If you’re a fan of history, arts, and nature, Las Olas is a great place to visit. Las Olas is a commercial shopping district in the heart of Fort Lauderdale, and its main road, Las Olas Boulevard, is a two and a half mile stretch that takes you past multiple shops, bars, galleries, and more, ending at the beach. South Fort Lauderdale Beach Boulevard, the road where Las Olas Boulevard joins at the east end, travels along the beach and gives a great view of the long expanse of crashing waves. When it’s time to take a break from driving, you can park your golf cart just like a car – Fort Lauderdale’s beach has parallel parking, which is a lot easier when driving a golf cart – and have a scenic walk along the beach, while checking out the multitude of shops and restaurants down the drive.
A few miles down the beach road is Hugh Taylor Birch State Park, where you can take a walk through a forest pathway of South Floridian ecology, such as oak trees and mangroves, with small plaques scattered throughout to explain history of the park, and information on the plants and animals. Visitors can also rent a kayak or paddleboard for the long body of water running through the park, and there are multiple hiking and biking trails, along with picnic and camping areas. The beach is also directly across the road for when it’s time for a visit to the waves or a stargazing walk along the sands.
Further down Las Olas Boulevard and into the Fort Lauderdale surrounding area, you can find a large selection of museums, perfect for anyone interested in history and arts. Right near the beginning of the boulevard is the historic Stranahan House museum, a house originally built as a trading post in 1901 and converted into a residence in 1906. It is the oldest surviving structure in Broward county, and hosts guided tours in the afternoon as well as various events/presentations throughout the year. Going further west, you can visit the NSU art museum, which features a significant collection of ceramics by Pablo Picasso, or check out the Fort Lauderdale History Center, a historical museum featuring photographs, displays, artifacts, and dioramas. Next to the Fort Lauderdale History Center is the New River Inn, one of the earliest hotels in Fort Lauderdale – built in 1905 -, with one room decorated to appear as a typical hotel room of 1908.
If you’re coming to the area and are interested in learning the history of Fort Lauderdale, are a fan of the arts, or enjoy visiting the beach, Las Olas is a great place to check out this summer. As a commercial shopping district, Las Olas Boulevard is filled with all kinds of shops, restaurants, bars, and more, offering something for everyone.