Downtown Orientation Walk, Fort Lauderdale (Self Guided)

Fort Lauderdale, also known as the “Venice of America”, is one of Florida's most attractive cities. This quintessentially Floridian city has preserved historic buildings, museums, sightseeing walks along the New River banks, and lots of navigable canals. Fort Lauderdale has become a great place to visit during spring and summer vacations.
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Downtown Orientation Walk Map

Guide Name: Downtown Orientation Walk
Guide Location: USA » Fort Lauderdale (See other walking tours in Fort Lauderdale)
Guide Type: Self-guided Walking Tour (Sightseeing)
# of Attractions: 11
Tour Duration: 2 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 3.5 km
Author: Caroline
1
Broward Central Terminal

1) Broward Central Terminal

The Broward Central Terminal is the main bus station of Fort Lauderdale and the rest of Broward County. Located in the heart of the downtown area, it's got links to all the main destinations state and country wide. The Terminal itself stands out for its so-called “Stair #1”, an elliptical, yellow roofed, black-and-white checked tile structure that serves as a visual gateway to the downtown business and entertainment area. You'll find it on the northwest corner of the station at the intersection of 1st Avenue and Broward Boulevard.
2
Woman's Club

2) Woman's Club

The Woman's Club is a house with great history. It was built in 1916, based on a design by architect August Geiger, as a club for women of Fort Lauderdale. The money for its construction was donated by pioneer Ivy Stranahan. The first specially designed project in the city, its Mediterranean revival style was very much in vogue at the time. The club served as volunteer society for women and children of the city, whose activities were central to the development of the community. Today the site remains a Woman's Club and also holds a small museum.
3
Museum of Art

3) Museum of Art (must see)

The Fort Lauderdale Museum of Art is one the most interesting places to visit in the downtown New River area. Established in 1958 in a building designed by architect E. Larrabee Barnes, the museum hosts permanent collections of modern and contemporary art, including Picasso ceramics and other European and American masterpieces, as well as contemporary art from Cuba. The museum also boasts an impressive collection of the work of American impressionist William Glackens. Open daily, except Tuesdays, the gallery also offers a regular selection of temporary exhibitions, along with various education programs offering art classes to the public.

Operation Hours: Tuesday - Saturday: 11 am - 5 pm; Thursday: 11 am - 8 pm; Sunday: 12 pm - 5 pm.
4
Old Bus Station

4) Old Bus Station

The Old Bus Station is located on a corner site and is a landmark for the area. Built in 1926 in a Spanish eclectic style with Beaux Arts elements, it was originally a three-story building. Following a hurricane less than a year later, the building was cut to one story. Renovated a number of times, the building became a retail center for a time, and is now the venue for the popular Art Bar nightclub.
5
Fort Lauderdale History Center

5) Fort Lauderdale History Center (must see)

Fort Lauderdale History Center, formerly known as The Old Fort Lauderdale Village & Museum was the first site of the city-to-be, founded by Major William Lauderdale in 1838 at the cross of the East Coast Railway and the New River. The complex houses a combination of original and replica 19th Century buildings, including the first school, a research center, and the New River Inn. The museum tells the story of Fort Lauderdale from its establishment right up to World War II, with permanent exhibitions of artifacts from local history, as well as guided history tours and lectures.

Opening hours: Monday - Friday: 12 pm- 4 pm; Saturday-Sunday: 9:30 am- 4 pm.
6
Museum of Discovery and Science

6) Museum of Discovery and Science (must see)

The Museum of Discovery and Science is one of the largest museums of its kind in Florida, and has the most visitors of any museum in the state. The museum features its own AutoNation IMAX theater, and shows 3-D IMAX films in which viewers wear special glasses and headsets. The museum also features a number of "ecoscapes", as well as a simulated ride to Mars and a MaxFlight airplane simulator. Among the more popular aspects of the museum are the quantity and variety of Floridian animal species on display. The public are allowed to get quite close to the animal life, and the museum frequently has organized animal-centered demonstrations, or more informal meet-and-greets with native and exotic Florida fauna.

