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Usually, Orlando and Miami are the destinations that get all the hype in Florida but we wanted to go somewhere different and decided to make a weekend road trip to Fort Lauderdale. We only had 36 hours, so we spent one day at Las Olas Boulevard and the second day at Fort Lauderdale Beach. We usually pack a ton of activities into our itineraries but for this trip, we decided to relax a little and spend more time enjoying the amenities near or at our hotel.
4PM: Check-in at Riverside Hotel
We left Tampa on a Friday afternoon and reached the Riverside Hotel on Las Olas Boulevard around 4PM. It is the only hotel located on this trendy street and it's walking distance to numerous restaurants, shops and bars. It is also the oldest hotel in Fort Lauderdale dating back to 1936.
7PM: Bubier Park Water Fountain
Before heading to dinner, we wanted to check out the water fountain near the end of Las Olas Boulevard for the sunset. It was a short 10-minute walk from our hotel and we had fun taking pictures here while watching the sunset.
8PM: Dinner at Big City Tavern
We made reservations at Big City Tavern since we heard that it was one of the best restaurants on Las Olas Boulevard and can get very busy at night. I was so happy to see a wine flight on their menu and it was the first time I tried wine on tap. Not only were their drinks superb, but so was the food and service.
10AM: Brunch at YOLO
We started off our morning at YOLO for brunch. The Brioche French Toast was superb and the fruits were very fresh and juicy. The Omelet of The Day was a Greek inspired omelet filled with spinach, olives, and feta cheese. I haven't had a tasty omelet like that in ages! The only downside to YOLO was the manager and most of the staff. They were unfriendly and made us feel very unwelcome, which was such a shame because the food was delicious!
After brunch, we walked to the historic Stranahan House Museum. The museum was located right next to our hotel and sat right along the New River. The Stranahan House was built in 1901 and it's the oldest existing structure in Broward county. It was such a fun and interesting tour that we ended up staying there for nearly two hours.
After the museum, we walked up and down Las Olas Boulevard and stopped by a cafe that was both a coffee and flower shop. We love establishments that are combined like this; especially flowers and coffee. Walking into a coffee shop that is filled with beautiful flower arrangements really brightens up the mood. The pastry and drink selections were excellent and we really enjoyed our cheesecake and blueberry muffin.
4PM: Hoffman's Chocolates
We spotted Hoffman's Chocolates while we were walking back to our hotel and peaked in to see all the delicious chocolates. We were full from our treats at the coffee shop, so we didn't buy anything but we did try some of their chocolate samples and they were divine! They also served ice cream, which seemed to be pretty popular with the customers.
5PM: Check-in at Conrad Ft. Lauderdale Beach
We pretty much spent the rest of the evening enjoying the amenities on-site. We had free happy hour at the Atlas Cocktail Lounge, watched the sunset at the pool deck and had a light dinner at the Cornucopia Gourmet Market.
7AM: Sunrise at Fort Lauderdale Beach
It was nice to get up and simply walk across the street to see the sunrise. Shortly after the sunrise, it started to rain, so we had to head back to the hotel. We would have stayed longer if we could because it was so beautiful in the morning.
9AM: Breakfast at Terra Mare
We changed into dry clothes and headed to breakfast at Terra Mare, which was located at our hotel. The service was awesome and we were happy that it had stopped raining so that we could enjoy breakfast out on the patio. The Lemon Poppyseed Pancakes were excellent, but the omelet we ordered was pretty average. Definitely order pancakes instead of the omelet!
11AM: Drive back to Tampa
After breakfast, we decided to head back to Tampa. We were originally planning on going to the pool before heading home but there was a small tropical storm heading towards South Florida, so we decided it was best to hit the road a bit earlier than planned.
Crystal has lived in Florida for over 15 years and this was the first time we decided to spend the weekend in Fort Lauderdale. We're glad we decided to make a weekend trip here and really enjoyed Las Olas Boulevard and Fort Lauderdale Beach. It's a beautiful and clean city and getting around was pretty easy. We also liked that it wasn't overly crowded with tourists. If you're visiting Florida, definitely add Fort Lauderdale to your list of cities to visit!