Often referred to as Canada’s most southern city, it is easy to understand why. Located halfway between Ft.Lauderdale and Miami Beach, this beachfront community has everything the southbound vacationer is looking for. Featuring a unique oceanfront walkway called the Hollywood Beach Broadwalk, stretching over two miles along the waterfront. Named one of America’s Best Beach Boardwalks by Travel + Leisure magazine, it is nirvana for strolls and exercise alike as it passes numerous eateries and cafés. With the proximity to the beach and the feel of a small community, this is a must-see place to spend time and an obvious location for many amazing restaurants with an ocean-view, short-term rentals, and hotels right on the Broadwalk. The Clean Beaches Council has given Broward County the “Most Innovative Beach” award, and is one of the first in Florida to be designated a Blue Wave Beach, placing it as one of the nations cleanest, safest and most user-friendly beaches. Travel around on the free Sun Shuttle and when you are ready to return from where you embarked, simply use the on-demand app to request a pick-up or walk to the nearest shuttle stop.
There are three state parks within minutes of Hollywood Beach.
Hugh Taylor Birch State Park (visit)
Hugh Taylor Birch is the city’s own Central Park, complete with gopher tortoises and boat access from the intracoastal waterway. It’s easy to see why Hugh Taylor Birch wanted to preserve his estate for future generations to enjoy — it’s an oasis perfect for relaxation and exercise. The park is a vibrant center for the community of Fort Lauderdale, and residents take pleasure in activities from inline skating to reading under the shade of palms and oaks. Visitors can access the beach via the pedestrian tunnel under A1A. Picnic areas overlook the channel; pavilions with water and electricity are available for rental. A group/youth campground is available to organized groups. The Terramar Visitor Center features displays regarding the area’s natural and cultural history.
Dr. Von D. Mizell-Eula Johnson State Park (visit | event list)
The park is named for Civil Rights Movement leaders who led “wade-in” protests to desegregate South Florida beaches in the 1950s and 1960s. It was once the county’s designated “colored beach” and bore the name of the Broward County attorney who was instrumental in transferring ownership of the land to the state, in lieu of being developed for residential high-rises. Now, the park is a popular location for swimming, fishing, boating, hiking, bicycling and picnicking, offering a haven where everyone can escape the hectic pace of the metropolis and reconnect with nature.
Oleta River State Park (visit | event list)
While biking the 15 miles of off-road bicycling trails or paddling along lush mangrove forests on the Oleta River, it is difficult to believe Oleta River State Park exists in the shadow of downtown Miami. At just over a thousand acres, this natural oasis—Florida’s largest urban park—is a haven for mountain bikers, paddlers, anglers, swimmers and for families out to enjoy a picnic along scenic Biscayne Bay. Feel free to release yourself from the stress of the city at one of the picnic areas or unwind at the end of a fishing pole. There are rustic, air-conditioned cabins, too, along with a youth campground for organized groups. The park is also a welcome stop for long-distance paddlers on the 1,515-mile Florida Circumnavigational Saltwater Paddling Trail. Learn more about the camping / cabins pricing and availability.
Providing a permanent residency to protected birds and animals, the Gardens is home to the largest collection of native wildlife including alligators, eagles, panthers, peacocks and flamingos. A highlight are the Caribbean Flamingos, which you are allowed to feed, and visitors will also see owls, vultures, hawks, falcons as well as Golden and Bald eagles. The birds are either at-risk or endangered and cannot be released because of their previous injuries in the wild, but each year approximately one hundred chicks are born which are raised and released into the wild. No visit is complete without seeing the alligators.
Opened in March 1988, Butterfly World encompasses 3 acres of butterfly aviaries and botanical gardens along with a butterfly farm and research center. The park includes two aviaries for tropical birds and an interactive lorikeet space. The World has a team of skilled care and research staff to take care of everything. Butterfly World has been key in saving the Schaus Swallowtail, a species that is becoming stronger in South Florida, and may be taken off of the endangered species list.
The 205-foot neo-Gothic and art deco Singing Tower carillon. Designed by architect Milton B. Medary and crafted by stone sculptor Lee Lawrie, the Tower is one of the world’s finest carillons, with a 60-bell carillon concert daily at 1 p.m. and 3 p.m.
The Founder’s Room Main floor fireplace with antique furniture and ceramic tile flooring, the start of a 211-step wrought-iron staircase, or use the original Otis electric elevator
Chao Research Center Archival room stores historic objects of the Gardens, includes a guest register signed by President Coolidge and Edward Bok in 1929.
Storage & Mechanical Equipment The large tanks found on this level were used to irrigate the Gardens with the water that would flow from the roof.
Maintenance Workshop This workshop is still used by our Facilities & Operations team for various tasks including polishing the Great Brass Door, maintaining the carillon, and servicing the elevator.
Anton Brees Carillon Library A collection of many of Edward Bok’s writings and also the largest collection of carillon history and music (wiki) in the world.
Carillonneur’s Office & Studio Equipment and recordings are stored here, and below is a practice carillon allowing for rehearsals without being heard in the Gardens.
Carillon Bells & Playing Cabinet Home of the 60-bell carillon and a soundproof playing cabinet. Four balconies overlook the Gardens, a catwalk staircase leads to the roof.
Parapet & Finials At the top of the Tower, 205-feet above the base, are eight marble heron statues. Several modern necessities have been installed on the roof including lightning rods and HVAC units. A platform allows access for maintenance.
The Singing Tower
1151 Tower Blvd,
Lake Wales, FL 33853
* typical vacation, family of three for seventeen nights x $126 (StatsCan) in winter months and includes hotel, food, fuel, misc., Approx. $5,750 CDN