Thursday, June 2, 2011

Las Olas Blvd - Fort Lauderdale

A friend of mine asked me to describe Las Olas Blvd after reading my blog about downtown Hollywood. I started to, then decided to just jump in the car and act as tour guide instead. I have not been in a while and it seemed like a great way to spend a South Florida afternoon. I have been going off and on for about 30 years and have see many changes. Mostly for good. The recession was not kind to any of us and especially to Las Olas Blvd. A strip of galleries, restaurants, and specially stores right off of downtown Fort Lauderdale. Last time I was there, several stores and resturants had closed so I didn't fully know what to expect.

The first thing I noticed upon arriving was that parking was reasonable to down right cheap. That was new. Also there was practically no one on the street. I usually visit in the evening or during art fairs and the place is packed to sardine can, can't walk down the street packed. If you are not a fan of blazing heat and blinding sun light, then high noon might not be the best time to arrive at Las Olas. I live here so it does not bother me a bit. We turned the corner from the parking lot and popped into the Hamilton Gallery. There we met Wendy who informed us that somewhat of a rebirth had occured on Las Olas and there was nearly full occupancy. She even gave us a few tips on new resturants. This was going to turn out to be a great day after all.

We did our level best to visit all the galleries and stores. One gallery opened just the month before. Everyone was friendly and we took the opportunity to really immerce ourselves in the art and discuss the artists. I walked my friend all the way East to the Floridian diner. The place is ancient in Florida terms, serves the best breakfast on the block, and is a local favorite hangout. By the time we were half way back to the car, we were pretty hungry and standing outside one of my favorite eateries - Noodles Panini. Normally I like to sit outside if I'm lucky to not have to wait too long for a table. Considering my shoes were melting to the pavement, we wisely chose a seat inside and actually had a choice of tables. The patrons were out numbered by the wait staff but that looked to be only temporary. As we were headed out at about 3:00 pm, there was a steady stream heading in.

Las Olas is easy to get to. If you are looking for a great date night with a special someone or just a place to find a fantastic, relaxing meal with a friend, you can't go wrong with Las Olas.


  1. Did you know that over twenty new businesses opened their doors on Las Olas in 2010?

    So far this year, there have been nine new places opened up and at least ten more are due to open in the next few months - wow.

  2. 30 years ago when I first visited, it was actually a pretty dangerous place to be at night. I have been heading to Las Olas steadily every year ever since. It has been the number one "hook up with friends" place for the last 10 years. The Las Olas Art fair is a must and Christmas on Las Olas is a new tradition for me. With all me years of experience I can say without a doubt, Las Olas has never looked better or been more enjoyable.