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A Friday Afternoon Adventure At Las Olas Boulevard

Updated on January 14, 2013

Welcome to Las Olas Boulevard

The sign at the entrance to Las Olas Boulevard is indicative of the historical features of the district.
The sign at the entrance to Las Olas Boulevard is indicative of the historical features of the district.

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.

Las Olas is bordered by waterways. You can see magnificent homes and yachts parked just a few yards away as you walk through the area.
Las Olas is bordered by waterways. You can see magnificent homes and yachts parked just a few yards away as you walk through the area.
We shared a wonderful, homemade bowl of chili while lunching at The Big City Tavern in Las Olas.
We shared a wonderful, homemade bowl of chili while lunching at The Big City Tavern in Las Olas.

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.

A marker807 east las olas boulevard, fort lauderdale, florida -
807 E Las Olas Blvd, Fort Lauderdale, FL 33301, USA
get directions

Las Olas Boulevard located in Fort Lauderdale, Florida is a one of a kind shopping and dining experience.

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    • Faith Reaper profile image

      Faith Reaper 4 years ago from southern USA

      Quite a nice afternoon adventure, for sure!!! A very interesting place to visit, and I know you enjoyed the food too, as it looks delicious. Great video and music. Voted Way Up God bless. In His Love, Faith Reaper

    • teaches12345 profile image
      Author

      Dianna Mendez 4 years ago

      I am having too much fun lately! I am blessed, but very humbly grateful. Thanks, Faith, for taking time to come by here. God's best to you and yours today.

    • Janine Huldie profile image

      Janine Huldie 4 years ago from New York, New York

      Looked like a beautiful and enjoyable afternoon day trip. We have been doing little day trips with our girls this past summer and have quite enjoyed them too. Thank you for sharing one of yours with us. The pictures sure do prove this was a a winner for sure, especially the chili :) Have voted up, shared and tweeted too!!

    • unknown spy profile image

      IAmForbidden 4 years ago from Neverland - where children never grow up.

      this is a lovely trip Dianna. I know you really enjoyed this one. thanks for sharing..i love it

    • formosangirl profile image

      formosangirl 4 years ago from Los Angeles

      Las Olas Blvd. reminds me of the French Quarter in New Orleans. Great slideshow and music combination. Vote Up and Awesome.

    • teaches12345 profile image
      Author

      Dianna Mendez 4 years ago

      Janine, those little trips are life saving and give us time rejuvate. Glad your little girls can be part of great family time through your trips.

      Unknown, it was a great trip and really helped us get back into a routine. Still miss the kids and friends, but there will be more visits in the future.

      Formosangirl, I have never been to the French Quarter, but I am sure it is just as fun to explore.

    • Seeker7 profile image

      Helen Murphy Howell 4 years ago from Fife, Scotland

      To put it simply - I loved this hub! What a stunning place Las Olas Blvd is - the houses with the yachts are amazing!! It just seems like this area has so much culture and enjoyment packed into it. The photograph of the chilli was making my mouth water, it looks heavenly hot and tasty!! I would really enjoy sitting at the Big City Tavern, with my chilli, hoping to see a few famous people walk by! What a beautiful place this is!

      A very enjoyable and interesting hub + voted up!

    • teaches12345 profile image
      Author

      Dianna Mendez 4 years ago

      Seeker7, we didn't see any celebrities while we were there, but the chili was enough excitement for me. It is really good. Glad you came by to tour the place. Thank you for voting up. Wishing you days filled with sunshine and good chili!

    • LauraD093 profile image

      Laura Tykarski 4 years ago from Pittsburgh PA

      A really interesting hub the video/pictorial at the beginning was great I felt at times like I was walking along myself...love the gelato window shot I haven't had it in years. Voted this one a definite up it enabled me to take a little mini-vacation- if only in my head.

    • teaches12345 profile image
      Author

      Dianna Mendez 4 years ago

      Laura, glad you enjoyed the tour. It is a great place for an afternoon adventure. Thanks for the vote. Have a great evening.

    • teacherjoe52 profile image

      teacherjoe52 4 years ago

      Hi teaches.

      Sounds like a great place.

