For a city with so much to brag about, one of the most refreshing things about Hollywood is its total lack of pretense. So set your mindset in relaxation mode, and get ready to enjoy your adventure in Hollywood, Florida’s 30 square miles of parks, arts venues, golf courses, beachfront and Broadwalk.
Why Hollywood, Florida Lives Up to its Name
Cinema Paradiso offers art-house pictures from the U.S. and around the world. The film selection is curated by the presenters of the Fort Lauderdale International Film Festival, so you know it’s going to be good any evening of the week (except Mondays, when the theater is closed).
Or, if you’d rather, take your films al fresco. On Friday evenings, the Young Circle Arts Park hosts outdoor screenings of fan-favorite movies starting at 8:00 p.m.
While you’re in the area, you might even see some silver-screen magic in the making. The varied architecture of this film-friendly city makes it a favorite shooting location for both major and indie motion pictures.
Dining Options that Make Your Mouth Water
In Hollywood, upscale resorts like Margaritaville Hollywood Beach Resort share sidewalk space and patrons with unrepentant dives, like Le Tub. This favorite among tourists and locals alike is an old gas station location turned into a bar. In addition to its jungle-like landscaping and bathtub-based decor, this spot is known for its live-and-let-live atmosphere and mouth-stretching burgers.
That’s just one example of a general theme. In south Hollywood, you can grab cheap drinks on the sand at The Tiki and then head practically right next door to the ritzy Diplomat Hotel and Resort’s MonkiTail for high-class Japanese dining and a night of butchering your favorite tunes in their secret karaoke bar.
The Best Places to Golf
One thing Hollywood, Florida offers in spades is golf options. There are about a dozen public courses within easy driving (get it) distance. A fan favorite is the immaculate Hollywood Beach Golf Resort. Not to be outdone, Eco Golf Club, a public course, offers a par-32 nine-hole setup with beautiful landscaping that hosts a bevy of native bird species.
Orangebrook Golf and Country Club offers tee-times on its 18 holes for non-members, as well as a well-manicured, challenging disc golf course for those who prefer to sling rather than swing.
What to Do on the Weekend
The fun starts early on Saturdays and Sundays in Hollywood. Yellow Green Farmer’s Market opens from 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m., offering freshly caught seafood, local produce, live music and goods from local artisans. Prepare to stuff yourself on fresh ceviche or Bahamian conch, then dance it off to one of many musical acts playing there on any given weekend.
For the more active set, exercise like a local and hit the 2.2-mile Hollywood Beach Broadwalk with your board, bike or running shoes. The wide paved path offers plenty of friendly space to sweat it out right next to one of the most beautiful stretches of beach in South Florida. Stop and enjoy some people-watching, a boardwalk snack, some shopping or just the ocean views. Though the Broadwalk is a local treasure that gets busy on weekends and evenings, it never feels crowded because, well, it’s pretty broad. There’s room for everyone with space to spare.
Why Hollywood Beach is a Must
No tour of Hollywood would be complete without a mention of Hollywood Beach. The city of Hollywood takes incredible care of their beachfront, making it one of the area’s Blue Wave-certified beaches, as evidenced by the increase in sea turtle nesting activity in recent years and the number of families who stake out a spot for the day. There’s plenty of space for kids to play, as well as giant chess and watersports to excite any adult’s inner child.
This wide, sandy expanse with gentle waves consistently ranks among the top beaches on lists from travel experts. Plan to spend the day, because we know you won’t want to leave once you get there.
Where to Rest and Recharge
If you feel the need to unwind for a while, Hollywood has you covered. Three of the top-rated spas in Greater Fort Lauderdale are right here.
For a massage that’s literally sent from above, try Massage from Heaven, located on A1A within walking distance several top resorts (and Billy’s Stone Crab, which we’ll get to later). Massage from Heaven offers Moroccan-style massage services, as well as more traditional Swedish, deep-tissue and facial services.
