The Boring Company’s proposal for a beach-to-downtown tunnel in Fort Lauderdale has just been accepted by city officials. Insider has learned that the cost is likely to be at least $30 million.
The tunnel, called “The Las Olas Loop,” would stretch for about 2.5 miles and is likely to cost between $10 million and $15 million per mile, City Commissioner Ben Sorensen said in a phone interview.
The total cost will depend on whether there are two tunnels, one headed each direction, Sorensen said, citing his conversations with The Boring Company. The lowest estimate for the project cost would be around $30 million, he said.
“I think if it’s done right, this is a chance to have a carbon-neutral, basically all-electric, solar-powered transportation system for the public,” Sorensen said. “So that’s very exciting to consider.”
The city on Tuesday accepted the proposal in a 4-1 vote, starting the clock on a 45-day period for counter-proposals from other tunneling companies.
The full details of The Boring Company’s proposal won’t be made public until the bidding period ends.
If no further proposals emerge, the city will invite The Boring Company to do a deeper dive into the project, including geological studies, Mayor Dean J. Trantalis said in a YouTube video posted on Wednesday.
Trantalis said the town was “very hopeful” that the project would progress.
“In the meantime, we start reaching out for funding sources,” Trantalis said. “The Boring Company will front the money to build the project, and then that gives us time to try to tap into county, state, and federal funding in order to pay for this.”
Sorensen said he’s begun early talks with Florida’s congressional delegation about seeking federal funding.
Mike Mooney, Grewcock University endowed chair and professor of civil and environmental engineering at Colorado School of Mines, said the project cost was “much lower…than what you would typically see for a tunnel project.”
Mooney added: “I don’t have insights into the details of that cost proposal, but that is a significant difference between what The Boring Company does versus what others do for say a similar size and length tunnel.”
The Boring Company didn’t respond to a request for comment on the project or funding. The company lists two job postings in Fort Lauderdale: a permiting and operations coordinator, and a civil engineer and logistics coordinator.
Vice Mayor Heather Moraitis, who toured The Boring Company’s Las Vegas tunnel in May, wrote a letter to Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis about the project.
“I look forward to working with you to make Florida the next stop for tunneling technology,” Moraitis wrote.
The Florida Department of Transportation would be responsible for helping the city if the project moves forward, the governor’s office said on Friday.
“Fort Lauderdale has not requested state funding for this project, so there is nothing to approve at this point,” said Christina Pushaw, the governor’s press secretary.
On social media, some questioned whether a tunnel in a coastal area would be susceptible to flooding, especially during hurricanes.
But Mooney said those were mostly concerns from the “layperson perspective” – people who weren’t tunnel experts.
“The transfer of geology – the Las Vegas geology and the California geology – it will be much different than the Fort Lauderdale-area geology, ground conditions, and ground water conditions,” he said. “So that will be the biggest new aspect that any company would need to deal with in moving to a new site.”
Fort Lauderdale officials on Tuesday will vote on whether to accept a proposal from The Boring Company to build a passenger tunnel between the beach and downtown.
The “Las Olas Loop” would be the second major project for founder Elon Musk’s tunneling company. The Florida city said it received a proposal on Wednesday.
“Fort Lauderdale would be the first city on the East Coast – and only the second city in the world – to benefit from The Boring Co.’s technology,” officials in the tourist destination said in a Thursday statement.
If City Commission officials accept the proposal next Tuesday, they’ll then open up a competitive bidding process to other tunneling firms. The Boring Company’s plans won’t be made public until the bidding process ends, the city said.
“Called ‘The Las Olas Loop,’ this represents an innovative and unprecedented approach to addressing traffic congestion and transit needs,” Mayor Dean J. Trantalis said on Twitter on Wednesday.
The company’s Las Vegas underground transportation system launched with a press event in April, followed by a public opening in June. The 1.7-mile loop under the Las Vegas Convention Center has three stops. The company said it cost about $47 million to build.
Las Vegas city councilors in December approved an expansion into downtown, with plans to connect to McCarran International Airport. A trip from the Las Vegas strip to the airport could take about seven minutes via a tunnel, according to officials.
Officials in Fort Lauderdale said they initially made contact with The Boring Company to talk about “underground alternatives to the construction of a high-rise commuter rail bridge over the New River.”
