12 Top Attractions & Things to Do in Hollywood, Florida

Written by Shandley McMurray
Jul 9, 2020

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In recent years, Hollywood has become one of the best places to visit on Florida's east coast. While movie stars don't grace the palm-lined streets of this downtown, you'll find glistening beaches and a vibrant nightlife worthy of any A list celeb. Take that Hollywood, California!

This south Florida gem covers 27 square miles of the Atlantic coast, enticing visitors to while away a day on sand so soft it soothes. When they're not busy sunning themselves, guests are presented with a wide variety of things to do - from walking the gorgeous brick boardwalk to shopping at eclectic boutiques to catching a live show at ArtPark at Young Circle.

No matter what you're hoping to garner from your holiday in this Sunshine State gem, be it a romantic couples' vacation or a thrilling family retreat, you're bound to find it, and so much more. And when you're not sure where to start, check out our list of the top things to do for tourists in Hollywood, Florida.

Note: Some businesses may be temporarily closed due to recent global health and safety issues.

1. Hollywood Beach

Aerial view of Hollywood Beach
Aerial view of Hollywood Beach

Most people come to Hollywood for its phenomenal beach - an oasis of soft, sugar-white sand, turquoise water, and towering palms that wave quietly in the breeze. Add to that the incessantly bright blue sky, and you'll see why so many visitors don't make it past this remarkable attraction.

While you won't find the glitz or glam of its more famous Californian counterpart, this Hollywood beach is a definite crowd pleaser, and it boasts a ton of great opportunities for people-watching. The beach is home to a lengthy paved boardwalk, which attracts visitors of all types (from bikini-clad rollerbladers to well-dressed dog walkers). It's lined by shops, restaurants, and quaint oceanfront cafés.

Set almost directly between the popular Fort Lauderdale (to its north) and Miami beaches (to its south), this lovely spot is a much quieter, more tranquil place to spend a day at the ocean. Its wide, vast expanse makes it easy to find a place to stretch out, throw a frisbee, or practice yoga on the sand.

2. Hollywood Beach Boardwalk

The famous Hollywood Beach boardwalk
The famous Hollywood Beach boardwalk

The immaculate Hollywood Beach Boardwalk stretches nearly 2.5 miles along the town's shore of the same name. A bright blip of bricked walkway, this expansive promenade welcomes exercisers of all sorts. Runners, walkers, stroller pushers, rollerbladers, scooters, and bikers all make their way along this popular thoroughfare.

Remember when we told you about people-watching at Hollywood Beach? The boardwalk's winding stone wall is the perfect place to sit while you partake in this supremely entertaining pastime. If you catch it at the right time of day, you may even be able to rest in the shade of the neighboring palms.

When feeling peckish, you won't have to wander far. A variety of oceanfront restaurants and cafés line this strip, as do stores and bike and water sports rental companies.

3. Anne Kolb Nature Center

Boardwalk at Anne Kolb Nature Center
Boardwalk at Anne Kolb Nature Center

The Anne Kolb Nature Center boasts 1,501 acres of protected coastal mangrove wetlands. Within these wetlands lie an impressive array of native plants and animals, some of which are either threatened or endangered. If you're extra quiet while wandering along the wooden walkways, you may be able to spot some of them. In all, the center offers four main trails to explore: South Trail (2.3 miles), Mud Flat Trail (0.3 miles), Fishing Pier Trail (783 feet), and Lake Trail (0.2 miles).

If you'd prefer to see the area by boat, you're in luck! There are five vast boat trails to adventure through and fish in during the center's guided boat tours. On land, a large exhibit hall is home to a saltwater aquarium and plays host to a variety of traveling nature-themed exhibits by local artists.

Address: 751 Sheridan Street, Hollywood, Florida

Official site: http://www.friendsofannekolbnaturecenter.org/

4. ArtsPark at Young Circle

Aerial view of ArtsPark at Young Circle
Aerial view of ArtsPark at Young Circle

So many wonderful things happen at ArtsPark at Young Circle. From art festivals to open-air concerts, to dance shows to movie nights, there's always something to do in this 10-acre circle. Even better, it's all free!

Named after Hollywood's founder, Joseph Wesley Young, the circle is filled with an array of structures to keep kids and adults entertained. A 2,500-guest amphitheater, playground, walking paths, and a Splash Pad are just a few of the amenities on offer.

The Visual Arts Pavilion is another draw, beckoning guests to come in for a look at an artistic demonstration (i.e. glass blowing) or to attend a class (i.e. martial arts).

Insider's tip: If you're a fan of food, you won't want to miss out on Food Truck Monday. A local fave, this weekly event brings a ton of tasty food to this central spot.

Address: 2600 Hollywood Boulevard, Hollywood, Florida

Official Site: https://www.hollywoodfl.org/65/ArtsPark-at-Young-Circle

5. Seminole Hard Rock Hotel, Hollywood

Seminole Hard Rock Hotel, Hollywood
Seminole Hard Rock Hotel, Hollywood |osseous / photo modified

Once you've settled at the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel, you'll find it difficult to leave. This massive resort has pretty much everything you'd ever need for a fantastic vacation.

