I had a great afternoon just strolling around the main street of Ft. Lauderdale, Las Solas (sp?). It's full of cute cafes, boutiques, stores, book stores and restaurants. It most resembles a street in a small town. There are several huge malls in the area as well.
Anne's idea for a stroll along Las Olas Blvd. is great... it's a very European street... you might also want to think about the evening cruise on the Jungle Queen. It is hokey and corney... and the meal is horrid... BUT... you'll get a first hand view of the many rivers and canals that make Fort Lauderdale the Venice of South Florida. You'll see some remarkable homes and the yachts moored in front of them... miles and miles of magnificent million dollar + properties. It's well worth putting up with the touristy nonsense. Save your appetitie and go to one of Fort Lauderdale's great restaurants for dinner after you get back.
Oh Anne, I absolutely LOATHED the Jungle Queen. For a wonderful view of the rivers and homes in Ft. Lauderdale go to the revolving lounge on the top of the Hyatt Pier 66 and have a look. For a look at the fabuluos yachts, go to the back of the Marriott Marina and see them really up close and personal. Don't subject yourself to the awful food, horrendous entertainment (?) and ridiculous atmosphere of Jungle Queen. Go and have a wonderful meal at Mark's Las Olas instead.