When we took the hop on hop off water taxi in Ft. Lauderdale last month, we saw that it was possible to taxi by water to the boardwalk in Hollywood. But since we were visiting during the ultra low season, the taxi wasn't going there. Now that we have our own wheels and can go wherever we want, we decided to check it out.
Although ocean front boardwalks are common in tourist spots, we know of none other around here. Actually, it's not a walk made of boards, rather a 2+ mlle expanse of stone separating the beach from a collection of restaurants, shops and hotels. After the parking hassles we had yesterday, it was great to find a parking deck nearby that had more than enough spots for everyone. On a beautiful Sunday afternoon, the boardwalk reminded us of Navy Pier at home. It was a happening place with people roller blading, bike riding and strolling in addition to those who were lingering at al fresco dining spots and sitting on the beach. One bikini clad girl got an extra set of double takes as she hopped along on boots with huge springs on the bottom. Many of the little hotels on the walk had the look of Old Florida. In addition to showing their age, they showed that someone still loved them and was trying hard to keep them going. A walk-in fountain gave the littlest visitors a safe place to get wet and shriek. A swimming pool provided an alternative for those who can't handle that salty water. Chairs, cabanas, and mats were available for reasonable rental fees. The walk itself looked fairly new and the area could have used a few more street vendors and musicians like we remembered enjoying in Venice Beach, CA, but Hollywood, FL has created a unique identity as part of a long string of beach towns.