Fort Lauderdale is a city in the extreme southeastern portion of the state of Florida. It is one of the top tourist destinations in the state of Florida. It is located twenty three miles north of Miami. The city gets its name from the many forts that were built in the surrounding area by the US government during the Seminole Wars. Major William Lauderdale was responsible for building the first fort in the region in 1838. It wasn't until several decades later that the city finally started to grow. Once a railroad and a mail depot was built the city became a popular place during the Florida land boom of the 1920's. World War 2 saw the city grow even more as bases were constructed nearby for the training of pilots and radio operators. Over the 20thcentury the city changed from a military city to a tourist city. It has been called the "Venice of America" because of its series of canals and waterways. This has made it very popular with private boat owners, and Fort Lauderdale has become the major center for yachting in the southeast.
The city's location on the water in the south gives it a humid tropical climate, which means hot, humid summers and mild winters. Summer temperatures frequently exceed 90 degrees Fahrenheit, and winter temperatures rarely dip below 40 degrees Fahrenheit. Rain is common, but falls most often in the months of June through August.
The main draw to Fort Lauderdale is the hundreds of restaurants, nightclubs, and beaches in the city. The city has become very popular with college students during spring break each year. However there are a few sites of interest other than those already mentioned. The International Swimming Hall of Fame is located in the city, as is the Hugh Taylor Birch State Park and the James Randi Educational Foundation.
The Fort Lauderdale area is serviced by the Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport, which is the fastest growing airport in the nation. Miami international airport is only twenty miles away as well.
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