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Can I Leave Fort Lauderdale Airport During a Long Layover?

When faced with a long layover at Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport (FLL), you may be curious about the possibility of exploring the surrounding area and making the most of your time. Fort Lauderdale, located in sunny Florida, offers beautiful beaches, vibrant nightlife, and a wealth of attractions. In this article, we will delve into the topic of whether you can leave Fort Lauderdale Airport during a long layover and provide you with essential information to consider.

Understanding Your Layover

To determine whether you can leave Fort Lauderdale Airport during a long layover, it’s important to understand the duration of your layover. Generally, a long layover is considered to be six hours or more. If your layover falls within this timeframe, you have a good chance of being able to leave the airport and explore Fort Lauderdale. However, keep in mind other factors such as transportation options, traffic conditions, and the distance between the airport and your desired destinations.

Transportation Options

Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport is conveniently located near major highways and offers several transportation options to help you navigate between the airport and the city.

1. Rental Cars

Renting a car is a popular and convenient option for exploring Fort Lauderdale during your layover. Many well-known car rental companies have counters at the airport, allowing you to easily pick up a vehicle and hit the road. Renting a car provides you with the flexibility and freedom to explore the city at your own pace. However, consider factors such as traffic and parking availability when opting for this mode of transportation.

2. Ride-Sharing Services

Ride-sharing services like Uber and Lyft are widely available in Fort Lauderdale. With just a few taps on your smartphone, you can request a ride and be on your way to explore the city. This option provides convenience and eliminates the need to navigate unfamiliar roads and find parking.

3. Taxis and Shuttles

Traditional taxis are available outside the airport terminals, and you can hire one to take you to your destination in Fort Lauderdale. Additionally, there are shuttle services that operate between the airport and various locations in the city. These shuttles often provide shared rides and can be a cost-effective option, especially if you are traveling with a group.

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4. Public Transportation

Fort Lauderdale offers a public transportation system operated by Broward County Transit (BCT). While public transportation may not be as convenient as other options, it can still be a viable choice for exploring the city during your layover. Buses connect various parts of Fort Lauderdale and its neighboring areas.

Exploring Fort Lauderdale During Your Layover

Fort Lauderdale is renowned for its stunning beaches, vibrant culture, and diverse range of attractions. With a long layover, you can take the opportunity to experience some of what the city has to offer. Here are a few notable places and experiences to consider:

1. Fort Lauderdale Beach

Fort Lauderdale is famous for its beautiful sandy beaches and crystal-clear waters. Take a stroll along Fort Lauderdale Beach, soak up the sun, or dip your toes in the Atlantic Ocean. The beach offers a range of activities, including water sports, beach volleyball, and people-watching. Don’t forget to explore the nearby beachfront promenade, known as the “Wave Wall,” which stretches for two miles and offers stunning ocean views.

2. Las Olas Boulevard

Located in downtown Fort Lauderdale, Las Olas Boulevard is a vibrant hub of shopping, dining, and entertainment. Take a leisurely walk along the boulevard and explore the boutiques, art galleries, and sidewalk cafes. Indulge in delicious cuisine at one of the many restaurants or enjoy live music at a local bar. Las Olas Boulevard is also home to the NSU Art Museum, where you can admire contemporary and modern art exhibitions.

3. Everglades National Park

If you’re a nature enthusiast, consider taking a trip to Everglades National Park, located just a short drive from Fort Lauderdale. This unique ecosystem is home to diverse wildlife, including alligators, birds, and rare plant species. Embark on an airboat tour to explore the vast wetlands, or go hiking along the nature trails to immerse yourself in the beauty of the Everglades.

4. Bonnet House Museum & Gardens

For a glimpse into the history and beauty of Fort Lauderdale, visit the Bonnet House Museum & Gardens. This historic estate features a stunning house filled with art, as well as lush gardens and a tranquil lagoon. Take a guided tour to learn about the fascinating history of the property and its inhabitants, or simply stroll through the gardens and appreciate the serene atmosphere.

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5. Museum of Discovery and Science

If you’re traveling with family or have an interest in science and technology, the Museum of Discovery and Science is worth a visit. Located in downtown Fort Lauderdale, this interactive museum offers a variety of exhibits and hands-on activities for all ages. Explore the displays on space exploration,marine life, and ecology, and catch an IMAX movie at the on-site theater.

6. Riverwalk Fort Lauderdale

For a scenic and relaxing experience, head to Riverwalk Fort Lauderdale. This picturesque promenade stretches along the New River and is lined with lush greenery, charming cafes, and art installations. Take a leisurely stroll, rent a bike, or hop on a water taxi to explore the area. Riverwalk is also home to cultural attractions such as the Broward Center for the Performing Arts and the Historic Stranahan House Museum.

Considerations and Precautions

While leaving Fort Lauderdale Airport during a long layover can be an exciting opportunity, there are important considerations and precautions to keep in mind:

1. Time Management

Ensure that you have enough time to explore and return to the airport before your next flight. Take into account factors such as traffic, distance to your destination, and security procedures at the airport. It’s recommended to allow a buffer time to avoid any potential delays or unforeseen circumstances.

2. Luggage Storage

If you have checked baggage, you’ll need to consider how to handle it during your layover. Fort Lauderdale Airport does not offer luggage storage facilities, so you may need to make arrangements in advance. Some hotels or rental car companies may provide luggage storage services for a fee.

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3. Immigration and Customs

If you are an international traveler, you’ll need to go through immigration and customs procedures both when leaving the airport and returning for your connecting flight. Ensure that you have the necessary travel documents and comply with entry requirements to avoid any complications or delays.

4. Safety and Security

As with any travel destination, it’s important to prioritize your safety and be mindful of your surroundings. Research the areas you plan to visit, follow local safety guidelines, and take necessary precautions to protect your valuables. Stay informed about any travel advisories or alerts that may be in place during your visit.


In conclusion, if you have a long layover at Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport, you can consider leaving the airport and exploring the vibrant city of Fort Lauderdale. With various transportation options and a range of attractions to choose from, you can make the most of your time and experience the beauty and culture the city has to offer. Just remember to plan your time wisely, account for logistics such as luggage storage and immigration procedures, and prioritize your safety throughout your layover adventure.

Can I Leave Fort Lauderdale Airport During a Long Layover?
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