Skyline of tall buildings in Fort Lauderdale next to water.

Best Neighborhoods in Fort Lauderdale for Families

Thinking about living in Fort Lauderdale? The Venice of America has a pleasant climate, great beaches, and plenty of kid-friendly activities, making it a perfect place for families to settle down. Check out these five best neighborhoods in Fort Lauderdale for families!

  • Central Beach
  • Harbordale
  • Rio Vista
  • Sailboat Bend
  • Tarpon River

Central Beach

Condo building on beachfront in Central Beach, Fort Lauderdale, FL. Photo by Instagram user @thecjmingolelliteam
Photo via @thecjmingolelliteam
  • Home Price: $421,300 median purchase; $1,464 median monthly rent
  • Crime Rate: Safer than 62% of Florida cities

Want to live close to the beach in Fort Lauderdale? Central Beach is a great option! This neighborhood is right on the coast, providing access to beachfront activities, and it’s filled with luxury condos and apartments, many of which offer gorgeous views of the Atlantic Ocean. With tons of restaurants, shops, and parks in the area, Central Beach is one of the best places to live in Fort Lauderdale for families!

Things to Do in Central Beach

Sunbathe on the beach or splash in the Atlantic Ocean at Fort Lauderdale Beach. Take in the majestic artwork and stunning plant life during a tour of the Bonnet House Museum & Gardens. Catch a comedy show and get an up-close look at Fort Lauderdale’s waterways on the Jungle Queen Riverboat. Book your deep-sea fishing adventure at Fishing Headquarters. Savor a New Zealand Rack of Lamb on the rooftop patio at Casablanca Cafe. Snack on Fish Tacos and Coconut Shrimp at Coconuts. Grab a pie for the family at Franco & Vinny’s Pizza Shack. Get a babysitter for the kids and head out for a night of cocktails on the beach at Elbo Room, one of Fort Lauderdale’s most famous hangouts.

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Harbordale

Aerial view of yellow and green townhomes in Harbordale, Fort Lauderdale, FL. Photo by Instagram user @realtorhoff
Photo via @realtorhoff
  • Home Price: $419,400 median purchase; $994 median monthly rent
  • Crime Rate: Safer than 62% of Florida cities

Located on the Stranahan River with everything from colorful townhomes to luxury high-rise condos, Harbordale is one of the best Fort Lauderdale neighborhoods for families. Locals love this area for its flourishing culinary scene—the neighborhood houses some of the best seafood restaurants in Fort Lauderdale—and its excellent schools like Harbordale Elementary School. And if you want to treat the family to a day at the beach, you can get there in just a few minutes!

Things to Do in Harbordale

Explore reefs, caves, and shipwrecks during a scuba excursion with American Dream Dive Charters. Make your way over to Fort Lauderdale Beach Park to enjoy a picnic or build sandcastles. Take the kids to the playground at Harbordale Park. Prioritize your wellness at Prana Hot Yoga + Bodywork. Dig into all the pancakes, eggs, and bacon you can handle with The Triple at Joe’s Diner. Try some of the freshest seafood in the city with Pecan-Encrusted Salmon and King Crab Legs at 15th Street Fisheries. Experience an Italian twist on seafood with the Alfredo By-The-Sea at Bistro Mezzaluna. Or catch all the big Premier League matches with a Guinness at Waxy’s Irish Pub.

Rio Vista

Light orange house with courtyard in Rio Vista Fort Lauderdale, FL. Photo by Instagram user @theelmesgroup
Photo via @theelmesgroup
  • Home Price: $467,533 median purchase; $1,061 median monthly rent
  • Crime Rate: Safer than 81% of Florida cities

Just south of Downtown Fort Lauderdale, Rio Vista is a boater’s paradise! The eastern side of the neighborhood is filled with homes right off the water, allowing families to get their boats and yachts onto the river—and even to the ocean—in just a few minutes. But you don’t have to own a cruiser to live in Rio Vista! Land dwellers will love the eclectic mix of contemporary and Mediterranean-inspired homes. To top it all off, Rio Vista is one of the safest neighborhoods in Fort Lauderdale!

