Last updated on April 14th, 2020 at 04:17 pm

Hollywood Beach Broadwalk recognized as a ‘Great Public Spaces’

One of South Florida's favorite rides is on the Hollywood Beach Broadwalk bike trail. (Photo: David Blasco)
One of South Florida’s favorite bike rides is on the Hollywood Beach Broadwalk bike trail. (Photo: David Blasco)

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 the Hollywood Beach Broadwalk. (Yes, it is the Hollywood Broadwalk, not the Hollywood Boardwalk.)

Built in the 1920s, the Hollywood Beach Broadwalk provides the bicyclist 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.

Hollywood Beach Broadwalk honored as a special public space

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 Beach Broadwalk: “Hollywood and its Broadwalk still looks and feels like you’re back in the ’70s.”

The citation goes on: “The Hollywood Beach 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.”

The Hollywood Beach Broadwalk is busy with four-wheeled bike buggies, so it's not a place for speed. (Photo: Bonnie Gross)
Biking Hollywood Beach Broadwalk is not about speed. It’s too busy with four-wheeled bike buggies and families. (Photo: Bonnie Gross)

Biking Hollywood Beach Broadwalk

When we bring our bikes, we like to park at West Lake Park, 751 Sheridan St., Hollywood. 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 Hollywood 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 of the Hollywood Broadwalk, 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. This is my favorite part of the ride; it’s much less crowded and has more trees and foliage. You can continue all the way to the Dania Beach fishing pier.

If you don’t pause, the bike ride will take about 90 minutes. If you stop for a beer or, as we did, you could spend considerably longer.

Hollywood Beach Broadwalk bike rentals

If you don’t bring your own bike, you can rent bikes and surreys at Sun and Fun Cycles, which is located where Hayes Street meets the Hollywood Beach Broadwalk. This business offers a variety of bikes, including adult tricycles, low riders and recumbent models. They also carry wheelchairs and motorized scooters.

Things to do near Hollywood Beach Broadwalk

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