This year, Galentine’s Day lands on a Saturday, and with President’s Day on Monday, it’s the perfect excuse to extend your celebration of female friendship into the weekend. So when that Friday work bell rings, pack your bags and grab your squad because you’re going on a girls’ trip.
Here, our guide to the perfect Galentine’s Girls Getaway weekend in Fort Lauderdale.
There’s no question for a last minute quick getaway you have to stay on the beach in Fort Lauderdale, and there are plenty of options to choose from based on your girl gang’s interests.
The Westin Fort Lauderdale Beach Resort is a perfect choice for gal pals who want the convenience of having every amenity an elevator away. Here you can live the property’s Sleep Well, Eat Well, and Feel Well mantra by enjoying the oceanfront pool, beach, spa, and award-wining dining. Book the Heavenly Spa Package, and enjoy a $100 credit to use at Heavenly Spa by Westin, where you can choose from over 50 treatments including therapeutic massage, refreshing facials, hair, skin, nail treatments, and more. Saturday night, make certain to stop by the signature restaurant Lona, where from 11 am – 11pm on Saturday, February 13, ladies can toast friendship with a complimentary glass of sparkling rose, as well as half-off bottles of all rose wines and champagnes.
Alternatively, if your best friend has four-legs W Fort Lauderdale has rolled out the “Dogs Are a Girl’s Best Friend” staycation package which includes a bottle of Pet Winery’s Dög Pawrignon Champagne or Rosé (yes, that’s a real and fabulous thing) and Barking Bacon doggie ice cream for the pups, along with a bottle of Prosecco and sweat treats for humans. The package starts at $249 a night. Use the code HOTPAWS when booking your reservation.
DAY ONE: Saturday, February 13
You’ve arrived! Keep things simple today with unapologetic beachside R&R or stroll along the seaside Wave Wall. If you hadn’t noticed already, you’ll be struck by just how pristine Fort Lauderdale’s beach is. The city takes great pains to be the model “Blue Wave Beach,” a certified accolade of Florida’s Clean Beaches Council; and Fort Lauderdale Beach happens to occupy some of the state’s most beautiful sand.
If you arrive before 4pm, stroll over to the open-air Las Olas Oceanside Park Farmers, Antiques and Artisan Market. Pick up some gourmet and wholesome fresh fruit, imported cheese and fresh baked breads to take back to your room for a late afternoon snack.
In the late afternoon, live like a local and take a self guided beachside pub crawl. Start at the legendary Elbo Room, which dates to 1938 but remains delightfully stuck in the 1970s (with decent live music). From there, head to fire pits of S3 (which stands for sun, surf, and sand) and order the conversation-worthy S3 cocktail sampler: a tray with miniature versions of the bar’s dozen-or-so signature drinks.
For dinner, inch over to Takato, at Conrad Fort Lauderdale. The oceanfront sanctuary delicately blends the beloved soul of Executive Chef Taek Lee’s ancestry and takes you on a culinary journey through his Asian heritage that is bursting with creativity, authentic flavors and extraordinary culinary techniques. Meaning ‘in a state of extreme happiness’ in Japanese , Takato features an upscale menu with sharable small plates and entrees with a spotlight on sushi plus an array of handcrafted cocktails, curated sake and vegan wine collection.
DAY TWO: Sunday, February 14
After a Galentine’s Day of fun, see why Fort Lauderdale is the so-called “yachting capital of the world.” Hop on the Water Taxi at their two convenient two stops on Fort Lauderdale Beach —and cruise a portion of the 300-plus miles of inland waterways that lend to the city’s Venice moniker. Multimillion-dollar homes line the finger isles with water toys docked out back, representing a microcosm of Fort Lauderdale’s 50,000-plus yachts.
If retail therapy is more your thing, make a quick hop over to Las Olas Boulevard, or take your shopping excursion to new heights at Love is in the Air: A Valentine’s Affaire on the rooftop of the Las Olas Beach Garage. The open air event from 1pm – 6pm features a curated market place with a variety of event and artisan vendors, plus you can enjoy bites and beats while you sip and shop at Fort Lauderdale’s newest waterfront venue. The Fort Lauderdale Beach BID will even treat you to complimentary entry when you claim tickets in advance at this LINK.
DAY THREE: Monday Funday
If last-minute soaking in the sun doesn’t interest you, explore Fort Lauderdale’s history at Bonnet House Museum & Gardens, the estate that once belonged to great American artists Frederic and Evelyn Barlett. The historic 1920s home, art gallery, and pocket of environmental preservation—the 35-acre estate is one of South Florida’s final patches of native barrier island habitat—is one of the few places that has managed to evade destruction in the name of high-rise development (thank you, Florida Trust for Historic Preservation). Expect to see a model of Old Florida architecture; Frederic’s imaginative murals across the house’s ceilings; and Evelyn’s unconventional collection of monkey art (her pet monkeys still live in the estate’s trees).