When it comes to travel I think blogging is the best way to go when learning about your destination, things to do, hotels to stay at and places to eat. Nothing is better than hearing from another mom what is best for your family. My husband had to travel to Fort Lauderdale for work so I figured since he will be away for a week why not jump on this trip and "lay" by the pool and beach with the kids while he goes from meeting to meeting. When planning we didn't get much choice when it came to hotels as it was for business but we were on the beach and the hotel had a pool which worked for the kids and I. We stayed at The Westin FortLauderdale Beach resort and ate at a variety of restaurants. Below I give you the low down on all of it...
Here is a list of pros and cons of The Westin Fort Lauderdale Beach Resort:
-Location. Right on the beach and easy walk over access to it. Also by being on the beach easy, quick walks to the restaurants on the beach.
-Cleanliness. It was a beautiful hotel with a good size room (standard room) and everything was very clean.
-Staff. They were very helpful and extremely nice.
-Starbucks was right downstairs for a quick coffee run in the morning (this could be a con for some but as a mom, it is coffee and I always need my morning cup no matter the brand).
-Airport. It was a quick 15-20 minute ride so uber worked perfect for us.
-Pool. I felt like the pool was a little small for the size of the hotel and this is where I spent most of my time with two boys. It was a little overcrowded especially in the afternoon. There were enough lounges to sit but the actual pool just seemed tight.
-Beach. They provide lounge chairs for free but for an extra $20 you can get an umbrella (not sure why they charge you at the beach but by the pool the umbrellas and lounges are free). Also the beach was beautiful and the water was warm but during our stay there seemed to be a lot of seaweed so we didn't stay in the ocean for long periods of time.
-The Bathroom in the Room. There was a wood slated window and door to the bathroom in the room which was a little odd and didn't give much privacy. My kids were obsessed with opening and closing the window which didn't lock and the door also didn't lock. It looked pretty but not really kid friendly (or leave me alone mom time friendly).
-Pool Restaurant. The food was decent but overpriced which I guess would be expected being in a resort. The drinks were ok and cost $10 each and up. They pretty much did the trick with the frozen Miami Vices and daiquiris. We ended up getting some food at CVS down the street and leaving it in our fridge in the room so we didn't have to spend so much on lunch everyday. Dinners we would walk down the beach and go to different restaurants.
The hotel overall was decent and did the trick for the week but I if we went back to Fort Lauderdale I don't think we would stay here again. I would prefer a hotel with a better pool and maybe even off the beach as long as the pool was large and good for kids.
Every night we tried a different restaurant:
If you are in Fort Lauderdale with kids this is the place to go! It is not in the greatest section of town but totally worth the 15 minute drive from the beach. The food is American style so typical burgers, hot dogs, pulled pork, etc. but the portions are huge so go hungry. Dessert is a must here. They make their own ice cream and it is delicious and HUGE! I had the Chocolate Suicide and everytime I took a bite it was like a different bite of chocolate, I was in heaven. On top of all this food you can stop by their shop on the way out to get candy and toys. Besides the food, the decor is a lot of fun to look at with vintage style license plates and other vintage style pieces. Everywhere you looked there was something interesting to see. This was hands down my favorite restaurant during our week in Fort Lauderdale.
This bar and restaurant has a casual, beachy feel with a variety of fish and New Orlean's esque dishes. They also serve fishbowls so if you are looking to drink with a group this is the place for you. The high top tables and feeling of a beach washed bar really makes you feel like you are on vacation. The food is good and drinks are delicious, a great place for a casual lunch or dinner.
Lona happened to be the restaurant at the Westin so we had to try it out plus it was mexican and had a tequileria. The food was delicious, especially the Tuna Tostada, and the margaritas were amazing. It also had a great modern mexican feel with a beach view. If you plan on going make sure you check out their website, most nights they have different specials going on so you can get a great meal for a good deal.
The modern clean lines of this restaurant with a beach view made it easy to walk into. The food was very fresh and delicious plus they had a list of signature drinks to choose from. The entertainment was a guitarist and flamenco dancer so it was fun to have dinner on the beach with a show.
Since my son gained a love for popcorn shrimp while we were in Florida we decided to try this chain restaurant. The Forest Gump decor is a lot of fun but that is pretty much it. The food was so so and what you would expect from a chain restaurant. The drinks were very sugary and all in all we probably won't go back. Although, the pictures of my kids sitting in Forest Gumps seat on the bus bench are really cute.
Fort Lauderdale is a beautiful area and I would definitely go back. It was relaxing, the food was mostly great and we enjoyed our family time together. If you are looking for a family style South Beach then I would recommend Fort Lauderdale plus if you wanted to do Miami for a day it's only a 45 minute drive.