Broward A1A Scenic Highway Program: 'Pieces of Paradise'

    By Dalia Colon

    Where: The road runs north to south along Florida’s east coast, from the Miami-Dade County line to Palm Beach County line, passing through Pompano Beach, Fort Lauderdale and Hollywood.

    Length: 25 miles

    How to get around: Car or bicycle.

    Best time to visit: Music lovers flock here in the fall for festivals including the !Viva Broward! Hispanic Heritage Festival in October, Hollywood Jazz Festival in November and Fort Lauderdale’s Riverwalk Blues & Music Festival, also in November.

    Fun fact: Two of South Florida's premier "racinos"—are located in Hallandale Beach - Gulfstream Park Racing and Casino and the Mardi Gras Racetrack and Gaming Center—are located in Hallandale Beach.

    For more info: Go to browardmpo.org or sunny.org.

     

    Crossing the Intracoastal Waterway on the Hollywood Boulevard Bascule Bridge to the east will connect drivers to Broward County A1A Scenic Highway.

    Crossing the Intracoastal Waterway on the Hollywood Boulevard Bascule Bridge to the east will connect drivers to Broward County A1A Scenic Highway.

    Peter W. Cross for VISIT FLORIDA

    This beautiful view of the Hillsboro Inlet shows where Broward County A1A Scenic Highway crosses the waterway and connects Pompano Beach to Hillsboro Beach.

    This beautiful view of the Hillsboro Inlet shows where Broward County A1A Scenic Highway crosses the waterway and connects Pompano Beach to Hillsboro Beach.

    Peter W. Cross for VISIT FLORIDA

     

    John Rude remembers when Broward County was little more than a blip on the radar between West Palm Beach and Miami.

    “When I was a child here, we tended to roll up our sidewalks after [tourist] season and after dark. Now that’s not the case. Certainly we’re not New York City … but we’re not that sleepy little tourist town anymore,” said Rude, chairman of the Broward A1A Scenic Highway corridor management entity.

    Indeed. The Broward A1A has come to be a thriving part of South Florida, with beachfront parks and cafes, bike paths along the bustling Hollywood Broadwalk and people literally dancing in the streets in Lauderdale-By-The-Sea.

    That’s not to say the place is a concrete jungle.

     

    Paddle boarders head out on the Atlantic Ocean just yards from Broward County A1A Scenic Highway in Fort Lauderdale.

    Paddle boarders head out on the Atlantic Ocean just yards from Broward County A1A Scenic Highway in Fort Lauderdale.

    Peter W. Cross for VISIT FLORIDA

    Travelers along the Broward County A1A Scenic Highway can see the Hillsboro Lighthouse at Hillsboro Inlet Park in Pompano Beach.

    Travelers along the Broward County A1A Scenic Highway can see the Hillsboro Lighthouse at Hillsboro Inlet Park in Pompano Beach.

    Peter W. Cross for VISIT FLORIDA

     

    “It’s a highly urbanized area, but yet the same time there’s little visages of green and beauty that are tucked in like hidden gems all along the corridor. It’s steep in history and old tradition,” Rude said.

    For starters, there’s the breathtaking Atlantic Ocean view just to the east of the highway. In Lauderdale-By-The-Sea, a series of portals usher visitors to the recreational spots, with fishing piers, shuffleboard courts and other inviting amenities.

    Meanwhile in Fort Lauderdale, the picturesque Bonnet House Museum and Gardens allows guests to experience Old Florida in a natural setting.

    The once “sleepy little tourist town” now strikes a balance between natural and manmade attractions.

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