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Dynamic Fort Lauderdale enjoys an enviable location on the southeast coast of Florida, between Miami and Palm Beach. It is Florida’s 8th largest city and the biggest among Broward County's 31 municipalities. Fort Lauderdale’s nickname, “The Venice of America,” is inspired by the Atlantic Ocean, the New River and a plethora of beautiful inland waterways.
Once known mainly for tourism, this energetic city of 33 square miles and 170,000 residents now boasts a wide spectrum of industries such as manufacturing, marine, avionics and aerospace, high tech, insurance and television and film production.
Owning Fort Lauderdale real estate means access to boutique shopping and large retail venues alike. The Galleria Mall is a longtime favorite, with retailers from Abercrombie to Zales Jewelers. Las Olas Boulevard, upscale and eclectic, has gained acclaim as Fort Lauderdale's centerpiece of fashion, fine dining and entertainment. Locals and visitors enjoy over 30 al fresco dining options, 10 international art galleries, a pair of world class museums and 65 shops.
The Gallery at Beach Place is an all-in-one entertainment destination with a mix of dining, shopping, live musical performances and events. The Harbor Shops features a bit of everything, from eateries to charming boutiques, grocery, household items and hardware.
After a long day on the beach or at work, Fort Lauderdale offers excellent dining choices. Exquisite fine dining venues include Via Luna at the Ritz Carlton, Lucca Italian, Steak 954 and Café de Paris. Marvelous meals, slightly less expensive but excellent, can be found at Eduardo de San Angel or Café Seville (both Mexican), Casa D’Angelo, Timpano Italian Chophouse, Chima Brazilian Steakhouse or Thasos Greek Taverna.
Fort Lauderdale real estate is surrounded by ways to have fun and stay in shape, but recreation here begins along the city’s 7 miles of gorgeous beaches. The last few years have seen a $26-million seaside renovation including spacious, brick-paved walkways, gorgeous landscaping and a "wave wall" with neon accent lighting. By day or evening, the area is perfect for everything from a light stroll to a run or a strenuous bike ride.
The Atlantic beachfront is an awesome playground offering typical swimming and sunbathing, along with snorkeling or diving to see undersea life, sunken ships and coral reefs. Besides the Atlantic, Fort Lauderdale has 165 miles of local waterways, so water sports are in perpetual demand. Locals and visitors also enjoy annual events like the Winterfest Boat Parade and the Lauderdale Air and Sea Show. Fort Lauderdale has a strong, extensive park system.
Fort Lauderdale real estate draws residents for a variety of reasons, including business and commercial life, climate and natural beauty. The median home cost (2012) is just over $200,000, but home prices vary widely based on location, views, type of structure, historic value and other factors. Housing stock is varied, ranging from multi-million dollar waterfront homes and condos to contemporary downtown lofts and historic Florida dwellings. Diversity is the watchword for Fort Lauderdale real estate. Here’s a sampling:
Public education in Fort Lauderdale is provided by Broward County Public Schools. BCPS administers sixteen elementary schools, four middle schools and three high schools within the city limits. A number of private schools reside in Fort Lauderdale, a few of which include University School of Nova Southeastern University, Pine Crest School, Cardinal Gibbons High School, Westminster Academy, St. Thomas Aquinas High School, Calvary Christian School and St. Anthony Catholic School.
There are scores of hospitals of different size and scope in the Miami-Fort Lauderdale area, but two Fort Lauderdale centers have gained widespread acclaim. Broward Health Medical Center (656 beds) and Holy Cross Hospital (571 beds), according to U.S. News and World Report, are among South Florida’s best.
Transportation options in Fort Lauderdale are numerous, featuring excellent auto, air and rail options, but also including cruise ship options through Port Everglades, making Ft. Lauderdale the South Florida gateway to the Caribbean and other points. Interstates 95 and 595 pass through the city, while a variety of state highways and major streets aid surface travel. Ft. Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport (FLL) serves air travelers and the Miami International Airport is only about 30 minutes away.