Having explored the captivating city of Hollywood, Florida firsthand, I can attest that it possesses its own unique charm, distinct from its more renowned namesake in California. Nestled between Miami and Fort Lauderdale, Hollywood, Florida boasts a stunning beach that makes it an ideal destination for those seeking sun-soaked days on the sand.
As I ventured onto the beach, I was enchanted by the mesmerizing boardwalk area that seemed to transport me to another era. Its nostalgic allure was complemented by a plethora of beachfront dining establishments and accommodations, offering a perfect blend of relaxation and indulgence amidst the sun and surf. Hollywood’s beach was undeniably a focal point of its appeal.
However, the allure of Hollywood did not end with its beautiful beach. As I ventured further into the city, I discovered an array of captivating galleries, picturesque parks, and charming cinemas. The city’s commitment to culture was evident through its diverse art scene, showcased in public art installations and the monthly ArtWalk. Immerse yourself in the vibrant artistic events, and you will find yourself surrounded by a wealth of inspiration and creativity.
Now, let’s embark on a journey to explore the best experiences Hollywood, Florida has to offer. From its breathtaking beach to its flourishing cultural scene, there is something for everyone in this captivating city. Here are the best things to explore in Hollywood, Florida.
1. Art and Culture Center of Hollywood
During my visit to Hollywood, Florida, I had the pleasure of exploring the renowned Art and Culture Center. As a lover of art and all things cultural, this attraction was an absolute must-visit, offering an immersive experience showcasing a vast range of artistic exhibits.
Stepping into the center, I found myself surrounded by a multitude of galleries, each housing captivating and thought-provoking displays. These galleries featured rotating exhibitions, ensuring that there was always something new and exciting to discover. From contemporary masterpieces to innovative installations, the Art and Culture Center showcased a diverse collection that catered to various artistic tastes.
Beyond the visual arts, the center also embraced the performing arts. I was delighted to witness stage performances, including captivating shows, mesmerizing dance recitals, and enchanting concerts. The dynamic blend of artistic expressions brought the space to life, creating a vibrant and engaging atmosphere. It was a testament to the center’s commitment to providing a well-rounded cultural experience.
To make the most of my visit, I made sure to check the center’s calendar to see what events were scheduled during my stay in town. This allowed me to plan my visit strategically and ensure that I didn’t miss out on any captivating performances or special exhibitions. The center’s ever-changing program guaranteed that there was always something new and exciting to experience.
2. Anniversary Park
I also made sure to visit the enchanting Anniversary Park, renowned for its breathtaking landscaping that captured the essence of natural beauty. As I strolled through the park, I was immediately captivated by the stunning foliage that graced its surroundings. Towering oak and magnolia trees provided a refreshing canopy of shade, offering respite from the Florida heat. The sight of these majestic trees, with their lush green leaves, added a touch of tranquility to the park’s atmosphere. Additionally, the park boasted spectacular bamboo groves and vibrant flower gardens, creating a tapestry of colors and textures that delighted the senses.
Anniversary Park not only showcased the remarkable flora but also catered to visitors of all ages. I observed play areas thoughtfully designed for children of different ages, ensuring that everyone could engage in outdoor activities and enjoy the park’s amenities. The laughter and excitement emanating from these areas added a lively energy to the serene surroundings.
3. Cinema Paradiso
As I entered the doors of Cinema Paradiso, I was greeted by an ambiance that exuded an unmistakable charm. The theater’s intimate setting, with a capacity of just 82 spectators, created an immersive and cozy atmosphere. It felt as though I had stepped into a secret sanctuary dedicated to the love of cinema.
What truly set Cinema Paradiso apart was its curated selection of unusual and low-budget films. From thought-provoking dramas to experimental works of art, the cinema showcased a range of films that often fell outside the mainstream. It was a refreshing departure from the typical blockbuster fare, offering a chance to discover hidden gems and engage with unique storytelling.
