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Dating back to 1901 and built by the “Father of Fort Lauderdale,” Stranahan House is also referred to as the Pioneer House. In 1984, this mansion was opened for public viewing as a house museum and almost 10,000 tourists visit this landmark annually. Now a historic riverside museum, the elegantly restored house contains antiques, turn-of-the-century furnishings and old photographs of the area. It is also an example of classic Florida Frontier architecture. The house has previously been used as a post office, town hall and general store. The events hosted here includes tours, the Pineapple Jam, the Peter Pan Pirate Party and more. This lovely museum can also be hired for private events and special celebrations.
Dating back to 1921, this historic two-story, 35.4 acres (14.16 hectare) waterfront house was once the winter home of artist Frederic Clay Bartlett and his wife Evelyn. The Bonnet House is serenely elegant and preserved amidst the urban expansion of Fort Lauderdale Beach, which is what makes the land so special. Mrs. Bartlett, who died in 1997, gave the estate to the Florida Trust for Historic Preservation in 1983 to keep the property unchanged. Several concerts and events are held here throughout the year, and the house is available for private events such as weddings. Named for a waterlily that once inhabited the property, the Bonnet House is open year-round for guided tours.
The Carrie B offers three daily sightseeing cruises at 11a, 1p, and 3p. Stroll around the Sun Deck, seating outside under a canopy or enjoy air conditioned comfort on the main deck. The boat is Coast Guard certified for up to 300 passengers. The cruise also has entertaining and informative live narration from the captain. There is full bar service onboard with light snacks available. All cruises last for an hour and a half. Visit their website for more information.
Fort Lauderdale's impressive canal system has earned it the title of the 'Venice of America', and Las Olas Gondola ensures that it lives up to its name. The gondola makes the perfect setting for a romantic outing, irrespective of whether you choose the simple Casa Magnifico Tour or the more elaborate Lovely Romantico Tour. The typical Venetian gondola can be hired for a number of events.
You can see the city from cruises that depart from Las Olas Riverfront, itself a waterside dining and shopping spot. These cruises chug by the city's most historic sites, mega-yachts and cruise ships, showy hotels, the city's International Swimming Hall of Fame and Marina. Tours are 90 minutes long, leaving every two hours on the half hour beginning at 11a. It is wise to call ahead, however, as times may change seasonally.
The Fort Lauderdale History Center is run by the Fort Lauderdale Historical Society and is a historic museum complex that comprises of three well preserved 19th-century buildings. The 1905 New River Inn is the main history museum with period artifacts, dioramas and photos. The 1907 King-Cromartie House gives visitors a glimpse of an early 20th-century home. The center offers programs for children which include hands-on re-enactments, schoolhouse classes, guided tours of exhibits in the museum of history, guided walking tours of the grounds and lectures throughout the year.
These water taxis arrive at various waterside destinations, including dozens of restaurants and shops and a surprising number of offices as well. The Fort Lauderdale Water Taxi, traverses between Hollywood and Fort Lauderdale, giving visitors a glimpse into various city attractions. These little green and yellow boats will also take groups on tours. Piloted by licensed captains, the taxis depart from downtown via the canals, Intracoastal Waterways and rivers. The schedules vary so call for details.
For more than 50 years, visitors have traveled on the stately Jungle Queen Riverboat. Tours sail past estates while an entertaining monologue by the captain points out the homes of the famous and the infamous. On three-hour day tours or four-hour dinner voyages you can sail to an island where you will dine amid tropical foliage. Evening cruises feature a dinner of barbecued ribs and shrimp, with a variety revue and sing-a-long cruising back.