Hollywood is a paradisiacal Florida town with a unique history. This stretch of land along the Atlantic coastline north of Miami and south of Fort Lauderdale was pine forest and tomato farms until it developed in the early 1920s. Californian Joseph Wesley Young laid out the town similar to its west coast counterpart, and it was incorporated shortly after in 1925. However, it was decades until Hollywood became the celebrated resort town it is today.
Hollywood, Florida, saw a boom in the 1960s and 70s, and that growth never slowed. Downtown Hollywood is now a thriving center of shopping, dining, nightlife, and family fun, so much so that it was named Fodor’s Best Beach for Families.
This guide to downtown Hollywood, Florida offers everything you need to know before and during your visit.
Historic Downtown Hollywood
Downtown Hollywood is known for its charming, vintage feel. One-of-a-kind boutiques, art galleries, shops, and acclaimed restaurants line the streets. The downtown district is so charming it is now on the National Register of Historic Places. All the excitement is only steps from the white sand beach and turquoise waters.
There are several notable sites and activities everyone should experience when exploring downtown Hollywood on foot.
The Art and Culture Center of Hollywood
The Art and Culture Center of Hollywood offers insight into the city’s historic and modern creativity. The exhibitions and performances at the center are constantly changing. Check the schedule before your visit to see what’s happening while you’re in Hollywood.
Historic Downtown Hollywood Walking Tour
The self-guided Historic Downtown Walking Tour is free and provided via the Hollywood Historical Society. This tour takes visitors to 50 historic locations throughout the city. Take the walking tour on your first day in Hollywood and you’ll have a much better understanding of the city’s rich history and culture throughout your stay.
Downtown Hollywood Mural Project
Downtown Hollywood has always been beautiful, but the mural project makes it even more lively. There are currently more than 12 murals throughout the city. Watch a skilled artist create a mural while attending an ArtWalk on the third Saturday of every month.
ArtsPark at Young Circle
Hollywood, Florida takes art and culture seriously, and one of the best places to experience it is at the ArtsPark at Young Circle. The park is named after Hollywood’s founder Joseph Wesley Young and spans 10 acres in the center of the city. There’s a 2,500-seat amphitheater, playground, splash pad, and a Visual Arts Pavilion where community events like glass blowing and martial arts classes occur.
The Hollywood Beach Broadwalk
The Hollywood Oceanfront Broadwalk (you read that correctly) stretches 2.2 miles along the coast of the Atlantic Ocean. The beach boardwalk is open to walkers, bikers, and joggers who enjoy exploring the city and beach on foot. Award-winning restaurants, ice cream shops, and an organic farmers market line the boardwalk. There’s arguably no better place in the city to enjoy a meal outdoors.
The Anne Kolb Nature Center
The Anne Kolb Nature Center is an awe-inspiring stretch of mangrove wetland between Hollywood and Dania Beach. The 1,501-acre park opened in 1996 and is the largest park in Broward County. The park is bustling with wildlife and is a popular spot for walking, biking, fishing, picnicking, wetland boat tours, and more.
Getting Around Hollywood
Getting to and from your destination in Hollywood is easier than most other beach cities. Park your vehicle and use the Sun Shuttle to hop from one location in the city to another. The Sun Shuttle is an electric mode of public transportation that services the areas of Hollywood Beach, Hollywood Boulevard, City Hall Circle, and more.
Wave the Sun Shuttle down when you see it cruise by or log onto the Ride Circuit app to request a pick-up. Several designated stops are throughout the city. Flag down rides are free, and app-requested rides are just $1. The Sun Shuttle is an environmentally-friendly and affordable way to travel throughout the heart of Hollywood. Each vehicle can accommodate up to four people at a time.
Where to Stay
Hollywood, Florida offers countless accommodation options from quaint bed and breakfasts to the massive Margaritaville Hollywood Beach Resort and the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel and Casino.
Beachwalk Elite Resort
This modern high rise is the perfect place for someone looking for a luxurious stay during their holiday. While Beachwalk Elite Resort is located on the intercoastal waterway, its only a 3-minute walk to Hallandale City Beach.
The Tides Resort
The Tides Resort is a great place to stay in Florida’s Hollywood if you’re after spacious condos with incredible views. This beachfront property is exactly what you need to get beachfront access, full-size appliances, and incredible outdoor pools to lounge around.
Costa Hollywood Beach Resort
The Costa Hollywood Beach Resort is a luxurious yet more modest option for visitors who want a resort setting that’s not all-encompassing. A stay at the Costa Hollywood Beach Resort also encourages visitors to get out and explore downtown Hollywood Florida.
It’s easy to spend your entire South Florida getaway in the city of Hollywood. However, those looking for even more adventure will find it in nearby cities and beach towns. Hollywood is a short drive from the glitz and glamor of Miami Beach and more laid-back settings like Hallandale Beach and Pompano Beach.
Adventures in the Everglades and waterway excursions are just a few activities visitors can enjoy away from the beach and downtown Hollywood. Dozens of renowned golf courses are also a short drive away.
Getting To and From Hollywood
Hollywood, Florida is easily accessible via the Fort Lauderdale Hollywood International Airport and Miami International Airport. It is along the scenic State Road A1A.
Hollywood is a must-visit Florida beach destination that offers something for every type of traveler. The historic downtown area takes visitors back through time while the lavish resorts lining the sand transport them directly to relaxation and fun in the sun. The city and its residents welcome you to experience the magic of downtown Hollywood, Florida.