15 Best Things to Do in Hollywood, Florida

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Hollywood, Florida Aerial View

Welcome to Hollywood, the small beach town on Florida’s east coast, where the weather is warm and the attractions are endless! Hollywood, Florida, is one of the top tourist destinations in the state, known for its pristine beaches, family-friendly parks, world-class restaurants, and nightlife.

With its proximity to other popular South Florida cities like Miami and Fort Lauderdale, Hollywood is the perfect place to spend a weekend or a week exploring all that Florida has to offer.

From the Hollywood Beach Boardwalk and the Art and Culture Center in Hollywood to exploring the Downtown Hollywood Mural Project or live entertainment at ArtsPark at Young Circle, there are many wonderful things beyond Hollywood Beach, though the beach is a highlight.

TL;DR

  • Most significant landmark – Hollywood Beach
  • Park to visit – West Lake Park
  • Free activity – Downtown Hollywood Mural Project
  • Activity for kids – Castaway Island Waterpark
  • Activity for adultsHard Rock Casino & Hotel
  • Place to eat – Fresh oysters and lobsters at GG’s Waterfront Restaurant
  • Nightlife – Downtown Hollywood
  • Place to staySonder The Circ

Things to Do in Hollywood, Florida

1. Hollywood North Beach Park

Palm trees along Hollywood Beach Boardwalk in Florida on a sunny day
Malgosia S / Shutterstock

Address: 3601 N Ocean Dr, Hollywood, FL 33019

Hollywood North Beach Park is a popular 56-acre beachfront park located along the beautiful Florida coast. This beach is perfect for visitors of all ages, with plenty of opportunities for fishing, swimming, sunbathing, and other activities like picnicking and biking. This park provides direct access to Hollywood Beach, so bring those beach chairs for relaxation and fun.

Some top things to do at Hollywood North Beach Park include swimming in the Atlantic Ocean, relaxing on the sandy beach, exploring the many walking trails throughout the park, and enjoying one of the many family-friendly amenities like playgrounds and picnic areas.

There are also great opportunities for nature enthusiasts, with a large dune system home to many native plants and animals.

Visitors to the beach can rent jet skis and spend the day exploring the Hollywood coastline or visiting nearby attractions like Dania Beach Pier, which also has a fishing pier, and Hollywood Beach Broadwalk.

The Hollywood Beach Boardwalk is a 2.5-mile-long promenade known for its quirky shops and cafés, making it a great place to grab a bite to eat or do some shopping. You could even have a drink (or two!) at Jimmy Buffet’s Margaritaville!

And if you’re looking to stay close to the beach while in Hollywood, you’ve got tons of options when it comes to accommodation. Hotels like Hollywood Beachside Boutique Suite and Costa Hollywood Beach Resort offer great waterfront views and easy access to all the top Hollywood attractions. Or, opt for a vacation rental like this one-bedroom apartment with direct beach access.

Whether you’re looking for a fun day at the beach with your kids or a relaxing walk along the oceanfront, Hollywood North Beach Park is definitely one of the most fun things you can do. Who can resist a day at Hollywood Beach?

See Related: Best Black Sand Beaches in the World

2. West Lake Park

 Boardwalk on West Lake in Everglades National Park, Florida
Francisco Blanco / Shutterstock

Address: 1200 Sheridan St, Hollywood, FL 33019

Situated in southeastern Broward County, North Hollywood is home to one of the best parks in the area: West Lake Park. This scenic 37-acre park is in a natural wetland, and visitors can enjoy walking paths or biking along the lake trail.

There is also a marina where you can rent canoes and kayaks to enjoy a scenic paddle around the lake. There are also several playgrounds and picnic areas with grills, which are perfect for families looking for a budget-friendly, fun day outdoors. You can easily spend a few hours or even the whole day enjoying this place.

The park spans a three-mile stretch of mangrove preserve, making it one of Hollywood’s best places for nature lovers. If you’re looking to do some wildlife spotting, this is definitely the place to be! A paddle through the mangroves is a great way to see colorful birds, turtles, and maybe even the occasional alligator.

