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View of Fort Lauderdale Coastline with Ocean in Background

Safe, Affordable Neighborhoods in Fort Lauderdale in 2024

Thinking of living in Fort Lauderdale? With great restaurants, open-air cafes, a friendly community, and beachfront properties, The Venice of America attracts incoming residents with a laid-back, affordable lifestyle. Learn more about these five safe, affordable neighborhoods in Fort Lauderdale!

Central Beach

  • Home Price: $421,300 median purchase price; $1,464 median monthly rent
  • Crime Rate: Safer than 71% of Fort Lauderdale neighborhoods
  • Perfect For: Families, retirees

One of the best neighborhoods in Fort Lauderdale, Central Beach has a vibrant nightlife scene and some of the best ocean views in South Florida. Living in one of the largest beach communities in Fort Lauderdale means there is no shortage of outdoor activities, including windsurfing, snorkeling, beach volleyball, and rollerblading on the boardwalk. Central Beach also hosts the Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show, attracting thousands of visitors per year—helping Fort Lauderdale earn its reputation as the Yachting Capital of the World! Residents can easily access open-air cafes, cocktail bars, boutiques, and more on foot, take a water taxi along the Intracoastal Waterway, or board the LauderGO! Community Shuttle for free sightseeing trips around town.

Things to Do in Central Beach

Reserve a camping spot, learn about animals like the endangered Eastern indigo snake, or take a ranger-guided tour through the mangrove swamp at Hugh Taylor Birch State Park. See Frederic Clay Bartlett’s estate and art collection, spend a romantic night at the museum with your partner, or attend the annual International Orchid & Garden Festival at the Bonnet House Museum & Gardens. Swim in Olympic-sized pools at Fort Lauderdale Aquatic Center, then go next door to the International Swimming Hall of Fame to spot your favorite athletes on the wall and purchase some swimming gear. Explore Fort Lauderdale’s waterways, watch a live comedy show, and dress to the nines for a dinner cruise on the Jungle Queen Riverboat. Savor a Frittata Breakfast Sandwich or Breakfast Wrap with an Iced Latte on the patio at Archibalds Village Bakery. Dig in to dishes like Moroccan Spiced Crab Cake, Lamb Pita, and Seafood Linguine at the historic Casablanca Cafe. Chow down Chicken Sriracha Tacos, a Stuffed Grande Burrito, or Baja Chicken Tacos while enjoying beachfront views at The Drunken Taco. Or munch on handheld delights like the Lobster Roll, Local Mahi Sandwich, or Oysters and Clams paired with specialty cocktails like Save The Whales and Be Nice Punch at Coconuts.

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Imperial Point

  • Home Price: $290,750 median purchase price; $1,138 median monthly rent
  • Crime Rate: Safer than 90% of Fort Lauderdale neighborhoods
  • Perfect For: Singles, young professionals, families, retirees

If you’re looking for affordable homes in Fort Lauderdale, safe Imperial Point is one of the best neighborhoods to raise a family. Residents are within walking distance of great parks, coffee shops, restaurants, and malls. Plus, you’re only a 12-minute drive to Lauderdale-by-the-Sea Beach. This quiet residential area offers families single-family homes and apartments, as well as a blend of public and private schools like Floranada Elementary SchoolWestminster Academy, and Pine Crest School. This neighborhood is also a great place for retirees and healthcare professionals to live, as it’s home to the major medical center Broward Health Imperial Point.

Things to Do in Imperial Point

Let the kids loose on the playground, play a game of basketball, or stay active at Dottie Mancini Park. Learn how to fight by taking classes in Kendo, Jujitsu, and more at International Martial Arts & Fitness Academy. Treat yourself to a Swedish or Shiatsu massage—or surprise your partner with a couple’s massage at Imperial Massage Spa. Check out a new book, play chess, or create origami art at the Imperial Point Branch of the Broward County Library. Have brunch with friends and dig into dishes like the Turkey Pesto Wrap, and baked goods like croissants or muffins at Chez Cafe. Order a Cuban Sandwich, St. Louis Ribs, or some New England Clam Chowder at Brewfish Bar & Grill. Experience Thai and Japanese fusion cuisine with Pad Thai Chicken, Grilled Fillet Salmon, and a Tsunami Roll at Tee Jay Thai Sushi. Or head to a Brazilian rodizio and order Flank Steak, Picanha, and Brazilian Sausage at RGS Steakhouse.

Rio Vista

  • Home Price: $467,533 median purchase price; $1,061 median monthly rent
  • Crime Rate: Safer than 88% of Fort Lauderdale neighborhoods
  • Perfect For: Singles, young professionals, families, retirees

Rio Vista is one of the oldest and safest neighborhoods in Fort Lauderdale! Rio Vista translates to river view in Spanish, and some of the architecture in the neighborhood reflects the area’s Spanish roots. Homebuyers will find a wide variety of affordable housing options, ranging from Mediterranean to Contemporary styles. With its location along the New River, this highly sought-after neighborhood attracts young professionals, families, and the boating community—because of the marina and waterway. Residents are also surrounded by restaurants, bars, and amenities like parks and highly-rated schools like Harbordale Elementary and Bethany Christian School.

