Miami Beach vs Fort Lauderdale: Weighing Your Options

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Oversight of Miami Beach and Fort Lauderdale

When visiting Florida, either as a tourist or as a locale, it is mostly Miami Beach vs Fort Lauderdale. These cities are well known for their style, culture and reception, hence the popularity. They are also well known for their clear waters, serenity, lively neighborhood and nightlife.

Miami Beach located in Florida is a coastal resort city in Miami-Dade County in the United States. It is a South Florida city and is connected by bridges down to mainland Miami. 

Because of its buzzing nightlife and intentionality to both tourists and locales, Miami Beach offers a variety of famous nightlife spaces, well-decorated art galleries, first-class hotels, culinary and fine dining, and a spectacular architectural design that makes it easily the most visual region.

Fort Lauderdale is located on the southeastern coast of Florida, and is widely known for its beaches and boating canals. One of which is known as “The Atlantic Ocean, a new river, and a myriad of cinematic inland waterways enclose Venice of America”, Fort Lauderdale. 

The city was named for the second Seminole war fortification built on the banks of New River in 1938 and it still stands today.

In this article, we will be discussing deeply which is better, Miami Beach vs Fort Lauderdale.

Beaches and Natural Attractions

If you are visiting Florida for the first time, and you need to ease the tension and feel the cool air, Fort Lauderdale might be the perfect spot for you.

With less crowded spaces, beaches in Fort Lauderdale offer sugary sands and clear waters that welcome your feet and send cold shivers down your spine, forcing your body into an excitingly good state. 

Fort Lauderdale also hosts parties, but you are more likely to find families rather than young college students there, to have fun. It is the perfect spot for a solo trip and the perfect place to find peace. 

Miami Beach on the other hand is the life of the party. Having about three subsections (South, North, and Mid Miami Beach) this place offers you a variety of activities on different scales. 

Miami Beach is that one city to have fun, ranging from the lights to the shopping sprees, boat cruising, luxurious spas, and world-class nightlife that keeps you up on your toes on a steady. 

Many times, between Miami Beach vs Fort Lauderdale, Miami Beach can guarantee you all the fun you need, especially if you are trying to get away and have a good time. All you need is your money, and although you can do Miami Beach on a budget, it will include a lot of limits. 

Accommodations and Resorts

Both beaches offer homely vacation houses, that are well equipped and suited to the traveler’s taste and also designed to fit their budget. Fort Lauderdale offers waterfront rooms that have a nice view. 

It also has a few resorts to its name that tourists could lodge at during their stay on vacation.

South Miami Beach aka Jewel in its crown, is a magnet for tourists, because of its engaging nightlife, vibrant hotels, eateries, and clubhouses. For those who would rather have a serene environment, North Beach is the perfect spot for a vacation.

Miami Beach also offers five-star hotels and resorts that give you a homely feeling and make you feel connected to the beach one way or the other.

Visiting Fort Lauderdale has its perks and one of these includes outdoor activities and recreational opportunities. 

Outdoor Activities and Recreational Opportunities

A few of these popular outdoor activities include paddle boarding, kayaking, visiting the aquarium, snorkeling, scuba diving, or zipping on jet skis. These activities have proven to be well-engaging and are well coordinated over the years in Fort Lauderdale.

There are also a lot of safety measures put in place to help facilitate the smooth running of these activities. Other activities include tours via land, sea, or the underwater and also wildlife visitations. Examples are:

Excluding the amazing boardwalk attractions present in Miami Beach, there are also golf courses, tennis clubs, soccer, biking, and running paths, and a lot more that are intriguing to first-time visitors and locales.

Water activities include swimming and surfing, scuba diving, snorkeling, jet skiing, and paddle-boarding amongst others. These are well-known activities in Miami Beach.

Miami Beach also offers a lot more luxurious outdoor activities and recreational opportunities. A few of them include:

Overall, there are a lot more outdoor activities present in Miami Beach as only a few were mentioned above. These activities have been put in place to keep the tourists, visitors, and locales engaged and well-advised with their current environments.

Cost of Living Comparison: Is it cheaper to visit Miami Beach vs Fort Lauderdale?

With the current state of the economy, when taking a trip or vacation, it is important to consider the cost of living while you are on vacation. 

Whether it is for a few days or weeks, having a budget and sticking to it, will save a lot of stress and impulse buying. But before packing your bags to set on vacation, understanding the cost of living of your destination is paramount.

Here are a few differences to consider between Miami Beach vs Fort Lauderdale: 

  • Fort Lauderdale has a more serene environment and does not attract too many people to the beach, as a result, their resorts and vacation homes, may be a bit expensive, while Miami Beach has a lot more affordable resorts, due to high demand in population.
  • Miami Beach has a higher cost of housing because the city is well known for its high-end properties and luxurious housing than Fort Lauderdale.
  • Miami Beach is the life of the party. It is well known for its beautiful blend of livelihood, vibrant energy, shopping, and nightlife, which is what many people look out for. Fort Lauderdale on the other hand is a laid-back environment and is more quiet.
  • Spring breaks in Miami Beach are always full of life, whether you decide to spend it alone, or together with someone else, as the beach provides a lot of activities to engage in, while Fort Lauderdale is one place that encourages simple and modest company.
  • If you are looking to have a family vacation that streams to carry everyone along and create fun and engaging content for everyone, Miami Beach is the place, but if you want to relax and stay with your partner or even family, then Fort Lauderdale is the place for you.

