Although rowdy college students may descend upon Fort Lauderdale, Florida, as a spring break destination, the city also serves as a romantic retreat for vacationing couples. Twosomes can find patches of quiet solitude, particularly when exploring the region’s 23 miles of Atlantic beaches and more than 300 miles of canals and famed Intracoastal Waterway.
Covering 10 acres of oceanfront property, Lago Mar Resort and Club (lagomar.com) provides upscale accommodations, including penthouse suites with ocean views and poolside suites with private balconies. Book a romance package, complete with a bottle of sparkling wine, a free movie from the movie library, and candlelight dinner at Acquario, the hotel’s high-end restaurant. Couples can enjoy a romantic stroll along the hotel’s 500-foot private beach. The Pillars Hotel (pillarshotel.com) is a small boutique hotel perched along the banks of the Intracoastal Waterway. Enjoy a leisurely dinner at the hotel’s Secret Garden, a gourmet restaurant with outdoor seating and views of yachts gliding down the waterway. Hop on the water taxi that picks up guests at the hotel’s private stop as it transports you to nearby Las Olas Boulevard, a bustling thoroughfare filled with chic shops, restaurants and bars.
Housed inside a two-story 1920s villa, Casablanca Cafe (casablancacafeonline.com) creates a romantic vibe, complete with towering wood-beam ceilings, a fireplace, terra-cotta walls and a spiral wrought-iron staircase. The restaurant has an outdoor patio and upstairs balcony, both of which provide candlelit tables with sweeping ocean views. Couples can sample American cuisine while accompanied by the soft sounds of jazz on the piano. Cafe Vico (cafevicorestaurant.com) is a small Italian restaurant with an ornate setting, including an elegant interior with tiled floors, fresco ceilings and chandeliers. For added romance, retreat to the outdoor patio with hanging plants and stone floors. On some evenings, the restaurant hosts special movie nights, showcasing a romantic film while serving a five-course meal partnered with numerous wines.
Enjoy an afternoon exploring Bonnet House Museum & Gardens (bonnethouse.org), a formerly-private 1920s home and 35-acre garden nestled against the shores of the Atlantic Ocean. Twosomes can explore the sprawling grounds, enjoying lazy strolls through the orchid showroom, desert gardens and mangrove wetlands. The garden hosts romantic programs throughout the year, such as concerts under the stars, art exhibits and outdoor movie nights. Embark on a romantic adventure with your sweetie upon Spirit of Lauderdale, a 50-foot-long catamaran used by Spirit Yacht Cruises (tropicalsailing.com), a tour company that offers private and public boat rides throughout the region. Book a sunset cruise, watching from the Atlantic Ocean as the sun disappears over the city’s skyline and music plays in the background.
Spend a relaxing day at The Museum of Art Fort Lauderdale (moafl.org), home to more than 6,000 pieces, specializing in work by contemporary American and European artists. Couples also can attend a quiet evening at the museum as part of the special food and wine series, indulging in gourmet food and wine samplings, hosted by local chefs and certified sommeliers. The museum also hosts ethnic dance and musical performances. Venture to the Broward Center for the Performing Arts (browardcenter.org), home to two theaters and five resident companies, for an evening of high culture. Dress up in your finest threads as you take in performances by high-brow companies such as Florida Grand Opera, Miami City Ballet and Gold Coast Jazz Society.
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- Bonnet House Museum & Gardens: About Bonnet House
- Bonnet House Museum & Gardens: Gardens
- Bonnet House Museum & Gardens: Calendar
- Spirit Yacht Cruises: Sailing Charters Fort Lauderdale
- Spirit Yacht Cruises: Fort Lauderdale Charters Cast Away the Day Sunset Cruise
- The Museum of Art Fort Lauderdale: Museum
- The Museum of Art Fort Lauderdale: Museum Events and Art Classes
- Broward Center for the Performing Arts: About Us
- Broward Center for the Performing Arts: Partners in the Arts
- Greater Fort Lauderdale Convention & Visitors Bureau: Fast Facts
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