If Los Angeles is the entertainment capital of the world, then Hollywood is its heart and Hollywood Boulevard is the main artery pumping life into it.
Millions roam the area annually to witness cultural landmarks, museums and other attractions showcasing the area’s rich film and entertainment heritage, resulting in congested streets and sidewalks.
But what if, for one day, the roads were closed off to vehicles, making them accessible only by foot and human-powered transportation like bikes, skateboards and scooters?
You’d end up with CicLAvia – Meet the Hollywoods.
CicLAvia is an LA-based nonprofit that advocates for vibrant public spaces, active transportation and good health through car-free streets and hosts events that turn stretches of road across Los Angeles County into public recreational spaces void of motorized vehicles.
On Aug. 18, CicLAvia took over Hollywood, from Santa Monica and San Vincente boulevards in the west to Hollywood Boulevard and Vermont Avenue in the east, closing off 6.5 miles of some of LA’s most iconic streets.
This unique way to explore California’s largest city is family friendly and attracts crowds of all types, from locals to out-of-towners, serious and casual cyclists, even joggers looking to take advantage of the open spaces. And it’s free.
CicLAvia is not a race and visitors are free to start and end wherever they like. Bike, board or walk stretches of road while exploring the scenery between designated “dismount zones,” where foot traffic is greeted with vendor booths, games, food, drinks and more.
The most popular stretch, unsurprisingly, was Hollywood Boulevard, between La Brea and Highland avenues, which contains the TCL Chinese Theatre, the El Capitan Theatre, Madame Tussauds Hollywood and, of course, a good portion of the Hollywood Walk of Fame.
The Hollywood-and-Highland area hosts more than 70 retailers and 25 dining options that, without any car traffic, were extremely easy to access and navigate.
Bike and scooter rentals are plentiful throughout the event, so there’s no need to bring your own. Bike taxis are even available for those looking to explore in comfort and style and bike mechanics are stationed at every mandatory-dismount area should mechanical problems arise.
While the streets are open and congestion-free due to the absence of vehicles, finding parking so you can get there can be a hassle. Paid parking lots can be found in the surrounding areas but we recommend parking at a nearby neighborhood and riding to the event. It’s easier and you can get some extra exercise in while you’re at it!
CicLAvia is what you make of it. You check in and check out inside an hour or spend the whole day there (it typically lasts from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.). It’s urban sightseeing done in a manner that’s not so common nowadays – slow, free of hurry and worry, and out in the open. ￼