Whether you're traveling as a couple looking for romance, or with children who need to be constantly entertained, you'll find everything you need right here! Amenities include a fabulously relaxing spa, entrance to multiple area golf courses, and a long strip (26,000 square feet to be exact) of boutique shops.

The resort also boasts pools aplenty! With over 13.5 acres of pool area, guests can choose between a man-made beach section, tropical lagoon-style pool complete with waterfalls, or a massive water feature (we're talking the size of three football fields) that boasts canoeing, SUPing, paddle boating, and other activities. The hotel also offers a massive waterslide and Jacuzzis.

Being a Hard Rock Hotel, you know there'll be music. You also know that music is guaranteed to be good. Featured acts include the entertainment industry's hottest musicians - from Rod Stewart to Adam Sandler to The Who. The stage is also graced by hilarious comedians (i.e. Jerry Seinfeld), speakers, and giant screens broadcasting sporting events from across the globe.

Don't worry, you don't need to stay at the hotel to enjoy these fun facilities, but you will likely need to book events and rent a cabana in advance.

Address: 1 Seminole Way, Hollywood, Florida

Official site: https://www.seminolehardrockhollywood.com/

6. Topeekeegee Yugnee Park

Southern cattails in the lake at Topeekeegee Yugnee Park
Southern cattails in the lake at Topeekeegee Yugnee Park

Known by locals as TY Park, this lovely urban spot will entertain kids and adults of all ages. Boasting a wide variety of activities (from racquetball to fishing), TY Park is one of the best places to visit in Hollywood. And it's impossible to get bored while you're here.

From Seminole, Topeekeegee Yungee means "meeting or gathering place," which describes the park perfectly. In addition to multiple bike and walking trails lined by large, shade-giving trees, the park's over 138 acres is also home to campgrounds and Castaway, a fun, palatable-sized water park loved by families. Its tennis and volleyball courts, playground, picnic area, and fitness facility beckon people to come together to play.

Prefer to be on the water? No worries, TY Park is also home to a giant swim lagoon and marina. Feel free to splash about to your heart's content or hop on a Swan Boat for a relaxing ride. Oh yeah, there's also a fishing pier and lake, which features a huge fountain. Told you there's no chance of getting bored.

Address: 3300 North Park Road, Hollywood, Florida

7. Yellow Green Farmers Market

Yellow Green Farmers Market
Yellow Green Farmers Market | Yellow Green Farmers Market / photo modified

There's a lot to love about farmers markets. Scores of fresh fruit and veggies are heaped upon tables; the scent of freshly baked bread wafts through the air; bright flowers burst from pots, begging visitors to take them home. Hollywood's uber-popular Yellow Green Farmers Market takes this love to a whole new level.

The largest market of its kind in South Florida, this weekend event is held within a 100,000-square-foot area and features over 200 booths. So large it can at times seem overwhelming, you're guaranteed to find what you're looking for (be it raw honey, purple cauliflower, or kombucha) at this extensive locale.

More good news: Dogs are welcome here, so bring along your favorite four-legged friend. You'll surely find homemade doggy treats.

Insider's tip: An invigorating yoga class is held at the market every Saturday morning at 8:30.

Address: 3080 Sheridan Street, Hollywood, Florida

Official site: http://ygfarmersmarket.com/

8. Holland Park

Tucked away at the end of a street in a residential neighborhood lies the beautiful Holland Park. It's much larger than it looks from its inconspicuous entrance and expands along the shores of the Intracoastal Waterway. Walking along the winding trails and wooden boardwalk, it's easy to forget you're in a city. Climb up to the observation deck for a spectacular view.

Then, take a load off on one of the park's many benches, perfectly poised to offer you the most beautiful water views. Keep your eyes peeled for an iguana. You won't have to wait long to spot one, as the park is teeming with these adorable creatures.

Insider's tip: There are multiple boat launches on-site - perfect venues for dropping your kayak or canoe in the water. They're primed for larger crafts as well if you're hoping to head out further afield.

Address: 801 Johnson Street, Hollywood, Florida

9. Downtown Hollywood Mural Project

Mural in downtown Hollywood, FL
Mural in downtown Hollywood, FL | Phillip Pessar / photo modified

With the brightest of blue skies and shimmering sun, Hollywood didn't need extra brightening. Luckily no one told that to the artists in charge of the Downtown Hollywood Mural Project. A spectacular sight, this unique collection of outdoor murals serves to heighten the city's charm.

From giant whales to robots and the requisite pink flamingos, these incredible curated murals are worthy of every visitor's time. Each one is so fantastic, you'll just have to take photos. So, be sure you have enough storage space on your camera roll.

