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Las Olas Boulevard is Fort Lauderdale’s most fashionable street — it begins at the beach and connects to Riverwalk, a linear park that follows New River to many of the city’s best cultural sights. Start out at the famous beach that was the backdrop of the iconic ’60s spring-break flick Where the Boys Are with the International Swimming Hall of Fame nearby to the south. In recent years, though, spring breakers have been replaced by trendsetters. Then pass by the shops and cafés, and discover the Stranahan House off to your left. Take a tour of Fort Lauderdale’s oldest home, built at the turn of the last century, and learn about the days of Native American trading posts and the frontier.
Continue on to the Riverwalk, a paved sidewalk for strollers, cyclists and in-line skaters that features educational stations, including one that lets you fiddle around with marine navigational instruments. It passes by charter boats, including the water taxi, which will take you anywhere along Fort Lauderdale’s extensive system of canals. On Sundays, jazz artists entertain visitors along the Riverwalk, and there are plenty of park benches where people sit and listen. Toward the end of the walk, you will come to a cluster of cultural attractions. At the Museum of Art, you’ll find impressive visiting exhibits, as well as the museum’s own collection.
Las Olas Riverfront, a shopping and entertainment complex, is a good place to stop for lunch on the patio overlooking the river. After a quick bite, check out the Museum of Discovery and Science, which explores physics, space flight, health, fitness and nature. It also has a 3-D IMAX theater that shows science-oriented films. Down the street is the Broward Center for the Performing Arts. If you have the evening free, you can catch a performance from the Florida Grand Opera, the Florida Philharmonic, the Miami City Ballet, or even a touring Broadway show.