Fort Lauderdale:
The Venice Of The Americas

It’s easy to see why Fort Lauderdale’s nickname is ‘The Venice of the Americas’ – with superyachts and tenders instead of gondolas. The entire city revolves around its inland waterways, canals, and the dazzling Atlantic Ocean. Life at Pier Sixty-Six unlocks the city’s waterways for you. Hop on your yacht or tender to cruise along the beautiful canals. This is the ideal way to experience everything the city has to offer, from exhilarating museums, theaters, and music venues, to vibrant restaurants and shopping destinations… and the sheer pleasure of being on the water.

A bird’s-eye view of Fort Lauderdale reveals the vast expanse of turquoise waters, with 300 miles of waterways running through Greater Fort Lauderdale, about 165 miles of that within the city limits.

It’s no wonder that Fort Lauderdale is considered the yachting capital of the world. The local waterways include distinctive canals, saltwater rivers, inlets from the Atlantic Ocean, bays, and the impressive Intracoastal Waterway.

The Intracoastal Waterway

The picturesque Intracoastal Waterway is a 3,000-mile inland waterway running along the Atlantic Seaboard of the United States, from Massachusetts southward to the tip of Florida, then along the Gulf Coast all the way to Texas. The Intracoastal provides a navigable route along the eastern coast, with calm waters for boating, rather than the less-predictable ocean waves. Much of the Intracoastal Waterway is made up of natural waterways, while other sections also include man-made canals, like those here in Fort Lauderdale. 

The Perfect Waterfront Location

Pier Sixty-Six Marina has the ideal position in the Venice of the Americas, because it is right on the Intracoastal Waterway, and is also Fort Lauderdale’s closest marina to the Atlantic Ocean. Just around the bend from Pier Sixty-Six is a major inlet, so yachts can quickly reach the sea for coastline cruising or deep-sea fishing. Our Pier Sixty-Six South docks allow bridge-free access to the ocean, ideal for superyachts, and the marina now features deepwater slips for vessels from 40 to 400 feet. This is the best of both worlds, whether you crave ocean adventures or smooth sailing along Fort Lauderdale’s canals – or both. 

Exquisite New Residences On The Intracoastal Waterway

Take a closer look at The Residences at Pier Sixty-Six – a sophisticated collection of just 91 elevated homes in this legendary destination on the Intracoastal Waterway.

How Fort Lauderdale Got Its Canals

The story of how Fort Lauderdale got its canals is very interesting, and Venice truly was the inspiration. Las Olas Boulevard – now one of the town’s lively hubs, with bars, restaurants and boutiques – was only constructed In 1917, transforming a dirt road across swampy marshes into a respectable avenue. Las Olas means “The Waves” in Spanish, reflecting some of the area’s distinctive cultural heritage. The name also reveals the prominence of waterfront landscapes, on the mainland as well as the barrier islands that make up the Fort Lauderdale beaches.

The city contracted developer Charles G. Rodes to add some glamour to the local area. Rodes had studied the infrastructure of the canals in Italy’s Venice, and designed a plan for “finger islands”, with magnificent streets of water in between. This construction technique happily results in even more waterfront property. 

Work on the canals began in 1920, by clearing mangrove trees and dredging to create parallel canals and picturesque islands, such as The Las Olas Isles. The canal project coincided with a real-estate boom in South Florida. The new islands quickly helped the excitement spread to Fort Lauderdale, and buyers flocked to invest in the waterfront property. Additional groups of canals and finger islands were created, to form a harmonious, water-based way of life for a large proportion of the city.

The picturesque canals have helped Fort Lauderdale distinguish itself from the Art Deco hotels of Miami. Here, the new canals and the Intracoastal Waterway empowered local homeowners to immerse themselves in the waterfront lifestyle. They built docks and bought boats of their own, to cruise along the peaceful waterways or head out into the ocean for fishing or exploring.

