While Fort Lauderdale is a relatively young City (just over 100 years old), it is a City with an interesting history story and many historical points of interest – all within walking distance of the Water Shuttle stops!
The City of Fort Lauderdale obtained its name from a series of forts built by the United States military during the Second Seminole War. The forts took their name from Major William Lauderdale who was the commander of the soldiers who built the first fort. The war ended in 1842 and development of the City began 50 years later.
Now, you can take the Water Shuttle, Fort Lauderdale’s premier taxi service on the water to check out some of Fort Lauderdale’s most famous historic sights.
At the Broward Center for the Performing Arts (Stop 1) you are just a few short blocks from the the city’s only residential historic district – historic Sailboat Bend. Grab lunch at the Chimney House and then take a stroll through this quaint neighborhood.
Then at Stop 4 you are in close proximity to visit two of Fort Lauderdale’s most iconic structures, the Historic Stranahan House Museum and the Riverside Hotel.
Known as the “Father of Fort Lauderdale” Frank Stranahan moved to Fort Lauderdale in 1901 (10 years before the city was established). Famous for establishing the city’s first ferry system to facilitate trade across the New River with the Indians, Frank and his wife Ivy, lived in what is now Fort Lauderdale’s oldest structure.
Take a stroll down to the Riverside Hotel – word has it that there is a phenomenal view from the 8th floor terrace (hint hint). The Riverside, opened as Hotel Champ Carr in 1936. Preston and John Wells (of the Wells Fargo Family), both wealthy Chicagoans, opened the Riverside Hotel as Hotel Champ Carr in 1936. It boasts that “old Florida” feel with its impressive décor elements and happens to be a pretty good spot for happy hour.
Take the Water Shuttle to Stop 5 and you are right in the middle of Fort Lauderdale’s high street – iconic Las Olas Boulevard. The boulevard was constructed in 1917, when Las Olas was just a dirt road that crossed the swampy wetlands to the barrier island at Fort Lauderdale Beach. Some famous people who have called Las Olas Blvd. home are: Connie Francis, Sonny and Cher, Lucille Ball and Desie Arnez and Gloria Vanderbilt.
And don’t forget our Water Shuttle captains are filled with a wealth of knowledge – so be sure to ask them about other areas of interest. Enjoy!