Trampolines were an exercise fad in the '80s. Every kid's mom had one sitting out in the garage completely unused. And a large percentage of those kids who lived in South Florida set it up next to the pool to use as a springboard. A percentage of those kids were grounded for life after jumping off the roof onto them. The trampolines at SkyZone are nothing like those, but for '80s kids who lived through such dangerous high jinks and now have kids of their own, the nostalgia will still be sweet. Fans of reality TV will also enjoy the fact that the Fort Lauderdale location was featured in the season finale of Undercover Boss. SkyZone claims to be the original trampoline park, with the Fort Lauderdale spot adding the boast of being the largest in South Florida. Let the kids tire themselves out or go childless for SkyFitness classes, and bounce those unwanted pounds away. See? Every trend comes full circle.

Diving with sharks is not for the faint of heart, and it's not for the faint of wallet either. But then again, there are some things in life you shouldn't bargain-hunt, and haggling with the guy who may soon be pulling you from the literal jaws of death is probably not a good idea. Wouldn't want him to choose that moment to renegotiate! OK, so Force-E leads dive trips to Bimini specifically to see hammerheads, but it's not actually all sharks down there. The company leads wreck dives and spearfishing classes as well as short and sweet beginner dives to look at fish and reefs and turtles. You live in South Florida near a patch of the most beautiful ocean in the world, and you should take advantage of it. Force-E has been a family-run business helping locals and tourists explore our underwater sites since 1976. Owners Skip and Kathy Commagere met while diving in the '70s and today are the proud owners of three Force-E locations, in Riviera Beach, Boca Raton, and Pompano Beach. They both sell and rent equipment and have 15 certified instructors on staff. Join up with the Force-E crew for one of their group dives, beach cleanups, lectures, lionfish hunts, or other events.

Butterfly World

Your friends, family, and acquaintances will find their way to the beach. Just tell them to head east. But to make it through the urban sprawl to the oasis that is Butterfly World, they might need a guide. On ten acres of botanical gardens, you will find more than 20,000 butterflies representing 50 species — and they will not be afraid to rest on your shoulder. A wide variety of hummingbirds is on display also, and if you're feeling generous, you can buy a cup of nectar to feed the charming Lorikeets (just be advised not to wear a new shirt, as these birds ain't too proud to relieve themselves on you). Admission for adults is $26.95, but the website has a $3 coupon. If leaving Butterfly World brings tears to your eyes and sadness to your heart, it does have a fantastic plant shop where you can take home vegetation that will attract butterflies to your front stoop.

It's easy to forget that Fort Lauderdale is only a 90-minute drive to a different ecosystem. At John Pennekamp, the first undersea state park in America, you'll see fish of every size, shape, and color. For $29.95 (plus an $8 park entry fee per vehicle and equipment rental if you need it), take a relaxing boat ride to one of the most pristine snorkeling spots imaginable, then hop in the clear blue waters. The variety of fish and coral at a depth of only a few feet is incredible. Of particular note is the rainbow parrotfish, whose name is a misnomer, because the spectrum of colors on its scales puts to shame both rainbows and parrots. Snorkeling isn't the only way to enjoy the park: Glass-bottom boat tours, scuba dives, kayak trips, and powerboat rentals are options as well. Reservations are advisable for one of the four daily tours (especially on weekends), and it's always smart to call ahead about weather and to see if those pesky jellyfish are out.

Less than a three-hour drive from Broward County past Lake Okeechobee and west through the town of Arcadia, you cross Peace River. The name comes from the peaceful conditions of the flow of water, making it no trouble to paddle upstream through water that's reddened by the shallow conditions. If you bring your own canoe, you can park at many different spots along the river and paddle your way back. Otherwise, you can rent canoes from Peace River Campground or Canoe Outpost (with the price of rental dependent upon how long you choose to feel the Peace) — included in Canoe Outpost's rental price is bus service, so you need to paddle only one way, then hitch a ride back to your car. Campgrounds line the river to make it a true all-weekend experience you will never wish to forget. Live oak trees with the breeze whistling through their Spanish moss will serenade you. Turtles basking in the sun will wave hello. Stationary alligators will glare menacingly at you. But the greatest attractions are the rope swings you will come across. Who are the heroes who climb toward the sky and latch a knot on the tree's highest branch so that we river rats can feel brave for a moment?

