Why wouldn’t you want to visit a city known as the Venice of the US? With sparkling waterways winding their way through the city and sandy beaches, Fort Lauderdale has a lot to offer travelers and locals.

Whether you enjoy just sitting on the beach or if you want a more active holiday, Fort Lauderdale can deliver. This sunshine city offers amazing seafood, great outdoor activities, and lots of marine life as well as amazing art galleries, cafes, and restaurants. The nightlife is amazing too, and you might find your nights packed with new friends and new places to go.

The Fort Lauderdale accommodation options are more than a match for all this beauty. In fact, all you have to do is follow our easy Fort Lauderdale neighborhood guide and you might just find yourself in the hotel or hostel of your dreams!

Where to Stay in Fort Lauderdale

Looking for a specific place to stay? These are our highest recommendations for the best accommodations to stay at. If you’re travelling on a budget, make sure to check out the amazing hostels in Fort Lauderdale as well. 

The Broke Backpacker is supported by you. Clicking through our links may earn us a small affiliate commission, and that's what allows us to keep producing free content 🙂 Learn more.

Mid Century Modern Studio | Best Airbnb in Fort Lauderdale

Whether you’re deciding where to stay in Fort Lauderdale for nightlife or just for the beach, this is an amazing choice. This mid-century home is renovated, so you’ll have access to all the modern amenities, and is within walking distance of the beach. The studio apartment is attached but fully independent from the house to you’ll get all the privacy you want at a great price!

Sheridan Hostel | Best Hostel in Fort Lauderdale

Located near Dania Beach, this hostel is one of the best places in Fort Lauderdale to stay. It has a quiet but fun atmosphere and newly renovated facilities including a lovely outdoor area. It’s only a short walk from the beach as well as shopping areas and the rooms are comfortable enough for a short or long stay.

Best Western Plus Oceanside Inn | Best Hotel in Fort Lauderdale

This hotel in Fort Lauderdale is close to everything. It offers comfortable, air-conditioned rooms so that you can get out of the heat as well as a gym if you feel like working out. A buffet breakfast is provided at the hotel and there’s also an in-house bar where you can get a meal if you don’t feel like going out after a long day.

Don’t forget to check out epic Fort Lauderdale VRBOs, too!

Fort Lauderdale Neighborhood Guide – Places to Stay in Fort Lauderdale

FIRST TIME IN FORT LAUDERDALE
Fort Lauderdale Beach
FIRST TIME IN FORT LAUDERDALE

Fort Lauderdale Beach

If you’re trying to decide where to stay in Fort Lauderdale for the first time and you want to be close to the beach, this is the neighborhood to be in.

ON A BUDGET
Hollywood Beach Fort Lauderdale
ON A BUDGET

Hollywood Beach

If you want to be close to the beach but need to stay on a budget, then try the Hollywood Beach neighborhood. This is the best area in Fort Lauderdale to stay in for easy access to the beach and all its charms as well as better prices.

NIGHTLIFE
Explore the Riverwalk District
NIGHTLIFE

Las Olas

Las Olas is one of Fort Lauderdale’s best neighborhoods. It’s also one of the most beautiful areas in the city and is often called “The Venice of America”.

COOLEST PLACE TO STAY
Wilton Manors Fort Lauderdale
COOLEST PLACE TO STAY

Wilton Manors

If you’re trying to decide where to stay in Fort Lauderdale for your first time or on a return trip, then Wilton Manors may be the answer.

FOR FAMILIES
Lauderdale by the Sea Fort Lauderdale
FOR FAMILIES

Lauderdale-by-the-Sea

This area is just north of the main beach and is a less touristed destination with a very different feel. If you’re trying to decide where to stay in Fort Lauderdale with kids, then this part of the city is the best choice.

There’s a lot of information available about Fort Lauderdale’s best neighborhoods. Recently, the city started an official program called the Neighborhood Organization Recognition Program. This allowed the city to officially recognize neighborhoods and offer better information on what each neighborhood could offer locals and tourists. This will make it easier for you to choose the best places to stay in Fort Lauderdale!

