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Girls Getaway...need advice on activities and restaurants

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Girls Getaway...need advice on activities and restaurants

Hello!

We are celebrating a friends 40th birthday in Ft Lauderdale! We took advantage of the Groupon and are staying at The Desoto.

Any locals or repeaters know where we can get a nice dinner, and maybe some sightseeing?

We are laid back and don't want to do the bar scene or night clubs! We do have a rental car.

Our friend has never been to Florida. We are right next to the beach- so that is taking care of!

Are the 'Gator Rides' and Everglades rides cheesy?

Any advice is appreciated!!

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1. Re: Girls Getaway...need advice on activities and restaurants

Your accommodation is south of us in Hollywood, FL , not in Ft. Lauderdale- that town has it's own Forum where you can probably get information convenient to where you are staying.

In truth , I have never heard of the Desoto and had to Google to find where it was.

Since you do have a rental car maybe you can head up this way.. is that what you are planning?

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2. Re: Girls Getaway...need advice on activities and restaurants

IT's about a 20 in drive to Ft. Lauderdale from your inn.

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3. Re: Girls Getaway...need advice on activities and restaurants

Ooh. I hope it's nice! Tripadvisor has given it 5 stars. :/

I thought it was only 5 miles from the airport. I better go look at mapquest again.

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4. Re: Girls Getaway...need advice on activities and restaurants

Hollywood is south of the FLL Airport, which is south of Ft.. Lauderdale and is a joint airport for Hollywood and Ft. Lauderdale.

You can Google map asking directions from De Soto to Elbo Room ( which is a famous dive bar at the big intersection on Ft. Lauderdale Beach- pretty much the southern end of it ) and see the route and timing which looks accurate as about 20 minutes to me.. You won't necessarily want to patronize a place like Elbo Room , but it is the busy part of our FT. Lauderdale beach with lots of restaurants and bars. It's good that you don't want night life- there will be restaurants and some bars along Hollywood Beach, but not very lively. In Hollywood when we go there to dine ( not often) we like Billy's Stone Crabs ( stone crabs are out of season ,but they have other seafood-) and a place called Giorgios ( or it may now be called GG"s - same owner)

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5. Re: Girls Getaway...need advice on activities and restaurants

My earlier post should have said 20 minutes, not 20 miles- I realize I made a typo in that- but 20 min drive is probably right- lots of traffic lights on the route- I think it's about 10 miles total from Ft. Lauderdale to that part of Hollywood.

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6. Re: Girls Getaway...need advice on activities and restaurants

Part of the reason for the time would be that the beach road doesn't go through from Hollywood to Ft. Lauderdale so you have to go west and then go back east again - it's not a straight shot up the beach.

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7. Re: Girls Getaway...need advice on activities and restaurants

One activity you could consider is the Water Taxi boat tour up to Ft. Lauderdale from Hollywood- you'll pass through the cruise port area on the way and see lots of boat traffic. I think the nearest stop for it ( based on where the De Soto appears to be located) is Girgio's restaurant 2-3 miles south of that. The boat ride is $10 pp for the round trip and will take you as far as Water Taxi stop #5 near the Convention Center. From there you can go back to Hollywood or elect to add $10 more and turn your ticket into an all day pass for Water Taxi which you can use to hop on and off at various stops in Ft. Lauderdale . So, I'd look for a nice weather day and do that. I think the number of trips to and from that Hollywood stop is somewhat limited ( maybe a few in each direction each day ,) so you should go to www.Watertaxi.com and check the times on it to see how that would work. That would give you a fun day on the waterway and a chance to get to Ft. Lauderdale beach without having to drive and find parking. And if you decided to have some cocktails you at least wouldn't have to drive. It's a daytime activity only I think ased on the times the WT goes to Hollywood.

Edited: 08 June 2013, 22:07
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8. Re: Girls Getaway...need advice on activities and restaurants

The Everglades stuff is cheesy but can be fun- but generally we don't suggest it in the summer months as it is very hot and pretty buggy out there in the summer. If you go, you'll need good sunscreen and bug repellent, a wide brimmed hat and lots of water at minimum. You may find the animals are not very active as they may be hiding out from the sun as well.

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9. Re: Girls Getaway...need advice on activities and restaurants

Thanks for all of your information!!!

FLORIDA1
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10. Re: Girls Getaway...need advice on activities and restaurants

Your getaway sounds great. I was not familiar with the Desoto so I took a look and I must say I love the idea of gardens and tiki huts. I lived in Fort Lauderdale after living in the Midwest, so I'll tell you some things we found interesting near where you are. I agree with Lulutoo that the water taxi would provide a nice, relaxing day. If you like gardens, the Bonnet House in Fort Lauderdale or the Fairchild in Miami are great options. You are close to the Anne Kolb Nature Center where you could rent kayaks or climb a tower if you want extra exercise. At certain times, they offer a guided tour on a pontoon boat. It's not high-adrenaline activity by a long-shot, but it's much closer than the Everglades tours and you will learn about birds and mangroves. It could be a little boring if you're not into nature. Also, at certain times the Anne Kolb Center does programs where they gather rescued turtle hatchlings and let you watch them be released into the ocean. That is a real treat. The 1.5 inch hatchlings have a long way to go in the sand (relative to their size) to get into the ocean. Also, John Lloyd State Park is close to you. At one time, they rented these jumbo tricycle things that 2 of you sit on and you paddle/float in the water. Their website says they rent paddle boats as well. You can snorkel there but I haven't personally done it there. We did go somewhere nearby (Dania Beach, I think) where the fish gather around large concrete jacks. Speaking of nature, the IMAX in Fort Lauderdale has recently had a movie called Flight of the Butterflies and another really great one called Born to Be Wild. Cinema Paradiso is a unique space with artsy films.

The Hollywood Beach area is affectionately known as Hollyweird. For me, that meant good people-watching. You will hear different languages, see different fashions, etc. We stumbled upon an Elvis impersonator there once. You could also google "Hot Rod," a local Rod Stewart Impersonator. I recently learned of Neil Zirconia, a Neil Diamond Impersonator who might sing in Delray.

Also, I found an art and craft fair on Hollywood Beach once. Hollywood Circle had various arts programs, like watching glass blowers at work. You might google Hollywood tourist events to see what is happening. There's even a group who does laugh yoga there!

The Hard Rock Casino and Entertainment area is officially in Hollywood, I think, though not near the beach. To me, it's pretty plastic but you might find an entertainer or comedian there when you are in town. I met Greg Brady at a casino near there once!

You could also rent a bicycle built for 4 near the beach where you are.

I saw you recommended the Ultramar in Isla Mujeres. I love that thing! Feel free to PM if you have more questions.