Other than the animals on display, the Museum of Discovery and Science currently features a Discovery Center for ages 7 and under, Go Green exhibit, Runways to Rockets including airplane simulators and information about space, Powerful You! exhibit, minerals and rocks on display, games, puzzles, Explore Store, Subway restaurant, and a moving exhibit. The "Great Gravity Clock" in front of the entrance is one of the main features of the museum and is one of only three in the world. The other two are in Japan and Mexico. The museum plays host to birthday parties, (sea) turtle walks and camp-ins, and has its own day camp.

Operation hours: Monday – Saturday: 10 am – 5 pm; Sunday: 12 – 5 pm.

"(The above description is based on Wikipedia under Creative Common License)"
Sight description based on wikipedia
7
The Broward Center for the Performing Arts

7) The Broward Center for the Performing Arts (must see)

The Broward Center for the Performing is place to go to experience a great night of theater, whether you like drama or comedy. Opened in 1991, its first show was Andrew Lloyd Webber's “Phantom of the Opera”. Since then it has hosted many other successful Broadway Shows. There's also the chance to see local music and comedy productions.
8
Riverwalk Park

8) Riverwalk Park (must see)

The Riverwalk Park is the perfect place for a stroll on the northern bank of the New River. Overlooking the Himmarshee Village, it's a favorite spot among many visitors to the city. The park is known for its local music performances such as monthly Jazz Brunches and season fairs. The Riverwalk Park is also conveniently located near the Broward Center for the Performing Acts and the Museum of Discovery and Science.
The Las Olas Riverfront in Fort Lauderdale's historic downtown makes for an entertaining walk in which visitors can admire both the city skyline and the banks of the New River. Plus there's the chance to visit sidewalk cafes, restaurants, shops, and movie theaters. Many of the city's historic attractions are also located in the area.
9
Fort Lauderdale Riverwalk

9) Fort Lauderdale Riverwalk (must see)

One of the most memorable walks you can take in Fort Lauderdale is the Riverwalk in the historic downtown. It offers an occasion to admire both the city skyline and the banks of the New River, plus the chance to visit sidewalk cafes, restaurants, shops, and movie theaters. Many of the city's historic attractions are also located in the area.
10
The Stranahan House

10) The Stranahan House (must see)

The Stranahan House, also known as the Pioneer House, is a historic building located at 335 Southeast 6th Avenue in Fort Lauderdale. It was built in 1902 as a trading post by Frank Stranahan (1865-1929}, the founder of Fort Lauderdale, who had earlier established a ferry across the New River at this point to carry traffic on the newly built road from Lantana to what is now North Miami. The building also served as the town hall and post office. It became his home in 1906 when he added a second story and remodeled the existing structure for his wife, Ivy Julia (Cromartie) Stranahan (1881-1971), Fort Lauderdale's first teacher and co-founder, whom he had married in 1900.

After her husband's death Ivy Stranahan kept the house, but rented out the first floor to a restaurant. After her death it was devised to the Seventh-Day Adventist Church which sold it to the Fort Lauderdale Historical Society in 1979. After being restored the house was conveyed in 1981 to Stranahan House, Inc., a non-profit corporation set up to preserve and maintain it.

"(The above description is based on Wikipedia under Creative Common License)"

Operation Hours: Daily: 1 pm- 6 pm.
Sight description based on wikipedia
11
Las Olas Boulevard

11) Las Olas Boulevard

Las Olas Boulevard is a popular thoroughfare in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, United States that runs from Andrews Avenue in the Central Business District to A1A and Fort Lauderdale Beach. The easternmost section of the boulevard is interlaced with canals and waterfront homes. The commercial stretch, approximately 1-mile (1.6 km) in length, features cool sub-tropical breezeways and courtyards with bars, nightclubs, bridal stores, shops, boutiques, art galleries, restaurants and the Riverside Hotel—this is referred to as the "Riverfront" area of downtown Fort Lauderdale. The name "Las Olas" means "The Waves" in Spanish.
Sight description based on wikipedia

Walking Tours in Fort Lauderdale, Florida

Create Your Own Walk in Fort Lauderdale

Create Your Own Walk in Fort Lauderdale

Creating your own self-guided walk in Fort Lauderdale is easy and fun. Choose the city attractions that you want to see and a walk route map will be created just for you. You can even set your hotel as the start point of the walk.
Art Walking Tour in Fort Lauderdale

Art Walking Tour in Fort Lauderdale

Las Olas Boulevard, Fort Lauderdale's famous downtown street, brings together many of the city's best galleries, including the Museum of Art of Fort Lauderdale. The area also hosts regular art and craft fairs. Take our Art Walking Tour to get a cultural walk-through the whole boulevard, featuring both contemporary and classical art from the US and abroad.