Fort Lauderdale is the best neighborhood to stay in Fort Lauderdale and the most popular. Cheap Florida Airbnbs will be extremely hard to find here. In this area, you’ll have access to miles of sandy beach and all the summer activities you could ever want! But if you want to see a little more glamor, then head to the city’s Hollywood Beach area. This is where you’ll find cheaper accommodation and an old-world charm that will remind you of Tinseltown!

An area away from the main beach that’s worth checking out is the Las Olas neighborhood. This is an older part of the city that’s known for its unique charm and Venice like waterways! In fact, the unique local feel makes it seem a little like Wilton Manors, a quirky neighborhood that will allow you to stay close to the beach in a truly unique part of Fort Lauderdale.

And the final area you should consider for your trip is Lauderdale by the sea. This is a great choice when you’re deciding where to stay in Fort Lauderdale with kids as it has a quaint, small-town charm that will relax the whole family.

Fort Lauderdale’s 5 Best Neighborhoods to Stay in

If you’re ready to look for the coolest places to stay in Fort Lauderdale, then here’s where to focus your search.

#1 Fort Lauderdale Beach  – Where to Stay in Fort Lauderdale First Time

If you’re trying to decide where to stay in Fort Lauderdale for families and you want to be close to the beach, this is the neighborhood to be in. When you stay in this area, the sun, sea and sand are just moments away. And you’ll have access to all the shops, restaurants, and bars that have sprung up around the beach as well, so you’ll never get bored. Let’s take a closer look at some of the things to do in Fort Lauderdale beach area.

Fort Lauderdale Beach

Fort Lauderdale Beach is the most popular area amongst tourists, which is why you’ll find a huge range of Fort Lauderdale accommodation options available. No matter your budget or tastes, you’ll find somewhere to stay that will match them. And then you can just relax and enjoy the beach or explore all the attractions in this part of the city!

Crocodhouse | Best Hostel in Fort Lauderdale Beach

This hostel is one of the best places to stay in Fort Lauderdale if you want to be close to everything. It’s close to the beach, to the Galleria shopping center, and to Wilton Manors and offers clean, friendly accommodation to all types of travelers. So, if you’re trying to decide where to stay in Fort Lauderdale on a budget, make sure you consider this hostel!

The Hotel Deauville | Best Hotel in Fort Lauderdale Beach

This hotel is located in the best neighborhood to stay in Fort Lauderdale, really close to the main beach. It provides lovely gardens, a swimming pool, free Wi-Fi, and a fitness center so you can enjoy yourself without having to leave the hotel. There’s also a terrace and BBQ area in case you want to have a cheap meal at your hotel!

Ocean View Condo | Best Airbnb in Fort Lauderdale Beach

This apartment is one of the coolest places to stay in Fort Lauderdale. It has a private bathroom and is suitable for up to 4 guests. The views of the beach from the apartment balcony are simply stunning and all the amenities are first class, including the jetted tub in the bathroom. You’ll also have full access to a pool, gym and fully equipped kitchenette while you’re there too.

Things to See and Do in Fort Lauderdale Beach

  1. Relax on the beach or try some water sports or beach activities to stay fit.
  2. Check out the unique International Swimming Hall of Fame Museum.
  3. Go souvenir shopping when you get tired or laying around in the sun.
  4. Stake out a chair in a nearby restaurant or café and people watch until the sun goes down.
  5. Go skating along the winding beachfront sidewalks.
  6. Rent your own private yacht for a day and explore the pristine ocean waters.
Is This the Best Backpack EVER???
audy on top of a mountain in japan with the osprey aether

We’ve tested countless backpacks over the years, but there’s one that has always been the best and remains the best buy for adventurers: the broke backpacker-approved Osprey Aether and Ariel series.

Want more deetz on why these packs are so damn perfect? Then read our comprehensive review for the inside scoop!

View on Osprey View on REI

#2 Hollywood Beach – Where to Stay in Fort Lauderdale on a Budget

If you want to be close to the beach but need to stay on a budget, then try the Hollywood Beach neighborhood. This is the best area in Fort Lauderdale to stay in for easy access to the beach and all its charms as well as better prices. The Hollywood Beach area is full of bars, restaurants, and shops as well as lots of comfortable, mid-range hotels where you can relax in air conditioning after a day in Florida’s sun.

