Fort Lauderdale: Water Taxi Rides in the ‘Venice of America’

Water Taxi.  Photo by Richard Varr

Water Taxi. Photo by Richard Varr

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.

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Home along the canals. Photo by Richard Varr

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.”

Photo by Richard Varr

Photo by Richard Varr

“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.

Yachts on the waterway. Photo by Richard Varr

Yachts on the waterway. Photo by Richard Varr

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.

Downtown canal. Photo by Richard Varr

Downtown canal. Photo by Richard Varr

For more information: www.watertaxi.com

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AIRBOAT ON THE EVERGLADES

Airboat on the Everglades. Photo by Richard Varr

Airboat on the Everglades. Photo by Richard Varr

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.

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4 responses to “Fort Lauderdale: Water Taxi Rides in the ‘Venice of America’

  1. very amusing tour on the water taxi.

  2. awesome, i dont know that water taxi exist! that’s really fun, thanks for sharing.

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