They added: “When corporate executives later visited the city, they asked to look at other transportation needs of our city.”
Miami Mayor Francis Suarez and Musk also met in February to discuss a $30 million tunnel under the city.
“I think we have a unique opportunity to create a signature project not just for Miami, but for the world,” Suarez said at the time.
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Fort Lauderdale features a great restaurant and bar scene, beautiful beaches, and historic sites.
Hotels in and around Fort Lauderdale range from old Florida beach motels to luxury high rises.
We chose the best Fort Lauderdale hotels at affordable prices starting from $129 to $399 per night.
Just 45 minutes north of rowdy Miami, Fort Lauderdale offers a more relaxed and often more affordable take on a fun, Florida beach vacation. The cosmopolitan city is infused with old Florida soul and is packed with white-sand beaches, standout dining, historic sites, boat shows, some of the nation’s best discount shopping at Sawgrass Mall, and more.
The landscape of Fort Lauderdale is also wholly unique – within its 36.3 square miles, there are 165 miles of canals, rightfully nicknaming Fort Lauderdale the “Venice of America.”
With so many reasons for travelers to visit, the city is home to an impressive number of hotels designed to meet every traveler’s taste. Knowing this, we’ve combed through the masses to choose the top hotels in the area.
Browse all of the best hotels in Fort Lauderdale below, or jump to a specific area:
This modern twist on an old, vintage Florida beach hotel offers a quiet, casual beach weekend at an unbeatable price. As you’re driving down El Mar Drive, you can’t miss it — it’s a five-story, all-white building with an all-white pool deck and 163 rooms. The rooms are standard, but very clean, spacious, and (most importantly) just steps from the area’s powder-white sand beaches.
Plunge Beach Hotel has a mix of standard guest rooms and one- or two-bedroom suites. We recommend opting for accommodations with a partial- or full-ocean views to really feel like you’re on the water.
The most interesting thing about this hotel is its amazing location. Plunge Beach Hotel is in a charming part of the city called Lauderdale-By-The-Sea, a Stars Hollow-esque village that looks plucked from 1960s New England, filled with mom-and-pop restaurants, old-school ice cream shops, old Florida vibes, pedestrian-friendly streets, and buildings no higher than five stories.
Staying at The Dalmar is a fun, sophisticated retreat done up in a mix of mid-century modern design infused with plenty of tropical accents. Palm Beach-chic bright magenta and greens, palm frond prints, and neon wall messages all brighten the well-designed common areas. Likewise, rooms are large and comfortable with a mix of both city and, in the distance, Atlantic Ocean views.
The contemporary and glamorous Terrace Grill is a great restaurant, and there’s also a rooftop infinity pool with butler service that guests can request simply by pushing a button on their pool chair.
The lobby area doubles as a trendy lounge, with a communal working table, plush cream couches with palm-printed throw pillows, a glowing marble bar with bronze accents, and a candy-pink Moet champagne vending machine. Head to the top floor and check out the Gatsby-style rooftop lounge, Sparrow, which is the highest rooftop bar in Fort Lauderdale.
Staying at the Westin Fort Lauderdale Beach Resort feels like retreating to an effortless and well-appointed beach getaway. Two towering buildings in matching baby blue and white hues are perched right on the sand, with rooms that exude beachy elegance with light woods, wicker furniture, plush all-white beds, and throw pillows covered in bright green palm fronds. Rooms are spacious, with ocean, pool, or Intracoastal views, including the lowest room category, which is a Traditional Guest Room, 1 King.
If the weather is nice, grab a first-come, first-served pool chair on the oceanfront pool deck. The pool is small, and there aren’t that many chairs, so get there early to make sure you snag one. The hotel also has a fitness room, the Heavenly Spa by Westin™, and one of the best Mexican restaurants in town, Lona Cocina Tequileria. When you eat at Lona, start with the blue crab tostadas, end with the churros and housemade chocolate-dipping sauce, and thank us later.
The Fort Lauderdale Marriott Harbor Beach Resort & Spa is like entering a pristine compound with so much do, it’s easy to stay on-site for the entirety of your stay. The resort sits on 16 acres of beachfront property with a 22,000 square-foot spa, a tropical lagoon pool, and seven restaurants and bars.
