VISITING HOLLYWOOD, FL WITH KIDS
Hollywood, Florida is certainly not as famous as its namesake in California, but it’s still a super fun family vacation destination! This south Florida city is right on the Atlantic Ocean, and is a mixture of laid-back surf vibes, an artistic community, and Old Florida glamour.
This is a Florida beach town you’ll want to choose if you’re looking for a relaxed beach vacation with the option to get out and explore only if the spirit moves you. Hollywood itself has a few things to do, especially if you’re interested in art and street art, but mostly the action revolves around the sun, sand, and waves.
My 2 oldest kids and I took a road trip down to Hollywood one weekend to check out the city and relax on the beach. We truly loved this coastal community, and I feel like it’s somewhere we will want to come back and visit again.
WHAT TO KNOW BEFORE YOU GO TO HOLLYWOOD, FL
Hollywood, FL is located between Fort Lauderdale and Miami. You can fly into either city with only a short drive to go to reach your destination.
Hollywood has a tropical climate, so the best time to visit is between December and April when the weather is mild. Summertime brings heat, humidity, and rain, and you’re right in the middle of hurricane season. If you have to visit between May and November it’s still absolutely gorgeous, but you want to be careful about being outside in the middle of the day when the sun is scorching.
The city has just implemented a new form of FREE transportation. It’s called the Sun Shuttle, and all you have to do is download the app and request a ride just like Uber or Lyft. I had a chance to chat with our driver for a bit, and he said that since there are currently only 5 cars in the fleet, so rides aren’t guaranteed. Tips are not required, but they are welcome!
Don’t forget swimwear, sun protection like rash guards and sunscreen, and comfortable walking sandals for exploring downtown Hollywood and the Broadwalk.
WHERE TO STAY IN HOLLYWOOD, FL
Our family was hosted at the Diplomat Beach Resort for our Hollywood, Florida getaway, and we loved our stay there! The Diplomat is part of Hilton’s Curio Collection, so you get all the amenities of a big hotel but you still feel like you’re staying in a unique and independent upscale hotel.
When you go on a beach vacation, it’s nice if the hotel has beach access and a pool. It should have food on-property, a convenience store, and a relaxing room. The Diplomat meets all that criteria, then goes above and beyond. We easily could have spent our entire weekend at the resort without setting foot in the rest of Hollywood. There are multiple restaurants, a coffee shop/bakers, a canteen where you can buy snacks and water, and an ice cream shop on-property.
The pool area is spectacular with an infinity pool that stretches over the top of a giant lagoon pool. The infinity pool is heated, and that’s where the kids and I spent most of our time, thanks to the zero-entry shallow end.
You can pay extra for cabanas which are especially helpful if you have kids who still need nap or quiet time but you don’t want to go through the hassle of changing in and out of swimsuits in your room. The cabanas come with water in a mini fridge, a tv with cable, a couch to relax on inside, poolside chairs, and poolside service from Playa, the beachfront bar and grill.
There is beach access for Diplomat guests with complimentary non-motor water sports and a play area for kids with beach toys under the shade of an umbrella. I got some nice phone-scrolling time while the kids built sand castles in the shade in the late afternoon. It was seriously heavenly.
Look for a blog post to come with a full review and photos of all the hotel details and amenities.
WHAT TO DO IN HOLLYWOOD, FL WITH KIDS
There is seriously so much to do and see on this beach. You’ll love the soft white sand, the warm Atlantic water, the surfer vibes, and the awesome showers strategically placed along the Boardwalk so you can wash up after your beach time and hit up some restaurants. Play in the sand, catch some sand volleyball, surf, splash, do whatever! This beach is an awesome spot for families.
This 2.5 mile promenade is a great spot to spend a few hours. The pathway is paved in brick with one lane dedicated to bikes and skateboards. You’ll find restaurants, souvenir shops, ice cream shops, and more along the Broadwalk.
You can rent bikes to ride along the beach or spend the day shopping and eating your way along the Broadwalk. With a bandshell at the center you can look forward to free concerts on select nights during the summer. The kids and I loved watching people try the FlowRider Surf Machine at the Margaritaville Resort. You can see it from the Broadwalk and it’s really entertaining to see people try their hand at surfing.
ARTSPARK AT YOUNG CIRCLE
Head downtown to check out ArtsPark at Young Circle. There’s a fun little playground, a splash pad, and lots of walking paths in this beautiful park. Check the website to see if there will be any events or performances going on at ArtsPark while you’re there. There are sometimes food trucks or Funtastic Fridays with bounce houses, music, and lots of family fun.
One of the biggest reasons I wanted to explore downtown Hollywood was because I heard the community was incredibly artistic, which manifests itself in these gorgeous mural walls all over town. Check out the website for information on the artists and where to find the walls. My kids and I wandered around historic downtown Hollywood and played a game to see who could spot the most beautiful walls.
Naturally, you’ll want to capture a few photos for the Gram, so don’t forget a camera! We actually used a tripod and bluetooth remote to get this picture. Thank goodness no one was around to see it!
DAY TRIP TO FORT LAUDERDALE OR MIAMI
Because Hollywood is a smaller city centrally located between two more popular destination, you may want to add in a day trip or two to the surrounding areas for more big city fun!
Fort Lauderdale is known as the Venice of America thanks to its many canals which you can use to get around the city. If you have kids interested in transportation, this would make for a really fun day. They also have a Museum of Discovery and Science, and a butterfly house called Butterfly World.
Miami has basically unlimited things to do with your kids, but remember that you’ll be battling traffic, tolls, and paying for parking almost anywhere you go. Definitely worth it to visit at least once, but just be prepared for the extra cost and how long it takes to get anywhere. My personal favorite spots in Miami are Little Havana, Vizcaya Museum and Gardens, and Key Biscayne. I have an entire post dedicated to what to do with kids in Miami, so check that out for some more ideas!
PLAN YOUR TRIP TO HOLLYWOOD, FL
BOOK A HOTEL
Book an Airbnb vacation rental home if you want to spread out and cook your own meals. Use my link for $40 off your first Airbnb stay!