Welcome to Fort Lauderdale, Florida, a destination known for its vibrant atmosphere, stunning beaches, and a wide range of accessible attractions. We had the incredible opportunity to scope out this remarkable city, and we’re thrilled to share with you the best of the best when it comes to accessible Fort Lauderdale. From captivating cultural experiences to relaxing beachside moments and thrilling outdoor adventures, this coastal gem offers something for everyone. So, get ready to embark on an unforgettable journey as we highlight the finest accessible destinations and activities that Fort Lauderdale has to offer.
Where to Stay
Conrad Fort Lauderdale Beach
Nestled along the oceanfront, this all-suite resort offers an ideal retreat for traveling with caregivers or extended stays. Each unit boasts a furnished balcony or terrace, allowing guests to relax and soak in the stunning views. A galley kitchen in each room adds convenience and flexibility for those who prefer to prepare their own meals. This resort boasts a strong support for local businesses, a long list of accessible amenities to enjoy and exceptional customer service. The lounge is accessible via an elevator lift and both the pool and hot-tub have lifts into the water. You can also book your preferred style of accessible room directly from the website, avoiding any need for additional research or phone calls.
Photo Credit: Conrad Fort Lauderdale Beach
W Fort Lauderdale
The W Fort Lauderdale offers a range of wheelchair accessible features in each room. They provide standard amenities like a roll-in shower, grab bars, transfer shower, handheld shower head, and a bathtub seat. The rooms also have lowered deadbolt locks and outlets for easy access. The pool and spa are wheelchair accessible as well.
The Atlantic Hotel & Spa
The Atlantic Hotel & Spa offers excellent wheelchair accessibility. They have ADA compliant guest rooms with roll-in showers and bathroom grab bars. The rooms are larger than standard, providing ample space for wheelchair navigation. Each room has a balcony, many with ocean views. The pool has a lift, and the restaurant and lounge are wheelchair accessible.
Ocean Sky Hotel & Resort
The Ocean Sky Hotel offers wheelchair accessible two double-bed rooms. The accessible features include a roll-in shower or tub with grab bars and a hand-held shower head. The rooms are equipped with a kitchenette. Wheelchair accessible routes connect all amenities throughout the hotel. The pool has a lift, and there is a ramp to access the pool deck. The only inaccessible area is the direct path from the beach to the pool deck.
Things to Do
Hit the Beach
A trip to Fort Lauderdale would not be complete without a visit to the beach, and this city offers great accessibility options for folks with disabilities. There are multiple accessible entrances that are equipped with Mobi mats, allowing wheelchair users to comfortably cruise sandy areas. Fort Lauderdale beach and Sebastian Street Beach have been prioritized for accessibility. Sebastian Street Beach is also an LGBTQ2+ friendly beach. This beach has lots of accessible parking across the street within a designated area, as well as a manual beach wheelchair available for use. All you need to do is speak to a lifeguard who will assist you in getting access to the equipment. They can also store your own wheelchair for you while using theirs.
Photo Credit: Visit Lauderdale
Visit Cultural Sites and Museums
Immerse yourself in the dynamic arts and culture scene of Fort Lauderdale, where a world of creative experiences awaits. From engaging art walks to captivating museums and live performances there is something for everyone to enjoy. A must-visit destination is the NSU Art Museum, which showcases an impressive collection of art that spans various periods and genres. Another staple of Fort Lauderdale’s cultural landscape is the Museum of Discovery & Science. Engage your senses and expand your knowledge through interactive exhibits that cover a wide range of scientific disciplines. From hands-on experiments to immersive displays, the museum offers an educational and entertaining experience for visitors of all ages.
Snagging tickets to a show at the Broward Center for the Performing Arts is an absolute must. With a strong commitment to accessibility, this world class cultural center offers sign-interpreted performances, listening devices, open captioning, touch tours, sensory-inclusive performances and much more, ensuring that everyone can enjoy the magic of live theater. Prepare to be captivated by the talent on stage and experience the thrill of a live performance in this acclaimed venue.
Go For an Epic Stroll
Fort Lauderdale boasts some truly remarkable strolling areas, and two of the most walkable and captivating spots are the Riverwalk and Las Olas. These areas offer a plethora of attractions that cater to every taste, making them must-visit destinations.
