As of its most recent census the city holds a population of over 165,000 people, and, as part of Broward County, is considered the principal city of the South Florida metropolitan area. The city is certainly an exciting destination for tourism, which takes in all of Broward County’s 12 million yearly visitors—a true testament to the greatness of living in this city. This number is fortified as approximately 3 million of these persons are international. What’s more, forty six cruise ships sailed from Port Everglades in 2012. Greater Fort Lauderdale has over 4,000 restaurants, 63 golf courses, 12 shopping malls, 16 museums, 132 nightclubs, 278 parkland campsites, and 100 marinas housing 45,000 resident yachts. Fort Lauderdale is really a place for people who mean to get the most out of life in a vast and nourishing atmosphere!
A bit of history. Fort Lauderdale is named after a series of forts built by the United States during the Second Seminole War. The forts took their name from Major William Lauderdale of the late 18th century. He was the commander of the party of soldiers who built the first fort on this fertile ground. Development of the city began approximately 50 years after these forts were ultimately abandoned at the end of the conflict. Three forts named "Fort Lauderdale" were in the end constructed; the first at the fork of the New River, the second at Tarpon Bend near the Rio Vista neighborhoods, and the third near the site of the Bahia Mar Marina. The city has been growing ever since.
There are certainly some must-sees in Ft Lauderdale, including the Broward Center for the Performing Arts, the Museum of Discovery and Science, and the Museum of Art Fort Lauderdale. For the city the goal to build a major arts complex has unreservedly been achieved. For Fort Lauderdale and Broward County that success was affirmed with the development of the Broward Center for the Performing Arts. Recognizing the need for a more viable venue, one with a much greater seating capacity, spacious backstage and meeting facilities, and more than one stage, visionaries set forth to turn their dream into reality. Although it took nearly 30 years, the Broward Center for the Performing Arts opened its doors February of 1991, offering the community the best in performing arts and entertainment.
The Museum of Discovery and Science is another focal point of the city. The Museum of Discovery and Science truly provides pathways to lifelong learning in science for children and adults through exhibits, programs and films. It has contributed significantly to the revitalization of the arts and sciences in Fort Lauderdale. Consisting of 119,000 square feet, the 300-seat AutoNation IMAX Theater and an open-air grand atrium comprise within the museum features of dynamic interactive exhibits, regarding natural and physical sciences within a large array of programs designed to serve diverse audiences. It regularly serves over 400,000 visitors each year and is the primary destination for school field trips in Broward County. Last year, the Museum served 90,000 students on school-sponsored field trips, plus additional 60,000 school-age children visiting with friends and family. The ability of the museum to entertain and educate children and adults through immersive exhibits, engaging educational programming and films, and a live animal collection adds immeasurably to the region’s educational resources.
The success of Fort Lauderdale only continues to grow, and it should be strongly considered as a place of residence for persons looking to truly awaken their senses and live in a city that has a vastly strengthening reputation. Fort Lauderdale has an official program for designating and recognizing neighborhoods. Under the Neighborhood Organization Recognition Program, more than 60 distinct neighborhoods have received official recognition from the city. An additional 25–30 neighborhoods exist without official recognition. The city is part of central Broward County and is adjacent to the Atlantic Ocean.