Downtown, Fort Lauderdale
I apparently wasn't paying attention when people told me to visit Las Olas Boulevard, for some reason I thought that the section they were referring to was near the beach so we started walking...and walking...and walking. We finally got there, I'm not even sure how long it took, but most people will want to take the Sun Trolley or the bus to get to the section with restaurants and shops. The section closest to the beach is interlaced with canals and multi million dollar waterfront homes and boat docks. From the beach to Andrews Street is about 2 1/2 miles so it is a bit of a hike from the beach.
Las Olas Boulevard is the main shopping and dining street in Fort Lauderdale. Most of the shops and restaurants we saw, with the exception of Cheesecake Factory, looked to be independent and not chains, not a McDonald's or KFC in sight. I'm not much of a shopper and I really had a taste for seafood so we didn't spend very much time on Las Olas
The Riverfront area is adjacent to downtown Fort Lauderdale. It is a popular collection of restaurants, bars and shops, some of which are located across the river and connected by a water taxi that also links the Riverfront with nearby hotels and restaurants . In my opinion, Riverfront has more of an active nightlife scene than Las Olas, which is more high end stores and restaurants.
As far as restaurants go, there is a Dan Marino's Town Tavern, which serves more casual food and is a popular place for watching sports on television, the Ugly Tuna Saloon, an outdoor bar and grill, Max's Grill, which is a tad more upscale and Mezzanotte, a decent Italian restaurant which is probably the most upscale place you'll find on the Riverfront (see Coconut Grove restaurant tips.). The Martini Bar is popular in the evenings, for its great drinks and live music. Baja's Beach Club has more of a younger crowd, with cheap drinks and loud music.
Another popular activity at the Riverfront is the boat excursions which tour the New River. These short cruises take you past homes located on the waterfront. Riverfront also hosts numerous events, including fireworks on Fourth of July and New Years Eve. The are several large parking garages in the area, so finding a spot is relatively easy if you arrive early.
Most Riverfront places close early, but the Martini Bar and Baja's stay open until about 3 a.m. on the weekends.
the phileman bryan house was built by edwin king in 1905. this house was the residence of phileman bryan who owned the new river inn next door. this neo classical home is one of the oldest existing homes in fort lauderdale. today the phileman bryan house is part of the fort lauderdale history museum complex. for more information see the attached web site.
the king-cromartie house was built by fort lauderdale contractor edwin king for his personal residence in 1907. the house is constructed out of dade county pine and salvaged ship's timbers. the house was originally built on the south bank of the new river and was moved to it's present location by barge in 1971. today the king-cromartie house is part of the fort lauderdale history museum complex. for more information see the attached web site.
the new river inn was built for philemon bryan by edwin king in 1905. today the new river inn is part of the fort lauderdale history museum complex and is open for tours. the new river inn is listed on the national register of historic places. for admission and times see the attached web site.
the original stranahan house was built in 1901 as a trading post by frank stranahan. in 1906 stranahan married ivy cromartie and the building was converted into a residence. the stanahan house is an excellent example of turn of the 20 th century florida venacular architecture. for those interested in architecture and florida history the stanahan house should not be missed when in fort lauderale. the stanahan house is listed on the national register of historic places. the stanahan house is open for tours. see the attached web site for admission and times.
himmarshee village is a collection of 1920's florida land boom buildings in downtown fort lauderdale. today these 1920's era buildings are home to a number of bars and restaurants. himmarshee village is a fun part of downtown fort lauderdale to visit for it's vivbrant nightlife.
From what my mother told me, downtown ft lauderdale used to be a lot "cooler" with more bars and more spots to party , now it still has a few pretty cool bars, but mostly shopping and resturants. but the beach stayed the same, looks beautiful , as always !
Downtown Fort Lauderdale... always with so many activities on the weekends...
Las Olas Blvd is a great attraction... no only for shopping or window watching. At night is the point to see in to be seen. With many cafes, restaurantes, dancing clubs.
A gorgeous tree lined Boulevard which is lively both day and night. One one end you have Riverfront, where you can find a movie theater, famaliar shops, restaurants and a courtyard which usually has live music. At the other end lies the beach. In between there are plenty of one of a kind boutiques and resturants to discover.
Old Downtown Ft Lauderdale - Hollywood Boardwalk - Young Circle In Hollywood - Dania Pier - Saw Grass Mills Mall, Ft Lauderdale Theatre for The Performing Arts - Mikosouki Bingo Gaming Hall - Airboat Rides - Deep Sea Fishing Adventures
The above activities are not necessarily touristy stuff but rather location specific places with killer music, food and photo opportunities
Las Olas is a really pretty area of Ft. Lauderdale which has nicely tree-lined main Boulevard full of Art Galleries, restaurants and shops. Don't miss it!