Historic Walk in Downtown Fort Lauderdale, Fort Lauderdale (Self Guided)

Downtown Fort Lauderdale is home to three designated historic districts: The Sailboat Bend, The Himmarshee and The Stranahan House. Each holds a range of houses and buildings from the mid-19th Century and the 20th Century, that together tell the fascinating story of the development of this growing city and its communities.
How it works: Download the app "GPSmyCity: Walks in 1K+ Cities" from iTunes App Store or Google Play to your mobile phone or tablet. The app turns your mobile device into a personal tour guide and its built-in GPS navigation functions guide you from one tour stop to next. The app works offline, so no data plan is needed when traveling abroad.

Download The GPSmyCity App

Download 'GPSmyCity: Walks in 1K+ Cities' app for IOS   Download 'GPSmyCity: Walks in 1K+ Cities' app for Android

Historic Walk in Downtown Fort Lauderdale Map

Guide Name: Historic Walk in Downtown Fort Lauderdale
Guide Location: USA » Fort Lauderdale (See other walking tours in Fort Lauderdale)
Guide Type: Self-guided Walking Tour (Sightseeing)
# of Attractions: 12
Tour Duration: 4 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 7.7 km
Author: christine
Himmarshee Court

1) Himmarshee Court

The Himmarshee Court was one the first apartment buildings in Fort Lauderdale. Designed by architect Francis L. Abreu for local man Mr Pape, it has been carefully preserved. Built in 1926 in a Mediterranean revival style, it is one of the most remarkable old Florida houses. Today, the building serves as a private medical office.
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.
Old Bus Station

3) 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.
Bryan Building

4) Bryan Building

The Bryan Building was one of the first 20th Century buildings of downtown Fort Lauderdale. Rebuilt in fire-proof-brick after a devastating fire in 1912, it has since been preserved in its original state with few changes. Designed by architect Tom Bryan, it once operated as the “De Soto” hotel, today it serves as an office building. Now listed in the US National Register of Historic Places.
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.
Old Dillard Museum

6) Old Dillard Museum

The Old Dillard Museum is another site of historic importance for Fort Lauderdale. Built 1924, it was the first school in Broward County for black children only, and was dubbed “The Colored School”. It got its real name from educator and teacher James H. Dillard. Today the museum serves as a heritage center for the whole community, with exhibitions on the people of the county and African American culture.

Operation Hours: Monday - Friday: 8:30 am - 4 pm
Fire and Safety Museum

7) Fire and Safety Museum

The Fort Lauderdale Fire and Safety Museum is proud to preserve the history of this noble profession and its heroes. Established in 1926, it was not the city's first fire station but its third, and was first known locally as "Station 3". Later renamed “Station 8”, this fire station is now a museum with exhibitions of historic fire engines and all the original features of a working fire station of the period. There's also a photo gallery and other memorabilia plus fire safety education courses at the museum.

Operation Hours: Saturday: 9 am - 12 pm.
Old South Side Fire Station

8) Old South Side Fire Station

The South Side Fire Station was second station built in Fort Lauderdale. Established in 1925 by Chief Sherman, it came at a time when the city badly needed a new fire station for the growing community on both sides of the New River. This Spanish eclectic style building continued to serve as a fire station until 1985. The station building has been carefully preserved and restored, today a private law office.
Williams House

9) Williams House

Williams House is one of Fort Lauderdale's most historic residences. Its well preserved revival style and engineering structure from the 19th and 20th centuries has lead to it being listed on the US National Register of Historic Places.
Croissant Park Administration Building

10) Croissant Park Administration Building

The Croissant Park Administration Building is a landmark of southern Fort Lauderdale. A typical building from the development boom at the turn of the 20th Century, it is one of very few buildings from this era that remain in their original state. Built in 1922, this two story Mediterranean revival style building first served as an administration building for city development. Today it's a specialty retail center.
Sam Gilliam House

11) Sam Gilliam House

The Sam Gilliam House is the historic home of notable Republican Party member Samuel Gilliam, who had a prominent role in the early development of the city. Built in 1926 in a typical Florida mission style, the house survived a hurricane in the same year. Serving as the family home of generation of Gilliams, it was once due to be demolished. Today the house is listed on the US National Register of Historic Places.
Antique Car Museum

12) Antique Car Museum (must see)

The Antique Car Museum holds an extraordinary collection of pre- and post-World War II Packard motor cars, plus a dedicated library, photo gallery, and other memorabilia including a vintage Texaco gas station. The oldest car on display is a 1909 Speedster. The museum allows visitors to see all the details of each car, with plush leather seats, wood paneling, and other exquisite trappings of vintage motors.

Operation Hours: Monday - Friday: 10 am - 4 pm.

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.
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
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
Downtown Orientation Walk

Downtown Orientation Walk

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.

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

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.