Downtown Fort Lauderdale has two nightlife streets that radiate out from the financial/commercial core of Downtown. Radiating east is Las Olas Boulevard, Broward’s chicest street, home to the city’s classiest (and most expensive) restaurants and bars. Radiating west is Himmarshee Street (SW 2nd Street), Downtown’s rowdy, drunken and chaotic little brother where drinks are cheap and the streets have that sweet smell of urine mixed with vomit.
Bisecting the city’s most expensive neighborhoods, Las Olas attracts a higher clientele, with a quieter albeit busy atmosphere that is popular with families, romantic couples on dates or men in suits going out for happy hour. Himmarshee brings the noise and especially on weekends, the street gets packed and rowdy. Himmarshee is relatively small, as the street’s 20 or so bars are all centered on three city blocks, creating the perfect pub crawl. Himmarshee is especially popular with the college crowd, particularly students from nearby Florida Atlantic University, Nova Southeastern University and Broward College.
A couple blocks to the west along Himmarshee Street, is the Museum of Science and Discovery as well as the Broward Center for the Performing Arts. A couple going to a Friday night opera at the Broward Center is the perfect juxtaposition with the guys chugging beers next door. One block south of Himmarshee are the quiet, wooded paths around what has been rechristened, “Old Fort Lauderdale.” Here are some great examples of local Florida Vernacular architecture, all located right along the beautiful banks of the New River.
The small, compact size of Downtown Fort Lauderdale means a couple blocks in any direction guarantees a completely different ambiance. It’s a great area to explore on foot.