I just flew back from Fort Lauderdale, where my mom and I spent five days on the best girls trip. I’m getting around to writing this a few days late since the day we flew back was daylight savings. The lost hour in my travel day added onto my late flight, with the three hour time change made adjusting back on the West Coast much harder than usual! I have to be honest, Fort Lauderdale hasn’t been on the top of my bucket list, but we wanted to go somewhere for our annual mom and daughter trip that we could both fly non-stop to. My parents head down to South Florida multiple times a year since they live in New England, so my mom knew all the great stops and where to stay! I didn’t even make a single dinner reservation, which is so not like me as you probably know by now. To say the least, Fort Lauderdale surprised me, and beyond exceeded my expectations. The beach stretches along the coast as far as the eye can see, there are countless luxury hotels to choose from, the service was fantastic everywhere we went, and there are so many restaurant choices – you’d have to spend a year there to try them all! Not to mention, the airport is 13 minutes away from the main hotel stretch. Talk about convenience.
Where We Stayed: My mom highly recommended The Conrad, an all-suite 4-star hotel on the beach. It was a dream! Our room had a full kitchen, balcony, and living space, plus two bathrooms. We loved having coffee delivered in the early morning and reading on the balcony. The hotel staff couldn’t have been anymore accommodating and professional. The full-service rooftop pool was where we spent our days, sipping champagne and margarita’s. The hotel also has three gorgeous bars, and a beautiful beachfront restaurant. I’d highly recommend The Conrad.
*I did want to mention the time of year we went to FLL, since it was right on the brink of college spring break time. We noticed a lot of college kids were checking in around the area on Saturday/Sunday, the last part of our trip (March 9th and 10th.) There weren’t a ton of groups at The Conrad, probably because it’s quite pricey this time of year, but I’d keep this in mind to avoid the area from the second week in March through the end of April if you’re looking to skip the spring break crowd. Next time, we’ll probably try to go the week after Presidents week to avoid the crowds entirely.
Where We Eat:
Plaza Bistro: The coolest concept! This is a food truck with table service (with the sweetest servers.) We had omelettes and mimosas our first day. I’d call this a must stop!
Village Cafe: Cute little breakfast place directly behind The Conrad hotel. Simple menu with the perfect mimosas. I liked their breakfast burrito.
Terra Mare: This is the restaurant attached to The Conrad, looking over the beautiful beach. We came here multiple times for breakfast, and were not disappointed. They have an a la carte menu, weekend breakfast buffet, and an impressive raw bar menu. Happy hour here is also a must! Rosé and the sunset, could you ask for anything else?!
We spent lunch everyday lounge chair style at The Conrad rooftop pool (open to the public!) Try the avocado smash..
El Vez: Located at The W Hotel, and looks over the beach. We came here our first night and sat at the bar. We sipped yummy margarita’s and shared the roasted corn, kale salad, and vegetarian quesadilla – all very good!
Wine + Garden: Located next to The Conrad, tucked away, you could almost miss it if you weren’t looking for it! This Italian restaurant has delicious pasta and great wine by the glass. The ambiance is romantic and cozy, with an open-air inside area, patio, and fire pits scattered around.
Louie Bossi: This came highly recommended and did not disappoint! Incredible pasta in a bustling restaurant with a huge outdoor patio. Pro tip: The fire pits are first come first served, so you can easily skip the long waitlist.
Shooters Waterfront: I was worried this place would be a bit “Fisherman’s Wharf” feeling, since it was swamped with tourists and locals on a Saturday night, but it was the complete opposite! We took the scenic route getting here, using the FLL Water Taxi, where we sipped local beer and took in the sunset. Once at Shooters, we took advantage of the 3 (!!) bars at the restaurant and had a glass of bubbly. After drinks, we had a beautiful waterfront dinner watching the yachts go by on the intracoastal. The impossible burger and coconut shrimp are must-try’s!
The Ritz-Carlton Bar: The perfect place to sip sparkling rosé al fresco! Such a beautiful space.
Vinos on Las Olas: The cutest hidden gem! Located down an alley way on the popular Las Olas Boulevard. They serve Hall Wine (my favorite St. Helena Winery), and had a special on Veuve when we visited.
Atlas: The perfect post-dinner glass of wine spot. A beautiful and classy lounge located next to the lobby at The Conrad.