Living Large on Las Olas Boulevard

las olas boulevard fort lauderdale

Just a quick trip from the ultra-luxurious Sabbia Beach condos in Pompano Beach lies one of the most fun and charming places in Florida, the famous Las Olas Boulevard. This ten-block commercial stretch near the waterfront in Fort Lauderdale is dotted with over 120 restaurants, bars, art galleries, museums, boutiques, nightclubs and even bridal shops, and is often known as Ft. Lauderdale’s Rodeo Drive. The high-end shops and note-worthy restaurants make this the heart and soul of Fort Lauderdale.

Las Olas (Spanish for “the waves”) has been a commercial draw since its construction in 1917, and even more so since its extensive renovation in the early 1980s. It also boasts several celebrities who call Las Olas home, and who might be spotted if you take one of the popular tours along the waterfront.

With beautiful views of the beach, Las Olas Boulevard features upscale boutiques and cozy sidewalk cafes that you can pass on an afternoon or evening stroll through its tree-lined breezeways and courtyards. Catch one of the antique trolley cars that chug up and down the length of the strip, a pedi-cab, or one of the B-Cycle bicycles for rent to enjoy a breezy, unforgettable ride. The lovely Old-World Mediterranean architecture alone is worth the trip.

For shopping, you’ll want to check out the many eclectic stores and boutiques. Offerings include Alex and Ani, the Bellagio International Gallery, Ibiza Footwear, Tommy Bahama, LF, Carroll’s Jewelers, Moda Mario, and so many more. In addition, you can pick up handmade ice cream at famous Kilwin’s, chocolates at Hoffmans, and the most decadent cheesecake at the Cheesecake Factory.

Some of the many bars that will welcome you include American Social, Big City Tavern, Vinos on Las Olas, Golden Lyon Vintage Pub, and the O Lounge. Your restaurant choices include Morton’s Steakhouse, YOLO, Gran Forno Las Olas, Grille 401Indigo Restaurant, Lobster Bar Sea Grille, Royal Pig Pub & Kitchen, Sweet Nectar, Louie Bossi’s Ristorante Bar Pizzeria, La Bonne Crepe, Noodles Panini, and Rocco’s Tacos & Tequila Bar, many offering al fresco dining.

In case all this isn’t enough to tempt you, you can take a water tour at Riverfront Gondola Tours, stop in at one of the many fine art galleries, or just see and be seen, as you stroll along the boulevard.

A public parking lot right off the strip makes for easy access. Las Olas Boulevard is also dog-friendly, with many of the merchants providing water bowls for dogs outside their establishments.