Pelican Grand Beach Resort
Courtesy of Pelican Grand Hotel

What's better than a four-star beach resort with a heated pool just a stone's throw from the lapping waves and sun and sand? Why, a four-star beach resort with a heated pool just a stone's throw from the lapping waves and sun and sand... with a built-in lazy river! There are resort pools and resort pools... and then there's the Pelican Grand's pool. Located just a few steps from the beach, the Pelican Grand's pool sits languidly in the middle of a man-made oasis, complete with soft adjustable lounge chairs nestled in the shadows of swaying palm trees. The classically shaped heated pool dominates the center of the area, and its always-clean crystal blue water is a welcoming sight for those in desperate need of some serious chill time. But if you want to dip even deeper into the chill zone, there's the Pelican's lazy river snaking its way around the row of palm trees, looping toward the spa and back again toward the pool, in an infinite relaxing loop. So grab a cocktail, then grab an inner tube, and meander your way around paradise until you've taken chill mode to its fullest.

Sailboat Bend Artist Lofts

Hear us out on this one. Sailboat Bend is more than a residential neighborhood; it's an eclectic community in the historical district of classic old Fort Lauderdale. Here at the far west of Las Olas Boulevard, away from the chichi shops and art galleries, new minicondos sit next to dilapidated, vacant houses and beautifully restored historic homes. This is where you'll find craft-beer mecca Riverside Market and the more recently opened Chimney House Grill as well as artists' lofts and the 1310 Gallery. This is old Fort Lauderdale at its finest, within walking distance of Himmarshee and Riverwalk, and the people-watching is grand. We won't say it's one of those neighborhoods where everybody knows your name, but they certainly know everyone's dog's name. Packs of hipster cyclists (a nomer we don't throw around lightly) patrol the streets, looking ironically ominous with their ironically pulled-up hoodies and their ironically high ape-hanger handlebars. Art students wander from the 1310 Gallery to Riverside Market for their homebrews, and one particular neighbor has his driveway set up like a "welcome center" complete with comfortable seating; he blasts Marvin Gaye while waving enthusiastically to everyone who passes by. If anyone ever says that Fort Lauderdale is only for tourists, that it has no soul, take him down to Sailboat Bend for a bike ride — ironic or otherwise.

Dairy Belle

They flock in groups of five to six — however many they can fit in their rented Chrysler minivan — and will stand in line chirping for nearly half an hour as they wait for momma bird to serve up that medium soft serve, in a cup, double on the chocolate dip, merci. Ice creams in hand, they nest along the covered benches, a sea of snowbirds chirping and pecking at their desserts. Here the Quebec-to-Florida license plate ratio is arguably higher than anywhere else in a 15-mile radius of FLL. Keep an eye out for a unique species of snowbird, part-Jacques Cousteau, part-Peter Sellers, with a handlebar mustache, dining mostly on poutine... with extra cheese curd.

Undergrounds Coffeehaus

One of the best ways to spend any rainy day is with a good book and a hot drink. You'll find plenty of both and far more at Undergrounds Coffeehaus in Fort Lauderdale. Accurately self-described as an artsy coffee shop and used-book store, the 'Haus is located on Federal Highway on the second level of a small but adorably motiffed shopping plaza. The space is a bibliophile's dream, cozy in a wonderfully cluttered and colorful Victorian way; there are plenty of big-paned windows for the warm Florida rain to dribble against while you sip and peruse. Nosh on gourmet tater tots (yeah, you read that right) while lounging in comfy armchairs. Try not to get any grease on the books, though, please. Undergrounds is also a huge supporter of the local arts scene, so you'll also find "Open Haus" exhibitions of local artists. The place carries everything from rare vintage tomes to regular ol' paperbacks, and it's always taking donations. So next time the clouds start to gather, box up those old books you need to admit you will never bother to sell on Amazon and head over to Undergrounds Coffeehaus to find new old books and maybe even some future old friends.

Museum of Discovery and Science

If the DEA really wanted to catch pot smokers, it would buy an IMAX theater and host weekly screenings of Gravity. Add science, reptiles, and some mind-blowing exhibits to the mix and it's game over. You've just created a pothead paradise. But let's be very clear, people. You are to — under no circumstance — walk into the center of the Museum of Discovery and Science and light up a doobie. For heaven's sake, man, there are kids in there! No. All we are saying is that, if in November, the fine people of Florida happen to vote in favor of the legalization of medical marijuana and your chronic back/shoulder/neck/toe pain wins you a prescription for the sticky icky icky, this might be a good place to visit after proper and responsible medication. Until then, if you happen to be walking around downtown Fort Lauderdale and you trip and fall, landing mouth first into the center of a drum circle, right onto a big ol' bong, don't panic. Just pick yourself up, dust yourself off, and walk over to the Museum of Discovery and Science to have that thing you call a mind blown to smithereens by the awesome power of science. We're all made of stars, man. Stars.

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