The rooms are spacious, with even the lowest room category — Interior Room, Guest room, 1 King — measuring a generous 338 square feet. Standard hotel rooms all come with handcrafted wooden headboards, sheer white curtains, abstract art, plush sofa chairs, pillow-top mattresses, and glass showers.
Because of its massive size, great room prices, and long list of amenities, this hotel attracts a mix of guests, from families and friends to business travelers, couples, bachelor and bachelorette parties, spring breakers, and more.
Drive down North Ocean Boulevard, and despite its Easter egg-yellow color and 10+ story building, you might miss the Pelican Grand Beach Resort, which is set off to the side. Thanks to a $7 million guest room renovation in 2019, rooms now have a refreshing mix of whimsical Florida soul coupled with boho-chic design. The hotel is as close to the water as you can get, and rooms are pretty large and come with a private balcony or terrace that includes at least partial ocean views.
This hotel also has a delicious restaurant, OCEAN2000, a sprawling pool with a lazy river, and a rooftop spa with floor-to-ceiling glass windows that make it appear as if you’re hovering over the sparkling blue Atlantic Ocean. No matter how you spend your time here, post-dinner s’mores by a firepit in the sand are a must.
If you were priced out of Miami, know that W Fort Lauderdale is a lot like staying on South Beach. The lobby bar, Living Room, is a hot spot for both hotel guests and locals, and there’s an all-glass rooftop WET pool that’s a whole party in itself.
The hotel has a lot of vibrant energy, from its electric pink, blue, orange and green decor to its large Wonderful, Spectacular, Fabulous, Cool, Marvelous, Wow or even Extreme Wow rooms and suites (those are the actual room categories). Wake up and walk straight to the beach or take advantage of the AWAY spa. Whether you get steak at Steak 954, Mexican food at El Vez, or cocktails at Living Room, you’ll enjoy panoramic, floor-to-ceiling views of the ocean just steps away.
As mentioned, the pool is the main social event here with 360-degree views of Fort Lauderdale and Fort Lauderdale Beach, and covered in daybeds available by reservation only. They fill up quickly, so make a reservation early to make sure you don’t miss out.
Because of its party vibe, this hotel attracts a lot of groups of young friends, bachelorette or bachelor parties, young couples, and solo travelers. It’s a fun, stylish, trendy hotel but it’s not a place for a quiet beach retreat or serene, romantic getaway.
After undergoing a much-anticipated $1.5 billion renovation and expansion, The Guitar Hotel at Seminole Hard Rock Hollywood Hotel & Casino finally opened in fall 2019. The all-glass hotel has 638 oversized rooms and is designed to look like two back-to-back guitars, with six illuminated guitar strings on each side.
The lowest room category, Deluxe King, offers a super spacious 520 square feet, huge marble bathrooms, convertible vanity areas, and direct views of the Bora Bora pool area, which was designed to look like Bora Bora itself.
The amenities aren’t lacking, and guests can take advantage of 19 restaurants, 20 bars, a luxury co-ed spa with music-inspired treatments, a full-scale fitness center, the Hard Rock Live concert venue, a comedy club, nightly light and music shows, the DAER nightclub and day club complex, an indoor shopping mall, and of course, a casino.
This beachfront hotel offers a pampering, luxury escape, and at certain times of the year, it’s actually pretty affordable, which is a steal for a top-tier brand such as the Ritz-Carlton.
Even the lowest-category rooms — Intracoastal View, Guest room, 1 King, Balcony — come with a lot of space, large marble bathrooms, leather furniture, and a private balcony and view of either the ocean or Intracoastal Waterway.
There is a $45 daily resort fee but it offers tremendous value, including beach chairs, daily beach umbrellas, Ritz-Carlton water, two signature resort cocktails every day, daily one-hour fitness classes, high-speed internet, two four-hour bike rentals, and a daily water taxi pass.
Spend your days at the beach or by the hotel’s private, heated infinity pool, or book a spa treatment in the 8,500 square-foot spa. If working out is a part of your travel ritual, you’ll love the Ritz’s fitness center with glass windows overlooking the Intracoastal Waterway.
In addition to the criteria previously listed above, we considered these additional factors:
Price: We looked for typical starting room rates under $400 per night.
