With beautiful beaches, a unique and fun boardwalk, a pristine nature area, and a downtown bustling with the arts, restaurants and festivals, Hollywood has something for everyone. Located just south of Fort Lauderdale, it also offers terrific options for both single family homes and luxury beachfront condominiums.
Like its namesake in California, Hollywood has long been associated with prosperity and glamour. Its founder, Joseph Young, envisioned a “dream city in Florida.” Beginning in 1920, he purchased land and transformed the landscape of pine forests, palmettos and tomato farms into a planned community with a wide boulevard, central business district and ample park areas.
By the mid-1920s, the young city was booming. Construction had begun on the Hollywood Boardwalk, modeled after the famed boardwalk in Atlantic City. The nearby Hollywood Beach Casino was the largest and most lavish bathing club in all of Florida. The seven story Hollywood Beach Hotel had become a haven for wealthy industrialists and celebrities, boasting the world’s largest solarium and a private wire connection to the New York Stock Exchange.
In the late 1950s through the 1970s, Hollywood was known as the home of the glitzy Diplomat Hotel, where Jackie Gleason threw star-studded birthday parties. Entertainers gracing the Diplomat’s stage included big names of the era, like Frank Sinatra, Judy Garland and Bob Hope.
Hollywood today is the second largest city in Broward County and the seventh largest in Florida. It has a thriving arts scene, miles of sandy beach and one of the best beach boardwalks in the country.
Arts and Recreation in Hollywood
Historic Downtown Hollywood, along Hollywood Boulevard and Harrison Street, is a vibrant, pedestrian-friendly district full of murals, boutiques, art galleries, restaurants and bars. It also features festivals, street markets and an art walk on the third Saturday of each month. Downtown is home to the Art and Culture Center of Hollywood, which hosts modern art exhibitions and progressive musical and dance performances. The ArtsPark at Youngs Circle includes a visual arts pavilion, concerts, festivals and family-friendly movie nights.
The brick-paved Hollywood Beach Boardwalk stretches for nearly two and a half miles along the Atlantic shoreline. It’s a great place for a jog or a stroll and it’s packed with restaurants, shops and small inns, giving it a small-town, beachy feel.
For nature lovers, the Anne Kolb Nature Center lies at the northern end of Hollywood. The 1500-acre coastal mangrove wetland includes a saltwater aquarium and paddling and hiking trails and is an excellent spot for walking, kayaking, cycling and fishing.
For boaters who don’t have their own docks, the Hollywood Marina offers daily, monthly or annual dockage, fuel and a public boat ramp. For golfers, the Diplomat Golf and Tennis Club in nearby Hallandale features an 18-hole championship course and clay tennis courts. Shoppers can hit the mall in nearby Aventura or head south to the ultra luxury Bal Harbour Shops. And those that like to gamble can choose from the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel and Casino in Hollywood or the Gulfstream Park or Mardi Gras casinos in nearby Aventura.
Hollywood is within the Broward County Public School System. Students on the eastern side of Hollywood attend Hollywood Central Elementary School, Olsen Middle School and South Broward High School.
Students also attend a variety of excellent private schools in the area.
Hollywood Real Estate
Hollywood condos include preconstruction sales on new condominium projects and resales of already completed condos. Many are oceanfront and offer an impressive array of luxury amenities. Here’s a sampling of the newest Hollywood condominium projects.
