21 Reasons to Love the Summer of ’21

For a lot of South Floridians, summer is the mean season. Each year it seems the heat gets hotter, the humidity gets sweatier. And, of course, summer is also the season of, um, that big, wet, nasty Elephant in the Room — or Ocean. We’re not gonna say the word. Not gonna do it. My firm belief — and, no, it’s not just some silly superstition — is that if I don’t mention it, it won’t come.

So what’s to love about summer?

Well, for one, it’s the time of the year when South Florida returns to its locals. And here’s an oft-overlooked side of summer love: Each of us blessed with the chutzpah to weather the weather each June through September are endowed with the right to call ourselves true South Floridians. It’s an accomplishment in itself. And it breeds an unspoken camaraderie, one that only full-time citizens of such an acutely peculiar place can share year after year: The sublime gratification of having survived another summer.

But this summer there’s much more to love. Because now, we’re vaxxing up and — masks on or off — getting out of the house. Going places. Hugging people. Living a new abnormal. In that way, this summer promises to be like no other — a little like last summer’s summer like no other, only much, much better. (Fingers crossed.) Sure, we’ll sometimes have to decide between comfy air-conditioning and safer air-alfresco. But still, much, much better.

So, with visible smiles on our faces, let’s take a look at 21 of the happenings and haunts that are making the summer of ’21 — if not the summer of love — the summer to love.

We’ve highlighted the Top 21 picks throughout the Fort Lauderdale Beach area below. To view the entire list, and complete article by Greg Carannante featured in the June issue of City & Shore Magazine, visit 

#5. Dragon Breadth

dragon exhibit at museum of discovery and science

Looking for someplace cool to take the kiddies? How about straight into the dragon’s lair? Through July 9, the Museum of Discovery and Science’s new traveling exhibit, “Here Be Dragons,” will transport them into the legendary realm of the giant, flying, fire-breathing lizards, as well as into the world of 10 live species. While you’re at it, check out the dragon’s cousin in the Dino Dana Exhibit and the new film Dino Dana The Movie on the Tyrannosaurus-sized IMAX screen next store.

#8 & 9 Museum Crawl

1000 ocean memories exhibit at artserve
Lizzy Taber’s One Thousand Ocean Memories installation at ArtServe

#8. One Thousand Ocean Memories: Here’s an exhibition you can be part of. Artserve and South Florida interdisciplinary artist Lizzy Taber have created a community collaboration that explores our collective relationship with the ocean. Submit a photo of the ocean and a paragraph or two about the memory it evokes and you’ll be able to see it integrated into a mural installed in the Fort Lauderdale gallery. Ongoing,

#9. Lineages: Works From the Collection: An artistic twofer. Selected from NSU Art Museum Fort Lauderdale’s permanent collection, these works act in conversation with the current exhibition, Eric N. Mack: Lemme walk across the room. Mack collaborated with museum curators to bring together abstract works of his predecessors, influencers and contemporary artists whose work shares affinities with the artist’s thematic expressions. Through spring, 2022.

12. Spa-aaah

conrad spa

Summers are for relaxing. You remember, right? Now it’s a little more tempting (and less expensive) to pamper yourself, thanks to up-to half-off promotions from Fort Lauderdale and Miami convention and visitors bureaus. August through September, Greater Fort Lauderdale’s Spa Days offer luxury treatments, with most from $99, at locations like Conrad Spa (pictured above) at the Conrad Fort Lauderdale Beach.

14. Music by the Sea

friday night sound waves at the loop

Caressed by Atlantic breezes, Las Olas Oceanside Park is a picture-perfect venue for Friday Night Sound Waves, the free, local, live music series in its sixth season. Family-friendly festivities include the CATCH Kids Club with fun and games for youngsters ages 4-16. But heads-up — there are just three shows remaining this season: Goro Castillo Band, an eight-piece ensemble bringing the Latin heat on June 18; All Star Soul Band — think Blues Brothers — on June 25; and Brothers of Others, a Miami Beach-based rock ’n’ roll trio, on July 2.

15. Staycation Getaways

w fort lauderdale exterior

Here’s a sure-fire remedy for pandemic house-itis: Indulge in a luxurious weekend at a beachside resort and still stay close to home while taking advantage of enticing summer specials during “LauderDeals” at

Special mention was given to the “Escape To W Fort Lauderdale” (pictured above) which offers a waived resort fee, room upgrade, valet parking and a daily $25 food and beverage credit through Sept. 30.

Click here to view all hotels and resorts participating in LauderDEALS, as well as updates on Attraction, Restaurant and Spa specials through September 30.