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A Yachtie's Social Guide to Fort Lauderdale

Fort Lauderdale is a beach-front city on the Atlantic coast of south Florida, about an hour north of Miami. If you’re an American looking to become a "yachtie," you’ll be spending a LOT of time here as it’s the yachting hub of the hemisphere. Superyacht marinas & shipyards, yachting industry vendors and businesses, training facilities, and crew agencies choose to make Fort Lauderdale their home thanks to its protected waterways and safe harbors for boats and mariners.

Green yachties and veterans alike migrate to Fort Lauderdale from all over the world to complete training, network, and job hunt. (The city and the industry is equipped for this! There is plenty of information on exactly how to do about making a move in our Superyacht Industry Guides). While Fort Lauderdale is a professional mecca for the yachting industry, it’s also a fun and social city that many crew members consider a second home. I guarantee if you spend any time in Lauderdale, you’ll encounter flocks of yachties enjoying the many bars and restaurants the city has to offer.

This is a social industry! So it’s important to know the best places to hang and network with fellow crew members. Here’s a list of favorites:

Tap 42

Price Range: $$

Vibe: Laid-back gastropub with great food and draft selection.

Known For: Ladies Night, Burger Mondays, Bottomless Sunday Brunch

Why Yachties Like It: Tap 42 Is a modern yachtie go-to. This well-located gastropub is near the main yachting district of Fort Lauderdale and walkable from a bunch of the crew houses. If you’re on a budget be sure to check out Burger Mondays where you get one of their amazing gourmet burger entrees half-price with the purchase of a drink. Ladies' night is on Wednesday where ladies drink free so get ready to network socialize! Offers a great Sunday brunch as well with bottomless mimosa pitchers

Bar Rita

Price Range: $$

Vibe: Eclectic and vibrant cantina-style margarita bar & restaurant

Known For: Happy hour specials, Taco Tuesday, Ladies night Wednesdays, great margaritas & Mexican bites

Why Yachties Like It: This is a brand-new establishment attached to Tap 42 and founded by the same owners. Another great scene for socializing with crew and industry professionals offering affordable happy hour bites and drinks and a fantastic Sunday brunch spread.


Price Range: $

Vibe: Casual & traditional Irish pub in the heart of the 17th St Yachting District

Known For: Foreign Sports Games & Specials, Ladies Night Saturdays, Burger Wednesdays

Why Yachties Like It: Waxy's caters to foreign yacht crew by playing all of the sports they love but don't have a lot of access here to in the states. Crew members (especially the guys) will flock into Waxy's to catch rugby, soccer and cricket on a regular basis and is an industry institution.


Price Range: $$$

Vibe: Dock-side coastal-chic bar and restaurant with a locally sourced menu

Known For: Great setting, happy hour specials, Sunday brunch, Wine Tuesdays

Why Yachties Like It: Boatyard is a newly-renovated spot located right in the heart of the 17th St Yachting district of Fort Lauderdale. Its eclectic nautical decor pays homage to the maritime industry (the waitstaff even wear yacht crew uniforms!) and the dock-side canal setting is absolutely stunning. Indoor and outdoor bars & dining areas with great bites and drinks make this spot an industry favorite.


Price Range: $$

Vibe: Laid back & beachy waterfront restaurant famous for its seafood and intercostal views

Known For: Great setting, oyster bar, Brunch

Why Yachties Like It: This spot is walkable from one of the most popular yacht marinas in Fort Lauderdale (Bahia Mar), as well as a short walk away from the beach and its bars and restaurants. Coconuts is very affordable, has quality food, and overlooks the intercostal waterway where you can enjoy watching the yachts cruise by. Be sure to check out the outside bar at sunset!

Riverside Market Cafe

Price Range: $

Vibe: Casual specialty beer boutique with homey feel

Known For: Best beer selection in Fort Lauderdale

Why Yachties Like It: Yachties come from all over the world and Riverside Market is the most likely spot to have specialty beers that they recognize from their home countries. It's a chilled out atmosphere with unique sofa and lounge seating that gives the feel of a living room more than a bar/restaurant. It's tucked away outside of mainstream Lauderdale, so expect to find mainly yachts and only locals "in the know" with a passion for craft and specialty beers.

Beachfront Classics – Blondies & Elbo Room

Price Range: $

Vibe: Delightfully grungy bars along the Fort Lauderdale beachfront

Known For: Elbow Room is a classic Fort Lauderdale institution known for its live music and interesting characters. Next door is Blondies which is a chilled out sports bar with tons of bar games and activities. It's rare to go to one and not the other.

Why Yachties Like Them: They just almost always guarantee a good time and solid shenanigans.

Other Spots to Check Out:

Waterfront: S3 (Sun Surf Sand), Shooters, McSorelys, Rock Bar

Las Olas Blvd/Downtown: Roccos Tacos, Vinos, Louis Bossis, Sweet Nectar, American Social, Big City Tavern, YOLO, Royal Pig, Rooftop @ 1WLO, Rhythm & Vine, The Brass Tap

Enjoy! And of course - Drink Responsibly :)



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