Celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month in Fort Lauderdale

Autumn is a time of independence across Latin America. Sept. 15, 1821, is recognized as Independence Day in Nicaragua, Honduras, Guatemala, El Salvador and Costa Rica. Sept. 16 and 18 are the Independence Days of Mexico and Chile, and El Dia de la Raza, or Columbus Day, falls within the 30-day period on Oct. 12.

Among many stateside commemorative celebrations, naturally some of the best are in South Florida given its large Latino population. To celebrate Hispanic Heritage month in Fort Lauderdale, VIVA uncovered some new (and old) hidden gems to enjoy .

Don’t miss !VIVA Broward!, a weekend-long celebration in mid-October at the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel and Casino, Fort Lauderdale. The Seminole Hard Rock celebrates Hispanic Heritage Festival with all sorts of Latin music, food and festivities. (Call 954-776-1642 for the concert lineup.)

The Rooftop @ 1WLO bar (Paula Conway / Conway Confidential)

There’s no better oasis for cocktails than the Rooftop @ 1WLO to celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month. The tree- and plant-filled lounge is a hidden gem, located on the seventh floor of the unassuming One West Las Olas building.The true celebrity in this eclectic and lush rooftop bar is the artfully-made craft cocktails.

Start light and fresh with the Garden Party: Tito’s vodka, a thinly sliced cucumber wrapped inside the glass, topped with Prosecco, and a fresh strawberry. It tastes like a delightful summer garden party. If you like mocktails, go for Rosemary’s Baby made with pineapple juice, ginger agave, rosemary, sea salt and black pepper. For a more focused effort, get serious with Filthy Phil: Don Julio Anejo, Hellfire Bitters, Filthy Cherry Juice and the smoke treatment on top.

Hoffmans chocolates and the Mexican sweet corn at El Camino Mezcal Tequila Bar (Paula Conway / ConwayConfidential)

Head to dinner at El Camino Mezcal & Tequila Bar — but make sure you have a reservation because this popular Mexican restaurant on Las Olas gets packed. The 6,000-sq.-ft space is the new sister property to the original Delray Beach location, and features freshly made tacos, burritos and fajitas, along with a wide selection of margaritas.

Standouts include the monstrous brisket nachos, tomato avocado salad with thick slices of avocado, short rib empanada, watermelon margarita, and the Mexican sweet corn — a whole corn on the cob with lime aioli, chipotle, cilantro and rolled in cotija cheese.

Shopping on Las Olas is a wonderful and fun experience. Ann’s Florist & Coffee Bar is an eclectic destination for enjoying flowers and greenery, picking up an antique or curio, or just having a nice cup of coffee or tea outside while you people watch. Across the street is Hoffman’s Chocolates, a famous chocolatier in Fort Lauderdale, known for its coconut cashew crunch — a take on butter crunch, only with cashews and flakes of coconut. Unique Treasures has just that. Buy a massive bronze bulldog or blue glass chandelier, whichever makes sense to you. There’s an Alex and Ani if you love eco-conscious jewelry, and scores of independent apparel stores by local designers.

If you haven’t taken a water taxi to enjoy Fort Lauderdale’s world famous waterways, start now. Hop on along Las Olas and head for Shooters Waterfront (there’s a detailed water taxi map that’s easy to navigate). In the 1920’s, the rum runners ran their alcohol down the river, right past the restaurant, when Fort Lauderdale was known as Fort Liquerdale. Once associated with revelers and debauchery, Shooters has been given a sophisticated facelift and is an ideal respite for after-dinner drinks or dessert. The impressive wide water view of mega yachts is hard to beat. The open, uncluttered and expansive space hosts three bars, including a tiki bar. Director of Operations Peter Lopez has given intense consideration to every detail at the new Shooters Waterfront, particularly the desserts. Their riff on key lime pie is the award-worthy Key-lime Baked Alaska. It’s a key-lime pie with a baked alaska wrap, both tart n’ tangy, cold and sweet, with a torched meringue on top. The whole thing sits in coconut daiquiri sauce with key-lime custard and it’s amazing. There’s also the Caribbean bread pudding flan, a Latin staple served with homemade bananas foster.

The W Hotel Pool (Paula Conway / Conway Confidential)

Kick up your heels at the W Hotel in Fort Lauderdale. Situated across the street from the beach, the $55 million renovation has infused a fresh face on this W. There are two rooftop infinity pools, one on the West side of the hotel and one on the East. Each features a hot tub, peek-a-boo pool bottoms (you can see everyone swimming), enormous daybeds and a poolside bar and grill. The Living Room is a lovely space to unwind in — evenings are programmed with live art demonstrations and DJs, coupled with special drink offers. In keeping with most Starwood Hotels & Resorts properties, the concierge service at the W Hotel is spot-on.

The Adolfo & Marisela Cotilla Gallery will host The Artists’ Vision of Ecuador and Argentina, a free exhibit open to the public from Sunday until Monday, Oct. 15. The gallery is located on the second floor of the Alvin Sherman Library at Nova Southeastern University, 3100 Ray Ferrero, Jr. Blvd. 954-262-4601.

Charanga Tipica Tropical plays infectious Charanga Latin Salsa music on Sunday, Oct. 14 from 2 to 3:30 p.m. at the Miniaci Performing Arts Center, 3100 Ray Ferrero, Jr. Blvd., 954-262-5480.

For more on Hispanic Heritage Month in Broward county go to

Article Source:Celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month in Fort Lauderdale was originally published on NEW YORK DAILY NEWS on October 7, 2018 written by Paula Conway

Paula Conway is a best-selling author with Harper Collins and the President and Founder of Astonish Media Group in New York City. Follow Astonish on Instagram @astonishmediagroup.