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Old Fort Lauderdale

June 29, 2010

As a city, Fort Lauderdale has never grabbed me the way Miami or Tampa has, even its name “Fort Lauderdale” sounds as uninteresting as does its location — close to Miami but not close enough to plan a visit. It’s a city that attracts thousands of tourists and boaties because of the warm climate, beautiful waters and inland canal system as well as hundreds of restaurants and bars. It’s CBD has a tidy looking skyline of new buildings but nothing spectacular. It has been for all these reasons and bland appearance that I have stayed away from Fort Lauderdale, opting to discover a place with “oomph”.

But not to visit a place soley based on it being visually unappealing is not my travel style. So with camera in hand I took a brief trip to Fort Lauderdale on Saturday to scout around for points of interest.

Old Fort Lauderdale sits next to the railway lines and canal and within walking distance from Himmarshee Village.  An old town within a growing city, this place may have been at the centre of city during the early nineteen hundred, now it hosts Saturday market days, a historic museum and countless bars.

Regardless of the area’s tourist/drinking attractions, the old town itself has a splendid collection of historic homesteads that remain in tack among well-kept gardens and old rambling shade trees.

To those in the know — locals — having old buildings as such constructed from anything but wood is unusual. These homes have been built from concrete block to resemble masonry as part of the revival movement possibly Georgian or Mediterranean or….

by Cate

Information about this part of Fort Lauderdale is scattered throughout the internet making it hard to track down. Fortunately it’s more organised in the real. Points of interest have been documented on signs or wall plaques, pathways meander through the village creating not only a discovery walk but a sense of how life was back then.

by Cate

Old white verandahs house wooden rockers — southern style — designed to entice on a hot afternoon.

by Cate

There isn’t a lot to this village, perhaps 15 minutes out of your day. Further up the street are restaurants and bars, closer to the river across the rail tracks are even more restaurants and bars plus tourists. Boats punt up and down the river, yacht builders display their luxurious wares on the opposite side, and a select few rent out some of the small apartments further down the street.

Old Fort Lauderdale is a good start to learning about a city that may seem shiny and new from the outside, but actually isn’t.

Caffeinated Traveller

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12 Comments
  1. June 29, 2010 7:12 pm

    A fifteen minutes stay may be too short for you to explore her inner beauty.

    We need to spend more time to understand our partner as well.

    • July 2, 2010 11:26 am

      Rainfield I think you would spend much longer looking for all those beautiful macro shots and finding a story or three from nature.

  2. June 29, 2010 8:07 pm

    You’re right! Most of South Florida is not seen in a historical context but rather in the glitz and glamour limelight. Thanks for highlighting old Florida.

    • July 2, 2010 11:25 am

      I think anything older than 20 years gets classified as vintage. Florida has a lot of vintage that needs uncovering or at least the dust blown off it.

  3. June 30, 2010 7:17 pm

    You got that right. Ft. Lauderdale definitely doesn’t attract the same interest as other Florida cities. I think it’s because that maddening airport convinces visitors not to stay too long to find out!

    • July 2, 2010 11:25 am

      The airport oh the airport!! It has to have one of the slowest baggage claim areas I have expereinced, plus a congested road …..

  4. June 30, 2010 9:15 pm

    If we haven’t seen it before, there is always something to learn from it. Good read, Cate.

    • July 2, 2010 11:24 am

      I am surprised how this has escaped someones attention particularly in the blogosphere.

  5. July 1, 2010 7:24 am

    I’m currently blogging for a (poor) living for someone else… but I like it. You’ve inspired me to keep doing it, and look to doing it for myself soon.

    • July 2, 2010 11:23 am

      That is good news, good luck with the transition.

  6. July 1, 2010 11:39 pm

    You know, I don’t mind places that you can cover in 15 minutes. They give you some appreciation and may even make you think more about them and what it is that made them unimpressive. And they’re easy to tick off a list of places to see, if you’re into that sort of thing…

    • July 2, 2010 11:22 am

      I’m into lists, I was born with a list in my hand and a pencil in the other. But I do agree with the short snappy trip.

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