The Venice of America, Fort Lauderdale, has been ranked 7th out of the 10 best downtowns in the country according to Livability.com and it's not hard to see why.
Businesses are moving in, attracted by the increasing number of young professionals who've settled into nearby apartments and condos. The ratio of jobs to residents in the downtown area is nearly equal, a sign that people want to live where they work. Office space vacancies are down by 5.7 percent, while income has grown by an average of 4.24 percent!
Downtown high-rises offer expansive views of the Atlantic Ocean, intracoastal waterway and saltwater lakes. More than 40,000 Fort Lauderdale residents live on yachts docked at the more than 100 marinas and boatyards, many of which are connected to downtown by sidewalks and bike paths covered by a canopy of trees. Families flock to the Riverwalk area in downtown, which includes a park and cultural amenities like the Bonnet House Museum and Gardens along with the Nova Southeastern University Museum of Art.
Connecting downtown with A1A and the Atlantic Ocean is Las Olas Boulevard, which offers 17 blocks of sidewalk cafes, art galleries, fine dining and sizzling nightlife. City leaders used Las Olas Boulevard, with its green plantings, wide sidewalks and colorful architecture, as a model for how the rest of downtown Fort Lauderdale should look.
This is Fort Lauderdale's first year one the list, and is the only city from the Sunshine State to make the cut.