Tour Duration: 1 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 1.0 km
Shopping Tour in Fort Lauderdale

Shopping Tour in Fort Lauderdale

As well as being a classic tourist destination, Fort Lauderdale is also a top place to go shopping. Its charming Las Olas Boulevard district is chock full of specialty shops, fashion boutiques and galleries. The sunny beachfront area also has its fair share of shops, souvenir boutiques, plus a beach plaza with great entertainment. Take our Shopping Tour to catch all the best shops in these areas.

Tour Duration: 1 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 0.3 km
Church Walking Tour in Fort Lauderdale

Church Walking Tour in Fort Lauderdale

This multi-faith east coast city is home to a whole range of outstanding churches that are architectural highlights as well as places of worship. Their structural design and interior decoration feature a wide range of styles from strictly traditional to modern minimalist, giving Fort Lauderdale a quite unique visual aesthetic. Take our tour to see the city's best churches.

Tour Duration: 3 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 8.8 km
Dania Beach Recreational Tour

Dania Beach Recreational Tour

Dania Beach is a small municipality of suburban Fort Lauderdale that was originally part of Broward County. Its name comes from the first Danish emigrants that settled here in the late 19th Century. This little town is famous for being the home of all things fishing, with a Fishing Hall of Fame and many of the best fishing spots in all of south Florida. It's also a top US location for...  view more

Tour Duration: 3 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 6.7 km
Beach Walking Tour in Fort Lauderdale

Beach Walking Tour in Fort Lauderdale

Fort Lauderdale, dubbed the “Venice of America”, is one of Florida's most attractive cities with lots to offer any visitor, including navigable canals and gorgeous beaches. A top destination for both spring and summer vacations, with one of the most popular things to do being a long walk along the city's ocean line. This beach walk has got all the activities and attractions that make...  view more

Tour Duration: 3 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 7.9 km
Daily Life in Fort Lauderdale

Daily Life in Fort Lauderdale

There's lots to enjoy on a daily basis in such a beautiful city as Fort Lauderdale. A stroll through the scenic Riverwalk Park downtown, a visit to one of the many shops, bars, and clubs of Las Olas Boulevard, or a trip to one of the city's cafes and cinemas. You could also catch a show at The Broward Center for the Performing Arts. Take our tour to catch the highlights of Daily Life in...  view more

Tour Duration: 2 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 3.5 km

Tips for Exploring City on Foot at Your Own Pace

Whether you are in Fort Lauderdale for a quick stopover or have a few days to see the city in more detail, exploring it on foot, at your own pace, is definitely the way to go. Here are some tips for you to save money, see the best Fort Lauderdale has to offer, take good care of your feet while walking, and keep your mobile device – your ultimate "work horse" on this trip - well fed and safe.

Taking Care of Your Feet


To ensure ultimate satisfaction from a day of walking around the city as big as Fort Lauderdale, it is imperative to take good care of your feet so as to avoid unpleasant things like blisters, cold or overheated soles, itchy, irritated or otherwise damaged (cracked) skin, etc. Luckily, these days there is no shortage of remedies to address (and, ideally, to prevent) these and other potential problems with feet. Among them: Compression Socks, Rechargeable Battery-Powered Thermo Socks for Cold Weather, Foot Repair Cream, Deodorant Powder, Shoes UV Sterilizer, and many more that you may wish to find a place in your travel kit for.

Travel Gadgets for Your Mobile Device


Your mobile phone or tablet will be your work horse on a self-guided walk. They offer tour map, guide you from one attraction to another, and provide informative background for the sights you wish to visit. Therefore it is absolutely essential to plan against unexpected power outages in the wrong place at the wrong time, much as to ensure the safety of your device.

For these and other contingencies, here's the list of useful appliances: Portable Charger/External Battery Pack, Worldwide Travel Charger Adapter, Power Converter for International Travel Adapter, and Mobile Device Leash.