The Riverwalk, situated alongside the picturesque river, provides a scenic pathway where you can soak in the sights of stunning mansions and luxurious yachts while enjoying a gentle breeze. This idyllic setting is ideal for spending a leisurely afternoon, whether you choose to explore charming parks or savour a delightful dinner with waterfront views.
On the other hand, Las Olas exudes a vibrant energy brimming with small boutiques, art galleries, exceptional restaurants, cozy cafes, and lively entertainment venues. Whether you’re in search of unique finds, delectable cuisine, some shopping, or a vibrant nightlife scene, Las Olas has it all.
Take an Accessible Water Taxi Tour
Embarking on an accessible Water Taxi tour in Fort Lauderdale is an unforgettable experience that allows you to take in the mesmerizing sights of extravagant mansions and celebrity yachts. While enjoying this scenic adventure, it’s important to note that not all Water Taxi stops are wheelchair accessible. For the best barrier-free experience, we recommend boarding the Water Taxi at Stop Four. This stop ensures a seamless and accessible journey with its wide boarding ramp onto the boat. Sit back, relax, and enjoy the picturesque views as you glide along the water, creating lasting memories of your time in this stunning city.
Photo Credit: Visit Lauderdale
Enjoy Wildlife & Nature
The Greater Fort Lauderdale area also offers incredible encounters with wildlife. Exploring the diverse ecosystems surrounding the city provides memorable and enjoyable experiences for everyone. The Everglades, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, allows you to discover a unique and thriving ecosystem teeming with fascinating flora and fauna. Take a thrilling wheelchair accessible airboat ride, spot alligators, and learn about the importance of conservation in this iconic natural wonder. To book an accessible tour make sure to call 561-660-2419. Flamingo Gardens in Davie offers a tranquil escape where you can observe beautiful flamingos and explore lush gardens filled with native plants and wildlife. Additionally, at Butterfly World in Coconut Creek, be prepared for a magical experience as you move amidst a colourful array of fluttering butterflies. Don’t forget to stop by the bird feeding area, where you can interact with exotic birds as they eat right out of your hand.
Parks & Trails
Photo Credit: Bonnet House Museum & Gardens
Discover Accessibility Outdoors
Fort Lauderdale’s climate creates the perfect conditions for lush and vibrant flora to flourish. Take the time to explore the enchanting Bonnet House Museum and Gardens, where you can immerse yourself in the beauty of meticulously maintained gardens and stunning landscapes. This historic estate offers a delightful escape into a world of tropical plants, artistic inspiration, and fascinating history.
Adjacent to the Bonnet House, Hugh Taylor Birch State Park provides a serene setting for a leisurely stroll. This accessible park offers pathways that cater to individuals of all abilities, allowing everyone to enjoy the natural surroundings and tranquility.
For those seeking a short and enchanted trail loop, a visit to the Tall Cypress Natural Trail Loop is highly recommended. This extremely accessible trail, located outside the city, offers a serene and picturesque setting where you can wander among towering cypress trees and observe the diverse plant and animal life that thrives in this pristine environment.
Places to Eat
Photo Credit: Takato
Takato is a flagship restaurant in Fort Lauderdale that promises a unique and exceptional dining experience. Led by the talented Executive Chef Taek Lee, also known as Chef Taka, this establishment showcases a fusion of Japanese and Korean cuisine. With decades of experience in the culinary industry, Chef Taka brings his passion and expertise to create a vibe-heavy atmosphere and a menu that is sure to tantalize your taste buds. Drawing upon his connections with top colleagues and friends from other esteemed Asian restaurants in the city, Chef Taka has curated a winning recipe for success at Takato.
Photo Credit: Lona Cocina Tequileria
Lona Cocina Tequileria
Lona Cocina Tequileria is a vibrant and enticing dining establishment in Fort Lauderdale that seamlessly blends the flavours of Mexico with a contemporary twist. With its inviting atmosphere and stunning waterfront location, Lona provides the perfect setting for a memorable culinary experience. Led by talented chefs, the menu at Lona features a wide array of Mexican-inspired dishes prepared with fresh, locally sourced ingredients. From traditional favorites like tacos and ceviche to innovative creations that showcase the diverse regional flavors of Mexico, every dish at Lona is a feast for the senses.