To make the most of my visit, I made sure to check the local listings and film schedules. This allowed me to plan my cinema experience accordingly and ensure that I didn’t miss any intriguing screenings during my time in town. The constantly changing lineup ensured that each visit to Cinema Paradiso was a distinct and memorable cinematic journey.
4. ArtsPark at Young Circle
As we entered the ArtsPark at Young Curcke, we were immediately drawn to the lively atmosphere filled with a myriad of events and entertainment. Musical performances filled the air, captivating audiences with their melodic tunes. The park’s fountains added an element of whimsy, delighting children as they splashed and played amidst the refreshing water.
One of the highlights of ArtsPark was its extensive collection of public art pieces. These captivating installations dotted the park, showcasing the creativity and talent of local artists. We found ourselves captivated by the variety of sculptures, murals, and interactive art displays that brought the park to life.
Additionally, the park boasted breathtaking Florida landscaping, with meticulously manicured green spaces that invited leisurely strolls and picnics. The tranquil surroundings and vibrant flora provided a serene backdrop for relaxation and quality family time.
5. Sal Oliveri Veterans Park
Sal Oliveri Veterans Park, a haven for families seeking outdoor enjoyment. The park’s abundance of playground areas made it an ideal destination for children to unleash their energy and have fun.
As I explored the park, I couldn’t help but notice the well-designed walking paths that meandered through the splendid Florida scenery. These paths allowed visitors to immerse themselves in the natural beauty of the surroundings, taking in the sights and sounds of the park’s serene atmosphere.
However, the main attraction of Sal Oliveri Veterans Park was the mesmerizing water feature located at its center. A majestic palm tree stood tall, serving as the focal point of the park. What made this water feature truly special was the surprise it held. A button awaited eager visitors, inviting them to press it for a refreshing surprise. With a touch of anticipation, visitors could experience a cooling shower, providing relief from the scorching heat of Hollywood. It was a delightful and unexpected treat that added an element of excitement to the park.
Sal Oliveri Veterans Park not only offered recreational opportunities but also provided an enchanting escape from the hustle and bustle of everyday life. It was a place where families could come together, children could play to their hearts’ content, and everyone could appreciate the natural beauty that surrounded them. The park’s unique water feature added an element of surprise and fun, making it a memorable destination for visitors of all ages.
6. Downtown Hollywood Mural Project
Downtown Hollywood Mural Project—an absolute treat for art enthusiasts and those who appreciate public art. As I ventured through the downtown area, I was mesmerized by the stunning display of over a dozen colorful murals adorning the walls of public spaces. Each mural told a unique story, showcasing the talent and creativity of the artists involved. The streets came alive with bursts of color and intricate details, transforming ordinary walls into captivating works of art.
One of the most exciting aspects of the Mural Project was the opportunity to witness local artists in action during the ArtWalk. This monthly event, held on the third Saturday of each month, allowed visitors to observe the creation of fresh pieces in a live setting. It was a truly immersive experience, as I watched the artists bring their visions to life right before my eyes. The atmosphere was electric, filled with creativity and a sense of community.
The Downtown Hollywood Mural Project not only beautified the city’s landscape but also served as a platform to showcase the immense talent and diversity of the local artistic community. Each mural spoke volumes, evoking emotions and sparking conversations. It was an extraordinary celebration of art, culture, and the power of public spaces.
7. Hollywood Hot Glass
As part of my visit to Hollywood, I was pleasantly surprised to discover the city’s rich and longstanding tradition of glass blowing—a centuries-old craft that thrived within its artistic community.
To witness the magic of glass blowing firsthand, I made my way to the ArtsPark located in downtown Hollywood. Here, live demonstrations provided a captivating glimpse into the intricate process of transforming molten glass into exquisite works of art. Skilled artisans skillfully manipulated the glowing material, skillfully shaping sculptures, bottles, and bowls right before my eyes. It was a mesmerizing display of craftsmanship and creativity that left me in awe.
