In South Florida, there are a few ways to get around: by car, the semi-new Brightline train that can currently transport you between Miami, Fort Lauderdale and West Palm Beach, and then the more enjoyable and healthier options like walking, biking and running. But did you know that in Fort Lauderdale you can also get around via water taxi? And this form of transportation can be an adventure in itself. Hopping on and off the water taxi is a surefire way to have the most fun on the way to or from your destinations.
Routes and Stops
Open 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. daily, Fort Lauderdale’s Water Taxi runs hourly and stops along various routes. Cruise around if you’d like, but you’ll have just as much fun stopping along the way for food, drinks, shopping, beaches and more.
- The Fort Lauderdale Route from Riverside Hotel and Stranahan House to Bokamper’s Sports Bar and Grill with eight stops in between. It takes about three hours to ride the main Fort Lauderdale Route from start to finish and back.
- The River Route from Esplanade Park to Tarpon River
- The Express (Hollywood) Route that goes from the Hilton Marina and Convention Center to Margaritaville Beach Resort, Boardwalk and Beach, and back. (The last Margaritaville pickup nightly is at 9 p.m.)
Download the free “Water Taxi Tracker App” so that you can see the taxi path and vehicle locations in real time. The Water Taxi also offers plenty of discount options with its Cruise and Save Partners. Visit the website and check out all the restaurants on the taxi route that offer savings, such as 10 percent off of select meals.
The cost for tickets varies as follows:
- Adults: $28 per person
- Senior citizens (65+) and military personnel: $23 per person.
- Children ages 5 to 11 are $14 per person. Kids under the age of 5 are free.
- Happy hour pricing (after 5 p.m. daily) for adults and seniors is $18 each.
For frequent riders, there’s also a monthly all-access commuter pass (30 days unlimited) for $99 per person. An annual pass includes four individual tickets allowing you to bring a guest up to four times per year at $299. If you buy tickets online in advance and aren’t able to make it for any reason, they are valid for up to one year from the date of purchase.
Attractions You Can Visit by Water Taxi
You might be surprised to find that Fort Lauderdale is the Yachting Capital of the World and the Water Taxi’s routes pass right along Millionaire's Row. Here are some of the most popular stops to consider on your ride.
If you’re hungry, there’s no shortage of food and drink along the water taxi route. Try the famed Margaritaville Hollywood Beach Resort, which has multiple dining options, including JWB Prime Steak and Seafood, Landshark Bar & Grill, and the 5 O’Clock Somewhere Bar & Grill.
Also on the intracoastal, there’s Shooters Waterfront. Stop here for happy hour Monday through Friday, dinner daily and brunch on the weekends. There’s even a dog menu at Shooters, though only service animals are allowed aboard the water taxi. If you’re cruising around on a game day, stop at Bokamper’s Sports Bar and Grill. The open-air restaurant keeps the beer cold and the TVs on for all the sports fans out there.
There are plenty of shopping options in Fort Lauderdale. Two good ones that are accessible via the water taxi are Las Olas Boulevard in Downtown Fort Lauderdale and the Galleria Mall. When at Las Olas, pop into the cute and local Ann’s Florist Coffee & Wine Bar or grab something sweet at the family-owned Hoffman’s Chocolates. The Galleria is the seventh stop on the Fort Lauderdale Water Taxi Route and is home to contemporary clothing stores like American Eagle Outfitters, Banana Republic, Free People, and Sephora.
Pack your sunscreen, towels, water, and book, and hop off at Margaritaville, where you can take a walk on Hollywood Beach until you find the perfect sandy spot to park yourself. Check out the boardwalk nearby or stay on the water taxi until you reach Bahia Mar, Beach Place of Hugh Taylor Birch State Park. At this park, you might spot turtles, snakes, gray squirrels, marsh rabbits, possums, and more than 200 species of birds. Plan to spend the day here; there’s so much to do! With canoeing in a mile-long freshwater lagoon, fishing, swimming, camping, and picnics, you won’t run out of possibilities. Go for a brisk walk on one of two hiking trails for exercise. You can also grab food and drinks here at the outdoor eatery called Park & Ocean.
If you’ve got your dancing shoes on, make sure to stop at pubs, bars, and restaurants like the Historic Downtowner Saloon, Briny Irish Pub, Park & Ocean, and Margaritaville. All of these places have one thing in common: they feature live musical performances throughout the week. Check their individual websites for scheduling and prepare to boogie.
Arts & Culture
The first stop on the Water Taxi route will leave you at Broward County’s oldest surviving structure, the Historic Stranahan House. Built in 1901, this historic home is open for guided tours three times per day and hosts special events often. Get educated about the history of the city at the Fort Lauderdale Historic Society, check out the art at NSU Art Museum, or see a show at the Broward Center for the Performing Arts.