Hollywood Beach Fort Lauderdale

When you stay in the Hollywood Beach area, you’ll feel as if you’re stepping into the Golden Years of Tinseltown. Its long, golden promenade is a huge draw for tourists and curls along miles and miles of beach. And if you enjoy a cityscape better, then make sure you head inland a little to explore the pastel-colored Art Deco buildings scattered throughout the urban area.

Lovely Beach Place | Best Airbnb in Hollywood Beach

Sometimes when you travel, you just want your own space. And you’ll get it when you stay in this beachfront apartment. Suitable for 2 guests, the studio apartment offers ocean views from the bay windows and the large balcony. The furnishings are comfortable but luxurious and you can use the facility’s pool and gym while you’re staying there. This is one of our favourite vacation rentals in Fort Lauderdale for its facilities.

Hollywood Beach Hotel | Best Hostel in Hollywood Beach

If you’re trying to decide where to stay in Fort Lauderdale for nightlife, then look no further. This hostel offers comfortable accommodation close to the center of the neighborhood at a budget price. It’s a brand-new hotel that has everything from family rooms to private suites and dorm rooms. And the shared facilities will get you socializing with your fellow travelers in no time!

Manta Ray Inn | Best Hotel in Hollywood Beach

This hotel offers easy access to the beach as well as comfortable, convenient lodging. There are 11 fully equipped rooms on-site as well as a library, outdoor pool, sun deck, and bicycle rental so you can get around without relying on public transport.

Things to See and Do in Hollywood Beach

  1. Spend some time on the promenade jogging, cycling, or just strolling along and people watching.
  2. Make sure you try as many local restaurants as possible for some truly stunning meals.
  3. Grab your friends and head out at night to enjoy the trendy bar scene.
  4. Explore the area in a water taxi!
  5. Get on the Downtown Hollywood Trolley and see the best of the historic neighborhoods.
  6. Spend some time in the Vizcaya Museum and Gardens and experience one of the most stunning museums in the US.

#3 Las Olas – Best Area to Stay in Fort Lauderdale for Nightlife

Las Olas is one of Fort Lauderdale’s best neighborhoods. It’s also one of the most beautiful areas in the city and is often called “The Venice of America”. This area is located between Hollywood Beach Fort Lauderdale and the ocean, so it’s convenient if you want to enjoy both the beach and the city during your vacation.

Explore the Riverwalk District

Las Olas is an older part of the city that’s filled with historic sites and cultural attractions. This is where you’ll find the city’s best museums as well as amazing bars and restaurants. But the waterways are the real attraction. They wind their way through the tropical flora of the area giving the area a distinctly European flair. This combination of atmosphere, history and modern charm is what makes this one of the best areas to stay in Fort Lauderdale.

Studio in Las Olas | Best Airbnb in Las Olas

Located in one of the best areas to stay in Fort Lauderdale, this studio apartment is a good choice if you’re on a budget. The room is cozy and includes a kitchenette and private bathroom as well as Cable and Wi-Fi. You’ll get the entire apartment to yourself, which means great privacy, and it’s also a short car ride from the beach and surrounded by shops and cafes so you’ll never go hungry!

The Blue House | Best Hostel in Las Olas

Centrally located in one of the best areas in Fort Lauderdale to stay, this hostel is close to everything. There are several room options, which makes it a great choice when you’re deciding where to stay in Fort Lauderdale on a budget. All rooms have access to a kitchen and common areas and there’s a bus stop directly outside so you can easily explore the rest of the city.

The Villas Las Olas Hotel ‘Apart | Best Hotel in Las Olas

This hotel is in the best area in Fort Lauderdale to stay in if you want a more local flavor. It has 16 rooms available, all of them equipped with all the amenities, and is only a short walk from Las Olas Boulevard. The hotel has a sun deck, BBQ area, and terrace as well as an outdoor pool so you can swim in the comfort of your own hotel in Fort Lauderdale!