3. Anne Kolb Nature Center

Anne Kolb Nature Center
Sunshower Shots / Shutterstock

Address: 751 Sheridan St, Hollywood, FL 33019

As one of the largest urban parks in Florida, Anne Kolb Nature Center is the perfect place for outdoor enthusiasts. This 1500-acre park offers hiking, biking, bird watching, nature photography, and more.

One of the centerpieces of Anne Kolb Nature Center is its extensive wetland ecosystem, which provides a safe haven for many native species and serves as an important habitat for wildlife. The nature center also includes an observation tower that gives visitors an excellent view of the surrounding wetlands.

Plus, the several nature trails throughout the park allow you to get up close and personal with Hollywood’s diverse flora and fauna. You can even go fishing from the Fishing Pier Trail or explore the Mud Flat Trail, which ends in an observation deck.

Visitors can explore the many exhibits at the Anne Kolb Nature Center, including the interpretive center with educational displays on local ecology, simulated mangroves, and an on-site wildlife rehabilitation center.

See Related: Best Places to Visit in the US

4. Castaway Island Water Park

Castaway Island Water Park Slide
Management / TripAdvisor

Address: 3300 N Park Rd, Hollywood, FL 33021

Families looking for exciting activities for the kids, look no further than Castaway Island Water Park. This popular water park at Hollywood’s TY Park (Topeekeegee Yugnee Park) features a wide range of thrilling slides and attractions for visitors of all ages. You can revel in the water at TY Park without going to nearby Hollywood Beach.

Topeekeegee Yugnee Park takes its name from the Seminole word for “gathering place.” And from what we can see, it’s a pretty fitting name.

Some of the top features at Castaway Island include a tidal river, a massive tower with three water slides, and the Swim Lagoon. There are also plenty of fun kid-friendly attractions, including a water playground with multi-level platforms and spray features, as well as a water playground for toddlers.

Castaway Island also has quite a few places to lounge on the sand or just relax in the shade of palm trees. Best of all, the admission fees can be paid per visit or once for an annual pass.

See Related: Best Restaurants in Disney Springs

5. Hollywood Hot Glass

Hollywood Hot Glass Building
Felix Mizioznikov / Shutterstock.com

Address: One Young Circle, Hollywood, FL 33020

If you’re ready to explore your creative side while in Hollywood, Florida, be sure to check out Hollywood Hot Glass. Unlike other hands-on glass-making studios, you aren’t making mosaics here. Instead, you’ll learn glassblowing and other glassworking techniques.

At the Hollywood Hot Glass Studio, visitors can choose from a wide range of classes and workshops taught by experienced artists. Top classes offered here include beginning glassblowing, neon tubing, flameworking and lampworking, coldworking, and fusing. You can also participate in a fun team-building workshop or host a private party at Hollywood Hot Glass.

Though it sounds morbid, you can also make a keepsake using cremated remains. These memorial pieces are an incredible way to preserve a loved one. I have a blown glass ball with my bunny’s ashes in it; it is a stunning piece of art to remember my friend.

The founder of Hollywood’s Hot Glass, Brenna Baker, was also featured on season 3 of Netflix’s show Blown Away. That gives visitors a chance to create art with a bonafide star.

See Related: Beautiful Springs in Florida to Visit

6. John Williams Park

John Williams Park Scenery
MrMiamiExplorer / TripAdvisor

Address: 6101 Sheridan St, Hollywood, FL 33021

Located in Hollywood, John Williams Park spans over 60 acres and features numerous hiking paths, dog parks, and playgrounds. The park is located on a preserve of the Sheridan Oak Forest, and its trees are some of Hollywood’s most iconic natural features.

John Williams Park is one of the best places to spot gopher tortoises native to Hollywood and the surrounding area. And if you’re visiting with your dog, there are several fenced-in dog parks where you can let your furry friend run and play with other pups.

