15 Free Things to Do in Fort Lauderdale, FL

Free Things to Do in Fort Lauderdale, FL
Sean Pavone / shutterstock.com

Florida has dozens of tourist destinations that are all worth visiting.

One of them is Fort Lauderdale, on its Southeastern coast.

This small city is renowned for its pristine white-sand beaches and turquoise-blue waters that attract thousands of tourists annually.

Fort Lauderdale is part of Broward County, comprising numerous towns and cities along Florida's Southeastern coast.

Besides its top-rated beaches, Fort Lauderdale has much to offer, whether big spenders or budget travelers.

This city offers plenty of top-notch activities that won't burn a hole in your pocket.

Here are the best free things to do in Fort Lauderdale, Florida:

Get Your Tan at the Las Olas Beach

Beautiful view of Las Olas Beach
Sean Pavone / Shutterstock.com

Las Olas Beach is one of Fort Lauderdale's most famous beach destinations.

This beach, situated on the edge of Las Olas Boulevard, is renowned for its soft white sand, cleanliness, and tropical vibes.

This beach is your go-to place to get your tan lines, relax or perhaps take a dip in the crystal clear waters.

Night view of Las Olas Beach in Fort Lauderdale
Sean Pavone / Shutterstock.com

At night, the beach features a different atmosphere as bars, clubs, and restaurants open up and turn on their colorful lights, adding more excitement.

Above all, Las Olas Beach is conveniently located near Fort Lauderdale's business district, making it a perfect place to start your travel adventure in this city.

Vibrant sunset at Las Olas Beach
Kevin Ruck / Shutterstock.com

Take Photos at the DC Alexander Park

The DC Alexander Park gives you access to the beach and the city.

You can visit this park along S. Fort Lauderdale Beach Boulevard.

Historically, this park was named after a well-known developer D.C Alexander.

This oceanside oasis is mainly famous for its palm trees with carved faces, perfect for turning into a backdrop for a souvenir photo.

Besides the famous palm trees, D.C Alexander Park also boasts one of the best places in Fort Lauderdale to catch the sunset.

So, don't forget to drop by this park after swimming the entire day at one of the city's beaches.

Stroll through the Las Olas Boulevard

View of Las Olas Boulevard
LesPalenik / Shutterstock.com

Las Olas Boulevard is probably the most famous strip of Fort Lauderdale.

This street stretches from Andrews Avenue in Fort Lauderdale's downtown area to Fort Lauderdale Beach.

Along this thoroughfare are charming shops, restaurants, art galleries, buskers, street performers, and fellow tourists in their beach attire filling the street with color and fun.

Shops at Las Olas Boulevard
Felix Mizioznikov / Shutterstock.com

Strolling through Las Olas Boulevard is one of the must-do activities when visiting Fort Lauderdale.

It allows you to experience what the city offers besides its beaches.

Along the way, you should get warm greetings from locals or fellow visitors or catch a free concert from one of the buskers on the street.

People strolling around the Las Olas Boulevard
Solarisys / Shutterstock.com

Bring Your Toddler to the Fort Lauderdale Beach Park

Head to Fort Lauderdale Beach Park's playground, especially when your little one grows bored strolling through the city's streets and boardwalks.

You can visit this park along S. Seabreeze Boulevard.

This park is an excellent beach destination for the whole family.

It features top-notch park amenities while being a stone's throw away from the white-sand beaches of Fort Lauderdale.

You can spend your day lounging at the park while letting your kid enjoy the playground.

Besides the playground, this park also boasts a gorgeous outdoor basketball court similar to what you see in Los Angeles's Venice Beach.

To keep the little ones busy, don't forget to bring them to Fort Lauderdale Beach Park.

Stare on the Horizon at the Fort Lauderdale Jetties

Scenic view of Fort Lauderdale Jetties
Buddy Phillips / Shutterstock.com

The Fort Lauderdale Jetties is a popular place for locals and visitors to hang out, especially during sunset.

You can visit this jetty along S. Ocean Lane.

Instead of the busy beach scene, this place in Fort Lauderdale offers a calmer ambiance and a stunning view of the vast sea and the horizon.

Cruise ship near Fort Lauderdale Jetties
Jillian Cain Photography / Shutterstock.com

With that in mind, it's an excellent place to pass the time and enjoy the breathtaking scenery, especially with your loved ones.

