Historical Landmarks You Can See on a Fort Lauderdale Tiki Boat Tour

Fort Lauderdale, often referred to as the “Venice of America,” boasts an intricate network of canals and waterways teeming with history and charm. A Tiki boat tour offers a unique and leisurely way to explore this fascinating city, providing up-close views of several historical landmarks that tell the story of Fort Lauderdale’s rich past. Here are some must-see historical landmarks you can spot on your Fort Lauderdale Tiki boat tour.

1. Stranahan House

One of the most iconic historical landmarks in Fort Lauderdale, the Stranahan House, dates back to 1901. This beautifully preserved structure was originally a trading post and later became the home of Frank and Ivy Stranahan, two of the city’s founding pioneers. As you cruise by, you’ll get a glimpse of this well-maintained piece of history, which now serves as a museum offering a window into the early days of Fort Lauderdale.

2. The New River Inn

Built in 1905, the New River Inn is the oldest hotel in Fort Lauderdale and a testament to the city’s early development. Located on the banks of the New River, this historic building now houses the Fort Lauderdale Historical Society. As you float by, imagine the days when this inn served as a bustling hub for travelers and locals alike, and consider planning a visit to explore its exhibits further.

3. Cooley’s Landing

Named after William Cooley, one of Fort Lauderdale’s early settlers, Cooley’s Landing is a site steeped in history. In the 1830s, Cooley’s family tragically fell victim to a Seminole attack, an event that significantly impacted the region’s history. Today, Cooley’s Landing is a serene marina offering boat access and a park, where visitors can reflect on the area’s tumultuous past while enjoying its present-day tranquility.

4. The Andrews Avenue Drawbridge

An iconic feature of the New River, the Andrews Avenue Drawbridge has been a part of Fort Lauderdale’s landscape since the early 20th century. As you pass beneath this working drawbridge, you’ll experience a piece of living history. The bridge’s mechanism and operation are a nod to the engineering feats of the early 1900s, and it remains a vital artery for both river and road traffic today.

5. The Old Fort Lauderdale Village & Museum

Nestled along the New River, this collection of historic buildings provides a glimpse into life in the early 1900s. The village includes replicas and original structures, such as the King-Cromartie House and the Replica Schoolhouse. Seen from the water, this charming village offers a picturesque view of Fort Lauderdale’s heritage, capturing the essence of its pioneering spirit.

6. The Bonnet House Museum & Gardens

While not directly on the main waterways, the Bonnet House Museum & Gardens is visible from certain points on your Tiki boat tour. This historic estate was built in 1920 and served as the winter retreat for the Birch and Bartlett families. The house is a blend of art, history, and nature, set amidst beautiful gardens that offer a serene backdrop to the bustling city.

Opened in 1936, the Riverside Hotel is a historic landmark located on Las Olas Boulevard, near the New River. This charming hotel has maintained its vintage allure while offering modern amenities. As your Tiki boat glides by, you can admire the classic architecture that has made the Riverside Hotel a beloved fixture of Fort Lauderdale’s skyline for nearly a century.

8. Fort Lauderdale Beach Park

While primarily known for its beautiful shoreline, Fort Lauderdale Beach Park also has historical significance. It was one of the first areas developed as a public beach in the early 20th century, helping to establish Fort Lauderdale as a premier tourist destination. From the water, you can appreciate the evolution of this iconic beach area, which continues to attract visitors from around the world.


A Tiki boat tour in Fort Lauderdale is not just a scenic ride; it’s a journey through time. As you relax and enjoy the tropical ambiance of your Tiki boat, these historical landmarks serve as a testament to the city’s rich and diverse history. From pioneer homesteads to vintage hotels and significant waterways, each landmark tells a story, adding depth and context to your cruising experience. So next time you set sail, keep an eye out for these historical treasures and let the history of Fort Lauderdale enhance your Tiki boat adventure. Visit Soflo Tiki today and book your private boat tour!