Stepping into the blissfully air conditioned cool of Funky Buddha, a craft brewery and bar close to Fort Lauderdale beach, I was just in time to join a departing tour to see just how these bold and distinctive beers are made.
Some taste of specifi c foods such as No Crusts (peanut butter and jam) and Ginger Lemongrass wheat ale.
My favourite was the Floridian Hefeweizen, a refreshing German-style wheat beer that had hints of citrus and bananas. Perfect for a hot Florida day.
The brewery’s bar was in keeping with most American bars; covered in TV screens, all showing sport. I was, I’ll admit, in my element.
Fort Lauderdale sits north of Miami on the Atlantic coast alongside a long, unbroken white, sandy beach. It is lined by a mix of bars, restaurants and hotels.
The city of Fort Lauderdale itself sits across a network of rivers and canals; a modern mix of glass, steel and concrete punctuated with wide Pig stage show.
This October it will host the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra, who will be playing the songs of the late rock and pop visionary Prince.
It is the only symphonic show in the world to have the backing of Prince’s estate and sounds like it would be worth the trip back to Fort Lauderdale alone. Given that it sits on a vast network of rivers, canals and waterways, it is no surprise Fort Lauderdale has a water taxi service that connects all the main districts.
It is without doubt the most fun way to get about town; you speed off with the wind in your hair, slicing through the water, spray flying around the side of your boat.
It feels like being in one of the chase scenes in Miami Vice. At the jetty by Marti’s, I got into my water taxi and shot off to sample some of the city’s top bars. The Elbo Room, just yards away from the main beach, has been a popular watering hole since 1938.
If the walls could talk they’d tell you stories of the sailors who drank there after the Second World War and the Spring Break crowd who came for the DJs and bands. It seems nothing much has changed.
America As You Like It (020 8742 8299/ americaasyoulikeit.com) offers four nights in Fort Lauderdale from £790 (two sharing), room only. Price includes return flights from Gatwick to Fort Lauderdale Greater Fort Lauderdale tourism: sunny.org
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