Historical Hollywood: 5 Historic Sites to Visit in South Florida
Hollywood on South Florida's Atlantic coast is a perfect beach and vacation destination, but the historic city has plenty more to offer than arts, shopping, and entertainment. Add some historical insights to your visit by exploring these five inspiring and thought-provoking landmarks, attractions, and historical sites.
Historic Stranahan House Museum:
Located just a few minutes from the Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport off Las Olas Boulevard, this former home of early Fort Lauderdale settlers Frank and Ivy Stranahan now stands as the oldest structure in the county, dating to 1901. Visit the riverfront home and museum to take one of three guided tours, offered daily, and to learn about the history of the building, the Stranahans, and the founding of Fort Lauderdale.
Hollywood Historical Society:
Head to historic Downtown Hollywood and the longstanding Hammerstein House, home of the Hollywood Historical Society, where you'll find more than 20,000 artifacts to look through and learn about the development of the city. The house is open for tours and free to the public on the first Sunday of every month or visitors can pick up curated self-guided tour maps which highlight the most prominent landmarks and sites in Downtown Hollywood and Hollywood Beach.
Bonnet House Museum & Gardens:
Stop by this historic estate in Fort Lauderdale that dates to 1895 and belonged to the Birch and Bartlett families, early settlers of the region. Listed on the National Register of Historic Places, the 35-acre beachfront estate includes art exhibits and galleries, historic artifacts, and a sprawling garden featuring five distinctive ecosystems and outdoor sculptures. The Bonnet House & Gardens offers daily tours, as well as general admission to explore the grounds on your own.
Big Cypress Reservation / Seminole Tribe of Florida:
Take the 90-minute drive from Hollywood Beach to the Big Cypress Reservation and home of the federally recognized Seminole Tribe for an unforgettable experience and immersion into the history and culture of the Seminole people, inhabitants of the South and Florida for thousands of years. The reservation includes both exhibits and naturally preserved sites. Learn all about Seminole history at the Ah-Tah-Thi-Ki Museum, go on a swamp safari and experience Seminole traditions first-hand,or check out special events, entertainment, and performances at the Junior Cypress Rodeo and Entertainment Complex.
Crime Gallery & Tours:
For a twisted take on South Florida history, check out the Crime Gallery, located in Downtown Hollywood, to see artifacts and exhibits that chronicle untold events that shaped the region's history. Take one of the several available crime tours, including Black History, Crime History, and Florida History, or hop on the bus tour to discover the most notorious and infamous sites in South Florida.