      Please be careful with that hurricane heading your way.

      God bless.

    • teaches12345 profile image
      Author

      Dianna Mendez 4 years ago

      Thank you for stopping by, TeacherJoe. We are praying the next storm passes by without incident. Looks like it is going to miss us right now. Blessings friend.

    • Mhatter99 profile image

      Martin Kloess 4 years ago from San Francisco

      Wow! what an article. Very well done, thank you. The video... what can I saw? How are going to top this?

    • teaches12345 profile image
      Author

      Dianna Mendez 4 years ago

      Mhatter, thanks. Your review is encouraging! Enjoy your day, friend, with that same excitement. :)

    • eddy4me profile image

      Eddy Jones 4 years ago from Wales.

      Hi teaches,do you know this is why I love writing on the net because we don't just get the chance to share our own work we also learn so much from the hubs of others and I have certainly learnt so much from here.

      Great work and here's to many more.

      Eddy.

    • teaches12345 profile image
      Author

      Dianna Mendez 4 years ago

      Eddy, I also enjoy reading through other hub posts for the same reason. I have learned so much and am thankful for all the advice and sharing of knowledge. Thanks for your stop here. Take care.

    • AliciaC profile image

      Linda Crampton 4 years ago from British Columbia, Canada

      Thank you for the tour, teaches. The Boulevard looks like an interesting place to explore. I love any place that sells gelato!

    • drbj profile image

      drbj and sherry 4 years ago from south Florida

      I haven't visited Las Olas Blvd. for awhile, teaches, so I appreciated this reminder. Now I'll have to make it my business to visit and take a friend to lunch. When I worked for a firm headquartered in Ft. Lauderdale, lunch at Las Olas was often a given.

    • teaches12345 profile image
      Author

      Dianna Mendez 4 years ago

      It is a popular luncheon place. Where we dined, the place was crowded with lots of business people. Too bad we can't eat there more often. Take care, Drbj.

    • teaches12345 profile image
      Author

      Dianna Mendez 4 years ago

      Alicia, I recently found gelato and love it too. No that I have tasted it I prefer it to ice cream. Thanks for your stop here and visit.

    • RTalloni profile image

      RTalloni 4 years ago from the short journey

      What a neat "fill the gap" stop over! Thanks much for sharing this look at the interesting Las Olas Boulevard in Ft. Lauderdale. I can almost smell the ocean… :)

    • teaches12345 profile image
      Author

      Dianna Mendez 4 years ago

      Rtalloni, you are right, the ocean breeze beckoned us to walk the beach as well! Good to see you here.

    • Mama Kim 8 profile image

      Sasha Kim 4 years ago

      Aww thank you for taking us on such a beautiful tour! ^_^ Voted up and beautiful!

    • teaches12345 profile image
      Author

      Dianna Mendez 4 years ago

      Mama Kim, glad you liked the tour. Thank you for vote and visit. Blessings.

    • Vellur profile image

      Nithya Venkat 4 years ago from Dubai

      La Olas Boulevard sounds awesome and great for a wonderful walk, all those fine art jewelry, art galleries and the yummy food - a dream walk. Am sure this walk must have pepped up your mood.

    • teaches12345 profile image
      Author

      Dianna Mendez 4 years ago

      Vellur, it was just what we needed to get pass the empty feeling in the home. Thanks for your visit here. Enjoyed your comment. Have a great holiday this weekend.

    • Pollyannalana profile image

      Pollyannalana 4 years ago from US

      How interesting and beautiful. Up and sharing.

    • TToombs08 profile image

      Terrye Toombs 4 years ago from Somewhere between Heaven and Hell without a road map.

      This was wonderful, teaches! If I ever make it back down to Florida (which I'm sure I will), I am going to make a bee line for Las Olas Blvd! It looks like a great place to spend a day! Voted up and sharing. :)

    • joanveronica profile image

      Joan Veronica Robertson 4 years ago from Concepcion, Chile

      Hi teaches, wonderful Hub! Florida is a lovely place to visit, and this Bvrd. looks prime! Voted up, awesome, beautiful and interesting! I loved the embeded video, this would seem a new venture for you? If so, congrats, it is very well done! Have a good day!

