By Greg Carannante
City & Shore Magazine
Recognized as the largest in-water boat show in the world, the Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show returns Oct. 26-30 for its annual celebration of the region’s boating prestige.
With more than 1,300 boats on display, last year’s show attracted over 100,000 visitors and 1,000 exhibitors representing 52 countries. Products ranged from sunglasses to superyachts, including notable debuts for a host of luxury vessels.
Just off the beach, the show spans seven locations comprising nearly 90 acres across 3 million square feet of exhibit space, all connected by a network of water and ground transportation. Whether visitors are looking for an exclusively curated VIP experience or family-friendly programming, here’s where it’s at:
Superyacht Village: An exclusive marina at Pier Sixty-Six Hotel & Marina’s new “Pier South” property, featuring the show’s largest and most luxurious vessels. Visitors can view superyachts, meet with world-renowned yacht builders, discover the latest tenders and water toys and check out a collection of exotic vehicles.
Windward VIP Club: An exclusive, indoor/outdoor retreat at the Bahia Mar Yachting Center’s Captain’s Lounge, offering such perks as premium open bar, gourmet food, early show access, private restrooms, and complimentary shuttle and water taxi service.
The Broward County Convention Center: A showcase for fishing boats, runabouts, cruisers, marine accessories, fishing equipment, diving accessories and personal watercraft.
The AquaZone: Located in the Convention Center, this Nautical Ventures attraction offers showgoers an upfront and personal experience with various water sports, innovative marine products, and in-water demos and hands-on-testing contests in the 40,000-gallon freshwater pool. There are also free adult and kid’s fishing seminars.
Culinary Experience: Everything from street tacos to fresh stone crab claws are among the cornucopia of options, as well as refreshments at Gosling’s world-famous floating cocktail barge and at various satellite bars.
For more information, please visit flibs.com.