Fort Lauderdale was voted the #8 best place to staycation in 2019, but it's not all beaches and bars. Are you ready to explore the urban oasis that is The Yard at Wilton Manors?
There’s plenty to be surprised and delighted by in what the South Florida Gay Times has dubbed “South Florida’s most famous gayborhood, Wilton Manors.” Most notably, the small-town atmosphere is accentuated by the urban vibes and an “all are welcome” attitude.
And of course, there are the shops. To The Moon, a candy store boasting some 13,000 varieties, will take you as far back in time as the 1800s. If you’re looking for the perfect gift of nostalgia to delight your favorite someone, To The Moon will leave your hands full and you eager to come back for more.
Wilton Manors is a thriving LGBTQ community proudly living its best life, and it’s willing to share the vibe with any and everyone who comes to visit. The accepting ambiance is what led South Florida Gay News to name Wilton Manors “Best City” -- twice, most recently in 2013.
For this week’s day trip, Wilton Manors’ surprise and delight are nestled amid rainbow eucalyptus trees in The Yard, an entertainment and dining oasis built both intentionally and beautifully.
“Let’s build around what the people want and need, not what a developer desires,” said Evan Anthony, the creative mind behind The Yard, formerly known as Eucalyptus Gardens. “I didn’t want to build something that was forced on people. The Yard has been growing organically.”
Located on Northeast 13th Avenue behind the former Old Florida Seafood House, a day trip here won’t need an itinerary as that would go against the mood. The Yard is artsy with a garden, painted trees, vintage shops and artistic murals. It’s not a place for people in a hurry. View this post on Instagram
At its heart is Lola’s Market, which features an outdoor farmer’s market and a warehouse with a variety of shops. You can buy everything from vintage digs to African shea butter.
You’ll find hidden gems all over the place. Check the back of one of the murals for a heartwarming surprise. The search for zen is immediate, the shade and seating are easy to find, too. And the people, well, they’re all there for the same reason.
“We’re about unity, the environment, diversity and providing a safe place for everyone,” said Anthony.Here are 5 things to love about The Yard in Wilton Manors:1. Impossible to go hungry
Here are some stand-out spots for grabbing a bite:
The Alchemist, 2430 NE 13th Ave, Wilton Manors is known for their coffee, but they also serve pizzas, sandwiches, salads, waffles and more.
La Mexicana (formerly known as La Frutera), 2430 NE 13th Ave, Fort Lauderdale is a Mexican restaurant and an Instagram heaven.The outdoor patios and indoor dining space are covered with art, murals and native crafts.
Voo La Voo Café, 2430 NE 13th Ave, Wilton Manors is a French restaurant offering some of the tastiest crepes around.
2. If walls and streets and trees were art
At the end of the walkway in The Yard, you’ll find several murals waiting to become your picture backdrop. But the art doesn’t stop at the murals. It’s all over the place. The walkway itself is a spectrum of colors.3. Shops, pop-ups and more, oh my!
Lola’s Market and a collection of pop-up shops offer everything from jewelry and vintage clothing to paintings, organic herbs and more. You can even get your palm read. This is an artist’s dream.4. The soundtrack is everything
There’s live music playing throughout the property. On Taco Tuesdays, La Mexicana features live music on one of their patios.5. Four-legged friends welcome
With plenty of outdoor seating, patios and an outdoor walkway, The Yard is a pet-friendly place. Make sure you bring poop bags!
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IF YOU GO:
THE YARD: 2430 NE 13th Ave. Wilton Manors; 954-266-9434
Click the link above to launch Google Maps. Parking is available on Northeast 13 Avenue, Northeast 24 Street, and at the former Lauderdale Lumber located next to The YARD.
This story originally published to palmbeachpost.com in Nov. 2018. It was updated and shared to other Florida newspapers in the GateHouse Media network. For more Florida trips and adventures, sign up for the free weekly newsletter, Day Trippin’.