If you like sun and sand, Fort Lauderdale is your place. Living in this beach city, located less than an hour from Miami, is like being on vacation all year round. When you think of Fort Lauderdale, picture boating canals (it’s known as the Venice of America), palm trees, hotels, vacationers, retirees and bronzed locals.
Because Fort Lauderdale is somewhat of a high-end vacation destination, living here doesn’t come cheap compared to other parts of Florida. The median sales price of homes is $325,000 and median rent is $2,000 per month. But, don’t forget: There’s no income tax in Florida, so you’ll see a nice paycheck. The city has many gated and member communities, with homes ranging from modest to palatial. The closer to the beach you get, the bigger the price tag you’ll see. Homes right on Fort Lauderdale Beach will set you back a few million. Renters will be able to find some nice apartment and condo complexes with pools.
Because Southern Florida has a big retiree population, the median age of cities here tends to be higher than the national average. Fort Lauderdale is no exception, with a median age of 41. But no matter what age you are, if you’re single and looking to mingle, you could get lucky, as 47 percent of residents are single.
The beach, hot weather and tons of bars and happy vacationers make it easy to have a good time in Fort Lauderdale. Head to a golf course, check out the mansions on Millionaire’s Row and get around via water taxi in the city’s canals. Las Olas Boulevard in downtown is the place for shopping and dining. There’s a pretty happening bar and nightlife scene in Fort Lauderdale, with fun beach bars like 101 Ocean, 5 O'Clock Somewhere Bar and Grill and Aruba Beach Cafe. You’ll get your fill of grouper, shrimp, Cuban sandwiches and ice cream.
If you’re into exploring the outdoors, check out the area’s wildlife preserves, where you’ll see native animals like manatees, or head over to the Everglades and look for gators. History lovers will want to check out the Stranahan House Museum, which was home to Fort Lauderdale pioneers Frank and Ivy Stranahan in the early 1900s. And if all else fails head to the beach and stroll the promenade.