LGBTQ+ Friendly Travel Guide to Hollywood, FL

LGBTQ+ Friendly Hollywood Florida

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While Hollywood, Florida may not be as well known by the LGBTQ+ traveling community as its neighboring cities of Fort Lauderdale and Miami, it gives the gay traveler the best of both in a more quiet and relaxed atmosphere, making it an attractive destination for queer travelers. Check out our guide to find the most welcoming places and LGBTQ+ experiences in this city known as the “Diamond of the Gold Coast.”

How to Get There: Planes, Trains, and Automobiles

There are lots of ways to get to Hollywood. The fastest and easiest is by air. However, if air travel isn’t your thing, check out your other options.

Planes: Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport (FLL) is the closest, just a short drive away. Miami International Airport (MIA) is also nearby, offering more flight options and international connections.

Trains: Amtrak provides rail service to Hollywood, with a station conveniently located in the city, making it ideal for those traveling from within Florida or from other states on the East Coast.

Automobiles: Hollywood is easily accessible via major highways, including Interstate 95 and the Florida Turnpike providing flexibility and the opportunity to make stops along the way.

Buses: Buses are a budget-friendly choice, and bus services, including Greyhound and other regional carriers, operate routes to and from Hollywood. 

Cruise Ports: For those arriving by sea, the Port Everglades in nearby Fort Lauderdale and the Port of Miami are major cruise terminals where many travelers begin their journey to Hollywood.

How LGBTQ+ Welcoming Is Hollywood

Hollywood is the first city in Florida to proudly fly the Progress Pride flag at City Hall, emphasizing its commitment to diversity and inclusiveness. But, it’s the overall vibe of the city that really sets the tone for the LGBTQ+ community. From the moment you arrive, there’s an air of acceptance and openness that resonates through its streets and beaches. It’s in the casual smiles of locals, the welcoming feel of cafes and restaurants, and the easy-going nature of everyday interactions. 

The Hollywood LGBTQ+ Council

The Hollywood LGBTQ+ Council is an organization within the city, focusing on advocating for the rights and interests of the LGBTQ+ community. Established as a liaison between the community and the city government, the council works to address concerns, provide guidance, and suggest policies that ensure equality and fairness. It plays a critical role in ensuring that the voices of LGBTQ+ residents and visitors are heard and considered in city decisions.

Pride Events in Hollywood

My Hollywood Pride – My Hollywood Pride is a one-day festival of fun and learning for all ages in January. Enjoy a day of musical performances, LGBTQ+ films and discussions, a kid’s zone, and a teen zone. Local businesses also join in, championing diversity, equity, and inclusion, transforming Hollywood Boulevard into a sea of cultural exhibits, art, dance, and educational displays, making it a perfect day OUT for everyone.

History Of Hollywood

Founded in 1925 by Joseph W. Young, the city was envisioned as a dream metropolis, a glamorous destination with wide boulevards, luxurious homes, and a thriving business sector. He named the city “Hollywood By the Sea” to distinguish it from his other real estate venture, “Hollywood In the Hills,” in New York. Young’s vision was to create a city that echoed the glamor of Hollywood, California, complete with grand hotels, a golf course, and a beach resort. Throughout its history, Hollywood has managed to retain this vision, balancing small-town feel with a growing urban center.

Hollywood, FL
Photo by Rachel Covello

LGBTQ+ Friendly Places To Stay In Hollywood

Whether you’re looking for a luxury hotel, full service, budget-friendly, a cozy inn, or a bed and breakfast, Hollywood has the perfect fit for the LGBTQ+ traveler. Here are some of our favorites.

The Diplomat Beach Resort Hollywood – The Diplomat is your perfect beachside escape. Picture yourself in a spacious, comfortable room with amazing views, where the ocean greets you each morning. Days here are for lounging by the pools or indulging in a beachside meal in one of six on-site restaurants. Step outside and the beach is your sandbox, ready to fill your days with sun, surf, and smiles. 

Seminole Hard Rock Casino Hotel – Welcome to a world where slot machines jingle, concert lights dazzle, and every meal is a culinary adventure. From sizzling steaks to fresh sushi at Kuro, our choice for some of the best sushi in Hollywood, you’re in for an unforgettable meal. After dinner, catch a show or groove to the beat at a club, with its luxurious rooms and suites, it’s all about living the high life here. 

