Bike & Hike / Southeast Florida

Bike trails: Hollywood Broadwalk, a trip to Old Florida, is slow but scenic


Hollywood Broadwalk recognized as one of “10 Great Public Spaces”

Florida bike trails: Hollywood Beach bike trail along the ocean via the Broadwalk

One of South Florida’s favorite bike trails is along on the ocean on Hollywood Beach’s Broadwalk

Despite an ideal climate, South Florida is not a bicycle-friendly region. We have searched for years for safe and interesting places to bring our bikes and enjoy a safe ride without traffic.

One of the best places we’ve found is Hollywood’s Broadwalk. (Yes, it is the Broadwalk, not the Boardwalk.)

Built in the 1920s, the Broadwalk provides the cyclist a fabulous ocean view for several miles along with tiki bars, cheap cafes, mom-and-pop vintage hotels and lots of interesting people of all varieties.

Recently, The American Planning Association (APA) recognized the Hollywood Broadwalk as one of “10 Great Public Spaces for 2013.”

The APA recognized what I have always loved about the Hollywood Broadwalk: ” Hollywood and its Broadwalk still looks and feels like you’re back in the ’70s.”

The citation goes on: “The Broadwalk and adjoining architecture — mostly low- and mid-rise hotels and apartments built during the late 1920s and 1930s in the Streamline/Art Moderne, Mediterranean Revival, and Mid-Century Modern architectural styles — are still there. Together with palm trees and the white sand beach, they give Hollywood the look and feel of old Florida.”

Florida bike trails: A favorite ocean-front bike ride is along Hollywood Beach's Broadwalk

The Broadwalk is busy with four-wheeled bike buggies, so it’s not a place for speed.

We like to park at West Lake Park, 751 Sheridan St., Hollywood, because we’re cheap. Parking there is free, as opposed to beachfront parking meters. A five-minute ride east on Sheridan (don’t take the bike path; it goes under the Intracoastal bridge and then heads west on Sheridan again) and you’re at North Beach Park, a good place to start your Broadwalk ride.

As you ride south on the Broadwalk, you’ll pass bars with live bands on weekends playing reggae or classic rock oldies. There is always a breeze, but if you get hot, stop and take a swim.  At the south end, the Broadwalk gives way to an alley-like Surf Road that continues through 1960s vintage low-rise hotels that evoke an earlier era.

Families love to stop at Charnow Park (at Connecticut Street) where there is shaded seating and an interactive fountain usually teeming with delighted children.

Don’t expect to ride fast here — too many kids on training wheels, four-wheel “bike buggies” and clueless pedestrians wandering into the marked  bike lane. If you’re not patient and willing to take it slow, find someplace else to ride.

On the north end, you can continue as the urban setting gives way to a seagrape-lined route through North Beach Park and then onto a narrow Surf Road through a  funky residential area. You can continue to within two blocks of Dania Beach Boulevard.

If you don’t pause, the bike ride will take about 90 minutes. If you stop for a beer or, as we did, to shop at Josh’s organic farmer’s market, you could spend considerably longer.

Bike rentals on Hollywood Broadwalk

If you don’t bring your own bike, you can rent bikes and surreys at The Bike Shack operated by &A Beach Services

 

Things to do near Hollywood:



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