Things to See and Do in Las Olas

  1. Wander the streets and check out the history and culture.
  2. Take a boat tour of the local waterways to check out another side of the city.
  3. Try the amazingly international food options available in this area, from Thai to Brazilian.
  4. Go bar and club hopping or try on one of the area’s many music clubs for trendy sounds and atmosphere.
  5. Spend an afternoon in the air conditioning at the NSU Art Museum.
  6. Check out the city’s history at the Stranahan House.
The Future of the SIM Card is HERE!
mockup of a person holding a smartphone in white background with Holafly logo

A new country, a new contract, a new piece of plastic – booooring. Instead, buy an eSIM!

An eSIM works just like an app: you buy it, you download it, and BOOM! You’re connected the minute you land. It’s that easy.

Is your phone eSIM ready? Read about how e-Sims work or click below to see one of the top eSIM providers on the market and ditch the plastic.

Grab an eSIM!

#4 Wilton Manors – Coolest Place to Stay in Fort Lauderdale

If you’re trying to decide where to stay in Fort Lauderdale for your first time or on a return trip, then Wilton Manors may be the answer. This neighborhood is just a few miles north of the main beach and is amazingly quickly, with a unique local flair. It’s close enough to the beach and the Hollywood Beach to be convenient, but far enough away that you’ll enjoy a bit of peace and quiet.

Wilton Manors Fort Lauderdale
Photo: Elvert Barnes (Flickr)

If you’re traveling to experience a more local experience, this is the area to stay in. It’s full of attractions that aren’t the beach, and you’ll get to eat, drink, and shop where the locals do!

Blue Room | Best Airbnb in Wilton Manors

Located in the best neighborhood in Fort Lauderdale to stay in, this apartment is beautifully decorated and suitable for 2 guests. The host offers a private room in her home right in the heart of the neighborhood and close to shops and restaurants. The room has its own private entrance and the beach is only five minutes away!

Inn on the Drive | Best Hostel in Wilton Manors

If you’re trying to decide where to stay in Fort Lauderdale for one night or for a longer visit, this is a good choice. It’s located right in the heart of the quirky Wilton Manors neighborhood, close to all the area’s attractions. The hotel has an outdoor pool, a satisfying breakfast every morning, and staff who can help you get the most from your stay.

Ed Lugo Resort | Best Hotel in Wilton Manors

No Fort Lauderdale neighborhood guide would be complete without this lovely hotel. This 4-star hotel provides a hair salon, BBQ area, laundry facilities, and an outdoor pool and sauna. The rooms are clean and comfortable and have private bathrooms and kitchenettes with a fridge. It’s also close to Las Olas Boulevard, so you can get out and do some serious shopping during your trip.

Things to See and Do in Wilton Manors

  1. Drive down to the beach for the day and retreat to your quiet sanctuary at night.
  2. Check out the shops along Wilton Drive for local souvenirs and budgets.
  3. Boardwalk amongst the mangroves at Colohatchee Park.
  4. Ask the locals where they eat and try some food that isn’t designed for tourists.
  5. Spend some time in nature at the Fern Forest Nature Center.

#5 Lauderdale-by-the-Sea – Best Neighborhood in Fort Lauderdale for Families

This area is just north of the main beach and is a less touristed destination with a very different feel. If you’re trying to decide where to stay in Fort Lauderdale with kids, then this part of the city is the best choice. It’s less hectic and retains a small-town charm that’s amazing considering the beautiful beach. So, your kids will be able to sleep at night and still enjoy all the activities of the beach during the day.

Lauderdale by the Sea Fort Lauderdale

But there’s more to this area than just the beach as well. It has amazing snorkeling as well as world-class diving for the adventurous. And for people who prefer their holidays be a little more sedate, there are also local parks and museums for you to explore. Basically, this area has something for everyone.

1 Entire Pool Glamping Cabin | Best Airbnb in Lauderdale-by-the-Sea

Suitable for one guest, this is a great option if you’re on a budget. It’s located in the best neighborhood in Fort Lauderdale to stay in for access to Lauderdale by the sea. This cabana is the very definition of glamping and it’s for people who want to rough it in style. It’s located less than a mile from the beach and there’s an attached bathroom and free Wi-Fi.

