I'm arriving in Fort Lauderdale on a Saturday afternoon in June for my cruise on the Grand, departing Sunday.
We'll be staying at the Amerisuites 17th Street/Convention Center. I know nothing about the layout of Fort Lauderdale, except that hotel and location were recommended as convenient to the airport and Port Everglades.
My husband and I will have our 17 year old daughter with us. Does anybody have any ideas on what there is to do for the afternoon/evening? Does anybody know anything about Riverwalk and if it's a good place to spend some time? What about transportation - do we need to get a taxi, is there anything within walking distance of that hotel, or is there some local transportation specialty - tram/shuttle, etc.?
If you want to do anything more than cool your heels at the hotel (which probably has a decent pool even if it isn't on the beach), renting a car probably would cost a lot less than taxis or whatever. It's hard to predict what public transportation might be available in the area or how late it will run, especially on weekends.
There probably is a shopping center or a mall in or near the convention complex, as many conventioneers tend to bring spouses who have to amuse themselves somehow while the conventioneers are at their conventions. Also, there probably are some very good restaurants within walking distance of the hotel. The hotel's web site probably would have information available.
On Sunday morning, you probably will have enough time to have a nice brunch before it's time to check out of the hotel and head to the pier. Princess's ships usually are ready for boarding by 11:30 or so, even though they advertise a later time. Once you complete the embarkation process, you can eat lunch and spend some time learning your way around the ship.
If you look East from your hotel on 17st Causeway you will see a very tall bridge. Right over that bridge on the left is Hyatt Pier 66. It has a lovely garden/pool restaurant, as well as 2 waterview restaurants. One of it's best features is the Pier Top Lounge. The room revolves completely around every 66 minutes. There is a glass elevator on the outside overlooking the pool that has a great view as you go up or down. The view is lovely especially around sunset. It may not open until evening anyway. If you have not been to Ft. Lauderdale before, you MUST see it.
There is very little within walking distance of the port. If you want a little shopping and sightseeing near the beach, head for BEACH PLACE. It's 3 stories of shops and eateries right on the beach about 5 miles from your hotel.
Riverwalk is also great for strolling, eating and shopping, but it is the opposite direction from the beach. It's probably 5 miles or so as well.
River Walk is essentially the area along the intra coastal behind Las Olas Boulevard.
All kind of like the Rodeo Drive of Ft Lauderdale but not within walking distance (normal folks) of your hotel. Stroll along the water , shops and eateries. Modern and active place.
Right on 17th St Causeway there are an number of Franchise type restaurants . In addition there are two shopping centers offering everything from groceries and discount pharmacty to dive shops, bars, restaurants , clothing stores and even an internet cafe.
Pick up a tourist guide (all over at the airport and hotel). There are 4 or 5 restaurants along the beach that run a trolley type deal that will pick you up and drop you back at your hotel.
About a mile from your hotel, over the bridge and north on the A1A(along the beach) ,
is the Bahia Mar Yacht Basin. There you will find a quite fun activity called the Jungle Queen . This is a boat ride tour of the intracoastal water way (quite beatiful) followed by a brief stop to see some animals and alligator wrestling. It is all cheesy and touristy as heck but quite a bit of fun. You can also get a deep sea fishing boat here.
There are any number of casual eating spots along the A1A , all either a long walk or short cab ride away.
Your hotel is 5 minutes from the airport and 5 minutes to the piers.