in , February 15th, 2021

Want to learn how to drive Stick Shift? Click here to find an instructor near you.

Learning to drive a stick-shift car takes time, practice, and parking lots. Finding a good parking lot to practice your skills in Hollywood Florida can make all the difference in speeding up the learning curve. Taking manual driving lessons is a great start. Follow that up with practice. Let's take a look at some ideal places to learn how to drive stick shift in Hollywood FL.

The Regal Oakwood at 2800 Oakwood Blvd, Hollywood, FL 33020

Located in southern Broward County, Fl, the Regal Oakwood Cineplex, at 2800 Oakwood Blvd just off I-95 in the Oakwood Plaza, has ample room to learn how to do some manual transmission driving in Hollywood FL.

The theater is currently not operating due to the COVID-19 pandemic, making this place ideal for practicing stick shift any time of day.

Tips for Driving Stick Here

  1. The parking lot here wraps around the building, offering a great place to get up into second gear, and possibly third gear.
  2. The moderately-sized lot makes an excellent loop for practicing shifting between gears. The size of the lot and the fact that it has a loop around the building makes it a good driving option for learning to start out in first gear.
  3. Practice this from a stopped position and work on gentle accelerator pedal pressure with your right foot while lightly and gently releasing the clutch pedal with your left foot. Keep this up until you can start and stop without jerking or stalling the engine.
  4. There should be plenty of room to practice starting and stopping in a straight line, then continuing around the loop in first and second gears. Driving your car around the circle will also help you get accustomed to the stick handle and where the gears are located.

The Casino @ Dania Beach at 301 E Dania Beach Blvd, Dania Beach, FL 33004

Located in Dania Beach, FL, in southern Broward County, FL, The Casino @ Dania Beach at 301 E Dania Beach Blvd has a huge parking lot that can make a fantastic place to learn how to drive stick shift . Located just a few blocks from the Intracoastal waterway and Hollywood Beach Boardwalk, the lot stretches for two blocks and tends to be pretty empty during the mornings through the afternoon weekdays. As it is open 24 hours, it gets pretty crowded during the evenings, though weekend mornings may work. It's a good option for a long stick shift drive in Hollywood, FL.

Tips for Driving Stick Here

  1. Next to the casino will generally be the busiest section, so focus your attention on the north end. There is plenty of room to practice shifting from first to second gear and back down to first.
  2. You can also practice parking and feathering the clutch while in reverse.
  3. Another option is to drive around the edge of the lot, which will allow you to get up into a higher gear like second or third gear for a moment before downshifting and braking before the corners.
  4. Practice starting and stopping along the east side from the south end heading north. It's a straight two-block section that you can practice the basics like learning the proper amount of pressure to put on the accelerator while slowly releasing the clutch.

Elim Romanian Church of God at 1811 Arthur St, Hollywood, FL 33020

​Located on the north end of Hollywood, Fl, in southern Broward County, FL at 1811 Arthur Street, the parking lot at the Elim Romanian Church of God is just off N Federal Hwy just past the Hollywood Beach Golf Club and a few blocks in from the Intracoastal waterway near the heart of the city.

The church is open for worship from 8:00 am- 9:30 pm on Tuesdays, Thursdays, Fridays, and from 8:00 am - 12:00 pm and 6:00 pm to 8:00 pm on Sundays. The church is closed completely on Wednesdays, Saturdays, and Mondays. 

Tips for Driving Stick Shift Here

  1. The small parking lot is a standard oval shape. With its small size, the lot is great for practicing the basics.
  2. The parking lot has two rows separated by a strip of lawn with a palm tree or two. Practice the basics here. Keep your speeds low, which you can do by practicing a gentle release of the clutch and some pressure on the accelerator, but not too much. If the engine revs up when the clutch is depressed, you are pressing too hard on the accelerator with your right foot.
  3. Practice driving around the entire parking lot and make a note of the slightly raised southeast corner where parishioners can load/unload for services.
  4. Drive through this area as if you expect someone to dart out in front of you. Since you are going slowly, keep your foot above the brake pedal in anticipation of a sudden stop. It's essential for you as the driver to keep your surroundings in mind as you drive through any parking lot. Work on clutch control and familiarize yourself with the shifter pattern.