Rhythm & Vine
This popular establishment offers a unique and energetic atmosphere, making it a go-to spot for those seeking a fun and memorable night out. With its spacious outdoor garden, eclectic decor, and cozy seating areas, Rhythm & Vine provides a laid-back setting where you can relax, socialize, and enjoy the vibrant energy of the city. The space features alternating local food truck eats in the garden and the bar features a wide selection of craft beers, creative cocktails, and refreshing beverages. As the evening progresses, Rhythm & Vine comes alive with live music performances by local DJs and bands, adding an extra layer of excitement to the ambiance.
Photo Credit: The Wilder
The Wilder is a sophisticated spot nestled in the heart of Fort Lauderdale. With its chic and eclectic ambiance, this establishment offers a unique and memorable experience for cocktail enthusiasts. From classic concoctions to innovative and experimental drinks, The Wilder’s menu is designed to delight and surprise. The attention to detail and use of high-quality ingredients ensure that each sip is a journey of flavour and complexity. The stylish and inviting decor, combined with the friendly and knowledgeable staff, creates an atmosphere that is perfect for socializing and enjoying a night out.
Here & Now
With its modern decor, relaxed atmosphere, and an emphasis on locally sourced ingredients, Here & Now offers a delightful dining experience for both locals and visitors. The menu features a diverse range of dishes inspired by global flavours and culinary traditions. From mouthwatering small plates to hearty mains and inventive cocktails, every aspect of the dining experience at Here & Now is crafted with care and creativity. The restaurant’s commitment to sourcing ingredients from local farmers and suppliers ensures that each dish is fresh, and made with a touch of regional authenticity.
How to get around
Although Fort Lauderdale may appear to be a walkable/strollable city with relatively short distances between neighbourhoods, the best way to get around is by car. Due to the hot and humid South Florida climate and limited shade, people often opt for other convenient transportation options.
For those seeking flexibility and independence, renting a wheelchair accessible vehicle during your trip to Fort Lauderdale can be an excellent option. Having your own accessible vehicle allows you to explore the city at your own pace and visit various sites without relying on public transportation or taxi services. Fort Lauderdale offers ample accessible parking spaces throughout the city, ensuring convenient parking for individuals with a valid parking placard. To rent a wheelchair accessible van, check out Push Mobility Transport. With a rented accessible van, you can navigate Fort Lauderdale with ease, accessing various neighbourhoods and sites comfortably and conveniently throughout your stay.
Taxis / Uber
In Fort Lauderdale, accessing wheelchair accessible taxis can pose a challenge as there are limited options available. Despite a few companies offering wheelchair accessible taxis, securing one on short notice can be difficult. During peak times, it is not uncommon to find these taxis fully booked, with reservations often stretching far into the future. Other times expect a 1 – 3 hour wait. If you don’t require a wheelchair accessible vehicle, it is quite easy to catch an Uber or Lyft at fairly inexpensive rates.
The Micro Mover is unfortunately not wheelchair accessible but for those who can manage a few steps, it is a free and sustainable mobility option to help get folks around downtown, Las Olas and the beach. Download the “Ride Circuit” app to book your ride.
Photo Credit: Visit Lauderdale
Fort Lauderdale offers wheelchair accessible Water Taxis, providing a unique and scenic way to explore the city. To ensure a smooth experience, it is recommended to prioritize specific stops where the accessible ramp and sufficient space on the Water Taxi are available. Stop Four and Stop One stand out as prime choices for wheelchair users. These stops have reliable accessibility features, including wheelchair accessible ramps and spacious accommodations onboard the Water Taxis. By strategically planning your route and prioritizing these stops, you can maximize your enjoyment of the water taxi experience.
If you have more time to spare and prefer a budget-friendly option, Fort Lauderdale’s bus system can be a viable choice for getting around the city. The bus system is generally accessible, making it convenient for wheelchair users to navigate Fort Lauderdale. With bus stations located along the A1A and serving many hotels, you can easily leave your hotel, hop on a bus and reach various destinations throughout the city. This allows you to explore Fort Lauderdale at your own pace while enjoying the scenic views. Make sure to check the specific bus schedules and plan your itinerary accordingly to optimize your time and make the most of your experience.
About Our Founder
A photographer turned tech entrepreneur living with Muscular Dystrophy, Maayan Ziv launched AccessNow in 2015. Maayan is an avid travel enthusiast and a fierce disability advocate. She is credited as one of the forces behind #RightsOnFlights, lobbying for increased accessibility in air travel globally.
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