Peak season runs Thanksgiving through April, when concert, art, and entertainment seasons go full-throttle. Expect heat and humidity and some rain in summer. Hurricane winds come most notably in August and September. Golfing tee-time waits are longer on weekends year-round. Regardless of season, remember that Fort Lauderdale sunshine can burn even in cloudy weather.
Annual Festivals and Events
Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show. In late October, Fort Lauderdale hosts the world's largest boat show, the end-all, be-all of marine envy since 1960, with more than $2 billion worth of boats, yachts, superyachts, electronics, engines, and thousands of accessories from every major marine manufacturer and builder worldwide. The city buzzes with parties and cocktail hours to celebrate the bling bling water toy mania, with the official show events taking place across seven locations along the Intracoastal and A1A. Tickets required for entry. 954/764–7642 or 800/940–7642. www.showmanagement.com.
Fort Lauderdale International Film Festival. Each fall, this annual event showcases more than 100 feature, documentary, and short films from around the world at Cinema Paradiso in downtown Fort Lauderdale and a second outpost, Cinema Paradiso Hollywood, which opened in 2013 at 2008 Hollywood Blvd. In addition to more than two weeks of screenings, you can expect seminars and parties; but don't expect the glitterati of a big-city film festival. 954/760–9898. www.fliff.com.
Seminole Hard Rock Winterfest Boat Parade. Weeks of pre-events culminate in the largest one-day spectator event in Florida each December, drawing a crowd of 1 million onlookers as a stampede of 1,500 jaw-dropping yachts cruise 10 miles of Fort Lauderdale's waterways, complete with original themes and decorations. Over the years, celebrity grand marshals have included Joan Rivers, Brooke Burke, Kim Kardashian, and Ryan Hunter-Reay. 954/767–0686. www.winterfestparade.com.
Wicked Manors. Every Halloween, the main artery of Wilton Manors, Wilton Drive, transforms into a grand GLBT street party hosted by the Pride Center Florida. Gay or straight, everyone loves to check out the outrageous costumes, drink in the streets, and enjoy drag performances. The fun usually begins after sundown, around 7 pm, and lasts until midnight. 954/463–9005 Pride Center Florida. www.wickedmanors.org.