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Fort Lauderdale is a city in the U.S. state of Florida, on the Atlantic coast 23 miles (37 km) north of Miami. It is the county seat of Broward County. As of the 2010 census, the city had a population of 168,528. It is a principal city of the South Florida metropolitan area, which was home to 5,564,635 people at the 2010 census. The city is a popular tourist destination, with 10.35 million visitors in 2006. Fort Lauderdale is sometimes known as the "Venice of America" because of its expansive and intricate canal system. The city is a major yachting center, with 42,000 resident yachts and 100 marinas and boatyards in 2006. Fort Lauderdale and the surrounding area hosted over 4,000 restaurants and 120 nightclubs in 2006.
Fort Lauderdale is named after a series of forts built by the United States during the Second Seminole War. The forts took their name from Major William Lauderdale, who was the commander of the detachment of soldiers who built the first fort. However, development of the city did not begin until 50 years after the forts were abandoned at the end of the conflict. Three forts named "Fort Lauderdale" were constructed; the first was at the fork of the New River, the second at Tarpon Bend on the New River between the Colee Hammock and Rio Vista neighborhoods, and the third near the site of the Bahia Mar Marina.