Experience Life On The Intracoastal 

Today, Fort Lauderdale’s canals and waterways provide sublime pleasure for those who visit, and for boaters lucky enough to live here. Tempted? Take a closer look at The Residences at Pier Sixty-Six.

Exploring the canals of Fort Lauderdale

If you cast off and head south from Pier Sixty-Six Marina, you’ll be at a major inlet to the Atlantic Ocean in just a couple of minutes. To cruise in the Fort Lauderdale canals, head north instead. Here, you’re technically in the Stranahan River, with canals to the left of you (along the perfectly parallel islands of Lauderdale Harbours) and canals to the right (thanks to the palm-lined Harbor Beach Isles). As you approach the southern edges of the Las Olas Isles and Idlewyld, you encounter the New River flowing from the west. If you turn left and follow this winding river, you’ll soon reach downtown Fort Lauderdale. The city originally developed in this area, which has been home to humans since prehistoric times. Later, the native American Tequesta people lived alongside the river, until European settlers drove them out.

In the late 18th century, two brothers from The Bahamas established an early settlement on the New River, but they fled when the Second Seminole War started, as the U.S. Army built forts here (the source of the name, Fort Lauderdale). Today, the river shoreline in Fort Lauderdale is increasingly chic, with public parks, luxurious homes, smart hotels and Riverwalk, a hub of entertainment, music, and shopping. 

If you continue north up the Intracoastal after passing the New River, you’ll be in the New River Sound, heading for the East Las Olas Boulevard Bridge, a drawbridge with vertical clearance (closed) at 24 feet. You can cruise around the attractive Seven Isles, Nurmi Isles and the islands of Sunrise Key.

Here the waterway basically splits into two sections, thanks to a giant island in the center, between the mainland and the beach islands. You can have a look along the western side, but if you want to proceed north, bear right, as the drawbridge section of the Fort Lauderdale Bridge Sunrise Boulevard is on its eastern side (closed vertical clearance of 25 feet, with 90 feet of horizontal clearance at the center span). 

Past this bridge, you’re in Sunrise Bay, with Hugh Taylor Birch State Park on the barrier island to your right. Next, you’ll reach the Dolphin Isles neighborhood (with Lauderdale Beach to the east). A bit farther north is the Oakland Park Boulevard Bridge (closed vertical clearance, 22 feet). After this bridge, the canals and finger islands continue up to the Commercial Boulevard Bridge of Lauderdale-by-the-Sea.

If you’re planning a trip all the way up the Intracoastal Waterway, you’ll find plenty to delight and entertain you along the way. For boaters in a bit more of a hurry, Pier Sixty-Six Marina is conveniently located right next to an inlet into the Atlantic, so you can simply choose to head straight out into the sea and power north that way. Or head south along the coast to Hollywood, Miami, the Keys or the Caribbean. That said, the peaceful canals of Fort Lauderdale offer plenty of amazing experiences right here, especially if you’re in the mood for relaxed cruising – or a fun trip to a dock-and-dine restaurant, a waterfront bar, or shopping and sightseeing in downtown Fort Lauderdale or Las Olas Boulevard.

Your Marina Of Choice In Fort Lauderdale

Our full-service marina has a long heritage as a gathering place for sailors and adventurers, and as a valued service facility for vessels heading to or from The Bahamas and beyond.

Pier Sixty Six Marina is just minutes from Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport or the Fort Lauderdale Executive Airport, popular for private jets. The marina is a designated Foreign Trade Zone or (FTZ), with 24/7 security, WiFi, and fuel bunkering at 200 gallons per minute. The 1200 AMP power pedestals at Pier Sixty-Six South Marina are also extremely popular. 

Exquisite Marina-Side Residences

If you love the water – cruising, sailing, swimming, or simply staring as sunlight plays on the gentle waves or the rose-tinted sunset is reflected on its surface – you should take a closer look at The Residences at Pier Sixty-Six.