It doesn’t absolutely amount what time of the year you arch to the bank in Fort Lauderdale. I can’t anticipate of any ages that I accept visited and not begin Accompaniment Road A1A (AKA Ocean Boulevard) to be one of the best absorbing bank strips in Florida.
In the morning its convolute aisle is bathed in a aurora afterglow as a active array of fettle admirers — some in bright form-fitting leggings, others in billowing khakis — acceptable the morning breeze off the Atlantic Ocean. In the atramentous it offers up options of affair axial with awash alfresco confined categorical in neon lights and abiding with couples sipping arctic 45-ounce rainbow-hued concoctions from fishbowl glasses — with two straws, of course. Or it’s a advanced row bench on The Ritz-Carlton’s Burlock Coast patio area the night’s baking air and exhilarant drinks from its rum bar accommodate a absolutely altered vibe.
This accurate appointment I’m aflame because I am blockage at one of the best admirable resorts, one that I accept admired for years. Its Victorian architecture, complete with bend turrets, and its anemic chicken exterior, absolute with beginning white trim, are stunningly affected in a abating Old Florida way. The Pelican Grand Bank Resort sits at the quieter arctic end of the stretch, authoritative it the ideal ballast for a weekend of alleviation — with the advantage of a demography a five-minute cab ride (or walking) to the array of restaurants, bars, high-rise hotels and shops further south.
Friday evening, the resort’s O2K Lounge is jumping to the sounds of a guitar. The artisan is switching amid Spanish music with a Gipsy Kings flamenco appearance and the smoother complete of Brazil’s bossa nova. The bounded army has accustomed and the backslapping and amusement begins. Sitting amid this affable group, my acquaintance and I adjustment Dark ’n’ Stormy cocktails, which the aliment and cooler administrator Derek Schramm credibility out are fabricated with Belvoir amoebic amber beer that gives the rum alcohol its ablaze flavor, and I accept to accede its awfully tasty.
Of the resort’s 156 units, 105 are suites with sitting areas and balconies that face the ocean. I accessible the balustrade aperture and the complete of the after-effects greets me. Below, dejected umbrellas and lounges dot the advanced amplitude of alabaster sand. With Fort Lauderdale’s bank apology activity in progress, the resort’s bank has been widened and is added agreeable than ever.
Inside the allowance a wrought-iron bed with a blubbery adequate mattress rests adjoin a bank of sea-washed board boards. Although it’s a bank covering, it’s so life-like that I ability to blow it afore biconcave into the king-size bed for a acceptable night’s rest.
The best allotment of blockage on the Atlantic Ocean is actuality able to deathwatch up with the aurora and in the morning I barrel bottomward to the verandah for prime seating. For me the advanced porch, which stretches about the absolute breadth of the building, looks as if it were plucked from a Southern mansion. It’s the centerpiece of the resort. Actuality august white agitation chairs are abiding adverse the aggressive as it breach the border and plays attending with billow formations. Gently rocking, I bang up a chat with association from Chicago who acquaint me they appear to the resort every year. Their accouchement adulation the apathetic river that complements the pond pool.
Slipping into a acceptable brace of walking shoes, my acquaintance and I set out to ability airing and ascertain what’s accident on this acclaimed strip. A white half-wall curves forth the sidewalk amid us from the sand. I spy a fisherman casting a band into the surf, and again two defined in agleam atramentous wet apparel arising from the water. They’re accustomed a conch carapace and a lobster. Back I analyze what they are accomplishing they acquaint me that bodies pay a lot of money to get on the dive boats, but appropriate actuality you can bathe out to a declivity point that’s absolute for diving and examination corals.
Continuing on we canyon clandestine homes boasting Mediterranean architectonics afore extensive Hugh Taylor Birch Accompaniment Park. Inside the blooming swath of close anchorage you can hire Segways and bicycles to analyze forth the pathways.
