Fort Lauderdale: The Not So Hidden Gem of Southern Florida

The not so hidden gem of southern Florida-Fort Lauderdale is located on the Atlantic Coast, roughly 5 miles to the north of Miami. It was once a major attraction for the college crowd that ran amok and created chaos during their spring breaks; however with conscious efforts on the part of city officials its reputation has altered. It has been attracting a more sophisticated and mature, high society crowd since the 1980s.

The city’s wide-ranging network of canals, offer nautical recreation and is a major revenue earner for the city. The convention center is another big appeal which hosts about 30% of the city’s ten million annual visitors.

Booming Business in Fort Lauderdale

On the surface, it may appear that Fort Lauderdale is only good for the beach, partying and vacationing but it is a major job provider due to its large variety of business setups. It is a foremost center for manufacture and maintenance of yachts. The boating industry provides more than 109,000 jobs. Its close proximity to the Caribbean and the Bahamas along with many miles of canals, nearly 100 marinas and boatyards is a vacation stop for yacht enthusiasts. Lastly, it plays host to the annual Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show, which brings with 125,000 visitors to the city every year.

fort-lauderdale-luxury-real-estateThe Olas Boulevard area of downtown Fort Lauderdale underwent major redevelopment in 2002 now boasts of many new chic condominium developments, gated communities, and high-end hotels. This chic Fort Lauderdale neighborhood boasts beautiful waterfront mansions that most often than not offer docks for your own private yacht. Las Olas is truly a boater’s dream. For more information regarding For Lauderdale’s luxury real estate neighborhoods contact the leading Fort Lauderdale real estate team, the Tim Elmes Group.

High-rise and office buildings in the downtown area include SunTrust Centre, 101 Tower, SouthTrust Tower and many others. Some of the many companies based in Fort Lauderdale include American Express, Motorola, and Tenet Healthcare which together offer employment to over 12,000 people.

Family Entertainment in Fort Lauderdale

fort-lauderdale-familyFort Lauderdale is an exceptional vacation spot for the young and old alike due to the large variety of entertainment possibilities it has to offer. The city was once given the name of “Fort Liquoredale” due to the large number of bars, nightclubs, and beaches it has. In addition to the nightlife other entertainment possibilities include many family friendly activities. It is a prominent choice amongst families living in Southern Florida due to its family friendly ambiance as well.

In addition to the nightlife other entertainment possibilities include many family friendly activities. It is a prominent choice amongst families living in Southern Florida due to its family friendly ambiance as well. Other interesting activities to partake in in Fort Lauderdale are:

Las Olas Boulevard: This is a downtown area perfectly situated close to the beach, the Hollywood International Airport and Port Everglades. It is acknowledged as Florida’s architecturally unique and most heterogeneous shopping and dining location. This luxurious street offers high-end shopping and delicious dining options.

Fort Lauderdale Swap Shop: The extra-large indoor/outdoor flea market and venue of the largest drive-in movie theater in the world, offering thirteen screens. It is a great way to spend a day with your family or friends. Rummaging through the entire area is a lot of fun as you never know what treasure you might find.

fort-lauderdale-family-entertainmentInternational Swimming Hall of Fame: This is
located on the Fort Lauderdale beach and is composed of a museum, theater a research library in addition to a large aquatic complex.

Everglades: No trip to the city is complete without a visit to the famous Everglades of Florida. There are numerous tours to choose from fitting all price ranges. It is a couple of hours away and definitely worth going. It is a stunning environmental ecosystem that teaches us about the wonders of mother nature.

Hugh Taylor Birch State Park: This 180 Acre Park with nature trails, camping sites and picnic areas also features exhibits about the park’s ecosystems. It’s a great outdoor activity.

Where would you recommend a first time visitor to visit? Do you live in Fort Lauderdale? How is it living in such a beautiful city? What is your favorite restaurant to dine in Fort Lauderdale? What other family friendly activities would you suggest? Tell us below!

Hawaii’s Best Places to Live for Surfers

Hawaii is known as the place where surfing was born and no wonder it is endowed with some of the most unsurpassed venues to catch the surf. The large assortment of beaches offers an array of conditions suitable enough for the novice as well as professionals. Some of Hawaii’s best places to live for surfers are listed below.

Hawaii’s Best Places to Live for Surfers in Oahu

Laniakea, Oahu: If a big wave is what you are looking for then Laniakea is the place to be. Located on the north shore of Oahu, it is also known for its sea turtles. With currents strong enough to almost bare the reef, the spot is valued by surfers as much as turtle watchers.
Places to rent nearby include beachfront, luxury villas, Laniakea apartments at Waikiki, or independent single family homes.

Bonzai Beach

Also referred to as Banzai Pipeline or just the “Pipe” is another well-known surfing location. However beware, that unless you are an expert surfer, just go there to watch! The scenic beach will leave you in awe for hours at a time. So come with a cozy picnic blanket, tasty snacks and food, and lot to drink, because it will be a fun time to watch the experts do their thing.


hawaii-best-live-surf-real-estateWas originally named Kalehuawehe. The name was changed in recognition of the 19th-century missionary whose “Castle” became a prominent landmark in the area. It is said that the Hawaiian surfing legend and five-time Olympic medalist once carried a wave in 1917 for over a mile here. His statue now oversees the beach.

North Shore

Stock markets may fluctuate, but real estate along the North Shore only goes up. Home values along the downtown of surfing have increased by more than three hundred percent over the last five year period. Some of the most coveted neighborhoods communities for investments include Beach Parks, Waialua, Paalaa Kai, and Haleiwa. Even Surfer Mag has ranked Haleiwa as it’s No. 2 surfing spot nationally.

The Island of Maui

Jaws is rumored to have waves that reach hawaii-surfind-aquatic-animalsas high as 120 feet, with the reef break inaccessible until tow-in surfing. Even expert surfers find such waves hard to ride. Other than waves, the area is famous because the opening scene of the 007 movie “Die Another Day” was filmed here

Jaws has gained a reputation as the toughest surf spot in the state of Hawaii and exceptional windsurfing conditions in the world. The remote location means that serious injuries require helicopter rescue and transport. However, the area is gaining notoriety and development is picking up pace. Large parcels of water view land are now being sold as lots and interest in real estate is this region is high.

Ho’okipa Beach

Ho’okipa Beach is an area that is best left to professionals when it comes to surfing. However, there is no reason one can’t enjoy the festivities for the sidelines. The locality is also exceptional for windsurfing.

Hidden away approximately one mile north of the town of Paia is a tiny residential beach community with amazing view of Ho’okipa Beach Park. The area is known for gigantic tide pools that offer some fantastic swimming experience.

Ma’alaea Pipeline

hawaii-surfer-real-estateMa’alaea Pipeline hosts some of the world’s speediest waves that may be traversed. Even more beautiful sight is that of the migrating humpback whales from the tiny fishing village harbor. The native fauna and flora are a sight to see. Make sure to pack a waterproof camera to capture all the beautiful animals and landscapes!


There is a tiny residential community in Ma’alaea made up of some of the most highly coveted luxury homes and condos located along the coast of Maui. This region is known for the high-end mansions located on the coast. As the area is highly sought after, when a house goes on the market, many put in offers.

What’s your favorite spot to live in Hawaii? What’s the best-hidden surfer beach?