If you are a South Florida resident, you know that visiting relatives or friends are a reality of life. As hosts, we are often tasked with finding and accompanying our guests to suitable attractions. Since we live in a tourism driven economy, these spots are often quite taxing to the wallet.
Hiding in plain sight however, are many destinations that are fabulous and free. “Free” of course is music to the ear and to the wallet, allowing both guests and host more funds to stay in safe and secure credit union accounts.
Having lived here for many years, I’ve done my share of introducing guests to the South Florida lifestyle. Here are my suggestions for absolutely free jaunts in the Fort Lauderdale area:
- Stroll on the Hollywood Broadwalk. You can walk or ride on this 2 ½ mile stretch south of Fort Lauderdale. My sisters and I love to buy unique and inexpensive necklaces in a shop near the Margaritaville resort. We’ve also been known to share a fried grouper (a fish) large enough to feed six and top it off with mango or guava tropical ice cream. (To each his own).
- Swim at Fort Lauderdale Beach. It is newly renovated, pristine and quite inviting. Your northern friends will be really impressed.
- Sunday Jazz Brunch. On the first Sunday of every month, the City of Fort Lauderdale co-hosts a great, free outdoor concert along the city’s Riverwalk. Nothing beats live jazz.
- The African-American Research Library and Cultural Center. Book fanatics will love this wonderful 60,000 square foot library, one of only four black research libraries in the United States. The facility also includes a huge art gallery and auditorium for theatre productions. A true marvel.
- Arts Park at Young Circle. I am really delighted by the transformation of this area. The park also boasts a stage, playground, sculpture and gardens for families.
So, the next time you get that “I’m coming down next week” call, don’t worry. . Look forward to the visit. As the saying (and the classic song) says “the best things in life are free.”