It's officially summertime. Which means it's time to get out and about and, you know, do stuff. But, hey, you're broke (or cheap). So what's a penniless schlub to do in the city known for its yachts?
You get out there anyway. Because, believe it or not, there's a ton of stuff to do in Fort Lauderdale that's either supercheap or free. You just have to know where to look.
But no worries. We looked for you, and we found a plethora of ways you can have fun in the city while not spending a dime.
Here are 11 ways to be a cheapskate in Fort Lauderdale and still have a kick-ass time:
See also: Ten Fort Lauderdale Life Hacks
11. Take a Stroll on the Broadwalk The Hollywood Beach Broadwalk is a lot like the cantina in Star Wars. It's hot, it's got music, and it features all kinds of weird characters from all parts of the known universe. There's a wonderfully eclectic mix of tourists and locals along with bikers and rollerbladers here, and it features a bunch of bars that offer cheap food and cheap booze. There's also the Hollywood Beach stage, which has live local bands every Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, and Saturday evenings -- along with a dance floor where you can watch people drunkenly dance to a sweet Bruce Springsteen cover or clog to some exotic Quebecois tune. Most of all, though, the ocean is right there.
10. Cherry-Pick People's Parking Spaces Parking is at a premium throughout downtown and the beach areas. But if you can be a little patient, you can get away with free parking! A key to pulling this off is to arrive around the time people might be most expecting to leave. For the beaches, this is around 2 or so, when the beach heat has become unbearable. Usually people overpay for parking, which means when they leave, you can slot yourself in and mooch off the remainder of their meter. Of course, this takes a lot of work and a lot of luck, which means you might be better off if you....
9. Beg for Someone's Prepaid Parking Ticket As we mentioned, people tend to overpay for parking. So if you want to keep it on the cheap, put on your No Shame Hat and ask a people backing out of a space if they'd be kind enough to give you their prepaid parking tickets. Chances are you can luck into one that still has an hour or two remaining on it. And most people are either kind enough to give it to you. Or creeped out enough to give it to you. Either way, it's a good way to make sure you keep it on the cheap with the parking.
8. Go for a Ride on Tri-Rail for No Good Reason Look, it ain't no Orient Express, but it's still a train, and it goes places and it's cheap, so why not? Tri-Rail offers all the sense of wonderment and adventure you get with a train ride, except without the luxury or the scenic views. Unless you think I-95 is scenic. But that's OK. Because for just five bucks, you can go on your own little cheap adventure and ride from Fort Lauderdale to West Palm Beach for the day. You can also laugh at people stuck in traffic on the highway.
7. Bring Your Own Guacamole to the Taco Joint Stuff that shit in a ziplock bag and go to town. Ain't no need for that expensive-ass guac.
6. Hit Up StubHub for Panthers Games During Panthers season, you can jump on StubHub and buy a pair of tickets for like $2 each. Sometimes even cheaper than that.
5. Hit Up the Museums Fort Lauderdale has some kick-ass museums, and you need to take full advantage. The Hollywood Art and Culture Center, The Norton, the Fort Lauderdale Museum of Art and the Museum of Discovery and Science just to name a few,
4. Go Watch the Dolphins Practice It sure as shit beats forking over $75 for a ticket (not to mention another $50 for drinks and food) to a game only to watch the Dolphins get slaughtered. The best and cheapest way to go watch your favorite football team is to hit up its practice facility at Nova Sourtheastern University in Davie. It's free, the seats are close to the action, and there's always an autograph session with players. Best of all, the team plays against itself, so you won't be going home all depressed like you would on a Sunday. It's a win-win!
3. Have a Picnic at Arts Park at Young Circle It's part park, part museum. So why not kill two birds with one stone and hit up Arts Park at Young Circle and take in a little bit of culture with a couple of peanut butter and jelly sandwiches? Or, you can hit up the many food trucks that line the park.
2. Spend the Day at Bass Pro Shops Yes, it's a big, giant store where you can buy fishing supplies and hunting equipment. But it's also kind of like a museum of cool stuff. This place has a waterfall, a giant-ass aquarium, and a restaurant. It's like visiting New York's Museum of Natural History where you can actually pretend to be Teddy Roosevelt when you use the shooting range. Oh, yeah, it has a shooting range.
1. Go Exploring Through a Nature Trail You've got Snake Warrior's Island in Miramar, the Anne Kolb Nature Center in Hollywood, or the Fern Forest Nature Center in Coconut Creek. In other words -- FLORIDA! There's swampland everywhere. Take advantage. Lather up in mosquito spray, grab a bottle of water and your camera, and get exploring!
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