Dania Beach Marine Flea Market at 831 N Federal Hwy, Hallandale Beach, FL 33009

Found just off Pembroke Road at 831 N Federal Highway in Hallandale Beach, FL, in southern Broward County, Fl, Dania Beach Marine Flea Market has a large parking lot to learn how to drive a stick shift. Weekdays are ideal for this large lot or when the nearby Big Easy Casino gets busy. There is occasional live music in the parking lot, though live events are currently on hold in most of the city. The flea market is currently closed, though it could reopen again in the future. The large area used for the market stands empty, giving you several options to practice your stick shift skills. There is a sports bar and restaurant on the southeast end of the lot that draws a lunch crowd during the week.

Tips for Driving Stick Shift Here

  1. The parking lot stretches over two blocks and offers the ability to drive a loop around the edge of the entire lot. There are multiple stop signs here to help you practice starting and stopping, turning from a stop, and using your gears to help slow your vehicle down. Driving the loop should let you get into second or third gear in a few sections before you'll need to slow down for the next turn.
  2. Practice downshifting to help slow you down. Engage the clutch and shift from third to second while your foot is off the gas. Let out on the clutch slowly, and you will feel the lower gear rev the engine while immediately slowing you down. You can then apply the brake pedal if needed and downshift again using the same technique into first gear.
  3. As you slow to a stop, either take the car out of gear or engage the clutch and apply the brake. Slowly let out on the clutch pedal and depress the accelerator slightly until you feel the transmission engage and start moving the car forward. Keep letting out the clutch and press more firmly on the gas pedal. Keep this up around the loop until you can make consecutive loops without stalling.
  4. There are several areas here where you can park as well. Park by slowing down and turning into the stall slowly.

Publix Parking Garage at 1740 Polk St, Hollywood, FL 33020

Located in the city of Hollywood Fl, right in the middle of the central business district and downtown, at 1740 Polk St, parking garage caters to the attached Publix Super Market. Residents in this part of the city are big fans of the amenities at this specific Publix. Almost straight across the street is Young Circle Park. There is also a hotel that shares parking with Publix. Here you will find three stories of parking lot to test your stick shift skills in. The store hours are 7 am to 10 pm M - F and does get busy in the late morning through evening, particularly on the weekends. Go early or late to get the parking garage, mostly to yourself.

Tips for Driving Stick Shift Here

  1. Parking garages are perfect for practicing hill starts and stops. There aren't many hills around Hollywood Florida, just beaches. Hill starts can be difficult, but once you understand the basics, you can do it. Start by pulling up the parking brake. Once you park, the parking brake will hold the car in place once you engage the clutch pedal. Press the accelerator with a bit more pressure than you would when starting in a flat area. Slowly let out on the clutch pedal, feeling for the gear to engage. Once it starts engaging, release the parking brake with your right hand while holding the steering wheel with the left, and slowly pull forward. Practice this until you can comfortably start and stop on inclines.
  2. At this point, begin to drive through the entire garage in a loop, going up and down the inclines. Driving up and down these inclines will build your confidence pretty quickly, just don't take a parking spot from one of the residents. So keep at it, and you'll master driving the stick shift vehicle in no time.

There are several other parking garages in the area, with a large portion of them along Hollywood Beach. Some of the hotel parking garages along the beach may charge a small fee for a few hours of practice time. It seems worth the cost if it is offseason and the lots are empty. There is also the view of the Atlantic ocean to see once you get to the top. The Margaritaville Resort Parking Garage is a good candidate for a few hours of driving out by the beach.

Have Fun!

​Learning to drive a manual transmission vehicle in south Florida is definitely doable. With the number of parking lots in Hollywood Beach, you shouldn't have a problem finding a great place to practice stick shift in Hollywood FL. Above everything else, have fun!

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