Things to Do in Rio Vista

Take tennis lessons, get in a workout, or have a delicious meal at Lauderdale Yacht Club. Catch everything from foreign films to indie documentaries at Savor Cinema Fort Lauderdale. Get your body feeling its absolute best with a spa treatment at Thermae Retreat Fort Lauderdale. Gather your family for a picnic at Virginia Young Park. Enjoy shared plates like Smoked Pork Bao Buns and Smoked Fried Chicken at One Door East. Feast on Chicken Scarpariello and other hearty Italian dishes at Valentino Cusina Italiana. Or follow up your sushi dinner with incredible desserts like Fried Oreos and the Peanut Butter Bomb at Phat Boy Sushi.

Sailboat Bend

White house with red door and picket fence in Sailboat Bend, Fort Lauderdale, FL. Photo by Instagram user @thepolskygroup
Photo via @thepolskygroup
  • Home Price: $359,700 median purchase; $1,431 median monthly rent
  • Crime Rate: Safer than 62% of Florida cities

Whether you’re looking for a refurbished historic home or a swanky new loft, Sailboat Bend can accommodate your needs! Located just west of the downtown area, this neighborhood is home to some of the most fun things to do in Fort Lauderdale, thanks to its parks, museums, and concert venues. As a bonus,  New River runs along Sailboat Bend’s southern border, giving boaters instant access to the water. Sailboat Bend has it all, making it one of the best places to live in Fort Lauderdale for families!

Things to Do in Sailboat Bend

Catch concerts and Broadway musicals at Broward Center for Performing Arts. Take the kids back in time with the Prehistoric Florida exhibit at Museum of Discovery & Science. Sing along at concerts featuring world-famous artists like Katy Perry and Lady Gaga at Revolution Live. Teach the little ones about Fort Lauderdale’s past at History Fort Lauderdale. Try a wild twist on breakfast like Andouille & Corn Oven-Baked Pancakes at O-B House. Take your taste buds on a trip to Latin America with Ropa Vieja at The Chimney House. Fill up on Bacon & Potato Pizza from Pizza Craft. Or schedule a night out without the kids for craft cocktails at Apothecary 330.

Tarpon River

Red and blue high rise buildings in Tarpon River, Fort Lauderdale, FL. Photo by Instagram user @lisamascolo37
Photo via @lisamascolo37
  • Home Price: $251,000 median purchase; $1,377 median monthly rent
  • Crime Rate: Safer than 61% of Florida cities

With waterfront homes, plenty of green space, and a strong sense of community, it’s not hard to see why Tarpon River is a desirable Fort Lauderdale destination for families! The South Side Cultural Arts Center provides a place for kids to explore new interests and skills, such as cooking and performing arts, while there are a number of shops, restaurants, and bars in the area for parents to enjoy. The neighborhood is also only a few minutes away from both Downtown Fort Lauderdale and beach access!

Things to Do in Tarpon River

Go lawn bowling, get in a game of tennis, or play with the kids on the jungle gym at Florence C. Hardy Park. Fish off the dock or enjoy a picnic under the gazebo at Lewis Park Landing. Take a relaxing ride on the Riverwalk Water Trolley. Start your morning with a Maple Latte from Grind Coffee Project. Taste the creations of a world-traveled chef such as Roast Duck Confit and Beer Battered Snapper at Hardy Park Bistro. Sample Jerk Chicken and Whole Snapper with a riverfront view at Pirate Republic Seafood. Surprise the kids by bringing home a Ricotta Fresco Pizza from Pie-zan’s Home of Frankie Meatballs. Or get some friends together for Trivia Night and a round of beers at Tarpon River Brewing.

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Neighborhood statistics from AreaVibes

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