The paved walkways around the park also make it easy to walk or bike through Hollywood’s gorgeous natural landscape.

See Related: Where To Stay In Miami: 10 Best Areas & Neighborhoods

7. Yellow Green Farmers Market

Yellow Green Farmers Market
Felix Mizioznikov / Shutterstock.com

Address: 3080 Sheridan St, Hollywood, FL 33021

A beloved Floridian institution, the Yellow Green Farmers Market is one of the area’s top destinations for fresh local produce and other goodies. The market runs every Saturday and Sunday from 10 am to 8:30 pm and is a popular spot for Hollywood locals and tourists alike. With its wide variety of vendors and products, this market is a one-stop destination for all your food shopping needs.

The market spans over six acres, and you’ll find everything from fruits and vegetables to baked goods, meats, cheeses, and more. You can also visit on the weekends to enjoy live music or yoga classes or even stop by during the week to participate in one of the market’s many cooking classes.

Not only can you buy fresh farm foods at this market, but vendors also sell unique local crafts and gifts that make great souvenirs. You can find everything from hair care products to dog toys, home decor, jewelry, and more.

See Related: Key West Day Trip: The Florida Keys in a Day

8. Art and Culture Center of Hollywood

Art and Culture Center of Hollywood Scenery
Felix Mizioznikov / Shutterstock.com

Address: 1650 Harrison St, Hollywood, FL 33020

The Art and Culture Center of Hollywood prides itself on cultivating creativity and celebrating Hollywood’s local arts scene. Founded in 1975, the Art and Culture Center was the only non-profit visual arts organization in the area. Conveniently located in Hollywood, the culture center features several galleries and an interactive art studio where visitors can explore various artistic mediums.

In addition to its art gallery, the center also hosts rotating exhibitions throughout the year. Their workshops, a wide range of contemporary visual art exhibitions, and classes are designed to inspire aspiring local artists and connect visitors. In this way, the Art and Culture Center of Hollywood is bringing local artists and artists from all over the world to everyone.

There’s also an on-site 500-seat performing arts center where you can catch live stage performances or rent it out for your private event. Plus, they host a documentary short film series entitled Open Dialogues.

These screenings bring folks together to learn about various parts of their communities. Previous Open Dialogues presentations have included Black Voices | Black Stories and Stories from the LGBTQ Community. It’s well worth a journey from Fort Lauderdale if that’s where you stay.

See Related: Best Resorts in Key West, Florida

9. Downtown Hollywood

Downtown Hollywood Scenery
julie deshaies / Shutterstock.com

Address: N Young Cir, Hollywood, FL 33020

As we know, the downtown area of any city is always bustling with activity, and Hollywood, Florida, is no exception. With its wide array of shops, restaurants, bars, and performance venues, Downtown Hollywood is the perfect destination for anyone looking to explore Hollywood’s vibrant streetscape.

Go ahead and indulge in some retail therapy, but if you want to sample some of Hollywood’s best restaurants on a food tour, this downtown does not disappoint. Quirky boutiques, high-end retailers, and trendy cafes await you here in Downtown Hollywood. You could even stroll along the paved boardwalk or admire Hollywood’s stunning waterfront at Bicentennial Park, just a short walk away.

One of the most popular downtown attractions is ArtsPark at Young Circle – a public park that showcases the local arts scene. ArtsPark at Young Circle hosts musical and theatrical performances throughout the year, as well as an array of sculptures and art installations that visitors can explore.

While in this area of Hollywood, you’re sure to stumble upon artwork designed by the Downtown Hollywood Mural Project, too. This project was designed to create contemporary outdoor murals to enhance the look and feel of the city. Many murals are nature-related artworks connecting the area to its natural surroundings.

And for those looking for nightlife in Hollywood, Florida, check out The Social Room Hollywood for creative cocktails and Mexican-inspired bites in a colorful industrial space. There’s also the It’s 5 o’Clock Somewhere Bar & Grill, which, as the name suggests, is the perfect spot to kick back and relax with some good company.

