Today we chat to Heidi Siefkas about her hometown Fort Lauderdale in Florida, USA. I’ve worked with Heidi before on another article and she is one of my very favourite bloggers because she is so so inspiring! Did you know Heidi was involved in a freak accident which left her with a broken neck and needing to re-learn to walk again? No easy task yet she did it and then went on to climb the W trek in Chile as soon as she had the all-clear from her doctor! Wowzers! You can read more about her inspiring story here. Heidi writes her blog www.heidisiefkas.com/blog/ where she focuses on inspiring other people to overcome obstacles and live a life full of adventure. She’s even written books about it! Read about her adventures all over the globe including Cuba, Iceland and Kauai here.
What you can expect from this article...
- 1 Where are you living?
- 2 Tell us about yourself?
- 3 What is your favourite thing about Fort Lauderdale?
- 4 What is your favourite thing to do in Fort Lauderdale with a day off?
- 5 What in your opinion is the one thing you can’t miss when you visit Fort Lauderdale?
- 6 Any top tips where to go/ what to do on a rainy day?
- 7 Where is your go-to restaurant?
- 8 And where do you suggest going for a drink in the evening? Is it more a classy bar place or an old pub place. If it’s a bar, do you suggest any particular type of beer or cocktail?
- 9 Is there one thing not many people know about Fort Lauderdale?
Where are you living?
I live in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, the Venice of the Americas. Because of its extensive canals, it is no surprise that Fort Lauderdale has been compared to Venezia, but it also has another title as the Yachting Capital of the World. On your visit, be prepared to witness some of the biggest luxurious yachts in the world, especially in the fall and winter.
Tell us about yourself?
Although originally from small-town Wisconsin, I have hung my hat in South Florida for nearly the last fifteen years. I’m the author of three non-fiction books: When All Balls Drop, With New Eyes, and Cubicle to Cuba. I’m also an inspirational speaker on topics such as Living Your Best Life, Life 2.0 and the Science of Adventure. Lastly and most importantly, I’m an adventurer. I have led adventures around the globe: Hawaii, New Zealand, Australia, Italy, Peru, and my speciality is Cuba.
What is your favourite thing about Fort Lauderdale?
My favourite thing about Fort Lauderdale is the warm climate and ability to enjoy the water year-round. We have miles of beaches that are safe to swim and practice just about all water sports. Your best bet is to find me close to or on the water in a kayak on the canals or on a SUP in the ocean.
What is your favourite thing to do in Fort Lauderdale with a day off?
On a day off, I would go to Birch State Park for a bike ride and then launch a kayak to paddle a bit. If you don’t have a bike nor kayak, B-cycle rents bikes and the park rents kayaks and SUP. The park is just across the street from the beach; so, afterwards, it would be a great place to take a dip; plus, there is a quaint new gastropub at the park called Park and Ocean.
What in your opinion is the one thing you can’t miss when you visit Fort Lauderdale?
When you come to Fort Lauderdale, you must do the beach and the Intercoastal. A great way to get around is the Water Taxi. It conveniently stops at local restaurants and along the trendy Las Olas Boulevard for shopping as well as eating. The best thing about the Water Taxi is that you can get on and off as much as you would like for your all-day ticket.
Any top tips where to go/ what to do on a rainy day?
If it’s raining, I would suggest the IMAX Theatre that is in the Museum of Science and Discovery. Also, I enjoy the Extreme Action Park, which has go-carts, rope courses, arcade games, trampolines, and even laser tag. For those that love shopping, a short drive to Sunrise is the Sawgrass Mills Outlet Mall.
Where is your go-to restaurant?
My go-to restaurant for a special occasion is Chima. It is a Brazilian steakhouse on Las Olas boulevard where the servers are dressed up as South American gauchos (cowboys) bringing around to your table cuts of filet mignon, lamb, chicken, sausages, salmon, and more. Meanwhile, you are free to serve yourself from the plethora of salads, side dishes, soups, breads, and dessert at the immense buffet.
My favourite beachside restaurant is Casablanca. It’s on the Eastside of A1A and offers lunch and dinner daily. It’s a great local hangout for happy hour with fresh seafood and Mediterranean inspired dishes.
The best new restaurant on the block is Boatyard. The location is not new to the restaurant scene, but it is under new management and chef. Boatyard features fresh Florida seafood classics as well as innovative global fusion dishes. It is a gem with both indoor and outdoor dining areas and bars.
And where do you suggest going for a drink in the evening? Is it more a classy bar place or an old pub place. If it’s a bar, do you suggest any particular type of beer or cocktail?
If you fancy a local favourite for casual happy hour with great specials, go to Tarpon Bend in the Himmarshee Downtown area. This is a great area for the nightlife scene for the twenty-thirty crowd. For the best cocktails in this area, hit up Stache’s Drinking Den. They offer live music late night in-house or DJs next door at America’s Backyard.
For a more mature crowd, but still where you can strut your stuff, the scene is at YOLO on Las Olas as well as Louie Bossi. If you want a casual Irish pub with an international yacht crew and local crowd, head to Seventeenth Street to Waxy’s. You’re bound to have a good time.
Is there one thing not many people know about Fort Lauderdale?
Fort Lauderdale is a beach lover’s paradise, but also there are plenty of exciting cultural events to experience all year-round while in Fort Lauderdale. Check out the Jazz Brunch on the Riverwalk the 1st Sunday of the month as well as Art Walk in the Fat Village on the last Saturday of the month.
For more from Heidi about her worldwide adventures, visit www.heidisiefkas.com/blog/
If you enjoyed this Interview with a Local, you may enjoy these previous interviews!
Have you been to Fort Lauderdale or are you planning a trip there? As usualy I love to hear from you so please post a comment below!