Best Free Thrill - 2000
Locations along Perimeter Road
Aviation has been around for oh, 80 some years, but the sight of flying machines still inspires awe in people. That's why dozens of aeronautics enthusiasts can be seen, practically any time of the day or night, parked at two locations on the fringes of Fort Lauderdale's major airport to watch the planes take off and land. These are serious plane watchers, armed with ladders for better vantage points, binoculars, cameras, and even books that picture the various aircraft types. Like bird watching, plane watching is a spectator sport around the world but is becoming restricted by security-conscious airports. Enthusiasts rate the Broward experience as superior. (Their criteria: closeness to the runway and good weather.) There are two spots offering parking: One offers good views of small aircraft taking off on their runway (alas, no jets) but does provide park benches and shade; the other, more popular area, near Broward County Animal Care and Control, is closer -- only 50 feet or so from the planes. Take Griffin Road just west of Federal Highway to Perimeter Road.