Reviews: In addition to our own first-hand stays, we thoroughly researched reviews and ratings on trusted traveler sites such as Trip Advisor, Hotels.com, and Booking.com, and took into account the experience and reviews of other recent guests.
Guests: We chose the best hotels in Fort Lauderdale for a wide audience, including families, couples, groups of friends, solo travelers, and more.
Amenities: We looked for beach hotels with standout decor, excellent locations, beach access, pool facilities, delicious restaurants and bars, and other guest perks from golf courses to beachside spa services.
COVID-19 safety: In light of the pandemic, we selected hotels that prioritize the health and safety of guests with strict new cleaning policies.
We also recommend following CDC guidelines and wearing a mask in public, washing hands frequently, and following social distancing.
Where should I stay in Fort Lauderdale?
That depends on what you want to do and, perhaps most importantly, how close you want to be to the beach. You’ll find chic properties, and excellent shopping and restaurants near Las Olas Boulevard, the city’s main drag that runs from the beach to Downtown Fort Lauderdale.
You’ll want to stick to the coasts if your main objective is hitting the beach or boating. Fort Lauderdale Beach is always a popular choice, though for quieter beaches and hotels with Old Florida charm, consider Lauderdale-by-the-Sea.
What is there to do in Fort Lauderdale?
Shop or stroll into a cafe on La Ola Boulevard or bike along the riverwalk. Of course, hitting the beach is a prime activity here. Fort Lauderdale Beach Park and Las Olas Beach are two attractive options for getting your toes in the sand.
Boating and sailing are also especially popular here. If you don’t have your own boat, consider booking a day cruise, sunset sail, or even an airboat tour to the nearby Everglades.
What is the best time to visit Fort Lauderdale?
Though a great year-round destination, the best time to visit Fort Lauderdale is October to May, since you’ll avoid the humid, rainy summer season, as well as hurricane season which runs from June to November.
Fort Lauderdale is also often very crowded during peak times like spring break, Memorial Day, and the Fourth of July. Keep this in mind and expect to pay more if you plan to visit during the most crowded times.
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Nicknamed the “Venice of America,” Fort Lauderdale has water channels that weave through the city.
A desirable beach getaway in its own right, it’s also a less expensive option than nearby Miami.
From coastal homes to urban lofts, these top Fort Lauderdale Airbnbs range from $75 to $281 per night.
Ask a local why they favor Fort Lauderdale over Miami, and they’ll tell you the coastal city is less crowded and more affordable than its southern neighbor. Just a 30-minute drive north from Miami, Fort Lauderdale boasts similar draws: a vibrant nightlife scene; lively beaches; a strong Latin influence (authentic Cuban sandwiches are never far away); and a massive boating culture.
Nicknamed the “Venice of America,” Fort Lauderdale is home to miles of the Intracoastal Waterway, which fill up with boats that anchor at local sandbars or dock at restaurants along the canals during the weekends.
Florida has no shortage of top Airbnbs, and accommodations in Fort Lauderdale include everything from chic downtown lofts near Las Olas Boulevard, the city’s main street, to coastal homes steps away from the beach for those whose main agenda is sand and sun. Having lived in the city for five years, I’ve visited just about every area and know all the best spots.
I also know that while Fort Lauderdale is alluring all year, the best time to visit is October to May, when you can avoid humid, rainy summers – and hurricane season, which starts in June. Fort Lauderdale can also become crowded during spring break and over three-day weekends, like Memorial Day, so keep this in mind and book far in advance if you plan to visit over popular holidays.
Additionally, though vaccine rollouts are underway, COVID-19 is still a major concern, and travel right now comes at a risk. We always recommend following safety precautions from the CDC, like wearing a mask in public spaces, practicing social distancing, and washing hands frequently.
For the traveler passing through Fort Lauderdale on a layover, this quaint cottage is located in the Croissant Park neighborhood, set between the Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport and Port Everglades.
Behind the property’s main house, the desert-inspired cottage has its own private entrance where a Queen-size bed and two chairs that fold out into single-sofa beds create cozy sleeping arrangements. Although the home is small, there’s still enough space to fit a tiny, circular dining table with two rustic leather barrel chairs and a workspace, complete with a desk and stool. The home is air-conditioned and includes an updated full kitchen and modern bathroom with funky geometric floor tiles and a walk-in shower.
