/ The Miami Guide
Miami — By themiamiguide on November 28, 2009 at 9:18 pm

Catching the Water Taxi on S. Florida’s Intracoastal Highway

Everyone notices south Florida’s long and winding Intracoastal Waterway as soon as they pass along north Miami Beach and following AIA northward. There are certainly places to stop and enjoy the views and activity in spots like Bal Harbour, but one way to get out on the waterway itself for an enjoyable ride that gets you around different points of interest is with the Water Taxi that runs up and down a considerable stretch of the Intracoastal in the Fort Lauderdale area.

Water Taxi (credit: Fort Lauderdale CVB)

Water Taxi (credit: Fort Lauderdale CVB)

Traveling on the Water Taxi within greater Fort Lauderdale can be a relaxing and efficient way for travelers to get around from oceanfront hotels into some of the downtown attractions, taking in the many historic and current buildings and grand residences enroute. Although the northernmost starting point is just south of E. Oakland Park Blvd., we boarded at a stop just off of Sunrise Blvd. after parking nearby at Galleria Plaza. The inside of the Water Taxi is like an oval flatbed with a large clear shell top over it – and yes, it is air-conditioned or you would not last inside it for more than a few stops in summer. Comfortable padded chairs are arranged around the interior and in the middle so that you can face toward either side of the Waterway. Of course, since most people make a roundtrip of it, the sensible way to see everything is to sit facing west on your southward/westward bound journey and then on the return just do the opposite.

There are some 11 stops up and down this section of the Waterway and along the connecting New River, which runs along parts of downtown Fort Lauderdale. Some of the notable stops include: Hyatt Regency Pier 66, the Convention Center, the 15th Street Fisheries, S.E. 9th Ave., the Downtowner Saloon, the Las Olas Riverfront. We disembarked at S.E. 9th which gave us access to some of the Shops of Las Olas, but your purchase of an all-day adult pass lets you continue onward or double back as you choose. Since this route operates until fairly late into the evening, it is a scenic way to get to and from hotels or the oceanfront into city entertainment and shopping – just be sure to check schedules to plan your day out accordingly.

Intracoastal Waterway (credit: Ft. Lauderdale CVB)

Intracoastal Waterway (credit: Ft. Lauderdale CVB)

Our captain was a treasure trove of knowledge along the way about every significant building and home – along wih some structures we might not have noted. This is their daily neighborhood – and they know the neighbors, both past and present, from figures in entertainment and sport to the occasionally more notorious and colorful who had the means to live in lavish style here. By day, you pass sleek white yachts and commercial vessels tied up alongside private jetties by waterfront homes of every style and description, by evening you pass back along glittering lights and their glow reflected along the water. There is also a Water Taxi Express that will begin travel routes all the way down to South Beach in Miami from the end of December 2009, but that is a separate outing for a separate day.

Check the Water Taxi website for full details on routes, stop locations, schedules and a full breakout of their fares.

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