Spread throughout the downtown core, these murals are organized by the Hollywood Community Redevelopment Agency and created by artists from across town, the country, and the globe. Their goal is to "enhance and enrich the existing cultural fabric of our community." They succeed in doing just that.

10. Anniversary Park

Anniversary Park
Anniversary Park | Phillip Pessar / photo modified

Anniversary Park is set within the heart of Hollywood's historic downtown. A welcome respite from the town's hustle and bustle, this small slice of nature provides big rewards for those looking to unwind. Majestic magnolia and oak trees line the pathways, drooping shade onto those in need of a break from the heat.

A popular place for local families, the park also offers a small, well-shaded playground. Try your hand at a chess on one of the park's numerous games tables or drop onto one of its benches for an enjoyable breath of fresh air. When your bellies start to rumble, great food can be found at restaurants just steps away.

Address: 123 North 20th Avenue, Hollywood, Florida

11. Charnow Park

Charnow Park
Charnow Park | Bob B. Brown / photo modified

What better way to keep kids happy than by setting them loose in an oceanfront playground? Charnow Park is a fantastic beachside venue complete with a rock-climbing structure, sprinklers, pavilions, and picnic tables. Right next to these is a paddleball complex boasting six courts. These were established in the 1930s and have recently been refurbished.

The park lies just north of Hollywood Boulevard and is technically part of the Hollywood Beach Boardwalk. It boasts restrooms and an entertainment pavilion, which often hosts musicians playing everything from live jazz to pop classics.

At the edge of the park lies Florio's Restaurant of Hollywood, an Italian staple with some of the tastiest pizza in town.

Address: 300 Connecticut Street, Hollywood, Florida

12. West Lake Park

Observation tower at West Lake Park
Observation tower at West Lake Park

Mangroves abound in this lovely park, which is best explored by water. Home to about three miles of estuary, West Lake houses several of Florida's most prized creatures including, alligators, iguanas, and herons. The park is connected to the Anne Kolb Nauture Center and boasts a picnic area, tennis courts, and a marina.

Insider's tip: Rent a kayak from the marina to explore the watery pathways through the mangroves. You can also travel along in a canoe or on a paddleboard. The trails are labeled with colors: red, white, and green, to help you keep track of where you're going.

Address: 1200 Sheridan Street, Hollywood, Florida

Where to Stay in Hollywood, Florida for Sightseeing

Luxury Hotels:

  • Margaritaville Hollywood Beach Resort is a luxe option inspired by Jimmy Buffet's song lyrics. It sits right on the beach boardwalk and has direct beach access. Set in a 17-floor building, the resort offers a range of rooms and suites, including options for families. The decor is modern, with bright splashes of color and ocean views from many rooms. Amenities at this destination resort are plentiful. For dining, choose from eight different restaurants. There is also a full-service spa and three swimming pools. If you want to try surfing away from the ocean, check out their FlowRider® Double Surf Machine.
  • Another top luxury choice is Hyde Resort and Residences. Designed by the Brazilian architect Debora Aguiar, this glass-encased property occupies 43 floors right on the beach. Guests can choose from one-, two-, or three-bedroom suites that come with floor-to-ceiling glass doors leading out onto wraparound terraces. Units also come with full kitchens. Amenities include a rooftop swimming pool, hot tub, restaurant, and spa. There are also sun loungers reserved for guests on the beach.
  • The AAA Four Diamond Seminole Hard Rock Hotel is also a good top-end pick. A large property, it features 469 rooms and suites, including options for families traveling with kids. There is a lagoon-style swimming pool, multiple restaurants, a spa, and a workout room on-site. The Hard Rock is also pet friendly.

Mid-Range Hotels:

  • The 3-star Casa Pellegrino Boutique Hotel is a new property that is family owned and operated. A top mid-range choice, it has Mediterranean style throughout and lots of attention to detail in the rooms and suites. The hotel is kid-friendly and is located right on the white-sand beach with sun loungers and umbrellas reserved for guests.
  • If you are looking for a good-value property with enough space to sprawl out, the Manta Ray Inn offers one- and two-bedroom suites with kitchenettes. This family-friendly property is right on the beach and even has beach toys that kids can borrow. Other amenities include a swimming pool, laundry facilities, and BBQ grills for guests to use.
  • The DoubleTree Resort by Hilton Hollywood Beach is another welcoming option. Kids stay free at this resort, which offers a mix of rooms and suites with private balconies, microwaves, and refrigerators. On-site amenities include a swimming pool, restaurant, and a well-equipped fitness center.

Budget Hotels:

  • St. Maurice Beach Inn is a top budget choice that is located right on the beach. Right by the boardwalk, this family-friendly property offers clean and comfortable rooms with kitchenettes. From here, it is easy to access multiple restaurants and shops. If you want to explore by bicycle, these can be rented at the hotel.
  • Also on the beach, Richard's Motel Studios is a good option if you want to save money by cooking in your room. The studios come with full kitchens and also have pullout sofa beds for the kids. Other perks include a complimentary breakfast, free parking, and a swimming pool.

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