Fort Lauderdale, widely recognized as the “Venice of America” for its extensive canal system, is known for its beautiful beaches, vibrant arts scene, and a plethora of luxury hotels and restaurants. However, as night falls, the city doesn’t go to sleep. Instead, it transforms into a lively destination with exciting nightlife that has something for everyone.
From bustling bars and trendy nightclubs in the lively Las Olas Boulevard to the more laid-back atmosphere in Wilton Manors, the city offers a diverse range of options for night owls. Whether you’re looking to unwind with a craft beer, dance the night away to pulsating beats, or catch a live show, Fort Lauderdale’s nightlife has it all.
In this guide, you’ll discover information about the top hotspots to enjoy the nightlife, tips for a fun and safe night out, and a glimpse at the average cost of an evening in Fort Lauderdale. So, get your party gear ready and prepare yourself for an exhilarating journey through the exciting and varied world of Fort Lauderdale nightlife.
Where to Party in Fort Lauderdale
The nightlife in Fort Lauderdale is spread across several areas, each with its unique charm and flavor. Here are some of the popular districts to check out during your night in the city:
Las Olas Boulevard: Known as the heart and soul of Fort Lauderdale, Las Olas Boulevard is home to an array of bars, clubs, and restaurants, making it the ideal place to start your night.
Wilton Manors: This vibrant neighborhood is the hub of the local LGBTQ+ community, offering a range of bars, clubs, and venues hosting regular drag shows and other events.
Himmarshee Village: This historic district is filled with pubs, clubs, and cocktail lounges, attracting a younger crowd with its high-energy atmosphere.
Beachfront: The city’s stunning beachfront is lined with numerous bars and restaurants, offering amazing views to accompany your night out.
Fort Lauderdale Nightlife Tips and Advice
As with any city, it’s important to stay vigilant and take necessary precautions to ensure a safe night out. Keep an eye on your belongings and never leave your drink unattended.
The legal drinking age in the US is 21, and ID checks are common at bars and clubs, so always have an ID with you.
Tipping is customary in the US. If you’re pleased with the service, a tip of 15-20% of the total bill is standard.
Public transportation in Fort Lauderdale is fairly reliable, with buses, trams, and the Sun Trolley operating until late. Alternatively, taxis and ride-sharing services like Uber and Lyft are readily available.
Dress codes in Fort Lauderdale are generally relaxed, but it’s always a good idea to check in advance if you’re planning to visit a high-end venue.
Cost of Partying in Fort Lauderdale
Drinks: Expect to pay around $5-7 for a beer, $7-12 for a glass of wine, and $10-15 for a cocktail in most bars and clubs. Prices can be higher in more upscale venues.
Cover charges: Many clubs in Fort Lauderdale charge an entry fee, typically ranging from $10-20. Some places might offer free entry on certain nights or before a specific time, so do check their websites or social media pages.
Taxis and rideshares: Fares can vary based on the distance and time of night, but a short ride within the city center would generally cost around $10-20. Be aware that fares can be higher during peak hours or special events.
Best Bars in Fort Lauderdale
1. Rhythm & Vine
Nestled in Fort Lauderdale’s downtown, Rhythm & Vine is a vibrant and laid-back outdoor beer garden that delivers a unique, relaxed vibe. The bar boasts a wide selection of craft beers and creative cocktails served from a retrofitted vintage trailer. Food trucks offer a rotating variety of meals, ensuring you have a new culinary experience every visit.
2. Stache Drinking Den
Step back in time at Stache Drinking Den, a 1920s-themed cocktail lounge known for its vast whiskey selection, sophisticated cocktails, and plush, vintage decor. Regular live music performances and DJ sets elevate the mood, making it a perfect spot for a classy night out.
3. Elbo Room
Standing as an iconic beachfront bar since 1938, the Elbo Room is a part of Fort Lauderdale’s history. Known for its continuous live music, vibrant atmosphere, and cold drinks, it provides a full seaside experience. Whether you’re there for a relaxing afternoon or a lively evening, the Elbo Room guarantees a great time.
4. Tap 42 Bar & Kitchen
A haven for craft beer enthusiasts, Tap 42 offers a wide array of local and international brews. With its hip ambiance, this bar also serves a menu of gourmet comfort food, from truffle-infused fries to oversized burgers. The modern, industrial-style interior, coupled with an outdoor patio, make this a must-visit spot in Fort Lauderdale.
5. The Wilder
A chic, trendy cocktail lounge that will transport you to the Roaring Twenties. The Wilder is known for its unique and innovative drinks, boasting a menu filled with experimental and traditional cocktails. The elegant décor, dim lighting, and velvet upholstery set a sultry, mysterious mood, ideal for an intimate evening.
Best Nightclubs in Fort Lauderdale
1. Club Euro
One of Fort Lauderdale’s hottest nightclubs, Club Euro is the epitome of a high-energy dance venue. With diverse music that ranges from hip-hop to reggae and R&B, this club also hosts regular-themed nights. The glamorous interior, state-of-the-art light, and sound system, and VIP options make it a go-to place for party-goers.
2. The Manor Complex
In the heart of Wilton Manors, The Manor Complex is a dynamic two-level nightclub featuring various music styles from pop, house, and salsa to classic tunes. It’s known for hosting phenomenal drag shows, theme nights, and other special events, making every visit a unique experience.
3. Off The Hookah
This waterfront club offers an exhilarating nightlife experience with a twist. In addition to a dance floor that hosts DJs and live music, the venue features an assortment of flavorful hookahs. The vibrant lighting, waterfront views, and unique experience make this an unforgettable stop in Fort Lauderdale.
4. Revolution Live
A pulsing hub of live music, Revolution Live has hosted numerous local and international bands and DJ sets across various genres. With its large dance floor, impressive sound system, and multiple bars, this indoor/outdoor venue is a haven for music lovers.
5. SWAY Nightclub
Known for its stylish crowd, top-tier DJ sets, and spirited dance floor, SWAY nightclub is one of Fort Lauderdale’s prime nightlife destinations. Their state-of-the-art lighting and sound system enhance the club’s energetic ambiance, making it a must for those looking to dance the night away.
Fort Lauderdale Nightlife Conclusion
With its diverse range of bars, clubs, and live music venues, Fort Lauderdale provides an exciting nightlife experience that caters to all tastes and preferences. From relaxed beachfront bars to pulsating dance clubs, Fort Lauderdale’s nightlife is just as vibrant and welcoming as the city itself.
Whether you’re a local or a visitor, exploring the city’s nightlife is a must. Armed with this guide, you’re all set to delve into the mesmerizing after-hours scene and make unforgettable memories in the beautiful city of Fort Lauderdale. So, grab a drink, hit the dance floor, and get ready to enjoy all that the Fort Lauderdale nightlife has to offer.