Comprised of 27.3 square miles, the city of Hollywood lies on the southern end of Greater Fort Lauderdale, bordering Dania Beach and Fort Lauderdale to the north and Hallandale Beach and Miami to the south.
Alive with fine hotels, great places to eat, and cultural institutions galore, Hollywood is a major contributing factor to Greater Fort Lauderdale's ever-growing popularity as an international destination. The 2 ½-mile Hollywood Beach, certified as "Blue Wave" by the Clean Beaches Council for its exemplary cleanliness and safety, is one of the area's biggest attractions.
One of Hollywood's most distinguishing features is its Broadwalk (not Boardwalk, for all you Northeasterners!). The recently reconstructed landmark pedestrian promenade stretches along 2 ½ miles of Hollywood Beach, and is lined with charming open-air cafes, restaurants, an organic farmers market and quaint shops. Joggers, roller bladers, and cyclists enjoy the workout and the view along this popular beachfront strip. Reproductions of period tri-globe and acorn lamps dating from the Broadwalk's original construction provide a nostalgic feel of a Main Street thoroughfare while a decorative wall features LED lights to add a playful modern touch.
Weekly concerts, theater productions, and regular events take place on the Broadwalk. One such regular event is Friday Fest, which is held every other Friday. The free, biweekly musical celebration features live jazz, blues, and pop music for all to enjoy.
For beach dwellers that cannot part with their laptops, the City of Hollywood has added a second free Wi Fi network, which stretches from south of North Beach Park to north of The Westin Diplomat Resort & Spa, between the Intracoastal waterway and the Atlantic Ocean. The latest Wi Fi network boasts 18 access points. The city also has a Wi Fi network in its downtown area.
Further contributing to Hollywood's charm is its wealth of cultural institutions. Downtown Hollywood especially is known for its selection of dynamic arts and culture. Venues like the Art & Culture Center of Hollywood, Gallery of the Unknown Artists, Hobe Art Studio, and New Star Art Gallery, to specialized galleries like Indaba Gallery and Wytchwood offer an eclectic mix art and furnishings and gifts.
Hollywood is also home to venues that are dedicated to more contemporary forms of art. The Art and Culture Center of Hollywood and the City of Hollywood have teamed up to create ArtsPark, which includes an $11 million transformation of the existing Young Circle Park area. The ArtsPark, which recently opened, includes new gardens, promenades, fountains, multi-purpose studios for martial arts and dance classes, an art gallery, storytelling and puppetry area, theater, art classrooms and an amphitheater with covered and lawn seating.
Visitors to Hollywood also have their pick of places to stay. The largest - and most impressive - of Hollywood's fine array of hotels is The Westin Diplomat Resort & Spa. A towering beachfront hotel with 1,000 guest rooms, the four-star property features two outdoor pools, championship golf, a tennis center and a full service spa. The Westin Diplomat also features nine eateries, including the esteemed Hollywood Prime steakhouse, as well as Rivals and Aizia.
Hollywood's newest addition is the Hollywood Beach Marriott. The 229-room and junior suite resort exudes a fresh, residential feel, with flexible meeting space, restaurant, spa, Tiki bar and rooftop ocean view lounge. The full-service resort features more than 6,600 square feet of flexible meeting space including a 4,600-square-foot ballroom. For more information visit www.hollywoodbeachmarriott.com.
On the other side of the spectrum, Hollywood has a wonderful selection of quaint properties that proudly belong to Greater Fort Lauderdale's list of Superior Small Lodgings, properties reviewed each year for quality assurance. These affordable, cozy properties are dotted across Greater Fort Lauderdale, often on or near the beachfront. A sampling of Superior Small Lodgings located in Hollywood include:
- Hollywood by the Sea Bed & Breakfast: An oceanfront, eclectic vintage Florida property with seven cozy guest rooms, this bed and breakfast offers a combination of neighborhood charm, parrots and paradise, and a slice of romantic adventure reminiscent of the 1930s. (800) 927-5301.
- Manta Ray Inn: Charming oceanfront property where the sand is at your doorstep. This 25-room property offers one- and two-bedroom suites with fully equipped kitchens.(800) 255-0595 or visit www.mantarayinn.com.
- Villa Sinclair Beach Suites & Spa: Located just steps from the Hollywood Broadwalk, this completely renovated, quaint 1940"s Spanish mansion with Parisian flair, combines the serenity of a cozy inn with the accessibility of the beach, shopping and dining. (954) 662-1955 or visit www.villa-sinclair.com.