Hotel Deauville | Best Hostel in Lauderdale-by-the-Sea

If you’re looking for a good mix of privacy and sociability, this hostel in Fort Lauderdale might be for you. The building is open plan, with all the rooms gathered around a central common area and swimming pool where you can get to know your fellow travelers. And there are a range of room sizes available to suit every travel group.

Sunny Shores Inn & Suites | Best Hotel in Lauderdale-by-the-Sea

If you’re trying to decide where to stay in Fort Lauderdale for your first time, this hotel is a good choice. It offers bright and cheerful rooms with all the amenities as well as free Wi-Fi, a terrace, and a picnic area.

Things to See and Do in Lauderdale by the sea

  1. Grab your snorkels and prepare to see tropical fish and turtles.
  2. Take a seat at one of the local cafes and just enjoy some people watching.
  3. Go diving and explore the area’s natural and artificial reefs.
  4. Put on your walking shoes and explore this walkable neighborhood on foot, stopping at any place that catches your interest.
Travel with peace of mind. Travel WITH a security belt.
Active Roots Security Belt

Stash your cash safely with this money belt. It will keep your valuables safely concealed, no matter where you go.

It looks exactly like a normal belt except for a SECRET interior pocket perfectly designed to hide a wad of cash, a passport photocopy or anything else you may wish to hide. Never get caught with your pants down again! (Unless you want to…)

Hide Yo’ Money!

FAQ about Finding a Place to Stay in Fort Lauderdale

Here’s what people usually ask us about the areas of Fort Lauderdale and where to stay.

What To Pack For Fort Lauderdale

Pants, socks, underwear, soap?! Take it from me, packing for a hostel stay is not always quite as straightforward as it seems. Working out what to bring and what to leave at home is an art I have perfected over many years.

Product
Description
Don’t Let Snorers Keep You Awake!
Don’t Let Snorers Keep You Awake!

Ear Plugs

Snoring dorm-mates can ruin your nights rest and seriously damage the hostel experience. This is why I always travel with a pack of decent ear plugs.

Keep your laundry organized and stink free
Keep your laundry organized and stink free

Hanging Laundry Bag

Trust us, this is an absolute game changer. Super compact, a hanging mesh laundry bag stops your dirty clothes from stinking, you don’t know how much you need one of these… so just get it, thank us later.

Stay Dry With a Micro Towel
Stay Dry With a Micro Towel

Sea To Summit Micro Towel

Hostel towels are scummy and take forever to dry. Microfibre towels dry quickly, are compact, lightweight, and can be used as a blanket or yoga mat if need be.

Make Some New Buddies…
Make Some New Buddies…

Monopoly Deal

Forget about Poker! Monopoly Deal is the single best travel card game that we have ever played. Works with 2-5 players and guarantees happy days.

Reduce Plastic – Bring a Water Bottle!
Reduce Plastic – Bring a Water Bottle!

Grayl Geopress Water Bottle

Always travel with a water bottle! They save you money and reduce your plastic footprint on our planet. The Grayl Geopress acts as a purifier AND temperature regulator. Boom!

Check out my definitive Hotel Packing list for even more top packing tips!

Don’t Forget Travel Insurance for Fort Lauderdale

ALWAYS sort out your backpacker insurance before your trip. There’s plenty to choose from in that department, but a good place to start is Safety Wing.

They offer month-to-month payments, no lock-in contracts, and require absolutely no itineraries: that’s the exact kind of insurance long-term travellers and digital nomads need.

SafetyWing is cheap, easy, and admin-free: just sign up lickety-split so you can get back to it!

Click the button below to learn more about SafetyWing’s setup or read our insider review for the full tasty scoop.

Final Thoughts on Where to Stay in Fort Lauderdale

People travel to Fort Lauderdale in Florida for the beach, the sun, and the relaxed atmosphere. Whether you just want to enjoy yourself from the comfort of a deck chair or if you want to indulge in beach activities, this vacation destination has a lot to offer.

That’s why it’s so popular and why you’ll find a huge range of Fort Lauderdale accommodation options to suit every budget and travel preference. So, whether you’re deciding where to stay in Fort Lauderdale for families or on your own, book your trip and have a great time!

Looking for more info on travelling to Fort Lauderdale and USA?