In addition to the captivating demonstrations, I discovered the Hollywood Hot Glass Studio—a haven for glass enthusiasts and those seeking to bring home a unique souvenir. Adjacent to the studio, a charming gallery showcased a stunning collection of hand-blown glass pieces. Each artwork was a testament to the skill and vision of the local artisans, showcasing a diverse range of styles and techniques.
Being captivated by the art form, I couldn’t resist the temptation to purchase a piece of hand-blown glass as a memento of my trip. The gallery offered a selection of gorgeous creations, each with its own unique charm and beauty. It was a delight to support the local artists and take home a tangible piece of Hollywood’s glass blowing heritage.
For those interested in delving deeper into the world of glass blowing, the Hollywood Hot Glass Studio also offered the opportunity to participate in glass blowing classes. By booking in advance, enthusiasts could engage in a hands-on experience, learning the techniques and intricacies of this remarkable craft from experienced instructors. It was a chance to gain firsthand knowledge and create personal glass masterpieces under expert guidance.
8. Hollywood Beach
Hollywood Beach—the shining gem of the city nestled between Fort Lauderdale and Miami. Stepping onto the beach, I was greeted by a breathtaking sight. The pristine sand stretched out before me, inviting me to sink my toes into its softness. The azure waters shimmered under the golden sun, creating a mesmerizing backdrop. It was a paradise for beach lovers, a place where relaxation and adventure merged seamlessly.
I eagerly embraced the multitude of water sports available, immersing myself in the excitement of the ocean. From thrilling jet skiing to exhilarating paddleboarding, there was something for every water enthusiast. The waves offered endless possibilities for fun and excitement.
For those seeking a more tranquil experience, Hollywood Beach was a sanctuary of serenity. I found my spot on the beach, basking in the warm Florida sun, while losing myself in the pages of a captivating book. The rhythmic sound of crashing waves provided the perfect soundtrack for my blissful relaxation.
Beyond the captivating beach, Hollywood Beach boasted an array of nearby attractions to explore. Quaint cafes, inviting restaurants, and charming shops lined the streets, offering a delightful mix of flavors and unique finds. From savoring delectable cuisine to indulging in retail therapy, there was never a dull moment. Each stroll revealed a new adventure waiting to be discovered.
9. Hollywood Broadwalk
The renowned Hollywood Broadwalk—a beach boardwalk that has garnered acclaim as one of the finest in the entire United States. It came as no surprise that this attraction had received prestigious awards, solidifying its status as a must-visit destination in the city.
Eager to experience its allure firsthand, I made sure not to miss the opportunity to stroll along the Hollywood Broadwalk. As I embarked on my journey, I was immediately captivated by its charm and beauty. Stretching over 2 miles, the boardwalk provided a picturesque pathway parallel to the beach, offering breathtaking views of the sparkling water.
Walking along the Hollywood Broadwalk was an enchanting experience. The ambiance was infused with an old-world charm that transported me to a bygone era of seaside living. Quaint seaside cafes dotted the boardwalk, enticing visitors with their delectable offerings and providing a perfect spot to pause, relax, and soak in the coastal atmosphere. The sound of crashing waves, the salty breeze, and the joyous laughter of beachgoers created a delightful symphony that accompanied my every step.
As I continued my stroll, I couldn’t help but admire the array of activities available along the boardwalk. Rental shops offered equipment for jet skiing and various water sports, inviting adventurers to embark on thrilling escapades on the glistening waves. The Hollywood Broadwalk catered to every beach lover’s desires, promising excitement and fun at every turn.
The Hollywood Broadwalk truly lived up to its well-deserved reputation. It seamlessly combined natural beauty, captivating views, and a touch of nostalgia, creating an atmosphere that was both enchanting and invigorating. Its accolades were well-deserved, as it proved to be a testament to Hollywood’s vibrant seaside culture and a cherished gem in the city’s array of attractions.
10. Hollywood Bike Shack
During my visit to Hollywood Beach, I discovered that one of the most delightful ways to soak in the picturesque scenery was to embark on a cycling adventure.
