Your visit to South Florida must include spending a couple of days in the city where I live, Hollywood—Florida, not California! Located between Miami and Ft. Lauderdale, Hollywood was founded in 1925 and is the 12th-largest city in Florida. For a relatively large city, Hollywood still retains a small-town atmosphere.
The must-sees include Hollywood Beach, downtown Hollywood and the parks. Hollywood Beach has several small hotels and is a favorite of snowbirds (our seasonal visitors). One of its famous features is the Broadwalk, where you’ll have a great time walking, bike riding, people-watching or simply basking in the sun. While you’re there, keep an eye out for film crews; this whole area has been competing with the other Hollywood, and TV shows like Dexter, Burn Notice, The Glades, Graceland and even one episode of The Sopranos have been filmed in the vicinity. Movies, too: Caddyshack, The Birdcage, Rock of Ages and The Hours were also filmed here.
Downtown Hollywood is smaller than the equivalent area in other metropolitan cities. It is certainly walkable, with a couple of dozen restaurants and the ArtsPark. On Monday nights, there’s a food truck round-up. And you’ll love Topeekeegee Yugnee Park—just don’t try to pronounce it! Locals know it as T.Y. Park. You’ll see flocks of birds, playful squirrels and more. Rent a paddleboat, have a picnic, barbecue, play volleyball, enjoy the sun or take the kids to the water park.
If you’re looking for Latin American flavor, there are at least five Colombian bakery/restaurants nearby. My favorite is Las Américas Bakery on Hollywood Boulevard. And Peruvian restaurants are popping up all over: two great ones in downtown Hollywood are La Huaca and J28 Sandwich Bar.
We’re waiting for you with open arms in Hollywood, Florida!