Ever wonder what it’s like to be a margarita? Well, wonder no longer. Margaritaville’s St. Somewhere Spa, as part of its full slate of fantastic services, offers Buffett-themed treats such as the Lost Shaker of Salt Scrub and the Blue Agave Margarita facial. We’re not the only one who thinks these are chart-toppers. U.S. News & World Report named St. Somewhere one of their 30 Most Relaxing Spa Getaways.
Do your spa day like an international jet-setter at The Spa at The Diplomat. One of Hollywood’s most exclusive resorts, The Diplomat spares no expense on its spa amenities. Start your experience in the relaxation room, complete with soothing rain wall and finish by breathing in good health in the spa’s eucalyptus steam room and sauna. Named #3 on TripAdvisor’s list of spas in the area, The Spa at The Diplomat delivers on their promise to nourish mind, spirit and body (and face and nails, too).
Arts and Culture that Feed Your Creative Spirit
Any art lover can easily make a solid week out of Hollywood’s arts offerings. In addition to Young Circle Arts Park, which hosts concerts, art exhibitions, food truck festivals, and films, the Hollywood Community Redevelopment Authority commissioned a bold mural exhibition, the Downtown Hollywood Mural Project, featuring dozens of murals from local and international artists.
While you’re in the downtown area, keep your ears open because you’re in the heart of the area’s live music scene. Boasting enough music per square foot to put Nashville to shame, on any given evening in any given downtown restaurant or bar, you’re likely to find local musicians who’ll find their way into your Spotify playlists before you make it home.
One special hidden gem in the area is the Arts and Culture Center of Hollywood. The building itself is a work of art, providing a beautiful gallery atmosphere to take in artwork from names you know -- and new ones you probably should.
Once you’re inspired, try your hand at bringing something beautiful into the world at Hollywood Hot Glass. This glass-blowing studio situated right in Young Circle features works from master glass-blowers -- and a chance to take a hands-on class where you’ll create your own blown-glass artwork. Check the schedule to book your glass-blowing debut any Monday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday or Saturday.
Seminole Hard Rock is the Ultimate Hotspot
One of the newest additions to the Hollywood skyline graces one of its long-time draws. The Seminole Hard Rock Hotel and Casino is nearing completion of its one-of-a-kind guitar-shaped hotel tower. Every room features unbeatable views of Broward County – from the beach in the east to the ‘glades in the west.
Downstairs, the scene is even more exciting with the area’s largest selection of table games and slots, stellar dining and a world-class acoustically designed performance venue featuring the best of the best performers.
Things to Do in Nature
Lose yourself among West Lake Park’s more than 1,500 acres of coastal mangrove wetlands. This is one of the largest urban parks in the area – large enough to make you feel miles from civilization.
The Anne Kolb Nature Center nestled within the park gives visitors an opportunity to bike, paddle or boat in unspoiled nature that serves as home to many endangered and protected species. The exhibit hall allows kids and curious adults a chance to see inside a simulated underwater mangrove environment in its 3,500-gallon aquarium and hands-on EcoRoom. Once you’re there, you’ll forget you’re only minutes away from the bustle of the city.
Accommodations with a View
If you’re on your way to or from somewhere else, Hollywood offers some of the most convenient places to stay in relation to Port Everglades and Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport (FLL). The city’s also an easy drive to destinations in Miami-Dade county if your travels take you south. But what you gain in convenience you don’t have to lose in luxury. Hollywood is home to some of the area’s top-rated resorts, including some we’ve already mentioned here.
For those who are looking for modern design and chic surroundings, The Diplomat Beach Resort & Spa or Costa Hollywood Beach Resort deliver. If you’re looking for surroundings and decor that put your mind on island time, look no further than Margaritaville Hollywood Beach Resort or Hyde Resorts and Residences. These resorts put you in the middle of the beachside action with shopping and dining options in easy reach, right along A1A.
So when’s your trip? Come to relax and unwind and leave with an appreciation for nature and culture. Hollywood, Florida is waiting.