Downtown Hollywood is the best option for exploring Hollywood’s best landmarks and attractions. It’s also a great place to stay when visiting Hollywood, as there’s always something new to discover in this lively downtown area.

Some of the fan-favorite hotels in the area include Sonder The Circ, a chic hotel with a rooftop pool, and The Rodeway Inn Hollywood, which offers comfortable rooms and free breakfast. From here, you could also take a day trip to Fort Lauderdale, less than half an hour away.

See Related: Best Places to Travel in Your 20s in the US

10. Seminole Hard Rock Casino & Hotel Hollywood

Seminole Hard Rock Building
YES Market Media / Shutterstock.com

Address: 1 Seminole Way, Hollywood, FL 33314

Feeling lucky while in the sunny state of Florida? Then test your luck at the Seminole Hard Rock Casino & Hotel Hollywood.

As one of the top destinations in Hollywood, this Hard Rock hotel offers an array of gaming options, from table games and slots to poker rooms and world-class shows with some big stars. Performers have included Katt Williams, Janet Jackson, and Paul Anka.

But it’s not all about gambling or bright lights at the Hard Rock – this hotel is also home to a luxury spa. At Rock Spa and Salon, you can be pampered with services and treatments to help you relax and de-stress.

There are also multiple dining options onsite, including the upscale cigar bar Davidoff, where you can pair unique cocktails with delicious steakhouse fare.

11. Oleta River State Park

Oleta River State Park
Daniel Korzeniewski / Shutterstock

Address: 3400 NE 163rd St, North Miami Beach, FL 33160

Spanning over a thousand acres along the northern Hollywood coast, Oleta River State Park is one of the best places to visit in the Hollywood or Fort Lauderdale areas when looking for a dose of nature or outdoor recreation. The park features miles of trails perfect for hiking and biking, as well as an extensive kayaking trail that winds its way through mangrove forests and along the shoreline.

Oleta River State Park is Florida’s largest urban park, so there’s no shortage of activities to enjoy. Aside from the trails and kayaking, the park also features a family-friendly playground. Plus, there is an ecological research center that’s home to a number of educational exhibits highlighting the area’s diverse plant and animal life.

Oleta River State Park visitors can enjoy everything under the sun, including tubing, snorkeling, mountain biking, wildlife viewing, and more. It’s also a popular spot for camping, with campsites available for both tents and RVs.

Editor’s note: This park frequently reaches capacity, especially on weekends. If the park closes due to capacity issues, it will not reopen until the following day. Please consider this when planning your visit. 

12. Flamingo Gardens

Flamingo Gardens Scenery
Jillian Cain Photography / Shutterstock.com

Address: 3750 S Flamingo Rd, Davie, FL 33330

Flamingo Gardens is one of the most popular attractions in Hollywood and Fort Lauderdale, and for good reason! This botanical garden is a true nature lover’s paradise, offering over 60 acres of lush tropical gardens and fascinating wildlife exhibits.

Here, you can get up close to Florida’s native bird species at the Everglades Exhibit, stroll through vibrant floral displays in the Palm Jungle Gallery, and glimpse Hollywood’s famous wildlife at the Everglades Wildlife Sanctuary. Founded in 1927, Flamingo Gardens is one of the oldest botanical gardens in South Florida. It’s one of the best places to learn about the state’s biodiversity as well as Florida’s cultural heritage.

Flamingo Gardens holds several events throughout the year, including November’s Sunday Concerts in the Gardens – a weekly concert series featuring local musicians performing on the grounds. During these events, visitors can enjoy food and drink from local vendors and participate in fun activities like face painting, lawn games, and more.

Flamingo Gardens is an ideal option for those with young kids looking for Hollywood or Fort Lauderdale area tourist attractions that are great for any age. Tickets here sell out fast, so I’d recommend booking a skip-the-line ticket in advance to avoid any hassles.

