Cruising into Fort Lauderdale anytime soon? Las Olas Boulevard, in Downtown Fort Lauderdale, should be on your “must see” list. This was the advice I was given prior to my first visit last month. So naturally I had to give it a visit, see it with my own two eyes and report back on its real appeal.
Las Olas Boulevard begins on the beach. No really, it starts at the Atlantic and extends approximately three miles into Downtown Fort Lauderdale. For most of us, that’s already a good sign. Any boulevard that starts or finishes on a white sandy beach with endless ocean before it is just fine by me. But, Las Olas is more than just a “get to the beach” piece of concrete. This is a stretch of road with an insane amount of character. Like I said, I had heard Las Olas mentioned as a must, but I first discovered it on my way to meet a friend for dinner at Louie Bossi’s. As I drove the stretch, from beach to restaurant, my eyes were darting back and forth along the road as we passed stores, restaurants, coffee shops, tattoo parlours and more. There was a mental note made to return and I actually ended up clearing a part of my schedule to make it happen. This is not a place to be missed.
Before we dig in, it should of course be mentioned that Louie Bossi’s is a fantastic restaurant if you are looking for Italian food in the area while visiting. There’s a hustle and bustle there that lends itself to bettering the whole experience. I can’t say the same is true for so many other overflowing restaurants these days, but the staff really make the experience here feel relaxed and the food delivers and makes it worth any wait you might have had in getting in. Alright, enough about that. Let’s talk shopping and more.
First, a few of the 65 shops on Las Olas that you need to know about:
Gran Forno Bakery
Pop in here for a coffee and a croissant to get your fueled up for the tour!
Andre Dupree Luxury Designer Handbag Consignment
Some seriously fabulous vintage finds to be had here.
My own personal preppy clothing heaven.
Sydney B. Clothing
The cutest shop for the little person in your life (kids… yours or others that need presents)!
A small chocolate shop with nearly 40 years of history under its belt.
If you’re in need of a mani/pedi in true luxury, give this a go!
Keep in mind this isn’t a massive stretch of land. You don’t need all day to explore, maybe just a few hours. But, come for the restaurants, the feel good strolls and the beach finish. This is a street that is truly an American gem.