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One of Florida’s iconic seaside cities, Fort Lauderdale is known for more than just its award-winning wave wall. Not only is it scenic, with its stunning promenades and 165 miles of canals and inland waterways, but it also has great attractions, shopping and entertainment venues.
The city of Fort Lauderdale has around 166,000 residents, and it spans over 37.4 square miles. Every year, it attracts over 12 million visitors, out of which 2.1 million are international tourists, and which have in the past earned it the nickname of ‘Spring Break Central.’
Miami is the closest large city to Fort Lauderdale, located 31.4 miles down the I-95 South. Fort Lauderdale is about 189 miles from Key West via highway US1, 212 miles from Orlando and a mere 1,259 miles from New York City.
Fort Lauderdale has a tropical climate, with the average temperature being 75.5ºF. Annual precipitation is 66.49 inches on average, making it a hot spot for beach lovers.
Fort Lauderdale may be a tourist paradise, but its residents enjoy the beach life just as much. The city is a great hub for outdoor activities and family fun opportunities, while its strong sports vibe and cultural diversity give it a year-round festival atmosphere.
Due to its tropical climate, summers in Fort Lauderdale can be scorching and humid, and there is also the risk of hurricanes. Even though commute times average around 20 minutes, traffic during peak time can be another disadvantage, while unemployment for residents aged 20-34 remains quite high, at 9.3%.
Fort Lauderdale is a popular city for retirement, which is why the average age of its residents is 42, higher than in other tourist cities in Florida. Also, 38% of the city’s population is married.
The cost of living in Fort Lauderdale is significantly lower than in Miami and also lower than the U.S. average.
Public transport in Fort Lauderdale is relatively cheap, with a one-way fare costing $1.50 or $3.50 for an all-day pass. Weekly fares are also available for $7. If you prefer to get around by boat, Water Taxi has 12 pickup points along the Intercoastal and three more in nearby Hollywood, FL.
A meal for one person in an inexpensive restaurant in Fort Lauderdale costs around $15, while a three-course meal for two in a mid-range restaurant is $60 on average. A regular cappuccino averages around $4. The city offers a lot of diversity when it comes to dining options regarding both menu and pricing.
How much are utilities in Fort Lauderdale?
The monthly utility bill for a 915 sq ft apartment in Fort Lauderdale is $120 on average, and it includes water, electricity, heating and waste disposal. Internet services cost around $60 per month.
The average rent for an apartment in Fort Lauderdale is $2,684 per month.
The average apartment size in Fort Lauderdale is 959 sq. ft.
Rent for a studio apartment in Fort Lauderdale ranges between $1,200 and $4,610 per month.
Rent for a 1-bedroom apartment in Fort Lauderdale ranges between $784 and $17,000 per month.
Rent for a 2-bedroom apartment in Fort Lauderdale ranges between $941 and $30,000 per month.
Rent for a 3-bedroom apartment in Fort Lauderdale ranges between $1,600 and $35,000 per month.
Fort Lauderdale is best known for its tourism. Yet, the city has a diverse economy and is home to several Fortune 500 companies, such as Bank of America, Motorola, American Express, AutoNation and University Hospital. The city’s overall unemployment rate is 4.5%.
Fort Lauderdale — Hollywood International Airport is the 13th largest airport in the U.S. With yearly traffic of 27 million passengers and 650 daily commercial flights, it is also the 21st busiest airport in the U.S, offering many job opportunities. Port Everglades Fort Lauderdale is a major import and export center, playing an important role in South Florida’s economy. Holy Cross Hospital, a member of Trinity Health, is a 577-bed non-profit and also one of the major employers in Fort Lauderdale.
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The Broward County Public School Systems takes pride in its 17-1 student-teacher ratio, as well as spending about $10,135 per student per year. There are 23 public schools in Fort Lauderdale, with an annual enrollment of 2,075 students. The city is also known for its high-ranking private schools and charter schools and one of the country’s most successful athletic programs.
