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Situated halfway between Miami and Fort Lauderdale, Hollywood offers miles of sparkling, white-sand beaches with a familiar hometown feel. Made to resemble its West Coast sister, Florida’s "Hollywood by the Sea" boasts the seaside charm of its Californian counterpart minus the movie-star obsession. Travelers come here to stroll the Hollywood Beach Broadwalk—a wide-laned promenade with more than 50 restaurants, 30 retail shops, and 3 oceanfront resorts. With a vivid arts scene, a golf course, and pristine beaches that welcome hundreds of newly hatched sea turtles each summer, there's more to Hollywood than immediately meets the eye.
Find everything you need in Hollywood’s bustling downtown commercial center, from breezy boutiques to eclectic eateries. The Hollywood Beach Golf Resort sits conveniently in the center of the city, and the Yellow Green Farmers Market—South Florida's largest —hosts more than 300 purveyors on the weekends.
Whether your definition of the perfect beach day involves a dog-eared paperback, a boogie board, or plenty of ice-cold beverages to keep you afloat, Hollywood Beach delivers the goods. Before sinking into the sand, join the masses and run, bike, or rollerblade along the Broadwalk, pausing to snap a selfie in front of the famous dolphin fountain along the way.
Hollywood might seem like a typical seaside town—that is, until you hit ArtsPark at Young Circle. Here, an iconoclastic art movement is unfolding inside a 10-acre (4-ha) greenspace. Locals flock to the park’s lawns to soak up performing arts performances and to dine at the city's finger-licking food trucks. A trip here isn't complete without a visit to the Art & Culture Center of Hollywood and Hollywood Hot Glass, which offers workshops for aspiring glassblowers of all ages.
With countless natural wonders and a Downtown Hollywood historic district that brims with Golden Age charm, there are a bevy of things to see in Hollywood. Consider paying homage to the man who made it all possible with a visit to the Joseph Wesley Young House, a Mediterranean-style mansion where the city's founder—a Laguna Beach native—hatched his plans for the Hollywood of the east. Then, check out the Downtown Hollywood Mural Project, a blossoming art installation forged by Broward County's creative types.
Of all the things to do in Hollywood, a tour on the $1 trolley is a must. Then, to fully immerse yourself in South Florida's sun-drenched charms, head to the Anne Kolb Nature Center at West Lake Park. Here, more than 1,500 acres (607 ha) of mangrove wetlands beckon. If plan to visit in late summer, you even can arrange to watch baby sea turtles emerging from their eggs. For an even wilder walk on the wild side, make the 1-hour trek to the Everglades for an up-close look at the American crocodile.