13. The Ancient Spanish Monastery

Ancient Spanish Monastery
Jillian Cain Photography / Shutterstock.com

Address: 16711 W Dixie Hwy, North Miami Beach, FL 33160

This 12th-century monastery was originally built in Spain and is one of the most iconic landmarks in Hollywood, Florida. It was moved to its current home piece by piece in 1952, and Time Magazine called it “the biggest jigsaw puzzle in history” at the time.

Located in North Miami Beach, the Ancient Spanish Monastery has survived the ages to become a Hollywood area tourist attraction, bringing visitors in from all over the world. Its location is roughly midway between Fort Lauderdale and South Beach. From here, you can explore this historic landmark up close and discover its fascinating history, as well as its cultural significance.

The monastery features a museum that showcases historic Spanish artifacts, including armor from the Crusades. Surrounding the ancient monastery are meticulously kept gardens as well as a courtyard area with picnic areas. You’ll also discover medieval statues, other remarkable art, and stunning stained glass windows.

Visitors are invited to a free event at the monastery each Wednesday for a RUAH service. These services are Anglican traditions that monks, nuns, and other Catholic leaders have participated in for hundreds of years. Everyone is invited to participate in a walking meditation accompanied by Middle Eastern music during the events.

For those looking to stay near the Ancient Spanish Monastery and explore the North Miami Beach area, check out the Hollywood Beach Suites and Hotel. It’s in Hollywood and close to these attractions while also a short drive away from the best outdoor activities and natural attractions in the nearby Miami Beach area.

See Related: Best Museums in the US You Need to Visit

14. Sawgrass Recreation Park

Everglade Airboat Ride and Tour
Jan Nedbal / Shutterstock

Address: 1006 US-27, Weston, FL 33327

Sawgrass Recreation Park is northern Hollywood’s premier outdoor activities center. This park is known for its guided Everglade tours and airboat rides, which offer visitors a unique and thrilling experience. Hop aboard an airboat to explore the vast swamps and marshes of South Florida, or head out on a guided Everglade tour and journey through Hollywood’s natural waterways.

Visitors can also check out the park’s reptile exhibit. In this educational wildlife area, visitors get up close and personal with some of Hollywood’s native animals, including snakes, alligators, peacocks, and more.

All of the animals here have been rescued from locals who were no longer able to care for them, so by visiting the park and learning about the area’s wildlife, you can help support these critters while also enjoying a fun day outside.

15. GG’s Waterfront Restaurant

GG's Waterfront Restaurant Fresh Food
Management / TripAdvisor

Address: 606 N Ocean Dr, Hollywood, FL 33019

GG’s Waterfront Restaurant is the perfect option for Hollywood, Florida, visitors looking to enjoy a delicious meal while enjoying fresh air overlooking the Atlantic coast.

This waterfront restaurant has some of the most mouthwatering seafood in Hollywood – from fresh oysters to succulent lobster, you’ll find a huge range of all your favorite seafood dishes here. Also, like many other locations in Hollywood, Florida, you are just a stone’s throw from Fort Lauderdale.

Best of all, GG’s offers an extensive happy hour menu featuring favorites like calamari, margaritas, oyster shooters, and more. Their menu contains locally sourced fish and tons of fresh seafood you’ll dream about long after the meal.

In addition to its amazing food, GG’s Waterfront Restaurant is known for its vibrant atmosphere and great service.

Whether you’re stopping by with friends or going on a date night in Hollywood, this popular restaurant is sure to please. It’s definitely more of an upscale experience, but if you’re looking for a memorable meal in the Sunshine State, GG’s Waterfront Restaurant is the place to go.

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Amanda Finn
WRITTEN BY

Amanda Finn

Amanda (she/they) is a Chicago-based queer travel, arts, and lifestyle writer who is passionate about exploring the world. Their work has been featured in Newcity Stage, The Chicago Reader, Huffington Post, and Yahoo, as well as the November 2022 book, "Chicago Like a Local" and other travel journals available on Amazon. Amanda's favorite destinations include Costa Rica, Prague, Dublin, Hong Kong, and every Disney park they've visited.

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