Image: Fort Lauderdale seen by air
Art Seitz  /  ZUMA Press
The south end of Fort Lauderdale Beach is seen in this aerial view.
Special to
updated 5/21/2007 11:46:17 AM ET 2007-05-21T15:46:17

Forget Annette Funicello, Jello shots and teens in sleeping bags, 10 to a hotel room. Fort Lauderdale willingly gave up its title as “King of Spring Break” long ago. Today, this beachy city is focusing on its sporting opportunities and its cultural offerings. You’ll see what I mean if you follow the itinerary below.

8 a.m. - 9 a.m.: Who needs waffles or pancakes when steaming fresh crepes (stuffed with ham, cheese, eggs, fruit, crème anglaise, you name it) are on the menu? Sure you can get more traditional breakfast fare at Café La Bonne Crepe , but why would you want to?Stake out a spot on the terrace, soak in the sunshine and enjoy a Gallic breakfast.

9 a.m. - noon: Float your boat, any sort of boat. In some circles, Fort Lauderdale is known as the “yachting capital of the world”. Whether or not that’s a fair assessment, there certainly are a multitude of ways to get on the water. Many hotels double as boat rental agencies, or you can book through Aloha Watersports , which trades in catamarans, wave runners and jet skis. If you’re itching to fish while you drift, charter a boat with gear from Top Shot Sportfishing . Heck, you could just stay on land and pretend you’re fishing at the International Game Fish Association’s World Fishing Center , a museum celebrating hook, line and sinker, featuring the latest in state-of-the-art computer simulated fishing.

Morning alternative
Learn all about jazz-age Florida with a visit to the Bonnet House Plantation Built in 1921, this handsome mansion. set on 35 acres of land, boasts a fascinating, gossipy history and notable architecture.

Noon - 1:30 p.m.: Grub at Le Tub is next. This locals’ hang out--decorated with a number of painted claw-foot bathtubs, sinks and toilets--has achieved fame in recent years, with both GQ magazine and Oprah Winfrey calling its burgers the best in the nation. Try ‘em yourself.

1:30 p.m. - 5 p.m: Slather on the sunblock and make for the beach. ‘Nuf said.

Afternoon alternative
Hit the links. You have a choice of 50 highly rated golf courses here, from the swanky and challenging Emerald Hills to the fabulous municipal Orange Brook Golf Course , where you’ll pay just $20 if you tee off after 2 p.m.

5 p.m. - 7 p.m.: Time for more boating, this time through the 300 waterways that have earned Fort Lauderdale the nickname “Venice of America”. Grab a water taxi and sightsee.

7 p.m. - 10 p.m.: Hop on another boat (are you seeing a pattern here?) for a quick trip across the Intercoastal to Cap’s Place Island Restaurant . Broward County’s oldest restaurant (it’s on the register of National Historic Places)is set on a beached barge and serves up straightforward but slap-across-the-face fresh seafood—broiled dolphin, stone crab claws, lobster, shrimp scampi … you know the drill. Over the years, Franklin Delano Roosevelt, Joe Dimaggio, George Harrison and other notables have dined here.

11 p.m. - on: Hypnotic beats and a spacious outdoor deck makes the Voodoo Lounge one of the prime party spots in town. Head there if you want to dance, or to the microbrewery The Poor House if you’re looking for a more mellow evening of live music and tasty beers on tap.

Pauline Frommer is the creator of the new Pauline Frommer guides in bookstores now. Her book, Pauline Frommer's New York, was named Best Guidebook of the Year by the North American Travel Journalists Association.

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Café La Bonne Crepe, 815 E. Las Olas Blvd., phone 954/761-1515.

Aloha Watersports, Harbor Beach Marriott Resort and Spa, 3030 Holiday Drive; phone 954/462-7245

Top Shot Sportfishing, phone 954/439-8106.

International Game Fish Association’s World Fishing Center, 300 Gulf Stream Way, Dania Beach, phone 954/922-4212;

Bonnet House Plantation, 900 N. Birch Rd, phone 954/563-5393; Admission is $15 adults, $13 seniors, $11 kids 7 to 18.

Le Tub, 1100 N. Ocean Drive, phone 954/931-9425.

Emerald Hills, 4100 N. Hills Dr., Hollywood, just west of I-95 between Sterling Road and Sheridan Street. Phone 954/961-4000. 

Orange Brook Golf Course, 400 Entrada Dr., Hollywood, phone 954/967-GOLF. 

Cap’s Place Island Restaurant, 2765 NE 28th Court, phone 954/941-0418, There are instructions on the website for how to get to the motor launch area.

Voodoo Lounge, 111 SW 2nd Avenue, phone 954/522-0733;

The Poor House, 110 SW 3rd Avenue, phone 954/522-5145

Pauline Frommer is the creator of the new Pauline Frommer guides in bookstores now. Her book, Pauline Frommer's New York, was named Best Guidebook of the Year by the North American Travel Journalists Association.

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