THE BEST Fort Lauderdale Travel Tips for Cruisers Sailing South | Harbors Unknown Ep. 14

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THE BEST Fort Lauderdale Travel Tips for Cruisers Sailing South | Harbors Unknown Ep. 14

Known as the Yachting Capital of the World, Fort Lauderdale is a major manufacturing and maintenance center for yachts. With its many canals, and proximity to the Bahamas and Caribbean, it is also a popular yachting vacation stop, + home port for 42,000 boats, + approximately 100 marinas and boatyards.

Fort Lauderdale is also home to Port Everglades, the nation's third busiest cruise port and Florida's deepest port. The inlet boasts a wide channel and is easily navigable. Cruisers making their way south should note there are few truly safe + large inlets along the southeast coast.

After entering the inlet you can either head south to Hollywood which has a small, yet affordable marina or head north into Ft. Lauderdale. Heading into Ft. Lauderdale you’ll encounter the 17th causeway bridge with 55 foot clearance. It opens on the hour and half hour. There are a few options for marinas, moorings and anchorages nearby. Just north of the 17th causeway bridge on the west side is Fort Lauderdale Marina and on the east side is the Pier 66 Marina. Continuing north on the intercoastal you can navigate to Lake Silva, a small protected anchorage in a residential neighborhood.

Next up is Bahia Mar which is more for mega yachts, then the Las Olas Marina which as of this publish date is still reasonably priced. Across from the marina on the south side of Las Olas bridge is a mooring ball field and north of the bridge just past the marina is what has become quite a popular anchorage.

Once settled, those coming from international waters will of course need to check in at customs. The CBP office is about a 15 minute drive from the Las Olas marina, in an unexpected location. It seems that the CBP ROAM app can be used to report U.S. entry to CBP once a small vessel has returned to land from international waters. Definitely check the requirements for yourself.

West Marine, Boat Owners Warehouse, Sailorman + McDonald’s hardware are all located around the State Road 84 area and are a convenient stop if heading back to the marina. Many cruisers stop in Ft. Lauderdale because there are a few reputable repair shops including Just Catamarans.

We highly recommend you leave time for a little exploring Fort Lauderdale. The beautiful beach is a great place to relax after a sail before you head out. Its soft sands, warm waters, and three nearby reefs invites scuba divers to enjoy one of mother nature’s greatest gifts.

The South East Florida Reef Tract extends from Miami northward to Palm Beach. Greater Ft. Lauderdale accounts for 23 miles in the middle of the tract and the largest number of dive sites, with over 100 reef and wreck sites. There are three distinct ridges of natural reefs called 1st, 2nd, and 3rd reefs.

The water taxi ride is a great way to see the city and learn about its history, even considering you have your own boat! You can pick it up right next to the Las Olas Marina and take it up the river to the shops + restaurants stop on Las Olas. It’s the perfect place to walk to our favorite bakery, Gran Forno. They have the most delicious baked goods and coffee. Many restaurants, shops and galleries line Las Olas Boulevard providing a pleasant afternoon.

A short drive away is FATVillage. An arts district whose purpose is to promote the creation, exhibition, curation, research & education of emerging, contemporary artists. Every last Saturday of the month (pre-pandemic) the resident artists hosted a vibrant Art Walk open to the community showcasing new art exhibits, local artists and artisans selling gifts and goods, & a variety of food and entertainment.

Just around the corner is Sistrunk Marketplace, a new food hall, brewery and marketplace. Featured art installations, unique artist kiosks, talented musicians & DJ’s represent South Florida’s upcoming talent. Cooking classes, distillery & tours, DJ academy & Khoffner brewery provide awesome entertainment options.

One of our favorite ways to end the day is dinner at Coconuts, a local favorite. If you’re heading back from Las Olas you can take the water taxi and get off at the South End of Bahia Mar. You can also ride over in your dinghy & tie up at the dock. In our opinion it has the best sunset view of the intercoastal. Thanks so much for joining us this week!

Time Codes
00:00-00:19 Episode Intro
00:20-00:53 Channel Intro
00:54-1:44 FTL Intro
1:45-2:10 Port Everglades Inlet
2:11-3:26 Nearby Marinas + Anchorages
3:27-4:02 Customs
4:03-4:32 Supplies
4:33-12:39 FTL Activities

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