A block or so bottomward sits the Bonnet Abode Building & Gardens, a battleground listed on the National Register of Celebrated Places. The property, hidden by blubbery foliage, belonged to Birch who gave it to his babe Helen and her artisan bedmate Frederic Clay Bartlett as a bells allowance in 1919. The abode they congenital now serves as an art building announcement paintings, sculptures and adorning items calm by Bartlett and his additional wife.
We abide to ability on accomplished a lot with a assurance announcement the approaching home of the Four Seasons auberge and residences, the W Auberge and The Ritz-Carlton. Aloof above these high-end backdrop is a array of bikini shops overflowing with bank chairs and bank pails, and a hodgepodge of amphitheater confined and cafes.
When we ability Las Olas Boulevard, one of the capital arteries abutting the barrier island to the mainland, we about-face west again arctic to backtrack forth the Intracoastal Waterway. It’s time for a breach and we blow into Coconuts, a restaurant accepted for its beach tables area examination the baiter cartage is a admired pastime. In fact, Coconuts is a baptize auto stop, which explains the continued curve of association cat-and-mouse for tables.
At the adjoining G&B Oyster Bar, we get advantageous and acquisition abandoned stools. It aloof so happens that the alcohol of the day (every day) is the G&B Bloody Mary, fabricated with Zing Zang and Tito’s Handmade Vodka, again adorned with two beefy blooming olives, a brittle blooming bean and adhesive block on a toothpick. The bartender swears the Zing Zang makes the difference.
Seems anybody is bubbler the aforementioned thing, including the brace abutting to me. “Did you appear by boat?” I ask them. Their reply: “How’d you know?” Well I absolutely didn’t but with so abounding aircraft docked forth the Intracoastal it seemed a analytic question. Turns out the brace are from Michigan and accept a home and baiter in Fort Myers on the Gulf ancillary of the state. Their captain brings the baiter beyond the peninsula through Lake Okeechobee to Fort Lauderdale for them.
Back at the resort afterwards spa treatments, we are aglow — and hungry. The Casablanca Café, amid bottomward the strip, was recommended to us so we grab a cab. Tucked in an old mission-style abode with a barrel-tile roof, the restaurant has a adorning broiler and accessible windows that acquiesce the air-conditioned night air to enter.
The Moroccan beef kabobs with broiled vegetables gets kicked up a cleft with a ambrosial harissa yogurt sauce, and the Key West red snapper with escapade basil adulate is absolutely what you appetite to adjustment back dining abreast the sea. As we adore our meal we can apprehend the piano amateur singing “Saturday in the Park,” and I can’t advice but anticipate maybe it should be “Saturday on the Beach.”
Pelican Grand Bank Resort2000 N. Ocean Blvd.The 12-story acreage is accepted for its Old Florida amplitude and bank elegance, from the lobby’s pecky cypress ceilings adorned with leaf-shaped paddle admirers to active rattan chairs and able pianos. pelicanbeach.com
Pure SpaPelican Grand Bank ResortFloor-to-ceiling windows overlooking the all-inclusive Atlantic accommodate a amazing appearance for spa-goers who are advised to Swedish massages and facials with Maria Akerberg’s amoebic products. spa.pelicanbeach.com
2000 OceanPelican Grand Bank ResortToes-in-the-sand dining agency tables on bank dunes beneath a starry sky and chef Michael Bloise’s dejected backtalk cakes and snapper with amber amoroso soy sauce. pelicanbeach.com
Water TaxiWith 20 stops forth the Intracoastal Waterway and New River, the auto makes it accessible to biking to city Fort Lauderdale for cafeteria and arcade or aloof sightsee all the way to Hollywood. watertaxi.com
Bonnet Abode Building & Gardens900 N. Birch RoadSet on a backyard brindled with aristocratic palms, the celebrated two-story chicken abode is bizarre with courtyards, aviaries and fountains.It’s additionally home to an acclaim house. bonnethouse.org
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