When you think of Hollywood, you will most likely conjure images of celebrity stars and a larger-than-life sign. Yet, when I think of Hollywood my mind pictures emerald beaches whose sky is lit with shooting stars on warm nights. My Hollywood belongs to Florida, USA which is the northern, sister city to its more popular sibling, Miami. If you want to experience the picturesque sights of Miami without the excessive cost, Hollywood is the best travel destination for you.
There are two things you must do you travel to Hollywood. The first is to visit its treasured beach. While South Florida isn’t known for gnarly surfing waves, it is the perfect place to collect a rainbow assortment of seashells with ocean water which parts delightfully in sand bars. Here you’ll be privy to people who have turned kite flying into a craft and skim boarders gliding on the cusp of the shore.
The second activity you must do when you travel to this city is visit ArtsPark at Young Circle. This area of Hollywood was named after its founder, Joseph Wesley Young. Whether you are an adult or a child, this park offers everything to keep everyone entertained. It’s tough to pinpoint my favorite thing about ArtsPark between live glassblowing and the outdoor movies they play on Friday nights. If I had to choose, it would be the installment of pop art statues created by renowned artist, Romero Brito, that line the park’s circle. Catch a free Sun Shuttle to travel to both in style.
What do you like best about your city?
Although I only mentioned things you must do, what I like the most about Hollywood is the amount of things that you can do! If you are in an adventurous mood, you can opt for some BYOB axe throwing at Extreme Axe Throwing on Hollywood Boulevard (ladies get half off on Thursdays) or ride a banana bike along the beach. Want something a bit more relaxing? Mosey on over to the Hollywood public library, which also happens to share its interior with the town hall. Totally broke or on a budget? Travel along Hollywood Boulevard and Harrison Street to view plaques with historical snippets as well as stunning murals. It’s impossible to be bored in this area.
Best Walk in Hollywood
Those who have traveled to Hollywood can attest to how scenic it is making it the perfect place to take a stroll; however, the best walk is along the 2.5 mile Hollywood Beach Boardwalk. Its been rated one of the best boardwalks by popular travel magazine, Travel + Leisure, for a good reason! As you take your stroll you have the choice to turn your attention toward the beach itself lined with salt-tolerant foliage, or the assortment of small shops and restaurants. In the approximate middle of the boardwalk you will run into the Hollywood Beach Theatre. If you happen to cross it Wednesday through Sunday from 7-9PM, you can catch live music. Time it right and you can watch the sunset followed by some free, local jams.
Best Restaurants in Hollywood Florida
Just like there are many things to do when you travel to Hollywood, there is also a smorgasbord of restaurants. If you are a vegetarian or just a connoisseur of cheap eats, you must check out Mauro’s Pizza. What makes this spot extra special is not only the gargantuan size of a pizza slice, but the price. It’s worth noting that it’s cash only. If you’re feeling a little picante, you might want to eat at Los Pinchos, an unassuming Colombian restaurant that’s open 24 hours a day. Snack on some empanadas with salsa verde to wake up those taste buds. If you want a taste of everything, head over to the ArtsPark for a menagerie of food trucks on Monday nights.
Maybe you want something a little more upscale? If that is what you’re into, then Le Comptoir is your restaurant of choice. Taste the flavor of France without the price of a plane ticket by ordering from this chic place. Everything from the escargots to the French onion soup is divine, but the real show stopper is the mussel special. For the price of approximately 20 dollars you get half a pound of mussels, a basket of crisp fries, and either a glass of wine or a pint of beer. Split it with your fellow traveler or just eat it all to yourself (I won’t tell).
You might think that the Hollywood Beach Theatre is the best place to catch music, but it’s the ArtsPark Amphitheater that holds the limelight. There is a constant flow of locals that take the stage with a variety of genres. You might hear reggae one night and smooth jazz the next. More than that, sometimes big names like the soul-healing En Vogue and the NPR featured, Chicano Batman grace its stage. Like most fun things to do in Hollywood, all shows are always free to the public. Look like a local by bringing a foldout chair to watch.
Downtown Hollywood is the place to be on any given night. You can choose to travel the classic, latin route by dancing over to Tekila Bar Club, but there’s a proper crawl to getting the most out of its nightlife. Start off at the rooftop bar, Muse, for an aerial view of this city and for crafted cocktails. Then, walk over to the Sidecar Speakeasy to drink like bootleggers during the Prohibition era. You might pass it because it’s disguised as a big bookcase, but just call the number on the door for the password to gain entry. End your night at Old Hollywood Beerhouse to taste over 200 beers that are all generally priced 5 dollars (cash only).
Best Day Trip Out of the City
It should come as no surprise that I recommend a travel down to Miami as a great day trip. Stroll along South Beach to get a feel of quintessential South Florida or choose to party like a rapper at LIV or Story. For a real treat, visit the Russian and Turkish Baths for a soak in aromatic waters and steamy saunas. It costs nothing to stroll around this scenic part of Miami and you’ll want to with the bulbous Botero statues on Lincoln Road.
Something that not many travelers would know about Hollywood
A fun fact about Hollywood is that it was originally named Hollywood by the Sea. Its founder didn’t want people confusing it with its Californian counterpart and thought that would do the job when the city was created in the 1920s. The original architecture has remained almost the same over the years, but the name was shortened.