A Friday Afternoon Adventure At Las Olas Boulevard
Welcome to Las Olas Boulevard
Friday's Adventure at Las Olas begins
After dropping our summer visitors, the grandkids, off at the airport we felt a little empty and lost. As we slowly headed for our car, we thought that perhaps we should take in a side trip before going back to an empty house.
One of the places we heard about but had never visited was Las Olas Boulevard in Fort Lauderdale. Friends had mentioned how wonderful the shopping and dining was in this Mediterranean-styled setting. We made the decision to take a detour from our trip to enjoy an afternoon of adventure.
If you take a peek at the video, you will discover the beauty of this place in the architecture of the buildings. The shops are varied, but all were reminiscent of touring boutiques commonly found in Miami, or even New York City. What struck us as most inviting was the peacefulness of the district and the relaxed atmosphere of the shoppers. I look forward to returning again soon.
History of Las Olas Boulevard
Las Olas Boulevard is a popular thoroughfare in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. The name Las Olas means the waves in Spanish. It is one mile in length and runs from the ocean boardwalk to Andrews Avenue and the Central Business District. It is interlaced with canals and waterfront homes. As you approach Las Olas, you can see the many yachts that are parked just yards from the avenue.
The commercial stretch is lined with bars, shops, boutiques, restaurants, art galleries, and hotels. There are a couple of museums located nearby as well. Florida Atlantic University students have the privilege of attending college just blocks from this popular venue.
Las Olas was constructed in 1917. However, the commercial segment was completed during the Post World War II era. The westernmost downtown segment was reconstructed since the 1970s. It went through a major renovation in the 1980s to enhance property values.
Their are many celebrities who have found living near Las Olas appealing. Tour companies provide daily waterway excursions to visitors who want a closer view of celebrity homes. Some of the more notable names who live there, or have lived there, are Connie Francis, Dan Quayle, Lee Majors, David L. Cook and Gloria Vanderbilt (fashion designer). Source: Wikipedia.org
Las Olas is conveniently located between Miami and Orlando, a popular traveling route for many tourists traveling through Florida. An additional attraction to the Boulevard is the Boardwalk district that runs along the Atlantic Ocean. This area has many shops and restaurants frequented by visitors who are interested in purchasing beach wear and souvenirs.
Fort Lauderdale, Florida Trivia Quiz
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Popular Events During The Year
Las Olas features events through the year that attract large crowds interested in discovering the arts, music and cuisine. Some of the annual events are as follows:
The Las Olas Art Fair
This event offers patrons a view of contemporary and abstract art, custom made jewelry and sculptures. The outdoor gallery setting allows one to enjoy the boulevard shops, dine in style and to view the artistic talents of artists around the world. It is held during the months of January, March and October.
The The Fort Lauderdale Wine and Food Festival
This is held in the Spring and offers food samplings from over seventy South Florida restaurants. Visitors to the event will enjoy fine wines from around the world as well as popular varieties. Live music is featured and adds to the enjoyment of the event. Proceeds support charities such as the America Lung Association.
Christmas On Las Olas
The start of the winter season in Florida opens with a visit to a winter wonderland at Las Olas. Visitors enjoy the a snow mountain and skating while listening to local church and school choirs sing popular and favorite Christmas carols. Special holiday treats and foods are served adding to the holiday spirit. The event opens after the Thanksgiving holiday season.
Final Details of Our Las Olas Adventure
Although you can park along the boulevard, we decided to park in a parking garage so that we could walk a along the avenue and view the waterway. We were impressed with the beautiful homes that lined the canals. The residents all had yachts which they drove out to the ocean and then returned to park right up to their backyard. This was a fascinating, as the best we could compare to it was having a bicycle that you could pedal down to the lake and back.
Our walking tour took us down some interesting breezeways and around hidden courtyards that made you feel as if you were in a small Mediterranean villa. The many different shops featured unique merchandise and fine jewelry. We especially loved browsing the art galleries.
We enjoyed lunch at The Big City Tavern which really did remind us of ones we have dined at in Cincinnati and Chicago. It had outdoor, covered dining but since the weather was the typical August hot summer day, we chose to eat indoors. The food is casual American and we were not disappointed in our lunch choices. I have to say that the chili pictured in the photo was one of the best I have ever had.
Overall, the trip here was a most enjoyable adventure and one we were glad we took the time to experience.
Las Olas Boulevard located in Fort Lauderdale, Florida is a one of a kind shopping and dining experience.