Melia Costa Hollywood Beach Resort is a pair of six-story oceanfront buildings with an open courtyard, just steps from the Hollywood Boardwalk. The 304 studio, one bedroom and two bedroom residences feature clean lines, high-end finishes and glass-railing balconies offering spectacular views of the Atlantic Ocean and Intracoastal Waterway. Amenities include:
- State of the art fitness center and holistic spa
- Rooftop bar and lounge overlooking the open courtyard
- Promenade restaurant and sixth floor restaurant with panoramic views
- Rooftop infinity-edge pool, sun deck and reflection pool
- Exclusive courtyard boutiques
- Fully furnished designer interiors in neutral tones with red accents
- Complimentary beach chair and towel service
- Morning yoga and meditation classes
Sage Beach is a boutique condominium of just 24 private luxury residences nestled among tropical landscaping on a pristine beachfront. The two and three bedroom homes range from 2013 to 2826 square feet and include such high-end fixtures and finishes as a Sub-Zero wine cellar, Italian kitchen cabinetry and oversized soaking tubs. Other amenities include:
- Panoramic ocean views from every residence
- Beachfront vanishing edge pool
- Private poolside cabanas equipped with wet bars
- State of the art fitness center
- Elevator access and private foyer for each residence
- Pre-wired for high-tech security and advanced home technology
Hyde Beach Resort and Residences sits directly on the beach and includes options for both full-year and part-time residents. It features hip, contemporary architecture and luxurious amenities like European cabinetry; imported countertops, tile and flooring; stainless steel appliances; designer fixtures and soaking tubs. Other amenities include:
- Infinity-edge ocean view pool and sundeck
- State of the art fitness center overlooking the ocean, including cardio theater and yoga and Pilates studio
- Luxurious spa and steam and sauna rooms
- Ocean views from every residence
- Wide private terraces with glass railings accessible from the living room and bedroom
- Terrace lounge with cocktails and light bites
- Beach club with casual seating, cabanas, a bar and canopied dining tables
Positano Beach is an oceanfront condominium community of just 17 units. The Mediterranean style residences feature custom cabinetry, high-end appliances and spacious terraces with stunning views. Residents have access to the world class fitness center and pool deck at Positano Beach’s sister property, the Villas of Positano. Other amenities include:
- Oceanfront cabanas
- Pool and outdoor entertainment area
- Whirlpool spa
- Bar and barbecue areas
- Social and club room
Hollywood Single Family Homes
Harbor Islands is an exclusive community of eight neighborhoods situated on manmade islands at the southern end of Hollywood between the Hollywood mainland and Hollywood Beach. Visit my Harbor Islands page to learn more about this special enclave of single family residences. [Insert a link to the Harbor Islands page]
Hollywood Lakes was the original neighborhood established by Joseph Young in 1925. It includes the area east of U.S. 1 and west of the Intracoastal Waterway. Its has homes in a variety of styles and sizes, from cozy 1920s bungalows to newer Mediterranean mansions. Hollywood Lakes includes the neighborhoods of Northlake and Southlake, named for the area’s two manmade lakes. Both Northlake and Southlake include luxury homes on large lots along the waterfront.
Hollywood Oaks is a gated community of spacious Mediterranean style homes built in 2001. Homes typically have four to six bedrooms and over 3500 square feet of living space and may include such amenities as playrooms, three car garages and swimming pools. The neighborhood also features tennis courts, a community pool and a clubhouse. Hollywood Oaks is located in the north central part of Hollywood, about 15 minutes from Hollywood Beach.
Visiting Hollywood – Recommendations from Your Hollywood Realtor, Donna Zalter
Getting to Hollywood is easy. It’s just a few minutes from the Fort Lauderdale International Airport, or if you’re traveling by car, I-95 passes right through the city.
While you’re in town, be sure to take a stroll on Hollywood’s iconic boardwalk. The boardwalk is a great spot for people watching, and it’s also got plenty of shops and restaurants. Try The Taco Spot, with its charming beach tiki hut look. The Taco Spot has some terrific tacos that range from Baja style fish to Korean short ribs, served up with rice, beans and roasted corn. And if you’re feeling touristy, you can sip a tropical drink from a coconut or pineapple. 1500 N. Boardwalk Blvd.
Another boardwalk favorite is the Sugar Reef Grill, known for its open air dining and French Caribbean food. Menu items include gumbo, tropical fish stew, Jamaican pork loin and roast duck with spicy mango salsa. The Sugar Reef Grill is open for dinner nightly and for brunch on Sunday. 600 N. Surf Road.
If you want a nice meal with a water view, you can’t beat GG’s Waterfront Bar and Grill. It has a lovely interior and a beautiful outdoor patio right on the Intracoastal Waterway. Its menu includes a well-rounded selection of fish, shellfish, meats and steaks, including classics like rack of lamb, Maine lobster with baked potato and oysters Rockefeller. And the Sunday brunch buffet features an enormous array of food that’s bound to please any palate. 606 N. Ocean Drive.
Downtown, The Tipsy Boar gastropub serves an inventive take on comfort food, like parmesan truffle fries and lobster mac and cheese. In addition to salads, sandwiches, pizza and burgers, it offers entrees like mojo marinated pulled pork and NY Strip. It also serves wine, cocktails, a happy hour menu and a robust selection of 40 beers on tap. 1906 Harrison Street.
Hollywood has some wonderful opportunities for single family homes and beachfront condominiums. Call me and I’ll show you the best of what Hollywood has to offer!