Hollywood, FL, a gem nestled between Miami and Fort Lauderdale, is a destination that’s been on my radar for quite some time. As someone who’s traveled extensively, I’ve always been drawn to places that offer a unique blend of culture, history, and natural beauty. Hollywood, FL, checks all those boxes and more. If you’re considering making the move, here’s a compilation of insights from my personal experiences, coupled with valuable information from two comprehensive articles I’ve studied.
Hollywood, FL, has a rich tapestry of history that dates back to its incorporation on November 28, 1925. Initially an expanse of pine forests and palmetto plants, it quickly transformed into a bustling city. The visionary behind Hollywood was Joseph Wesley Young, who envisioned a “Dream City in Florida.” His ambitious plans included wide boulevards, artificial lakes, and distinct districts catering to various social strata. Hollywood’s growth trajectory, however, wasn’t always smooth. A devastating hurricane in 1926 brought significant challenges, but the city rebounded and continued to flourish, earning its title as the “Diamond of the Gold Coast.”
2. Cost of Living
Before packing your bags, it’s essential to grasp the financial implications of living in Hollywood, FL. The city’s cost of living is notably higher than the national average. For instance, housing costs are 15% above the national average, and groceries are 19% higher. Renting an apartment in the city center can set you back as much as $4,000 per month. Here’s a snapshot of some expenses you might encounter:
- Median Home Listing Price: $940,215
- Rent: $1,986
- Median Household Income: $64,522
- Annual Food Expenses: $3,500
- Monthly Energy Bill: $188.14
- Gas Price per Gallon: $3.53
3. The Real Estate Landscape
If you’re considering buying property, Hollywood’s real estate market offers a plethora of options. The median list price of homes is $940,215, averaging $499 per square foot. It’s essential to note that while the market leans towards buyers, it’s gradually shifting to a more neutral stance. The median sales price for homes as of February 2023 was $425,000. With 241 homes listed for sale, potential buyers have a variety of choices, from urban condos to sprawling beachfront properties.
4. Education Opportunities Abound
For families considering the move, Hollywood, FL, boasts an impressive education system. The city is home to 32 public and charter schools, 13 private institutions, and several higher education establishments. Some top-rated public schools include:
- Beachside Montessori Village (PK-8)
- Hollywood Academy of Arts & Science (K-5)
- Ben Gamla Charter School (K-8)
For those seeking higher education, City College-Hollywood and Broward College are excellent options, offering a range of programs to cater to diverse interests.
5. Embrace the Warm Weather
Hollywood, FL, is synonymous with sun-kissed beaches and balmy breezes. Its tropical climate ensures that you’re greeted with warmth almost year-round. This makes outdoor activities, beach days, and alfresco dining a regular affair.
While the sun predominantly shines, Hollywood does experience its share of rain. The months between June and September are particularly wet, with the city receiving an average of 7 inches of rain. It’s a good idea to keep an umbrella handy during this period and plan outdoor activities with a bit of flexibility.
6. Job Market
Hollywood’s diverse economy ensures that job seekers from various sectors find promising opportunities. From healthcare to the burgeoning tech scene, the city’s industries are expansive and inclusive.
Several companies have established their presence in Hollywood, offering stable employment opportunities. Heico Corporation, Memorial Hospital System, and Chewy.com are just a few of the big names that call Hollywood home. With an unemployment rate of 5.7%, the city’s job market is relatively healthy, making it an attractive destination for professionals.
7. Experience the Thrill of Gambling
Hollywood isn’t just about beaches and culture; it’s also a destination for those looking to try their luck. The city’s casinos offer a mix of classic games and new-age entertainment.
This iconic establishment is more than just a casino. With its luxurious accommodations, world-class restaurants, and entertainment shows, it’s a holistic experience. Whether you’re a poker pro or someone who enjoys slot machines, there’s something for everyone.
8. Engage in Cultural Activities
Hollywood’s diverse population has led to a rich tapestry of cultural events and establishments. From art galleries showcasing local talent to theaters presenting global performances, the city is a cultural aficionado’s dream.
This venue is the heart of Hollywood’s cultural scene. Regular events, ranging from music concerts to art festivals, ensure that there’s always something happening. It’s a space where artists, locals, and tourists converge to celebrate creativity.
9. Crime Rates
While Hollywood has a lot to offer, it’s essential to be informed about its crime rates. Knowledge is the first step towards ensuring safety for you and your family.
Despite the challenges, several neighborhoods in Hollywood have managed to maintain lower crime rates. Areas like North Beach and Hollywood Hills are not only safer but also offer a high quality of life, making them popular choices for families and professionals.
10. Traffic Woes on I-95
Like many urban centers, Hollywood grapples with traffic congestion, especially during rush hours. The I-95, being a primary artery, often witnesses heavy traffic.
If you’re planning to use the I-95 regularly, it’s advisable to factor in potential delays. Using navigation apps can help you find quicker routes, and carpooling or using public transport can be effective ways to mitigate the traffic challenges.
11. Culinary Scene
Having traveled to numerous destinations, I’ve developed a penchant for exploring local cuisines. Hollywood, FL, is a gastronomic paradise that reflects its multicultural fabric. From Cuban sandwiches to fresh seafood delicacies, the city’s culinary offerings are as diverse as its residents.