    • Rfordin profile image

      Rfordin 4 years ago from Florida

      Hey Teaches,

      You must be fairly close to me. I grew up in Ft. Lauderdale and we spent many week & weeknd evenings strolling the Blvd. It really can be a nice place to visit. Good hub. Thanks for the memories, since I've moved about 2 hours away but I still frequent the area I may have to take a stroll down Las Olas again soon.

      ~Becky

    • teaches12345 profile image
      Author

      Dianna Mendez 4 years ago

      Terrye, it's a great place to browse and have lunch. Then, head on down the boardwalk by the beach, it's really nice. Let me know when you do and I'll join you!

    • teaches12345 profile image
      Author

      Dianna Mendez 4 years ago

      Yes, Joan, it was a really nice new venture for me and I truly enjoyed the afternoon. It is not often that we get to this area, so it was a nice treat. Good to see you here and appreciate your support. Enjoy your day.

    • teaches12345 profile image
      Author

      Dianna Mendez 4 years ago

      Rfordin, We live north of this area in Palm Beach County. Maybe we are close and can hook up for lunch there one day. Small world. Thanks for your support and visit here, it was so nice to see you. Enjoy the "dry" weekend we are going to have!

    • mollymeadows profile image

      Mary Strain 4 years ago from The Shire

      Teaches, I wish I could blink like Jeannie and just pop down to Ft. Lauderdale for a yummy lunch on the oceanfront. Thanks for the virtual visit. I could almost taste that sandwich!

    • teaches12345 profile image
      Author

      Dianna Mendez 4 years ago

      Molly, it certainly is worth a visit. Thanks for stopping by to take the tour. Enjoy your day.

    • carol7777 profile image

      carol stanley 4 years ago from Arizona

      Just went there one time. We lived in Bonita Springs and had friends there. Fabulous street and worthy of a visit.

    • teaches12345 profile image
      Author

      Dianna Mendez 4 years ago

      Carol, how nice to see you here! We had a great time there as well. Just walking the streets is fascinating. Thanks for your support in coming by here today. Enjoy the rest of the weekend.

    • Jools99 profile image

      Jools99 4 years ago from North-East UK

      Dianna, not sure how I missed this the first time? Oh well, here I am and so glad I dropped by - what a great decision for you to to visit here after the airport, it is a wonderful place; if only all shopping areas were so stylishly appointed - shopping centres might get full again. They have a great mix of retail, entertainment and culture - really lovely. Your video really does it justice and the photos and prose are great too!

    • mary615 profile image

      Mary Hyatt 4 years ago from Florida

      My cousin lives in Lauderdale, and I've spent some nice time in this area. She actually lives in Wilton Manor. My Hubby grew up in Lauderdale, so I'm familiar with that part of Fl.

      I voted this UP,e tc.

    • teaches12345 profile image
      Author

      Dianna Mendez 4 years ago

      Jools, it's good to see you any time! This area is a very nice place to just spend the afternoon browsing with a friend.

      Mary, you must know then how much this place can add to an afternoon shopping experience. Take care.

    • profile image

      AudraLeigh 4 years ago

      Your tenderloin looked tasty, but your husband;s Mexican food looked out of this world!!! I bet Gloria Vanderbilt 's house would have been gorgeous to see! I wonder if her on Anderson Cooper visits often. I really liked the slideshow and your pics! Great hub! Thank you for taking us shopping with you!

    • teaches12345 profile image
      Author

      Dianna Mendez 4 years ago

      Actually, Audra, his food was a better choices, especially the chili. Next time, I am ordering it. It is a fun place to tour. Thanks for your visit and enjoy your evening.

    • Jackie Lynnley profile image

      Jackie Lynnley 3 years ago from The Beautiful South

      This sounds like a wonderful day and reminds me of my husband and my many strolls down the Old Street in St. Augustine. It had an artist there that had paintings we could never afford (before we had children) but as many times as we went and didn't buy he still had long conversations with us and shared much of his life and experiences. That with the sights were priceless. All places like this are. Thanks for sharing. Glad I finally found one of yours I hadn't been to...I will keep looking. lol

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