The threat of hurricanes aside, locals love this time of year in South Florida for two reasons: The snowbirds have yet to arrive and fill the roads and restaurants, and you can score major deals at the area’s best establishments.
Greater Fort Lauderdale Restaurant and Spa Month both run through the end of September, meaning that there’s no better time to plan a staycation—or even a day trip—to our neighbor in the south. Sweetening the deal, most hotels slash prices during the fall, and Brightline’s frequent trips eliminate the stressful drive down I-95.
Spend the day getting pampered at one of Fort Lauderdale’s premier spas, many which boast ocean views and pool access. Our pick? The Spa at Auberge Beach, located inside the Auberge Beach Residences, a new luxury condominium building from the Auberge Resorts Collection situated right on the beach. Its location informs the spa’s three guiding elements: sea, salt, and sound, infused everywhere from the treatments to the organic design and decor, washed in whites and beiges to maximize the soothing factor. For the best of all worlds, we recommend the Vitality Package, a combination of a 50-minute massage and a 50-minute custom organic facial for $185. Afterward, grab a glass of complimentary prosecco and enjoy the spa’s amenities, such as the sound meditation lounge, infrared sauna, salt cave, and of course, beach access.
Or, if it’s the pool vibe you seek, opt for a day spent lounging at The Ritz-Carlton Spa Fort Lauderdale. Treatments include the All-Inclusive Restorative massage that tackles stress from head to toe, with a mineral hair mask, a chamomile eye treatment, back exfoliation, and a paraffin hand treatment, and the Mary’s Way CBD facial, both $99. Gain access to the swanky pool for an additional $35, and enjoy a complimentary cocktail from the onsite restaurant, Burlock Coast.
End the day by indulging at a nearby restaurant participating in Fort Lauderdale’s Restaurant Month promotion: three courses starting at $35. Conveniently, the Auberge Beach Residences are also home to one of Fort Lauderdale’s most stunning eateries, Dune. The Mid-century Modern-meets-beach atmosphere executed by famed design firm Meyer Davis is a sight to behold from every spot in the house. Whether you chose to sit at the beachfront bar, the dining area with ocean views, a cozy booth, or at the expansive, sleek main bar, the environment is sure to seduce. And if it doesn’t, the food and cocktails surely will. Dune’s tasting menu for Restaurant Month features crab spaetzle accented with chili flakes and lemon zest, pan-roasted cobia, and a mind-blowing Valrhona chocolate cake.
Other solid choices include Etaru on Las Olas Boulevard and Lona Cocina located on the beach at The Westin Fort Lauderdale Beach Resort. Head to the former to satisfy serious sushi cravings. Etaru’s menu offers sashimi, salmon rolls, panko fried prawns, teriyaki salmon, and a Chef’s Dessert Platter with crazy confections and exotic fruit. Visit the latter for a more chill, casual vibe, and a menu highlighting crowd-pleasers like ceviche, queso, carnitas, and tres leches sponge cake. Sometimes after a day at the spa, that’s all you need.