Complimentary coffee and tea, parking, and two bikes are a few other thoughtful touches.
The property has limited availability until July, so plan ahead when booking.
Modern apartment blocks from Las Olas Boulevard, $125
This modern apartment is an elegant place to retreat to in the upscale Colee Hammock neighborhood. It’s just blocks away from the city’s main drag, Las Olas Boulevard, where you’ll find some of the best restaurants, bars, boutiques, and art galleries.
The property was designed in the 1960s around a massive oak tree in an enclosed courtyard, which from the sidewalk appears to be sprouting from the building. Minimal decor and high-gloss white vinyl flooring put the attention back on the architecture, which includes uniquely shaped rooms and outdoor spaces. In the bedroom, a sliding door across from the Queen-size bed opens to a private patio with a colorful hammock. Details like a leopard-print rug and palm leaf wallpaper in the kitchen add pizzazz.
In the living room, a cream-colored pullout sofa can accommodate additional guests and a small, secluded outdoor dining area creates additional hangout space. As an added bonus, there’s free on-site parking.
The property has plenty of availability over the next few months.
Victoria Park is central to just about everything the city has to offer. Locals like calling the historic neighborhood home because it’s a short walk to the bustling Las Olas Boulevard, a five-minute drive to the arts district in Flagler Village, and a 10-minute drive across the drawbridge to the coastline.
This open-concept condo has fun tropical touches like palm tree paintings and pineapple accents for a sense of place, but the tasteful midcentury modern furniture in neutral colors keeps it from veering into kitsch territory.
There’s no shortage of greenery, with plenty of plants and succulents filling the bright and airy unit. Free parking on the premise and an updated kitchen complete with basic appliances and cookware make it easy to extend a stay.
The property has plenty of availability throughout the next several months.
This home’s biophilic design brings the outside in and vice versa. There are plenty of plants scattered throughout the open-concept living room, where a white, L-shaped couch decorated with black-and-white throw pillows is the focal point. A Buddha statue sits just above it on the window sill and a full kitchen looks out at the living space, complete with a marble countertop and two stools. A light-filled room with a rustic dining table and four midcentury modern chairs can also be used for sit-down meals.
Each bedroom includes a Queen-size bed and boasts a minimalistic design with funky lighting, including a small chandelier in one and a white urchin pendant in another. The two bathrooms have very different but equally appealing aesthetics; one features a spa-like shower with white marble floors while the other has a contemporary feel and a sliding barn door.
But the real draw here is the expansive backyard, featuring a faux grass wall and various seating areas. It’s especially ideal for pet owners since the yard is fenced in, and in the front, there’s free parking on the premise.
Set in a residential part of town, this entire home is filled with Zen decor and playful artworks that embody the M.A.S.S. District that’s just a five-minute drive away. This up-and-coming, trendy part of town set beside train tracks boasts arcade bars, yoga studios, smoothie spots, coffee shops, and more — all usually found inside buildings covered by murals.
The property has plenty of availability over the next few months.
Most of the accommodations in the central Fort Lauderdale Beach area are with major hotel brands and boutiques, making this luxury apartment at the Gale Residences a rare find on Airbnb. The ninth-floor condo is located along the Intracoastal Waterway, just two blocks from the beach and right behind the W hotel, which houses noteworthy restaurants like Steak 954 and El Vez.
The sleek kitchen has stainless steel appliances and opens up to a living room decorated with blue hues that mirror the views of the Intracoastal Waterway just beyond the balcony. The outdoor space features a metal high-top table with matching chairs for an ideal setting to sip morning coffees. Floor-to-ceiling windows in the master bedroom, with a King-size bed and tufted headboard, also boast sweeping sights. The bathroom includes a tiled walk-in shower, and a lacquered desk is tucked into a corner for those who need to balance work and play.
Other communal amenities currently open to guests include a grilling area, pool with chaise lounges, a fully equipped gym, and a theater room. Free parking is available to guests staying for more than 27 days.
This host currently requires a 15-night minimum stay, but the property has plenty of availability from July onward.
