A recently completed redevelopment project had new public city docks installed that are a favorite layup spot for transients who like to be in the midst of the social scene. Here you're within walking distance of the famous Las Olas shops and dozens of fine restaurants and watering holes. On weekends, it's a beehive of activity.
Just a bit further up the river is River Walk where you'll encounter a particularly lively scene on weekends with dockside shops, food and drink vendors. There are frequent public festivals with evening entertainment featuring live bands. A word of caution for early risers though: this is not a place for people who go to bed early. Dock elsewhere if you value your sleep.
At the point where the river passes through the city it becomes quite narrow with very heavy boat traffic between the two draw bridges. It's entertaining enough just to watch boats and yachts of all sizes, many well over 100 feet, attempting to navigate this narrow section without crashing into each other. They are not always successful.
The New River Hilton graces the the south side of the river here, which is actually the county jail, so named by locals because where else could you get a waterfront jail cell with a view?
Just north of the rail road bridge, which is, thank God, normally open, is the River Front Marina and Shirt Tail Charley's, a popular restaurant and watering hole for the boating crowd with water front dockage. It was named after a Seminole Indian- Shirt Tail Charley, who grew an excessive fondness for firewater, and developed quite a reputation for his drunken antics. So much so that he is remembered to this day.
Earlier, you passed Cooley Hammock, named for an early pioneer family that was massacred by the Indians back in 1826. The city was named after army Major William Lauderdale who was sent in to subdue the Indians. Most of the early history of the city lies along the banks of this river, though it's rapidly succumbing to the rapaciousness of developers with no limits to their greed.
Immediately up river of the downtown area are the historic Bryan Homes, now a fancy private restaurant, the Chart House.
Today the beautifully kept grounds with graceful coconut palms amidst a stand of ancient Live Oaks are part of Riverwalk and attract many waterfront strollers, as well as the lunchtime crowds from the nearby office towers. This is contrasted against the facility of Allied Marine and Sun Power Diesel on the south side of the river, two of the numerous marine facilities serving yachts on the river.
Heading around the next bend in the river we come to another notable landmark, the Theater for the Performing Arts. Set right on the river, you can attend a play, ballet, opera or just about any kind of theatrical event short of Rock concerts, by boat -- that is if you're lucky enough to get one of the few dock spaces available. But you could always top off a well planned evening's entertainment by arriving on the Water Taxi, the colorful little green launches with yellow canopies that constantly ply the river.
There are numerous entertainment attractions in this area, including IMAX Theatre and Discovery Center, a great place for kids. It's got everything from extensive nature displays, to amazing hands-on science exhibits. So much is going on here that I've hardly begin to scratch the surface. This is a place you need to explore for yourself to plumb its depth of amusement and entertainment.
Up a Not So Lazy River
Fort Lauderdale's Fabulous New River (2)
by David Pascoe
David Pascoe - Biography
Buying, Owning, Maintaining a Boat or Yacht.
Over 160 articles by David Pascoe.Boat Reviews Buying a Boat Hull Blisters Cores & Structural Issues Insurance Issues Marine Engines Maintenance, Repairs & Troubleshooting Boat Handling & Boat Safety Hurricane Preparations Marine Surveying All Online Articles
Mid Size Power Boats
Focuses exclusively cruiser class generally 30-55 feet
Buyers' Guide to Outboard Boats
Dedicated for offshore outboard boats
Surveying Fiberglass Power Boats
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Pleasure crafts investigations to court testimony
David Pascoe is a second generation marine surveyor in his family who began his surveying career at age 16 as an apprentice in 1965 as the era of wooden boats was drawing to a close.
Certified by the National Association of Marine Surveyors in 1972, he has conducted over 5,000 pre purchase surveys in addition to having conducted hundreds of boating accident investigations, including fires, sinkings, hull failures and machinery failure analysis.
Over forty years of knowledge and experience are brought to bear in following books. David Pascoe is the author of:
In addition to readers in the United States, boaters and boat industry professionals worldwide from nearly 80 countries have purchased David Pascoe's books, since introduction of his first book in 2001.
In 2012, David Pascoe has retired from marine surveying business at age 65.
On November 23rd, 2018, David Pascoe has passed away at age 71.
Biography - Long version