I spent the afternoon on the water during my November visit to Fort Lauderdale – no, not on the Atlantic or off the beach, but instead on the Intracoastal Waterway on a bright yellow water taxi. One of the city’s most popular tourist activities, the Water Taxi chugs along the busy waterway skirting high-rises, commercial centers, restaurants and bars, and along Fort Lauderdale’s canal-front downtown.
We pass under bridges, pass by the mansions of the rich and famous, and skirt the many canals off the Intracoastal waterways that have given Fort Lauderdale the nickname, “Venice of America.”
“You will not see these homes from the street. You need to get on the water taxi, the best way to see the million dollar homes and see how those folks lived,” says Eric Roberts, one of the crew who also serves as a tour guide, pointing out the homes of movie stars and industry barons. Roberts and his fellow crew members tell tales of who lived where and when, with an amusing twist and some bad jokes that are actually funny, albeit not necessarily completely factual.
The Water Taxi’s three routes have 19 stops, from downtown to the northern part of the waterway and south to nearby Hollywood. Highlights include high-rise condos along waterfront plazas with palm trees, marinas with sailboats and shining white yachts, and multimillion-dollar homes shaded by trees and with balconies overlooking grassy backyards facing the city’s many canals. The route also passes along Port Everglades often filled with cruise ships. The downtown route narrows with stops close to museums, attractions and restaurants.
For more information: www.watertaxi.com
AIRBOAT ON THE EVERGLADES
Also, it was a real thrill riding an airboat on the Everglades – this one outside Fort Lauderdale at an attraction called Billy’s Swamp Safari. Check out the video below.