When docked in Port Everglades, Fort Lauderdale offers plenty of activities on the water, from swimming and water sports to simply lounging the day away under a beach umbrella (preferably with a frozen margarita in hand). But there’s a lot more to the Sunshine State than its seemingly endless strips of beaches — especially once the sun goes down.
We’ve come up with the top five places to party the night away in Fort Lauderdale, from distance to the port, because there are more than just sunny days ahead in your tropical getaway.
Kreepy Tiki, 13 minutes
For a unique night out in Fort Lauderdale, check out Kreepy Tiki. Sharing a building with a tattoo studio, the tiki bar combines the culture for a kitschy experience complete with luau décor, cocktails and live music all in a Polynesian hut — or so it feels like. So order up a mai tai and get to people watching.
Kreepy Tiki, 2608 S. Federal Highway, Fort Lauderdale, FL, 33316. 954-803-7691, kreepytikilounge.com
YOLO, 15 minutes
You only live once, and this restaurant and lounge promotes the ideology in its very name. Come for dinner in the open-kitchen dining room, and stay for drinks. Hang by the bar, or hang out in the garden patio fit with couches. With a full bar, mixologists can create craft cocktails or serve up wine and your new favorite local beer. For dancing, head to the neighboring O-Lounge.
YOLO, 333 E. Las Olas Blvd., Fort Lauderdale, FL, 33301. 954-523-1000, yolorestaurant.com
Revolution Live, 17 minutes
This live-music venue is known for bringing in an array of musical acts, from big-name singers like Charli XCX to obscure bands you thought only you knew about. Thanks to affordable prices, music lovers can huddle in the pit for an up-close-and-personal concert experience. There’s also plenty of room to gaze down below from the second floor, or hang out at the bar — you can see the band perfectly no matter where you are. The bar is so unique and intimate that it was used as the Bourbon Room while filming Rock of Ages.
Revolution Live, 100 SW Third Ave., Fort Lauderdale, FL, 33312. 954-449-1025, jointherevolution.net
America’s Backyard, 20 minutes
At this outdoor bar on Himmarshee, it feels like spring break all year long. DJs spin tunes live with music videos playing on hanging TV sets, while bartenders dressed as lifeguards serve up cocktails in glasses or fish bowls — your choice. The middle bar is designed like a swimming pool fit with a ladder, and when the bass drops, paper napkins fly through the air.
America’s Backyard, 100 SW Third Ave., Fort Lauderdale, FL, 33312. 954-449-1025, myamericasbackyard.com
Seminole Hard Rock Hotel and Casino, 25 minutes
Many times while on vacation it’s difficult to decide between all of the new experiences and possibilities. Do you go to the hot new club or the casino? The hilarious entertainer at the comedy club or the can’t-miss concert, happening now? But if you’re willing and able to drive just 25 minutes from Port Everglades, the only choice you’ll make is what to do first. If dancing is your thing, hit up Passion nightclub for a selection of five distinct rooms, or go to Bongo’s Cuban Café for a more sophisticated experience in their all-white rooftop Sky Lounge. Have a drink and take in the local talent at any one of their numerous bars/stages, or visit Murphy’s Law Irish Pub for nightly live music and drinks served by the kilted staff. Want to sit back and be entertained? Catch a show at the Improv Comedy Club or the legendary Hard Rock Live. Visit Piano Hollywood for a more intimate piano bar experience, or check out Wet Willie’s, a frozen daiquiri bar, for a delicious brain freeze. There’s an array of bars, restaurants and shops to pop into within the property, and throughout it all, you can walk over to the casino for non-stop, 24-hour gaming and a casual food court.
Hard Rock Hotel and Casino, 1 Seminole Way, Hollywood, FL, 33314. 1-866-502-7529, seminolehardrockhollywood.com
Know of a can’t-miss party destination in Fort Lauderdale? Share it with us in the comments below!