State Parks in Hollywood,FL - Von D. Mizell-Eula Johnson State Park

    By Lauren Tjaden

    Sometimes you just need to escape the city and kick back by the shore.

    The day my husband Paul and I drove to Von D. Mizell-Eula Johnson State Park, located in Hollywood just south of Fort Lauderdale, the world was bustling, noisy, and humming with distractions.

    Billboards and signs vied for attention, highrises towered overhead, and the road was busy with traffic, brake lights and horns. Everyone seemed to be in a hurry, and everyone seemed to have a cell phone attached to an ear.

    But as soon as we rolled down the drive to the park, everything changed.

    A smiling ranger gave us a map. We discovered a boat ramp.

    A trail, dappled in sunlight, disappeared into a canopy of palms, hardwoods and mangroves.

    hollywod florida state parks

    The seashore.

    Lauren Tjaden for VISIT FLORIDA

    hollywod florida state parks

    Follow the trail.

    Lauren Tjaden for VISIT FLORIDA

    john lloyd beach state park

    Go boating at Von D. Mizell-Eula Johnson State Park.

    Lauren Tjaden for VISIT FLORIDA

    picninc at a florida state park

    A family picnic at the park.

    Lauren Tjaden for VISIT FLORIDA


    I gazed from atop a bridge at a manatee silently meandering through a canal. A family was grilling something that smelled delicious by the beach, and they all waved and posed when I aimed my camera at them.

    And when I ditched my sandals and headed out to the beach, I had to laugh aloud at the empty sweeps of latte-hued sand.

    “I needed this,” Paul said.

    He took the words right out of my mouth. If you could use a little soul-soothing, too, read on. Von D. Mizell-Eula Johnson State Park (formerly known as John Lloyd Beach State Park) boasts temptations for your whole gang—and it might be exactly the medicine you need.
     

    john lloyd beach state park

    Enormous cruise ships and shipping barges glide by at John Lloyd Beach State Park.

    Lauren Tjaden for VISIT FLORIDA

    Enjoying the water.

    Enjoying the water.

    Lauren Tjaden for VISIT FLORIDA

    dania beach state parks

    The park's mangrove-lined waterway is a scenic place to canoe, observe birds, and take photos.

    Lauren Tjaden for VISIT FLORIDA

    activities in florida state parks

    Fishing opportunities abound at the park.

    Lauren Tjaden for VISIT FLORIDA


    Picnic at the Park

    It doesn’t get any better than relaxing in the shade and reconnecting with family and friends while enjoying an outside feast. The park offers seven picnic pavilions, all with water, electricity, picnic tables and barbecue areas, and six of them are within 200 yards of the beach.

    The seventh pavilion overlooks Port Everglades so you can watch cruise ships and barges arrive and depart. The ships are so huge they look like moving buildings, only a breath away from anglers on the jetty. Watching them is a must-do at the park, whether or not you opt for a picnic.

    Dive into Adventure

    If you like Scuba or snorkeling, this park has your flippers written all over it. It boasts a simple shore dive on a reef teeming with sea life that includes tropical and sport fish, sharks and Florida lobster.

    Make Concessions to Fun

    At the Loggerhead Café, you can enjoy a leisurely lunch or grab a quick snack. And the toys at the concession are delicious, too: you can rent canoes, kayaks, paddleboats, sailboats, pontoon boats, gazebos, barbecue grills, and volleyballs. 

    Ramp up the Experience

    Lloyd Beach offers two boat ramps with easy access to the ocean through Port Everglades Inlet. You can beach your craft along the northern end of Whiskey Creek, a manatee sanctuary, and enjoy a swim or a picnic on its shores.

    Another option is paddling the waters in a canoe or kayak. Make sure to bring your binoculars for better views of the birds and wildlife.


    Enjoy a nature escape.

    Enjoy a nature escape.

    Lauren Tjaden for VISIT FLORIDA

    A beautiful view.

    A beautiful view.

    Lauren Tjaden for VISIT FLORIDA

    The park is home to a variety of shorebirds.

    The park is home to a variety of shorebirds.

    Lauren Tjaden for VISIT FLORIDA

    Welcome to John Lloyd Beach State Park.

    Welcome to John Lloyd Beach State Park.

    Lauren Tjaden for VISIT FLORIDA


    Get Down on the Beach

    If you want nothing more than to escape, bury your toes in the sand and throw your cares to the sea breeze, the park is happy to oblige.

    The wide, long beach is made for indulgence, and you’re likely to have a stretch of it to yourself.  

    The park also boasts superb fishing.

    You can enjoy a 45-minute self-guided nature walk through a subtropical coastal hammock.

    Everywhere, nature abounds.

    No doubt, the park offers a wealth of activities. But for me, the most special was the most simple: a chance to escape the city and enjoy the sound of the surf.

    If you go:

    Von D. Mizell-Eula Johnson State Park
    6503 N. Ocean Drive, Dania Beach, FL 33004
    Phone: 954- 923-2833


    SPONSORS & PARTNERS