The Ultimate Vacation Destination: Ft. Lauderdale

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Whether you’re looking for a romantic getaway or for a fun-filled family vacation, Ft. Lauderdale is where you need to head to next! We spent 10 incredible days overlooking the most beautiful beach and eating the most delicious food on our most recent trip to Ft. Lauderdale, Florida.

Flight & Transportation

We flew into the Ft. Lauderdale airport. It’s a short 10 mins drive from the big hotels in the area and because it’s small, getting out and checking in is easy and quick. I much prefer it to the Miami Airport that’s busy and oh so huge. The downside? It’s small. Very small. There’s a Starbucks, a small pizza place and 1 store to buy snacks so I recommend eating before arriving at the airport. The terminal is also super warm (unlike most freezing airports) so definitely do not wear layers!

We rented a car from a dealership near the airport. It made pick up and drop off super simple. With 2 kids I really recommend renting a car. It came equipped with 2 car seats so picking up food and drinks and diapers was super easy once we landed. It also meant that we could come and go as we please without worrying about child-friendly transportation.

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Where We Stayed

The Conrad Hotel in Ft. Lauderdale was hands down, the best hotel we could have ever chosen for our family. Travelling with a toddler and a newborn isn’t easy and the amenities that the hotel offered made our stay a breeze. We chose a 2-bedroom Ocean Front Suite that boasted 2 closed bedrooms, 2 full bathrooms (one with a bathtub), 3 TVs, a pull-out couch, full kitchen (including dishwasher, microwave, stove and even a wine dispenser) and a full patio table on the balcony.

Our rooms were equipped with 2 cribs (at no additional cost) and even had turn down service twice a day, meaning that when we went to the room for nap time and made a mess after the room had been cleaned, we would come back to the room after dinner and it would be spotless once again.

The hotel has a beautiful roof-top pool overlooking the ocean with delicious food and quick service. We tried just about everything on the menu and one item was better than the next. One feature that we LOVED (and if you’ve stayed at a lot of hotels you’ll appreciate) was unlimited water bottles by the pool. You’d be surprised how many 5 start hotels we’ve stayed at that give you 1 water bottle a day per person. There was never an issue getting a chair by the pool and there was even a fake grassy area with blocks for kids to play and a ping pong table!

The beach is about a 30 second walk from the hotel and you get 2 beach chairs and an umbrella per room at no extra charge. The water was warm, clear and we even had a close encounter with a manatee!

Where We Ate

The Conrad Hotel has a café on the main floor with delicious breakfasts, oven made pizza and heavenly ice cream! There’s also a restaurant called Terra Mare with the most delicious happy hour menu and higher end food later on in the night. For late night snacks or THE MOST delicious chocolate martinis, the lobby bar is the place to go!

A short walk away from the hotel there is a strip with super fun restaurants and nighttime entertainment. You’ll find your typical beachside tourist shops, great happy hour restaurants and food to please any palate. Pizza, sushi, chicken finger and fries… you name it, it’s there. They’re all ocean facing so you’ll feel totally on vacation as you sip away at delicious drinks and listen to live music and even watch flamenco dancing! I recommend checking out Cafe Ibiza and Tsukuro.

For a larger selection of food, we went a few times to Las Olas Blvd. It’s a super trendy and happening strip with the cutest shops and most delicious food! I totally recommend checking out: Red Door Asian Bistro & Hibachi and Louie Bossi’s. Louie Bossi is famous for making all their pasta and bread fresh in house daily. Don’t miss out on their insanely good Frosé!

Where We Shopped

A short 30 mins drive away from where we stayed is Aventura Mall - the second largest mall in the United States and the largest mall in the Miami and Ft. Lauderdale area. They have everything from high-end boutiques (like Louis Vuitton and Cartier) and have all your bigger box stores like Nordstrom and Macy’s. The food is delicious, the mall is huge and it’s definitely the place to go to get the best styles and shop indoors.

There’s another mall more centrally located, Galleria Mall, that’s a bit smaller, but has some great restaurants like PF Changs and has stores like the Gap, Old Navy, H&M and is a fun place to stop when you need a break from the heat.

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Our first family vacation as a family of 4 was definitely one to remember. We’re already planning our next vacation! Any recommendations on where we should visit?

Ripley's Aquarium - Fun for the Whole Family

If you're in the Toronto area, Ripley's Aquarium is a MUST SEE attraction. I wasn't sure what to expect and went in just hoping that I could keep Zane entertained for a few hours. It turned out, we could have spent the entire day there!

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From the second you walk in the Ripley's Aquarium, you're surrounded by gorgeous colours, illuminated aquariums that span from floor to ceiling and EVERY type of underwater fish you can imagine. It was such a nice experience to see Zane fascinated by the lights and swimming fish. I went with a friend of mine who has 2 older children and they were just as enthralled by the breath taking views.

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The aquarium is divided into exhibits such as the Canadian Waters, Rainbow Reef, Ray Bay and Curious Creatures (to name a few) but besides the exhibits, they have so many other things to offer! They have interactive stops along the way for older kids, they have caves that kids can crawl though, educational games and puzzles, and there was even a teaching session happening where someone from the Ripley's Aquarium was giving a lesson about fish!

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We had 2 favourite parts of the aquarium. The first was the Dangerous Lagoon - which is a long and beautiful aquarium tunnel that allows you to walk under swimming fish, sharks, sea turtles and so much more! There is moving belt so you can relax and be transported on what feels like a magical underwater journey.

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Our second favourite was in the Planet Jellies exhibit. There was this HUGE wall filled with what seemed like hundreds of jelly fish. As the wall changed colours, so did the jelly fish! It was one of the coolest things I have ever seen!

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We had such a blast at the Aquarium and I can't wait to go back with Zane the next time we are in Toronto. It's a place we could visit over and over again and always find something else to love.

A sleeping baby means a happy mama!!! This is the the right place to tire out your mini :)

A sleeping baby means a happy mama!!! This is the the right place to tire out your mini :)