With that in mind, I made my way to the Hollywood Bike Shack—a haven for bike enthusiasts. The moment I arrived, I was greeted by a wide selection of bicycles, ranging from single bikes to three-wheelers and even surrey bikes.
Eager to embark on my cycling escapade, I opted for a surrey bike. Its spacious design allowed up to six passengers to comfortably enjoy the ride, making it an ideal choice for families or groups of friends. As we set off on our journey, the wind gently caressed our faces, adding a refreshing touch to the warm Florida air.
Pedaling along the scenic routes of Hollywood Beach was an absolute delight. The stunning coastal vistas unfolded before our eyes, showcasing the breathtaking beauty of the surroundings. We meandered along the coastline, capturing glimpses of the azure waters and the sun-drenched shoreline. The rhythmic sound of waves crashing against the shore provided a soothing soundtrack to our cycling adventure.
After an exhilarating afternoon of exploration, we decided to take advantage of the Hollywood Bike Shack’s additional offerings. We rented beach chairs and cabanas, creating a cozy haven where we could unwind and recharge. Nestled on the sandy beach, we reveled in the tranquil ambiance, basking in the warmth of the sun and savoring the idyllic beachfront atmosphere.
11. Waterfront Restaurants
One of the aspects that truly enchanted me was the proximity of the beach, which brought with it an abundance of waterfront dining options. It was a joy to discover the city’s vast array of restaurants, all offering delightful culinary experiences with a breathtaking view.
Hollywood’s waterfront restaurants catered to every taste and preference, ensuring that no diner would be left disappointed. The diversity of cuisines was astounding, ranging from tantalizing Turkish dishes to flavorful Greek delicacies, and even delectable Argentinean creations. Each restaurant seemed to possess its own unique charm, allowing patrons to embark on a gastronomic journey across the globe.
While exploring Hollywood’s waterfront dining scene, I also had the pleasure of indulging in beloved all-American classics. From mouthwatering burgers to piping-hot pizzas, these establishments served up familiar flavors that never failed to satisfy. It was a comforting experience to savor these timeless favorites against the backdrop of the glistening waters.
One of the highlights of waterfront dining was the ability to enjoy a delightful sweet treat while admiring the serene beauty of the beach. The aroma of freshly churned ice cream enticed me, and I couldn’t resist the temptation to savor its creamy goodness as I gazed out over the tranquil waters. It was the perfect way to conclude a memorable meal and bask in the idyllic atmosphere.
12. Charnow Park
The Charnow Park featured a specially designed climbing wall, catering to the younger visitors. Watching the little ones scale the wall with glee brought a smile to my face and filled the air with laughter and excitement. It was heartwarming to witness their sense of accomplishment as they conquered each new height.
To beat the heat, Charnow Park offered a refreshing splash fountain. The glistening water provided a welcome respite from the rising temperatures. Children giggled and splashed around in the fountain, creating joyful memories that would last a lifetime. It was a joyous sight to behold.
For adults seeking a moment of tranquility, Charnow Park provided leafy pavilions that offered shade and relaxation. As the children played and explored, I found solace in the peaceful surroundings, taking in the serenity of the park. It was the perfect spot to unwind and observe the joyful energy that filled the air.
Charnow Park truly embodied a family-friendly atmosphere. Its thoughtful design and amenities catered to the needs and interests of both children and adults. It was a place where laughter echoed, imaginations ran wild, and cherished moments were created.
13. Water Taxi
I received a valuable piece of advice from the locals: the best way to truly experience Florida is from the captivating vantage point of the water. Intrigued by their recommendation, I eagerly embarked on a water taxi adventure to discover what all the fuss was about.
The opportunity to take a water taxi ride presented itself, allowing me to explore the picturesque waterways that meandered around Hollywood. The convenience was unparalleled, with numerous boarding points along the Florida coast. This meant I could effortlessly hop on and off the water taxi at my leisure, enabling me to explore the surrounding areas at my own pace.