While upscale restaurants like “GG’s Waterfront Bar & Grill” offer a fine dining experience with a view, don’t miss out on the hidden gems. Cafes like “La Brochette Bistro” serve mouth-watering pastries and coffees, perfect for a relaxed morning. For those craving authentic Latin flavors, “Pueblo Viejo” is a must-visit. Remember, the best way to experience Hollywood’s culinary scene is to venture out and experiment.
The Broadwalk, with its oceanic backdrop, is a haven for those seeking tranquility amidst the city’s hustle. As I walked along this picturesque promenade, the rhythmic sound of waves and the gentle breeze provided a therapeutic experience.
Beyond its scenic beauty, The Broadwalk is a hub of activity. From roller-skating enthusiasts showcasing their skills to musicians serenading visitors, there’s never a dull moment. Local eateries dotting the pathway offer a range of delectable treats, making it a perfect spot for both relaxation and recreation.
As the sun sets, Hollywood transforms into a vibrant nightlife hub. My travels have taken me to many nightlife destinations, but Hollywood’s eclectic mix of bars, clubs, and lounges stands out.
While establishments like “Spice Resto-Lounge” promise a night of dance and music, beachfront lounges like “The Taco Spot” offer a serene ambiance, perfect for sipping on a cocktail while listening to the waves.
14. Stay Active with Recreational Activities
Hollywood’s coastal location is a boon for water sports enthusiasts. From jet-skiing to paddleboarding, the city offers a plethora of options for adrenaline junkies.
For those who prefer land-based activities, Hollywood’s parks, like the “Topeekeegee Yugnee Park,” provide opportunities for hiking, cycling, and picnicking. As a traveler, I’ve always sought destinations that offer both adventure and relaxation, and Hollywood strikes the perfect balance.
15. Explore Nearby Attractions
Just a short drive away, Miami’s vibrant culture, iconic beaches, and bustling nightlife beckon. Whether it’s the art deco architecture of South Beach or the Latin vibes of Little Havana, Miami promises a unique experience.
Often dubbed the “Venice of America,” Fort Lauderdale, with its intricate canal system and historic riverfront, is another nearby gem. The city’s museums, galleries, and shopping districts are worth exploring.
16. Making the Move
Before relocating, it’s crucial to understand Hollywood’s property landscape. While areas like “Emerald Hills” offer luxurious homes, neighborhoods like “Oakwood” are perfect for those seeking affordability.
Hollywood’s diverse community is its strength. Engaging with locals, participating in community events, and understanding local customs will ensure a seamless transition. As someone who’s moved multiple times, I can vouch for the importance of immersing oneself in the local culture. It not only enriches the experience but also fosters a sense of belonging.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
1. Is Hollywood, Florida a good place to move to?
Yes, Hollywood, Florida is considered a desirable place to move to due to its rich cultural scene, beautiful beaches, and diverse community. Its strategic location between Miami and Fort Lauderdale also adds to its appeal.
2. What should you know before you move to Florida?
Before moving to Florida, you should be aware of its warm tropical climate, potential for hurricanes, diverse cultural communities, no state income tax, and the importance of choosing the right neighborhood based on safety and amenities.
3. Is it expensive to live in Hollywood, Florida?
Yes, the cost of living in Hollywood, Florida is about 25% higher than the national average, with housing being a significant factor. However, expenses can vary based on lifestyle choices and specific neighborhoods.
4. What is special about Hollywood, Florida?
Hollywood, Florida boasts the famous Broadwalk, a unique oceanfront promenade, a rich cultural scene, and is home to the world’s only guitar-shaped hotel. Its blend of urban and beach lifestyles makes it stand out.
5. Is Hollywood, Florida good or bad?
Hollywood, Florida offers numerous attractions and a high quality of life. However, like any city, it has areas that are safer than others. It’s essential to research neighborhoods and be aware of the higher-than-average crime rates in certain areas.
6. How expensive is Hollywood, Florida?
Hollywood’s cost of living is notably higher than the national average, with housing being a significant contributor. Other factors like transportation, groceries, and utilities also play a role.
7. How to start a life in Florida?
Starting a life in Florida involves researching the best neighborhoods, understanding the job market, familiarizing oneself with local customs and regulations, and preparing for the state’s climate and weather patterns.
8. How much money a year do you need to live comfortably in Florida?
On average, a family of four would need an annual income of around $70,000 to $85,000 to live comfortably in Florida, depending on the specific city and lifestyle choices.
9. How much money do you need to live comfortably in Florida?
For a single individual, an annual income of $40,000 to $50,000 should suffice for a comfortable lifestyle in Florida, again depending on specific circumstances and location.
10. Is the water clear?
Hollywood, FL, boasts beautiful beaches with relatively clear waters, especially during the dry season. However, water clarity can vary based on weather conditions and seasonal changes.
11. Is Hollywood, Florida a party town?
While Hollywood, Florida has a vibrant nightlife and offers numerous entertainment options, it’s not as intense as nearby Miami. It provides a balanced mix of relaxed beachfront lounges and bustling bars.
Relocating to a new city is always a significant decision, filled with both excitement and apprehension. Hollywood, FL, with its rich history, vibrant culture, and stunning natural beauty, promises a unique living experience. Whether you’re seeking new job opportunities, a change in lifestyle, or simply a fresh start, Hollywood awaits with open arms. As with any move, thorough research and preparation are key. Hopefully, this guide has provided valuable insights to make your transition smoother. Here’s to new beginnings in Hollywood, FL!