BEST DAY TRIP Miami 2002 - Fort Lauderdale
Admit it. You don't go up to Broward unless you have to. No shame in that. Broward people won't visit Miami on a dare. Maybe you fly out of the airport. Maybe you've driven north to catch concerts at the recently shuttered Sunrise Musical Theater. Maybe you're unlucky enough to work off I-75. So entrenched is the divide between the two counties that a pleasure trip into Fort Lauderdale is actually a decent escape. Seriously, it can be a good day. From downtown glide the canals on the Water Taxi, heading toward the ocean while you calculate the immense wealth it took to build the waterfront pleasure palaces. Walk the brick sidewalk of A1A, dodging Rollerbladers while noting the slightly raw feel of the crowd. (That spring-break feel never fully disappeared.) The beach is always nice, even when it's a thin strip of sand. Walk back up Las Olas Boulevard, an attractive shopping drag not yet contaminated by the Gap and Victoria's Secret. Often an art fair is under way. Continue west on the Riverwalk, which winds past a pretty good art museum on its way to a funky strip of bars and passable restaurants. Have a full meal. Order another round of drinks. Take your time. Home is only half an hour away.