Generally, it is cheaper to visit Fort Lauderdale than Miami Beach, because of the side attractions, shopping spree, nightlife, and exorbitant purchases. The cost of living in Miami Beach is also on the high side.

Major Differences Between Miami Beach vs Fort Lauderdale

Miami Beach vs Fort Lauderdale offer their visitors an exciting and wonderful vacation experience. Both look to make their visitors feel at home and by so doing, indulge them in various activities.

One of the major differences between both cities is that Fort Lauderdale is more populated compared to Miami Beach. And because it has a laid-back feel and a serene environment compared to Miami Beach, many people are more attracted to the city.

Differences          Miami Beach      Fort Lauderdale
Professional Sports TeamsYes, (NFL’s Miami Dolphins, Miami Marlins, and Florida Panthers NHL Hockey Team)Inter Miami club de Futbol II which plays in MLS Next Pro.
NightlifeVibrantLaid back
Culture Diverse Less Diverse
AttractionsNorth shore Open space park, Lummus Park, and South Pointe Park.International Swimming Hall of Fame, Museum of Memorabilia, and Hugh Taylor Birch State Park.
Distance to Beach13 mins44 mins
Median Home Price$527, 619$531,886
Average Cost Of Living118.9% higher than national average22% higher than national average
Average Annual Rainfall51.7 inches66.5 inches
Public TransportationMiami-Dade Transit’s Metrobus, Metro-rail, Elevated Light Rail etc.Community Shuttle, Tri-Rail, Water Taxi etc.
Major difference between Miami Beach vs Fort Lauderdale

Dining and Nightlife: Where to Eat and Have Fun in Miami Beach and Fort Lauderdale

Dining in Miami Beach vs Fort Lauderdale is a big deal and it is fun. There are various spots to eat out and also on a budget. 

Miami Beach offers upscale and as well as casual dining options, and it also offers dynamic destinations for people who love food. The city is mostly known for its wood-fired steak and fish crowned in the gilded chandelier. 

Miami Beach also offers mouth-watering steaks, gourmet pizza, fresh salads, and delicious burgers. 

Fort Lauderdale is mostly known for its fresh seafood and Latin-inspired food. They are also known for their pastries, Cuban sandwiches, and Cuban coffee. Key lime pie happens to be the most popular food in all of Florida and is sometimes combined with condensed milk.

Both spaces offer good food that visitors love and would want to get more taste of.

Family-Friendly Activities: Which Destination is More Friendly?

Miami Beach is a family-friendly space as it welcomes tourists all year long. It has the perfect relaxing spots for children and also engaging activities for adults. 

It is the perfect relaxation spot for families to have a great time and bond over the holidays. There are also different engaging activities, such as kayaking, jet skiing, and snowboarding. 

Fort Lauderdale on the other hand is also a town where families can come to relax and unwind, as it is serene and this is mostly opted for, when families want to spend more time together. 

Most importantly, Miami Beach vs Fort Lauderdale have open spaces and favorable environment where both families can play and enjoy the atmosphere together.

Safety and Security

In terms of security, both cities, Miami Beach vs. Fort Lauderdale are safe places for vacations for visitors and locales. There are laws enforced and put in place to keep everyone safe. 

It is also advisable to keep safe when visiting places like this, avoid weird areas, and move in groups.

Although Miami Beach is safer than Fort Lauderdale as it has 65 crimes per 1,000 residents and Ft. Lauderdale’s at 68 per 1,000.


Both destinations have their perks and good sides and they are both good places to visit. 

Miami Beach offers a vibrant and exciting vacation to its visitors, including the nightlife and full fun.

Fort Lauderdale on the other hand offers a chill and relaxed environment that is serene and quieter, if you are willing to go solo or clear your head.

In other words, both cities are quite chill and mostly depend on your preference in terms of visitation. You can consider the cost of living, side attractions, fun, nightlife, budget, and so on, before deciding to pick a place to visit. 

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Frequently Asked Questions

Some Of your questions that were not answered in the post
Yes, the cost of living in Fort Lauderdale is very much cheaper compared to Miami Beach.
Both cities have their specifications. Miami Beach has a vibrant energy attached to it, and is all about the fun, while Fort Lauderdale has a laid-back environment and is a more quieter space. You just have to know which vibe you are opting for.
For Fort Lauderdale, it is better to visit in April or September, while for Miami Beach it is between September to November.
Yes, Fort Lauderdale is 14% safer than Miami Beach.

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