Quirky, under-the-radar highlights only a local could recommend.
ETARU is a neighborhood restaurant, welcoming local diners with a menu and vibe that embraces its waterfront setting. In a stunning multi-functional space steps away from the sand, the restaurant will evolve throughout the day and night, with a ground level beach club, restaurant and bar.
Water Taxi Tours
From 10 a.m. to 10 p.m., these bright yellow boats pick up at Beachwalk Resort’s poolside dock and offer up-close-and-personal views of the mansions and yachts of Hollywood Beach and Fort Lauderdale, stopping at 20 different spots along the way. An all-day ticket is $26.
Beachwalk Resort Bistro
Happy hour from Sunday through Friday (4 p.m. to 7 p.m.) offers half-off deals on house drinks, house wines, draft beer, and appetizers in this resort-based bistro. Go for an Apple Splash Margarita and a plate of the Beachwalk nachos, loaded with jalapeños, cheese, black beans, scallions, guacamole, and pico de gallo.
A free ride from Beachwalk in a Mercedes-Benz takes guests to this entertainment district, which features a racetrack, a bowling lounge, restaurants, bars, a shopping mall (including Pottery Barn, Container Store, and Williams-Sonoma), and a casino, in addition to the horse-racing events.
How to spend 36 hours in Hollywood Beach, with Beachwalk Resort as your base camp.
5 p.m. | Funtastic Fridays for Kids
Face painters, a bounce house, and other family-friendly activities fill ArtsPark at Young Circle every Friday from 5 to 8 p.m. A disc jockey spins tunes for this free event, which is often followed by a free movie.
7 p.m. | Dinner at GG’s Waterfront
Start with the wahoo crudo, and move on to the Florida snapper filet with coconut clam chowder and heirloom carrots; finish with the almond basket and an espresso martini at this upscale eatery, which was awarded Wine Spectator’s Award of Excellence in 2016.
9 a.m. | Hit the Hollywood Beach Broadwalk
At two-and-a-half miles long, this beachside pathway is just the right length for a leisurely run, a morning walk, or a scenic bicycle ride. Tuck a credit card into your pocket, as more than 30 boutiques and shops, along with 50-plus restaurants, line the Broadwalk. Look for paddleball games at the Garfield Street courts, while kids love the dolphin play fountain.
12 p.m. | Lunch at Coconuts
Located on an inlet that overlooks the Intercoastal Waterway, Coconuts is one of Fort Lauderdale’s favorite spots for crab cake salads, peel-and-eat shrimp, and sesame-seared tuna. Sit at a table outside, and ask for the pigeon peas and rice – a $3 surprise.
2 p.m. | Bathe on the Beach
Greater Fort Lauderdale has more than 23 miles of beaches, making some time in the sand an important item on any Hollywood Beach itinerary. At the most northerly spot in Deerfield Beach is Ski Rixen, an innovative cable waterski park – no boats needed. On the southern end is the quieter Hillsboro Beach with statue that honors a barefoot mailman who walked 68 miles each week from Palm Beach to Miami from 1885 to 1892. Back in Hollywood Beach, the canine-friendly Dog Beach was where parts of the movie Marley & Me were filmed.
7 p.m. | Dinner at Billy’s Stone Crab
There’s no Florida treat sweeter than a freshly cracked stone crab, dipped in a tangy mustard sauce, and Billy’s has been practicing the art for nearly 40 yards. The all-you-can-eat option means no sharing and no to-go bags, making for a long, leisurely evening in an old Florida atmosphere of brass railings and tropical drinks. Don’t forget the key lime pie.
8 a.m. | Golf the Diplomat
This 18-hole championship course was built in 1956 by course architects Red Lawrence and Joe Lee and earns rave reviews from serious golfers for its manicured fairways, challenging approaches, and good value.
When simply “seeing” a destination just won’t do.
The largest urban park in Florida is a prime spot for paddling; a guided kayak or stand-up paddleboard tour leads guest through Biscayne Bay from the Haulover Inlet among mangroves and bird sanctuaries for two hours.
Fans of The Deadliest Catch will love this five-hour expedition in the dark to anchor on a reef or wreck and fish for snapper and grouper. The trip runs from 7:15 p.m. to 12:15 a.m. and is $45 per adult.
Book lessons with Graham Goodwin, the owner and main instructor of Fort Lauderdale Kitesurfing who has been teaching the sport since 1999.
The best food artisans, farms, and local markets.
A 10,000-square-foot warehouse hosts this weekend farmers’ market, which has more than 3,000 booths that sell fresh and locally grown fruits and vegetables, along with free-range and organic poultry and flowers. It’s open Saturday and Sunday from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.
This Cuban coffeehouse and eatery draws devotees for its thick, creamy cafecitos (sweet and strong Cuban espresso), crispy Cuban sandwiches, and fluffy flan cheesecakes. Or try the build-your-own Colada bowls, where you pick your choice of a base (rice, lettuce, or spinach), protein, three toppings (everything from black beans to bacon), and sauce.
For 22 years, the chefs at The MarketPlace have been preparing healthy foods with no added salt; they hand-select produce and butcher meats on the premises. It’s a great place to pick up gourmet sandwiches, salads, and cookies for a picnic.
Shop for hard-to-find ethnic foods at this market, which focuses on Russian specialties – like lamb kababs, skazka (cake), and shchi (cabbage soup) – but also features imported items from Spain, Poland, Hungary, Germany, and beyond.