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Fort Lauderdale or Miami

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Jun 17th, 2013, 06:46 AM
  #1
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Fort Lauderdale or Miami

A few friends and I will be leaving on a Panama Canal cruise from Fort Lauderdale next April. As we are coming from Europe we plan to arrive 3 days ahead of departure to enjoy a bit of what Florida has to offer.

Which is better to stay in - Miami or Fort Lauderdale? We are interested in local interest sightseeing and a bit of shopping. Which would be better? Would we need to rent a car?

Grateful for any suggestions....Thanks in advance, Laura
Lauradublin is offline  
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Jun 17th, 2013, 07:04 AM
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I guess it depends on you. Miami has a more trendy scene, more nightlife, more restaurants, and better trendy hotels. It's a much bigger city, and if you base yourself in South Beach, you can easily spend a week there without needing to rent a car, except perhaps for a day of exploring if you want to go see the Everglades. In fact, you probably won't want to rent a car if you are staying in Miami Beach since parking is expensive, and you really don't need a car there.

Fort Lauderdale is more family-friendly and is probably a better destination if you want to be on the beach (more hotels there offer direct beach access and are more resort-like).

In terms of shopping, Miami has a lot of interesting boutiques and high-end luxury stores, as well as two of the largest malls in the U.S. (Aventura and Sawgrass Mills). You'd need a car to reach either of those.

They're both good destinations, and both have plenty of "sights". You're likely going to fly into Miami, so it makes some sense to stay there. I'd stay at least one night to experience South Beach, and then if you want to rent a car and move on to Fort Lauderdale you can. That's going to be the most cost-effective way to do your transfer if you feel comfortable driving. There's not usually a huge drop-off fee to take a car from Miami to Fort Lauderdale since they are only about an hour or so from each other.
doug_stallings is offline  
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Jun 17th, 2013, 08:41 AM
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Agree with most of the above. You could do both. Spend two days in Miami, and then head to FtL the day before your cruise departs. You'll probably need a car.
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Jun 17th, 2013, 10:20 AM
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I would definitely not plan on seeing "what Florida has to offer" (and unlike some who don't LIVE here, we know that it has a lot more to offer than Miami) without a car.

yes, you can stay around South Beach without a vehicle and that means you'll need to arrange transportation to the cruise port at Port Everglades in Fort Lauderdale which is easily done and on line.

However, with only 3 days to spend I am afraid you are going to be stuck choosing between Miami and well, Miami.
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