Things to Do in Rio Vista

Play a game of tennis, visit the fitness center, or enroll the kids in the 420 Sailing Program when you’re a member of the Lauderdale Yacht Club. Walk your furry friend while admiring the downtown view and boats sailing the New River at Frances L. Abreau Place. Tour the canals and waterways of Fort Lauderdale or embark on a dinner cruise with Riverfront Gondola Tours. Watch everything from foreign cinema to indie films, or attend Fort Lauderdale Film Festival screenings at Savor Cinema. Start your morning with a Tropical Paradise cold-pressed juice, Pitaya Bowl, or a Kale Mango Tango smoothie at Goji Juicery and Kitchen. Enjoy shared plates like Shrimp + Grits, Short Rib Tostada, or Crispy Pork Tacos along with a glass of Merlot at Canyon Restaurant. Feast on traditional Italian dishes like Chicken Marsala, Lasagna Classica, or Tortellini di Bologna at Osteria Acqua e Farina. Or stop by for a sweet treat like scones, Berry Crumble Tart, or Key Lime Pie at New River Cafe & Bakery.

Sailboat Bend

  • Home Price: $359,700 median purchase price; $1,431 median monthly rent
  • Crime Rate: Safer than 71% of Fort Lauderdale neighborhoods
  • Perfect For: Singles, young professionals, families, retirees

Sailboat Bend is another great Fort Lauderdale neighborhood to live in, with housing options ranging from historical Bungalows and Art Deco homes, to modern condos. Though it’s slightly farther from the beach, there’s no shortage of things to do with museums, live performance venues, breweries, and parks sprinkled throughout this riverfront neighborhood. In addition, residents can take advantage of free rides on the LauderGO! Water Trolley for scenic views along the New River, and keep up-to-date on community events—like Noon Tunes at Stranahan Park—through the Sailboat Bend Civic Association. Sailboat Bend is also located just east of I-95 and is only a five-minute drive from Downtown Fort Lauderdale via W Broward Blvd, providing easy commutes to work!

Things to Do in Sailboat Bend

Start your day with a jog or morning walk to identify butterflies and dragonflies at the well-kept hidden gem, Sailboat Bend Preserve. Explore interactive exhibits like The Hangar Makerspace and Storm Center with the little ones in your life, observe and learn about otters in their natural habitat, or have a themed overnight stay at the Museum of Discovery and Science (MODS). Sign up for an improv class, catch a music performance from your favorite artist, or see a live remake of classic hits like Mean Girls at the Broward Center for the Performing Arts. Find art exhibitions and shows with a monthly rotational schedule and chances to participate in discussions with the resident artist at the 1310 Gallery – Sailboat Bend Artist Lofts. Bring your family out for a breakfast of homemade dishes like Spicy Andouille Sausage & Corn Pancakes, Vacationer Breakfast, and From The Field Omelet at OB House. Expand your palate with Latin fusion fare and order Wild-Caught Argentinian Red Shrimp, Lomo Saltado, and Ropa Vieja at The Chimney House. Reserve a Saturday night out with friends and dine on seasonal farm-to-table Brazilian delight at local non-profit and eatery, Regina’s Farm. Have date night sampling craft cocktail beverages like The Spiced Whiskey Sour, The Tiki Drink, or the Build-Your-Own Old Fashioned at intimate Apothecary 330—hidden in Pizza Craft Pizzeria.

Tarpon River

  • Home Price: $251,000 median purchase price; $1,377 median monthly rent
  • Crime Rate: Safer than 65% of Fort Lauderdale neighborhoods
  • Perfect For: Families, retirees

If you’re looking for affordable places to live in Fort Lauderdale with waterway access, Tarpon River may be the spot for you! This safe neighborhood features both waterfront and inland homes—ranging from luxury condos to ranch-style houses. The proximity to Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport provides easy travel access to young professionals and residents who fly frequently. Plus, it’s a favorite among families thanks to nearby schools like the International Montessori School of Fort Lauderdale, Croissant Park Elementary, and Stranahan High School. Residents also get easy access to parks and the river for outdoor activities, in addition to Tarpon River’s cultural center, restaurants, and cafes.

Things to Do in Tarpon River

Sign yourself and your kids up for classes on cooking, art, dance, and more at South Side Cultural Arts Center. Pack a picnic lunch and play a game of lawn bowling or tennis at Florence C. Hardy Park. Join the South Florida Fort Lauderdale Boat Club to enjoy the benefits of having access to boats without having the upkeep of owning one. Dock your boat for some Tambaqui Fish Ribs and Raw Oysters paired with Caribbean-inspired cocktails like Passion Fruit Caipirinha at Pirate Republic Seafood. Order Conch Fritters, Gulf Shrimp Platter, or Mahi Taco at outdoor eatery, The Historic Downtowner. Chow down on unique pizza dishes like The Kicken Chicken Pizza, Eggplant Parmigiana Pie-Zanwich, or Hell Fire Hawaiian at Pie-zan’s Home of Frankie Meatballs. Dig into Jamaican dishes like Brown Stew Chicken, Curry Goat, or Jerk Chicken at Jerk Machine. Or team up with friends for Thursday Trivia or Two Mile Tuesday while exploring local craft beers—like Deflated IPA New England Hazy, Good As Gold Golden Ale, or Honey Love Imperial Cream Ale—at local brewery, Tarpon River Brewing.

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About Mike Beutler

Mike Beutler is a writer and digital content specialist who transitioned to self storage in 2020 after several years in the airline industry. His travels cultivated a passion for exploring cities across the U.S. and abroad and inspired him to learn more about practical insights for urban living. With 14 moves under his belt, both locally and cross-country, he also has a passion for minimalism and organization, and sharing tips to help others make any space feel like home while staying organized.