Spreading on the southeastern coast of the Florida peninsula, Port Everglades is one of the United States' top seaports. It lies within three cities: Fort Lauderdale, Hollywood and Dania Beach, as well as Broward County. Port Everglade is connected to Florida's highway system through I-595 and is located at approximately 23 miles north of Miami and 48 miles south of West Palm Beach. Often called the "Venice of America" thanks to its 270 miles of natural and artificial waterways, Port Everglade officially became a deep water port in 1927. However, its beginnings were less glorious. The artificial harbor was supposed to be formed by an explosion detonated by President Calvin Coolidge, yet when he pressed the button, nothing happened. The explosion took place on the same day, unceremoniously, and the harbor was opened. Initially named Lake Mabel, Port Everglades got its current name in 1930.
The port has developed ever since into one of Florida's greatest economic strengths, with yearly revenues of more than $66 million. Moreover, it has gained a strong reputation as one of the world's finest cruise ports, renowned for its continuous improvements and environmental protection. Each year over 3 million passengers embark and disembark for Caribbean cruises from the port's 11 cruise terminals, placing it in the top three busiest cruise ports in the world. Besides Port Everglades, Fort Lauderdale also boasts about 20 miles of wonderful beaches. The John U. Lloyd Beach State Recreation area is also excellent for either fishing or watching the cruise ships' maneuvers.
Not to mention that the beach is also very popular for its broadness and the sea turtles that nestle here. Port Everglades, New River and the Intracoastal Waterway may also be explored on a day cruise. Those who fancy shopping should try Las Olas Boulevard, full of modern boutiques. Tourists may stroll, window shop or try the fine restaurants. Another favorite shopping destination is the enormous flea market Swap Shop on Sunrise Boulevard. Sightseeing is also a good option while in Fort Lauderdale. Butterfly World is the place where more than 150 species of butterflies can be seen, and there is an opportunity to check out all the stages of their lives. For those who want to try an interactive approach to science, the Museum of Discovery and Science is the perfect choice. On the other hand, Bonnet House displays the life of the pioneers in the region.