The Perfect Fort Lauderdale Walk
Updated: Feb 20, 2020
My Perfect Fort Lauderdale Walk consists of an almost 6-mile round trip that takes you over the Intracoastal, alongside Fort Lauderdale beach and on through retail areas and beautiful, lush home communities. I walked it many times with my husband and my girlfriends. It is a workout but does includes a stop in between for a delicious lunch in which to recoup and relax. You can also stop along the way to peruse shops, grab a drink and take some great photos. The above picture encompasses the first part of the journey from the Galleria Mall down along A1A. Grab a friend and get ready for some sunshine and beautiful vistas! Don't forget the sunscreen and a water bottle.
Start at the Galleria Mall on Sunrise Blvd. Park at the back lot on the farthest east side that runs along NE 26th Avenue. Walk to the Intracoastal Bridge and commence the journey on the south side. Note that every half hour the bridge goes up, but this is part of the fun. I like to see the boats moving along the water. Especially the sailboats.
You will pass Hugh Taylor Birch Park on the left but keep walking on the South side of Sunrise Blvd. until you hit A1A at the Sonesta Hotel. Turn right and walk south down A1A. You can either walk on the retail side or the beach side. If you walk on the retail side take note that there is a bend at Casablanca Café and you will want to cross the street here towards the beach to stay on the path.
Make your way to the cross street of Las Olas Blvd. where the iconic Elbo Room bar has been a landmark since it opened in 1938. It even starred in the 50's era movie "Where the Boys Are." Stop to take some great photo of the area. This first part of the walk is 2.4 miles.
Continue west on Las Olas Blvd. moving away from the beach and over the Intracoastal bridge. You can stop by the park just over the bridge on your left if you like. This will feel like a long stretch, but you will pass millionaire mansions and incredible yachts along the way so it makes for great sightseeing. Fort Lauderdale is called the "Venice of America" and you will come to realize why. When you reach the landmark Floridian Diner at 1.5 miles, you know you have reached the beginning of the retail area of the street.
Las Olas has shops and a myriad of restaurants but our favorite place for lunch is Café Europa which is East of SE 9th Ave on the south side. Sit outside and reward yourself
with an Aperol Spritz and an antipasto platter. If you don’t mind the extra calories have their limoncello cake with a cappuccino and you’ll be ready for the walk back! Our second favorite option is the lively back courtyard at Louie Bossi’s, another great Italian restaurant. Shops on Las Olas include Tommy Bahama and Lilly Pulitzer. Stop at Anne's Florist to catch sight of the champagne bar and vending machine and the beautiful shop. The best place for a photo op is on the bridge just east of Louie Bossi's where gondolas are usually docked.
After you have perused Las Olas, make your way back east and go north (left) on 17th Avenue which is near the end of the business district. This will take you through the beautiful lush area called Colee Hammock.
Walk two blocks and turn right on SE 2nd Street. Go one block and make a left on South Victoria Park Road. Three houses in on the left is what we affectionately call “the spooky house”. It’s so cute. A bit of quirkiness in an otherwise upscale neighborhood. Here is a comical picture I took. The little fence is so funny!
Keep walking north to the end of the street and you will run into Victoria Park. It is a beautiful place to stop and take pics at the gazebo and admire the Gumbo Limbos. The road becomes North Victoria Park.
Keep heading north enjoying all the unique homes along the way. There is also another park along the path below the sidewalk you can meander to and sit. At NE 7 Street make right, at 20th Avenue make a left. You will be walking parallel to The Middle River. At Sunrise Blvd make a right and head back to the Galleria Mall. You have now come full circle. If you skipped dessert at lunch and you are parched, enjoy the best gelato at Stefano Versace in the mall food court. I haven’t had such good gelato since our trip abroad! I hope you enjoyed your day traversing Fort Lauderdale on foot!