Before they built the Riverwalk complex, Beach Place was the place to go. Though conveniently located for tourists, locals tend to shy away in favor of the newly built play area close to city center. Still, not a bad place for a beer especially during the much reduced spring break.
As life goes sometimes, large corporations take even the smallest of things and take advantage of the unsuspecting. I am from Bulgaria and a student at FIU. My cousin and I parked our bikes in front of CVS at Beach Place and went into the mall for a bite. The bike rack out front was full so we locked them up on the railing by the sidewalk. Later we came out to find both locks cut and one bike, mine, gone. After looking around a security guard came over and showed me a sign that I was not aware of. He said he cut the locks and left the bikes unattended. This is petty larsony at best. I wonder how many people discovered this and why would they be so callous in their actions.
Unique Suggestions: Don't go thinking this is a secure and caring place. Bring nothing of value and leave your money at home. Over feed the birds so they will excrement all over the place and keep the security guards from coming out and cutting bike locks and allowing them to be stolen by bums who hang out looking for their opportunity.
Fun Alternatives: Ft. Lauderdale is all about tourism. Locals enjoy places close to home. The beach is fine for relaxation and fun but do yourself a favor. Don't expect the police to do anything but write tickets for overtime parking $25. Anyone will tell you that knows about crime. Thieves are everywhere and this place is no exception. You can file a police report but don't expect anything will be done. 30,000 cases a year and 6 detectives on coffee breaks don't solve anything. Be aware.