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Pride Journey: Fort Lauderdale



Nestled along the pristine shores of Fort Lauderdale, the Pelican Grand Beach Resort stands as a beacon of luxury and relaxation. This exquisite resort, with its timeless charm and breathtaking oceanfront views, has become a haven for travelers seeking an unforgettable escape.


The Pelican Grand is a beachfront retreat that seamlessly blends old-world elegance with modern comforts. Located on the famous A1A Highway, the resort's prime location offers guests direct access to the golden sands of the Atlantic Ocean. The moment you step into the grand lobby, you are greeted by a sense of opulence that sets the tone for your stay.



The resort boasts a range of accommodation options, from well-appointed guest rooms to spacious suites, each designed with meticulous attention to detail. The rooms are adorned with coastal-inspired decor, creating a serene ambiance that complements the natural beauty just outside the window. Private balconies provide panoramic views of the ocean, allowing guests to soak in the breathtaking sunrises and sunsets that define the Fort Lauderdale experience.


One of the standout features of the Pelican Grand is its exceptional dining options. Ocean2000, the resort's signature restaurant, offers a culinary journey that showcases the freshest seafood and locally sourced ingredients. Guests can savor their meals while enjoying the soothing sound of waves and the gentle ocean breeze. I visited the restaurant for breakfast and dinner during my stay.


The food at Ocean2000 is top-notch. Breakfast items include a variety of elevated benedict options as well as more traditional selections including avocado toast, steel-cut oatmeal, and a fun spin on huevos rancheros.


For dinner, my partner and I began our meal with the Ahi Tuna Tartare as well as a Crab & Lobster cake. Both items were melt-in-your-mouth delicious. The tuna especially was so fresh and was accompanied by a citrus-ginger soy sauce with house-made potato chips. The entrees were just as special. The Seafood Risotto was creamy and perfectly cooked, served with lobster, scallops, and shrimp. It is a bit heavy so I would recommend sharing this dish with a guest. The Cedar Plank Salmon was a favorite, served with a Vermont maple syrup-soy glaze, stir-fried grains, sweet peas, and corn.



For those seeking relaxation, the Pelican Grand offers a full-service spa where guests can indulge in a range of rejuvenating treatments. The oceanfront pool provides a refreshing oasis, surrounded by lush landscaping and comfortable loungers. Fitness enthusiasts can maintain their workout routine at the resort's state-of-the-art fitness center, ensuring a well-rounded experience for all guests.


Beyond the confines of the resort, guests can explore the vibrant city of Fort Lauderdale. The Pelican Grand's strategic location allows easy access to popular attractions such as boutiques and art galleries on Las Olas Boulevard and the Bonnet House Museum & Gardens.



This enchanting estate, listed on the National Register of Historic Places, beckons visitors to step back in time and immerse themselves in the unique legacy of its former owners, artist Frederic Clay Bartlett and his wife Evelyn Fortune Bartlett. The Bonnet House, built in 1920, is a charming plantation-style home that served as the winter retreat for the Bartletts. Its design reflects a mix of Caribbean, plantation, and Art Deco influences, creating a visually captivating structure. The house's name is derived from the bonnet lily, which flourishes in the estate's lush gardens.


Frederic Clay Bartlett, an accomplished artist, used the Bonnet House as his creative sanctuary. Today, visitors can explore the house's interior and marvel at the impressive collection of Bartlett's artworks, including paintings, drawings, and sculptures. The house itself is a canvas, adorned with vibrant colors and intricate details that highlight the artist's unique vision.


The Bonnet House also boasts an extensive collection of decorative arts and personal artifacts belonging to the Bartletts. Each room tells a story, offering a glimpse into the couple's passion for the arts and their love for travel.


If you prefer a more physical adventure, book a tour with Sunrise Paddleboards. Our knowledgeable and friendly guide led us on a two-hour tour of Wilton Manors, snaking us through mangroves on the Middle River. Although we chose to kayak, the company offers paddleboards as well as private lessons for those who may not have tried paddleboarding. It is a fun alternative to kayaking and a great core workout.



After your tour, head to The House on the River for a wonderful riverside dinner. Start your meal with an order of Crispy Brussels Sprouts prepared with avocado honey and balsamic. This was one of my favorite takes on Brussels sprouts I have ever had. Needless to say, the plate was wiped clean. For our entrees, we ordered the Snapper Filet and Shrimp & Crab Squid Ink Tagliatelle. Both items were prepared beautifully, although I did favor the snapper over the pasta. The House on the River is located just off downtown Fort Lauderdale’s famed Las Olas Boulevard and within walking distance of the Broward Performing Arts Center, so it is the perfect place to catch dinner before a show.



Fort Lauderdale never disappoints. The destination offers something for everyone. Whether you are looking for some fun in the sun or reveling in LGBTQ nightlife in nearby Wilton Manors, Fort Lauderdale has it all.


Enjoy the Journey!


Photo Credit: Pelican Grand Beach Resort (exterior image)

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