Beach house with private pool in North Fort Lauderdale, $235
This ultra-contemporary house near the beach has plenty of space for families or pods of friends to spread out. The open-concept living area includes a media console at the attention of two black leather couches, which are separated by an oval-shaped coffee table. In addition to a small writer’s desk, there’s also an expansive dining table that can seat up to eight under oversized light fixtures. The full kitchen beckons home cooks with its glossy white cabinets and a subway-tile backsplash.
Kids will sleep soundly in the Twin-size beds, but parents will surely appreciate the master bedroom, which includes a King-size bed and an ensuite double vanity. Sliding glass doors lead to a private, fenced-in yard with a pool and expansive patio that includes a gas grill. Other notable amenities include a stacked washer and dryer, and a driveway with plenty of parking.
The home is just a quarter-mile away from the northern, less crowded stretch of beach. The house is also on the outskirts of Hugh Taylor Birch State Park, where you can bike, kayak, stroll through the massive banyan trees, or have lunch at Park & Ocean, a shaded, casual cafe with ocean views.
The property still has some availability during the months of May, June, and August but is booking up fast.
Tropical oasis with private pool near Wilton Manors, $249
Just north of Fort Lauderdale, set between the LGBTQIA neighborhood of Wilton Manors and the coastline, is this listing, which calls itself the “Martini Manor.” The one-story home somehow tastefully meshes pop art with nautical decor.
As the name implies, the house comes ready-made for those looking to have a good time, and includes a coffee bar, wine bar with a cooler, and a fully stocked kitchen. The living room does have a desk and office chair for those who need to work and play, but those are easily overshadowed by the big white sectional sofa, zebra pouf ottomans, cozy fireplace, and dining table with bold red chairs.
By day, relax at the freeform pool in the backyard, which is shaded by palm trees and outfitted with chaise lounges and a daybed. By evening, use the grill for a cookout and dine under the pergola with hanging bistro lights. A washer and dryer, and covered parking are also perks.
The property has availability starting in August.
Charming home with saltwater pool at Sailboat Bend, $263
Get a real sense of old Fort Lauderdale charm when staying in the Sailboat Bend neighborhood. This yellow, one-story home is serving Key West vibes, with a charming seating area on the front porch complete with palm tree cutouts in the lime green wooden shutters.
Although the home has old bones, the interior is updated, with a modern kitchen that even includes a full-size wine cooler and a U-shaped countertop. Lounge in the living room on an L-shaped couch under an aerial photograph of beachgoers, or practice your chess-playing skills on a game table by the window next to a brown leather accent chair.
The bedrooms are decked out in nautical decor, including sailboat art and a hanging ship steering wheel, as well as plush robes for a resort-like amenity. The shared bathroom includes a steam-room-style shower, and in the backyard, guests can take a dip in the saltwater pool and Jacuzzi.
Riverside Market Cafe, a local haunt, is just across the river, and the Broward Center for the Performing Arts and the Museum of Discovery and Science are less than a 20-minute walk away. Keep heading down Himmarshee Street, lined with bars and restaurants, and take a right on South Andrews Avenue to arrive at The Wharf Fort Lauderdale, an open-air space along the water with live music and drinks.
The property has plenty of availability starting in June.
Luxury industrial loft in Downtown Fort Lauderdale, $281
Walk to some of the best parts of town when staying at this downtown loft. Take a 10-minute stroll to the FAT Village Arts District, where warehouses open up for art walks on the weekends and hipstery locals hang out inside coffee shops. Just a seven-minute walk away is one of the city’s highest rooftop bars, Sparrow, on top of The Dalmar hotel, and right around the corner is the Brightline station, where you can ride a luxury high-speed train to Miami in just 30 minutes.
This studio apartment’s vaulted ceiling and exposed pipes create an urban feel, but warm neutral colors soften the design. In the living room area, two cream chairs face a brown pull-out sofa, set on a gray and beige boho rug. Three stools line up at the island in a contemporary kitchen. Close by, two folding chairs and a table create an ideal breakfast nook, while a rectangular dining table and four matching chairs are ideal for larger group meals.
A sliding wall can close off the King-size bed in front of a large, industrial window for added privacy, and the host also provides an air mattress for additional guests. A Pac-Man arcade machine tucked in the corner also adds character, while the building is carefully following CDC guidelines to allow visitors access to the rooftop pool and Jacuzzi.
The property has plenty of availability over the next few months.