There is no way around it: The cost of living is higher in Miami. While this may not seem like an important factor for someone who is simply renting a vacation home for a few weeks, it's worth careful consideration. The cost of food, events, attractions, and transportation will be higher in Miami than they will be in Fort Lauderdale. Those who have chosen to visit Miami should be sure to adequately prepare for the added expense.
While the entire state of Florida has a higher than average number of Spanish speakers, Miami has a very large population of people for whom English is not their first language. Of course, there are plenty of people of all nationalities and ethnic backgrounds who speak English in the city of Miami, but you may want to consider how the language barrier could impact your stay. Those with a basic grasp of the Spanish language may find themselves drawn to Miami and be able to find more "out of the way" restaurants and attractions. Knowing a bit of Spanish could be a real advantage that opens all kinds of doors for you during your visit!
In the famous Fort Lauderdale versus Miami debate, Miami wins the size debate hands down. While both are metropolitan locations, Miami is larger. Because of this, there are more restaurants, attractions, and activities available. Some may consider this a downfall if they are looking for a quieter experience. Carefully consider how many travelers may be attracted to each city and that will help you determine which one is right for you.
Rental home availability
Both cities have a large number of rental vacation homes and condos available. During peak seasons, such as spring break, it may be difficult to secure lodging. It is a good idea to choose an off week, whenever possible, when planning a trip to either city.
Beaches and water
While it may seem like a beach is just a beach, the truth is every beach along the coast of Florida is a bit different. Miami is a bit further south and often has slightly more crowded beaches. Fort Lauderdale has many different beaches from which to choose, but there are also several beaches that are not available to the public. Both cities offer a variety of charter and rental services. In the battle of Fort Lauderdale versus Miami, it's a draw when it comes to the beaches.
Nightlife versus nature
While both Fort Lauderdale and Miami have their fair share of museums, shops, and restaurants, the types of attractions definitely vary. Fort Lauderdale has a lot of nature attractions revolving around the Everglades — think alligator encounters and airboat tours! Meanwhile, Miami caters more to entertainment and nightlife — think South Beach!
The truth is, when deciding whether to visit Fort Lauderdale or Miami, you have to think about your personal taste. Comparing the number of restaurants or the availability of theme parks only tells half the story. Instead, focus on the overall feeling of the area. Nightlife and sophistication come to mind with Miami, while those in the younger, hipper crowd may hear Fort Lauderdale calling their names. Regardless, both offer beautiful vacation rentals that will make your trip convenient, fun, and refreshing.