Mariners, Beer, and Gators in Fort Lauderdale

I always try to make the most of conferences by taking time to explore the area while I am there. I recently visited Fort Lauderdale, Florida for TBEX (Travel Bloggers Exchange), “the world’s largest gathering of travel bloggers, writers, new media content creators, and social media savvy travel industry professionals”. Although I wasn’t in town for long, I did have some time before TBEX to explore sunny Fort Lauderdale. Turns out, there is a ton more to do in the area outside of going to the beach!

Seafarers’ House at Port Everglades

“To Offer Refuge, Resources, Renewal and Respect to the Maritime Community Through Multi-Faith Service.” -Mission of Seafarers’ House

The Seafarers’ House provides as much as possible for mariners who are away from home for months or sometimes years at a time. Most importantly, it is a place where mariners can connect with their family and make money transfers so they can send money back home. They provide all kinds of other services as well, like access to pastoral care and counseling, local ground transportation, emergency assistance, and they even have a shop for the mariners with different snacks and everyday items from all over the world to make the mariners feel as much at home as possible.

Seafarers House Port Everglades

Seafarers’ House at Port Everglades

The part the struck me the most was the chapel. The Seafarers’ House has a single chapel where all mariners are welcome. In this one chapel they hold religious services for a variety of faiths and they have dozens of faiths represented from all over the world.

Seafarers House Chapel

Seafarers’ House Chapel

Although not everyone is supportive of this, most people are, and they encourage the respect of the values, faiths, and cultural norms of seafarers and their families. Think about what the world would be like if everyone accepted people as fellow humans and loved and respected them despite their religion!

Variety of Faiths - Seafarers House Chapel

Not only is the Seafarers’ House a convenience for mariners stopping at Port Everglades, but it is also a refuge for them. A place where they can feel safe and a little bit closer to home, even if they are on the opposite side of the world.

Lauderale Brewery

Next up we were headed to a warehouse… or so it seemed. Turns out there is a brewery called Lauderale tucked away in what appeared to be the middle of nowhere. It sure was a hidden gem!

Lauderale Fort Lauderdale

Lauderale Brewery

We had our pick of delicious craft beer options and to top it off, the 90 Miles To Go food truck came by with a authentic cuban food for lunch.

90 Miles To Go Food Truck

Before leaving we helped wrap some gifts for the Seafarers’ House that they put together to give to the mariners for the holidays every year. Find out here how you can get involved with their Shoebox Christmas Project and more!

Seafarers House Shoebox Christmas Project

I loved the beer and the vibe of this brewery. Lauderale would definitely be my hangout spot if I lived in Fort Lauderdale!

Lauderale Craft Beer

For a few of the area’s other hot spots for beer fans that I didn’t have a chance to visit during my short stay, check out the following:

Riverside Market – With self serve coolers and over 550 craft beers served, the title of “Fort Lauderdale’s Official Craft Beer Hangout” seems well deserved.

American Social – “Pour-it-yourself” beer taps built into the tables with local and regional craft beers – that’s enough to sell me!

Funky Buddha – Big, bold beer flavors in a family friendly environment sounds like a welcoming bar experience.

Everglades Holiday Park

Yes, it’s finally time for the gators! If you visit Fort Lauderdale, you don’t want to leave without visiting Everglades Holiday Park first. I rode deep into the Everglades on an airboat and got up close and personal with alligators named Stella, Tripod, Bubba Grumpy, and Mrs. Little.

Alligators Airboat Tour Fort Lauderdale Everglades

Tripod the alligator

Everglades Holiday Park

Bubba Grumpy and Mrs. Little

After the airboat tour through the Everglades, be sure to catch the gator show to learn more about alligators. They are very lazy animals and don’t want to exert the energy to take down larger prey, so they are comfortable with the staff member being near them because they know she is not a threat. They will only attack when they are defending themselves because they feel like they are in danger.

Gator Show Everglades Holiday Park

Everglades Holiday Park Gator Show

While it may seem to the animal activists out there that keeping these gators in captivity for the gator show is inhumane, you will quickly learn otherwise. Everglades Holiday Park actually helps to rescue what are called “nuisance alligators.” They are the ones that get in people’s yards, pools, etc. It’s illegal to release them back into the wild after this because they will no longer be scared of humans and will not be afraid to approach them. So when the state of Florida is called, they have no choice but to kill the nuisance alligators in order to keep the people safe.

Gator Boys Alligator Rescue

However, if Everglades Holiday Park is called, they will come pick up the gators free of charge and take them back to be used in the gator show where they educate visitors about these amazing but misunderstood creatures.

Despite the short length of my stay in sunny Fort Lauderdale, I was pleasantly surprised with the different activities that I enjoyed during my free day before conference festivities kicked off. The warm late October weather didn’t hurt either!

Have you visited Fort Lauderdale? What were your favorite activities?

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Mariners Beer and Gators in Fort Lauderdale

While this trip was facilitated by organizations and businesses mentioned in this post as well as the Greater Fort Lauderdale CVB, this did not affect my views and all opinions are my own.

Comments

  1. Looks like an incredible day. Love the Chapel, that you helped with packages and learning about the Gator Rescue. My family visited an Everglades Alligator Park based on TripAdvisor. Wasn’t a pleasant experience -over-crowding, huge breeding program & vague answers about selling the Gators to parks & zoos. I’ll ask the tough questions broke we enter another Wildlife program again.

  2. I loved learning the fact that alligators at these shows are ‘nuisance animals.’ I am very weary of animals being used for entertainment, but it seems like the Everglades park really is doing a service to both the community and the animals 🙂

  3. Thanks for coming to visit and writing about your experience with us! We really appreciate your visit, your story and of course your hard work with the shoeboxes! We’ll be delivering them soon – if you are ever in town again you are always welcome at the Casa!

  4. nice post, thanks for the share

  5. What a memorable trip! To be honest, I have a fear of crocodile and this is the perfect trip for me to overcome my fear. Thank you so much for sharing this.

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