Of course, you can swim at the beach or soak under the sun at the Fort Lauderdale Jetties.

Just keep your voices low to preserve the calm ambiance of this place renowned throughout Fort Lauderdale.

View of Fort Lauderdale Jetties
Gabriele Maltinti / Shutterstock.com

Chill at the Loggerhead Park

Head to Loggerhead Park if you're looking for more suitable places to relax in Fort Lauderdale.

This park along N.E. 27th Street is one of Hollywood North Beach Park and Fort Lauderdale area's five pocket parks.

Fascinatingly, this park was named after the Loggerhead sea turtles, a threatened species of turtles found on the Southeastern Coast of Florida.

Nonetheless, locals from both sides can still enjoy what this park has to offer.

Like most parks you'll visit in Fort Lauderdale, this one is also an excellent place for a picnic with friends or family.

It's also used for various purposes, such as sports, community, and cultural events.

So, visit Loggerhead Park if you're searching for a place to chill and take a break from exploring Fort Lauderdale.

Explore the Las Olas Oceanside Park (LOOP)

Splash pad at Las Olas Oceanside Park
Felix Mizioznikov / Shutterstock.com

The Las Olas Oceanside Park, or LOOP, is a cornerstone of outdoor recreation in Fort Lauderdale.

You can visit this famous attraction along E. Las Olas Boulevard.

It's a multi-million central hub comprised of four parks at the city's heart.

Exploring this recreation area allows you to see gorgeous green spaces, a promenade, and parks.

Visitors enjoying their day at Las Olas Oceanside Park
Felix Mizioznikov / Shutterstock.com

At the same time, various activities are happening at Las Olas Oceanside Park.

You'll enjoy watching this park's free concerts, art-related events, and cultural events that keep its atmosphere exciting.

So, remember to drop by and immerse yourself in the beauty of this elegant park whenever you're visiting Fort Lauderdale.

Aerial view of Las Olas Oceanside Park
Felix Mizioznikov / Shutterstock.com

Join the Fort Lauderdale ArtWalk

The Fort Lauderdale Artwalk is an exciting event with your fellow art lovers that takes you to some of the city's best spots that showcase local arts.

This event usually starts at N.E. Fourth Avenue and is organized by the Music & Arts South of Sunrise District.

Its main goal is to showcase Fort Lauderdale's vibrant local arts scene.

You can join and enjoy the entire event, whether you're an art lover or a casual tourist who wants to have fun during your Fort Lauderdale visit.

Various artists open art galleries, while some sell their artworks.

Plus, lively entertainment during its events adds more fun to this activity, making it a worthwhile event to join.

So, don't miss the Fort Lauderdale Artwalk on the last Saturday of the month.

Feel the Ocean Breeze at Lauderdale-by-the-Sea Beach

The Lauderdale-by-the-Sea Beach is a unique beach destination within Fort Lauderdale.

This compact but the charming beach area is renowned for its upscale but cozy environment, which is likened to a resort.

However, it has free admission to enjoy its amenities.

You'll surely be amazed by its mid-century modern architecture nestled on the side of the beach.

Fishing at Lauderdale-by-the-Sea Beach
Rob Olivera, CC BY 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

At the same time, you'll appreciate the colorful chairs and umbrellas that add more vibrance to its already gorgeous scenery.

It's a beautiful place to pass the time and breathe the fresh sea breeze in the afternoon or morning.

Lauderdale-By-The-Sea also has a fishing pier, restaurants, cafes, and a free musical performance serenading visitors regularly.

Wander the Riverwalk Arts and Entertainment District

Bridge leading to Arts and Entertainment District
Jillian Cain Photography / Shutterstock.com

The Riverwalk Arts and Entertainment District spans over 22 blocks within Fort Lauderdale.

This district, accessed through Southwest 2nd Avenue, holds some of the city's top attractions and public art installations.

You can go and have a self-guided tour to explore these art installations, museums, and other attractions, or perhaps join fellow art lovers in an art walk.

Park at Riverwalk Arts and Entertainment District
Jillian Cain Photography / Shutterstock.com

In addition, the district is lovely to spend time with and have a pleasant stroll with your family or friends.

At the same time, the Riverwalk Arts and Entertainment District is a stone's throw away from the rest of Lauderdale's famous attractions.

View of Riverwalk Arts and Entertainment District
Jillian Cain Photography / Shutterstock.com

So, remember to drop by and stroll through this beautiful place.