As I embarked on my water taxi journey, a sense of anticipation washed over me. The water gently lapped against the vessel, and a cool breeze whispered through the air, adding to the sense of adventure. I marveled at the stunning coastal views that unfolded before my eyes. The sparkling waters danced in the sunlight, creating a mesmerizing spectacle.
The water taxi navigated through the intricate network of waterways, revealing hidden corners of Hollywood’s beauty. Lush mangroves adorned the shores, showcasing nature’s artistry. Majestic waterfront properties lined the banks, their elegance enhanced by the picturesque backdrop of the water. With each passing moment, I became more captivated by the enchanting scenery.
14. Hollywood Jet Ski
I was determined to make the most of the breathtaking weather and embrace the sun-drenched shores of this coastal gem. I knew there was no better way to experience the exhilaration of the ocean than by venturing out onto the water itself.
With this in mind, I discovered the perfect solution: an unforgettable and thrilling Jet Ski ride across the majestic ocean waves. Hollywood Jet Ski offered the opportunity to rent a personal Jet Ski, allowing me to embark on an exciting aquatic adventure. Even as a novice jet skier, I found comfort in knowing that they provided equipment suitable for all skill levels.
The anticipation mounted as I arrived at Hollywood Jet Ski. The friendly staff warmly greeted me, ready to assist in making my experience unforgettable. I was given a thorough orientation, ensuring that I was familiar with the controls and safety guidelines. Their expertise and dedication to providing a safe and enjoyable experience put me at ease.
As I set out on the Jet Ski, a surge of adrenaline coursed through my veins. The powerful machine propelled me forward, and the cool ocean breeze caressed my face. I felt a surge of liberation as I embraced the freedom of the open water. The waves crashed around me, blending with the invigorating sound of the engine.
Navigating the azure waters of Hollywood, I marveled at the vastness of the ocean. The panoramic views were nothing short of breathtaking, with the vibrant blue hues stretching out as far as the eye could see. I reveled in the thrill of gliding across the water’s surface, as though I had become one with the elements.
15. John Williams Park and Sheridan Oak Forest
During my visit to Hollywood, I had the pleasure of immersing myself in the breathtaking beauty of John Williams Park and Sheridan Oak Forest. As a nature enthusiast, I was eager to explore this serene sanctuary that promised an authentic connection with the great outdoors. To my delight, I discovered that camping was also an option, allowing me to extend my stay and fully embrace the natural wonders that awaited me.
Upon entering the park, I was greeted by a harmonious blend of tranquility and vibrant energy. The well-maintained facilities, including picnic areas and pavilions, invited me to relax and indulge in the simple joys of outdoor dining and gathering with loved ones. The park catered to the needs of visitors, ensuring a comfortable and enjoyable experience.
However, it was the Sheridan Oak Forest that truly stole the show. Nestled within the park, this magnificent woodland offered a mesmerizing walking trail, leading me on an enchanting journey through the diverse flora and fauna of Florida. As I ventured deeper into the forest, I found myself surrounded by majestic oak trees, their sprawling branches providing shelter and shade. The air was perfumed with the earthy scent of nature, and the gentle rustling of leaves created a soothing melody.
What made my exploration of Sheridan Oak Forest even more captivating were the educational signs strategically placed along the trail. These informative displays imparted knowledge about the local ecosystem, allowing me to deepen my understanding of the natural wonders that surrounded me. From identifying native plants to learning about the diverse wildlife inhabiting the area, each sign offered a glimpse into the intricate tapestry of life within the forest.
As I wandered along the trail, I couldn’t help but feel a sense of awe and reverence for the beauty that enveloped me. The sunlight filtered through the lush canopy, casting a warm and gentle glow upon the forest floor. I marveled at the delicate balance of nature, where every plant, every creature, played an integral role in this thriving ecosystem.
Only in Hollywood for one day? Check out Becky’s How to spend 24 hours in Hollywood FL