The Seminole Indians were the original inhabitants of the area
now known as Fort Lauderdale. The city itself was named for Major
William Lauderdale, who led a group known as the Tennessee
Volunteers into the area during the Seminole War.
Fort Lauderdale began as an agricultural community, full of
citrus groves. By the 1960's, the city took on a new identity as
the place for college students to come for spring break. Hedonism
and public drunkenness became the norm for much of the next twenty
years, but the residents of the once sleepy town decided to take
it back from the rowdy youngsters. The police began to make their
presence known a little more, and soon Fort Lauderdale was off the
list of top Spring Break destinations.
Today, Fort Lauderdale is a little closer to its roots, with a
gentle breezy demeanor to it. You can still have a good time here,
exploring the 300 miles of waterways that led to the labeling of
Fort Lauderdale as "the Venice of America." There are
places to rent boats, and plenty of opportunities to take a boat
tour around the city. Or, get really acquainted with the water by
snorkeling or diving in the Atlantic.
There is still plenty to do in and around Fort Lauderdale. Take
a water taxi to some of the area's best restaurants and bars.
Stroll along busy Las Olas and visit the eclectic shops and art
The sports enthusiast will get his fill here. Tennis courts and
golf courses are everywhere in Fort Lauderdale. It's just a matter
of deciding which one to play on. Choose from baseball, football,
or jai alai. You can even place a bet at the greyhound racetrack.
The nature lover can check out over 500,000 acres of Florida
Everglades, which are part of the Greater Ft. Lauderdale area. The
Everglades, which were formed by the constant overflow of nearby
Lake Okeechobee, are home to flamingos and alligators, among
Of course, if you're visiting Florida, chances are that you
will want to hit the beach, and there is ample space for everybody
along Ft. Lauderdale's beautiful coastline. There are over 3,000
hours of sunshine here every year, so enjoy!
The "C" of the ABC Islands of the Dutch Caribbean (Aruba
& Bonaire comprising the A & B), Curacao is located just
35 miles north of Venezuela, and is the most populous island in
the Netherlands Antilles. It is famous for its charming European
culture, lack of over-development, friendly and hospitable
residents, and inspiring natural beauty.
The island itself was first discovered in the 15th century on one
of Christopher Columbus's expeditions. The Spanish empire ruled
the island until 1634, when the Dutch took over and transformed
this land into the charming getaway it is today.
Curacao, and the capital city of Willemstad in particular, has
been transformed in recent decades into a complete tourist haven.
Restored colonial landmarks, ritzy hotels, and wonderful shopping
are all at your fingertips here, thanks to a revitalization phase
on the island that has restored many prime tourist sites to world
A popular story told amongst residents of the island concerns a
former governor of Curacao who supposedly suffered from intense
migraines. Especially irritated by the color white, he ordered
many of the buildings painted into the diverse pastel colors that
we see in Willemstad and the surrounding cities to this day. You
will delight in strolling through the colorful streets of Dutch
style homes and buildings, creating a truly unique Caribbean
Be glad to know that once you have seen your share of the local
architecture, there is much more to discover on this fascinating
island. Terrific restaurants and nightclubs, world-class casinos
featuring all your favorite games, diving and snorkeling
outfitters, and scenic national parks all await you as you spend
your sun-filled days in unforgettable Curacao.
Bonaire is the marine life capital of the Caribbean, a
"Diver's Paradise" full of deep sea treasures. For both
diving and snorkeling, Bonaire is one of the premier locations in
the entire world. In fact, it is said that it is easier to scuba
dive in Bonaire than anywhere else on earth. Bonaire, French for
"good air," is in fact not a French Island. This
luxurious paradise is fifty miles north of Venezuela, and is the
middle island in the ABC Netherlands Antilles chain (with Aruba
and Curacao being the A and C).
The first human inhabitants of Bonaire arrived there over a
thousand years ago. They were an Arawak tribe who sailed from
Venezuela and lived uninterrupted for 500 years. In 1499 Europeans
arrived, and then in the early 1900's oil was discovered in
Venezuela, so Bonaire became a primary refining center.
Bonaire's beaches are uncrowded and intimate. The island is a mere
112 square miles, and varies between three to seven miles wide. It
is shaped like a boomerang, and so comfortable that you will feel
like the island is your own personal resort.
Diving is the main attraction for visitors of Bonaire, but you
will find that there truly is much more. The animal and marine
life alone is enough to fascinate and perplex even the most
seasoned traveler. Among the most exotic creatures on the island
are giant iguanas, blue-tailed lizards, wild donkeys, fluorescent
lora parrots, and feral goats. Per square foot, there is more
cacti in Bonaire than anywhere except the deserts of the southwest
The friendly locals of Bonaire are a perfect complement to the
beauty and tranquility that envelops all that inhabit the island.
A cornucopia of ancestries, you will find people of African,
Dutch, and South American descent. Expatriates from the U.S.,
Australia, and Britain can be found as well. The majority of
Bonaire's inhabitants live in or around the capital city,
Kralendijk. Kralendijk is located on the West Coast of the island,
home to the majority of the nightlife, exploratory sights, and
dining facilities. Bonaire combines relaxation, excitement, and
beauty, truly a marvel of nature. This miniature landscape may be
geographically small but it is simply wonderful.