Who knows?

You might end up discovering some of Fort Lauderdale's hidden gems.

View of Riverwalk Arts and Entertainment District
Serenethos / Shutterstock.com

Travel Back in Time at the Naval Air Station Fort Lauderdale Museum

The Naval Air Station Fort Lauderdale Museum is a free-admission historical attraction that details the vast aviation history of Florida.

This museum, situated along W. Perimeter Road, preserves the memory of Flight 19, one of the nation's most controversial aviation mysteries.

Historically, Flight 19 vanished into the Bermuda Triangle during its flight in 1945.

It hasn't been found up to this day.

If you're intrigued by this mystery, this museum is your go-to place to discover more about its disappearance.

Besides Flight 19, there are plenty of fascinating aviation historical artifacts you can see up close, such as photographs, uniforms, and equipment during your tour inside.

Head to the Naval Air Station Fort Lauderdale Museum for a worthwhile historical trip.

Pass the Time at the Colee Hammock Park

Scenic view of Colee Hammock Park
Fotoluminate LLC / Shutterstock.com

The Colee Hammock Park might lack in size, but it's bursting with charm, making it an ideal place to hang out and pass the time.

You can visit this park along Brickell Drive and bring your family for some worthwhile picnics and outdoor activities.

This park was purchased by Mary Brickell back in 1874, making it also one of the oldest parks in Fort Lauderdale.

Brickell purchased more than 640 acres of land in the city, eventually converting it into public parks like this one.

This park boasts a gorgeous picnic area, breathtaking sceneries of Fort Lauderdale, and a river fishing spot.

Unlike other parks in Fort Lauderdale, Colee Hammock Park has a more peaceful environment and is less crowded, making it an idyllic location for relaxation.

Hike the Pond Apple Slough

The Pond Apple Slough is a vast natural area comprising wetlands, marshes, and a forested area west of Fort Lauderdale, near the international airport.

You can access this natural attraction along Interstate 595.

This vast marshy wetland is a natural gem in Fort Lauderdale because of its thriving flora and fauna.

This natural attraction is reminiscent of the famous Everglades National Park, wherein you can spot numerous animals, such as reptiles, birds, and small mammals.

This spot is famous for kayakers and swamp hikers who want to see an Everglades-like scenery without traveling outside Fort Lauderdale.

Consider visiting this natural attraction to glimpse Fort Lauderdale's natural beauty.

Embrace Inclusivity at the Sebastian Street Beach

Entrance to  Sebastian Street Beach
Travel Bug / Shutterstock.com

Sebastian Street Beach is a famous beach destination in Fort Lauderdale, particularly for the members of the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender (LGBT) community.

Although most of Fort Lauderdale's beaches are inclusive and open for everyone, this one became a popular spot for LGBT community members.

You can visit this beach between Sebastian and A1A streets.

Waves crashing on the shores of  Sebastian Street Beach
Julio Macias / Shutterstock.com

Also named the "Hottest U.S. Gay Beach" by a popular magazine, this beach features a gorgeous stretch of white sand and crystal clear waters.

Sebastian Street Beach is also one of the most convenient beach destinations in Fort Lauderdale since it's near businesses such as hotels, restaurants, and cafes.

Restaurant at  Sebastian Street Beach
Red Lemon / Shutterstock.com

Kayak through the George English Park

The George English Park is a unique urban park with numerous boat launches and top-notch park amenities.

You can visit this park along the Coral Ridge neighborhood near the Bayview and Sunrise Boulevards.

This park is famous for its water activities, such as kayaking, paddle boarding, and canoeing.

Signage of George English Park
Dianna Tatkow / Shutterstock.com

Besides water activities, it's a popular spot for sports as it houses outdoor basketball, tennis courts, and a hiking trail.

Of course, plenty of exciting activities await you at George English Park.

So, make one last stop at this park before returning home from your Fort Lauderdale travel adventure.

Final Thoughts

Fort Lauderdale is one of Florida's best travel destinations that won't put a hole in your wallet.

While this city is renowned for its beaches and tropical vibes, the idea that vacationing there costs you a fortune is untrue.

Explore the hidden gems and free things to do in Fort Lauderdale, Florida!

Spotted a mistake, have some feedback, or just want to chat with our editorial team? Click here to get in touch.
Find out more about Travel Lens and read our editorial guidelines here.