Fort Lauderdale Florida, in all honesty never been on my bucket list of must travel locations. But then this trip happened.
I am sitting on my night flight back as I write this (my favourite time to write as hello no distractions of phone notifications!). I may be a glass of red down, but I am feeling pretty emotional about my time in Fort Lauderdale. I think its been one of my favourite trips to date. Its been epic, adventure filled and all in all a magical experience with the best group of girls.
Sometimes I feel like life goes past in such a blur, especially living in London. We are always running around, glued to our phones, slaves to our never ending to do lists and the London ‘buzz’. It’s so easy to get swept up and you stop appreciating the little things, the slow moments, the moments that give you all the #feels. I boarded the plane to Florida tense, on 100 miles an hour after what has been pretty much the most intense year of my life. Then Fort Lauderdale happened and brought me all the damn #feels, and I feel like it came at the exact right time. Maybe it was a sign, maybe that’s the wine talking who knows. But this trip was everything I needed and more.
I sometimes have to pinch myself at the opportunities this crazy online world has given me. Being able to explore this beautiful world is something I will never, never take for granted.
So rewind a little bit back to the beginning of this trip, like I mentioned it had never really been on my list. If someone said to me Florida the first thing that would cross my mind would have been Disney Land and that’s about it. Instead we were meet with huge expansive beaches, activities to our hearts content, the friendliest people I have ever meet, the ever aptly named sunshine state did exactly that. Brought us sunshine, sunsets and incredible food. Each day Florida surprised us. Oh you want to go see Alligators…sure. You want to kayak through scenery that looks out of Jurassic park……ok then. Paddleboarding, swimming, boat rides, snorkelling, diving. You name it Greater Fort Lauderdale had it in bucket loads.
We stayed at the Greater Fort Lauderdale Marriot Harbour Beach Resort & Spa which was an amazingly located hotel right on the beach. Our rooms looked out onto the ocean which was the most perfect way to wake up each day. The hotel had everything you would need – perfect location, multiple restaurants my favourite being 3030 Ocean….oh and they had a decent sized gym…basically everything a group of beach loving, always hungry very active girls needed. So thanks Marriot Harbour Beach Resort & Spa for the most wonderful stay. Literally felt like we were on an epic girls holiday every day.
If being active and exploring is your vibe then you have come to the right place. Below is all the activities we did on our trip. I would recommend them all!
- Alligator trip aka embrace your inner David Attenborough up close and personal with these creatures. We got an airboat around the most expansive waters at the sawgrass recreation park and saw SO many alligators who came so close to the boats. Terrifying and so exciting in equal measure.
- Kayaking and Paddleboarding at Park and Ocean around Hugh Taylor Birch Park – literally felt like I was in Jurassic park. It was insanely beautiful.
- Scuba diving and Snorkelling with South Florida diving – lots of incredible places to explore underwater and we saw SO many fishes. Plus the views of Miami and Florida from the boat were insane….probably avoid if you get sea sickness. But an epic day out to embrace your inner #scubasteve
- Lighthouse exploring at Pompano Beach – climb to the top and the views are so incredible. Plus the beach and water look like straight out of the Bahamas so I mean that’s another reason to get the boat there.
- Downtown Hollywood Mural Project in Florida’s Hollywood – such incredible curated murals by local and international artists. Each turn you came across a new piece of art. I was pretty blown away by how talented the artists were.
- General exploring Las Olas Boulevard – get on the Water Taxi the views (and houses) are pretty mega.
Told you there’s a lot to do – and something tells me we only scratched the surface. Now you know me and my priorities. Let’s talk about food…my favourite subject. I love how much we as a group all LOVED food. Honestly never eaten so much in my life. The food was so SO good though. Fort Lauderdale does food WELL. So here are the places we ate and my recommendations:
- Louie Bossi’s Ristorante Bar Pizzeria for epic Pizza and pasta – everytime we passed it was packed so I mean that’s a pretty good sign right
- Fresh First – first glance you would think standard café. But low and behold the most epic vegan, veggie, gluten free feasting you ever had. We loved it so much we went back again. Everything I ate was delicious. Firm favourite from the trip.
- GG’s Waterfront bar – beautiful spot to have lunch right by the water with fresh tasty food.
- ETARU – amazing Japanese food. Owned by the co founder of Roka and honestly mind blowing.
- Casa Sensei delicious food, amazing outdoor seating in las Olas. Perfect for a slow very tasty lunch in the sunshine
- Kuro at Seminole Hard Rock Hotel – more Japenese but oh my word…we had the 6 course tasting menu. They catered for veggie and vegans. The food was INCREDIBLE. The flavours amazing. Best miso sauce I have ever tried. Every dish was exquisite….honestly never been so full in my life.
As you can see our trip was filled with amazing food and all the adventures and activities. Plus all the beach wanders and swimming in the ocean. I leave Florida feeling so content and peaceful. This is partly down to the incredible trip (Kudos to Charlotte the wonder woman PR and great human who organised this adventure to an inch of its life!! Hats off to you). But also down to the group of girls I went with. Lottie, Cat, Kim, Phoebe and Sophie it was magical. It didn’t feel like a work trip, it felt like a holiday. We bonded, laughed till we cried, ate so much food we couldn’t move, swam in the ocean whilst the sun went down and sat on the beach into the evening talking about anything and everything. I needed this trip, I needed the ocean and most of all I needed these girls. I came to Florida one person and left feeling like a new human. With amazing lifelong friends and nothing but beautiful memories of Fort Lauderdale. Florida my friend you well and truly brought the sunshine to my life in every way possible.
Thanks to Greater Fort Lauderdale Convention and Visitors Bureau for having us and offering us such an amazing opportunity.
*This was a press trip courtesy of Greater Fort Lauderdale Convention and Visitors Bureau. All opinions, words and images are my own. If you’d like to find out more about the wonderful Fort Lauderdale, visit their social channels here.