Fort Lauderdale has several colleges and universities. Notable examples include Broward College, City College, a satellite campus of both Florida Atlantic University (FAU) and Florida International University (FIU), as well as the Art Institute of Fort Lauderdale, Keiser University and Nova Southeastern College.
Fort Lauderdale has something for people of all ages and walks of life. Families can enjoy Sky Zone’s trampolines or the rides at Billie Swamp Safari and Bluefoot Pirate Adventures. Watch 3D films at Imax Fort Lauderdale, or get ready to crack up at the comedy acts at Improv Fort Lauderdale. For those with a cultural streak, head to downtown’s vibrant Riverwalk Arts and Entertainment District, where The Broward Center for Performing Arts hosts regular concerts and Broadway shows. Or, if you’re feeling lucky, head to the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino, or place your bets in the racing at Gulfstream Park in Hollywood, FL.
Fort Lauderdale has 278 parks and campsites, a testament to the city’s tradition of enjoying the outdoors. Bayview Park, George English Park and Canine Bach all make great places for a day out. Meanwhile, couples will enjoy a walk through Hollywood Beach Broadwalk, Flamingo Gardens or the Hugh Taylor Birch State Park.
The city of Fort Lauderdale supports a healthy lifestyle, and there are several free annual events promoting just that. Check out the Riverwalk Fort Lauderdale in Downtown Fort Lauderdale, SunTrust Sunday Jazz Brunch or the Friday Night Sound Waves and ArtsPark Live at Young Circle. The Florida Renaissance Festival and Crafts Village, USTA National Clay Court Championships and the Las Olas Art Fair cater to those with an artistic streak. The Seminole Hard Rock Winterfest Boat Parade is another must-see, while the Fort Lauderdale Boat Show ensures that the city continues to be the ‘Boat Capital of the World.’
Fort Lauderdale is one of Florida’s leading cities for culture, art and history. It is home to the Art Institute of Fort Lauderdale, the second of its kind founded in the U.S. Also, the NSU Museum of Art Fort Lauderdale hosts 75,000 sq ft of modernist art and visual exhibits.
Fort Lauderdale has a culinary scene that can please both natives and internationals. Benihana Fort Lauderdale is a great spot for those who love Japanese food, while Rocco’s Tacos & Tequila Bar targets those who prefer the hot flavors of Mexican food. Seafood always tastes better by the sea, so head down to Coconut for a real treat. The city has some 132 nightclubs and 4,000 restaurants to enjoy, with Old Heidelberg Restaurant & Lounge, Ernie’s BBQ & Lounge and Tap 42 being just some of the most popular picks.
Fort Lauderdale offers numerous shopping opportunities. With its $750 million redevelopment, the Galleria Mall is a popular spot, as are the nine Publix locations in the city. Or, if you prefer some meatballs with your home decor purchases, IKEA Fort Lauderdale is an excellent choice.
The NASL’s Fort Lauderdale Strikers and horse racing at Gulfstream Park are just some of the city’s highlights. You can also head over next door to Miami, where you can catch a game with NFL Miami Dolphins, MLB Miami Marlins or the NHL Florida Panthers.
Fort Lauderdale rentals are in high demand all year, not just in summer. Approvals may take up to 2 weeks, so if you’re relocating from New York or another city, make sure to give yourself enough time. Your best bet for immediate occupancy might be from owners of individual rental properties, such as duplexes.
Fort Lauderdale landlords usually rely on background and credit checks before approving their tenants. You will also be required to provide any eviction and rental history from the past 18 years, and you will also have to pay the background check fees, which cost anywhere between $35 and $150.
Fort Lauderdale landlords may require you to pay an advance deposit equal to three months’ rent: the first and last month’s rent, plus a one-month security deposit. If you’re a tenant in a condominium, landlords will also require a common area deposit.