether your pleasure is people-watching and open-air dining on Las Olas Boulevard, a crowded Beach Place restaurant, or an old-Florida style seafood place, you will find something that you love. Fort Lauderdale’s dining scene is taking giant forward leaps as far as sophistication goes, and is starting to give Miami a run for its money.
It’s a health-conscious community
Many Fort Lauderdale residents value their health and work hard to maintain it. Luckily, the weather allows for many days of active, outdoorsy adventures. There really is no excuse to being in bad shape if you live here- inline skaters, bikers, and joggers are seen daily along State Road A1A, and beach yoga classes are common as well.
But the weather isn’t perfect…
Fort Lauderdale is a bona fide Hurricane Hotspot. You should be prepared from June through November and especially vigilant during September and October.
Cost of living
Like most burgeoning communities, Fort Lauderdale isn’t cheap. It is somewhat cheaper than the Miami-West-Palm-Beach metro area, but compared with the state and national average, it’s far pricier. Housing is the city’s top expense, but groceries, utilities and healthcare will also hurt your wallet more than in neighboring towns.
The nightlife is where it’s at
Formerly known as Fort Liquordale, this town used to be all about beach front beers and tacky spring break cocktails. The good news is Fort Lauderdale has been catching up with the snazzy nightlife scene of neighboring Miami- which makes it quite unsurprising that clubs frequently play salsa beats and rum is the spirit of choice.
Events in Fort Lauderdale
The city’s perfect weather and incredible beach strip practically beg to be celebrated in fun, outdoors events. As you’ve seen by now, Fort Lauderdale residents are of the fun-loving, creative variety. This leads to some of Florida’s greatest festivals and events including Tortuga Music Festival, (the mostly indoor yet still very cool) Fort Lauderdale Fringe Festival and Las Olas Food and Wine Festival. Another fixture on Fort Lauderdale’s busy cultural calendar is Friday Night Sound Waves, a free live music event which takes place every Friday, rain or shine, at the Beach Hub.
Relocating to Fort Lauderdale now is a wise financial move; from their peak in 2005, home prices have bottomed out and are just beginning to rise- so there is possibly still time to snatch a bargain. Choose which neighborhood you love; then compare best moving companies with Unpakt to get settled hassle-free into your new place in sunny south Florida!
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