Margaritaville Hollywood Beach Resort – Ahoy, beach bums! Margaritaville is your sandy slice of paradise. Lounge by the pool with a cocktail in hand, pamper yourself at the spa, or hit the fitness center. When hunger strikes, feast with a view at one of the oceanfront eateries. And as the sun sets, the beachside bars come alive for a never-ending beach party. 

Hollywood, FL
Photo by Rachel Covello

The Circ The Circ is your perfect urban escape. It’s modern, chic, and just steps from streets bustling with shops, galleries, and eateries. It’s an explorer’s dream! Relax in stylish rooms, hit the rooftop for spectacular views, or mingle at the trendy bar. The Circ is where comfort meets cool, right in the middle of Hollywood’s buzz.

Recommended Restaurants In Hollywood

From fresh seafood caught right off the coast to Italian favorites, to zesty Latin flavors that dance on your tongue, there’s a plate for every palate assuring your taste buds are in for a treat. Here are a few of our favorites.

Mickey Byrnes Irish Pub – Walk into Mickey Byrnes and you’re transported to Ireland right in Hollywood! It’s the place for a good old pint and some hearty pub grub. Evenings are filled with live music, laughter, and maybe even a trivia game or two. 

Hollywood, FL
Photo by Rachel Covello

The Greek Joint Kitchen Bar – The Greek Joint is a little slice of Greece. Here, it’s big flavors in dishes that’ll make you feel like you’re island-hopping. Gather round for mezes, gyros, and maybe even some “Opa!” moments. It’s a cozy spot for food, fun, and feeling Greek for the day.

Villa Romano – Villa Romano takes you on a trip to Italy with every bite. Plates of pasta, pizza, and Italian classics are made just right. It’s your go-to place for a family dinner or a romantic date night, Italian-style. Enjoy a meal, enjoy the ambiance, enjoy la dolce vita.

J28 Sandwich Bar – J28 specializes in delicious Peruvian sandwiches, each served on a homemade crusty roll that transports you straight to Lima. Not just for breakfast, the pan con chicharrón, with its crispy pork, fried sweet potatoes, and tangy sarsa criolla, is a crowd favorite. 

GG’s Waterfront – GG’s Waterfront Restaurant is a must for those who love dining with a view. Right by the water, it’s where meals come with a side of scenic vistas. The menu offers a variety of dishes, ensuring there’s something for every palate.The salmon with happy fried rice, nori, mushroom, yuzu emulsion is one of our favorites.

Restaurants of Hollywood, FL
Photo by Rachel Covello

Things To Do & See In Hollywood

Hollywood offers a lot for the LGBGTQ+ traveler. Beaches here are perfect for sunbathing, swimming, water sports, or just taking a leisurely stroll along the shore. On land, the city’s parks offer green spaces ideal for picnics, jogging, or simply enjoying the Florida sun. And if you’re into exploring, the downtown area has shops, art galleries, and street performances that bring the city to life. For those who love a bit of history or culture, there are museums and cultural centers that showcase the city’s heritage and arts.

Art & Culture Center/Hollywood – The Art and Culture Center is where art and fun meet. It’s filled with exhibitions, live performances, and workshops, all intended to spark your imagination, making every visit a new adventure in creativity. Whether you’re catching a theater production or exploring the latest art exhibit, there’s always something happening here.

Downtown Hollywood Mural Project – The Downtown Hollywood Mural Project turns the city into an artist’s canvas. As you explore downtown, you find yourself in a  gallery of giant murals, each telling its own story. It’s like a treasure hunt as you discover new art at every corner, painted by talented artists from all over. This outdoor art adventure adds a splash of fun and color to every walk around town.

Hollywood Beach – Famous for its wide expanse of soft sand, Hollywood Beach is an LGBTQ+ hang-out, ideal for building sandcastles, playing beach games, or just lounging in the sun. The ocean calls out to swimmers and surfers alike, with waves that are just right for both fun and relaxation. As the evening rolls in, the beach transforms into the perfect place for a walk along the water’s edge. 

End to End Gallery – The End to End Gallery is where urban and contemporary art come to live. It’s a place buzzing with creativity, showcasing works by internationally recognized artists. Each month brings a new exhibit, free and open to the public, offering a fresh taste of the art world. It’s more than just a gallery; it’s a place for art lovers to buy, sell, trade, and consign fine art and collectibles.

Where To Shop & Stroll In Hollywood

Shopping and strolling go hand in hand in Hollywood, turning a simple outing into an adventure. Whether you’re exploring the downtown area, the famous boardwalk or the local farmers market, the charm of the city unfolds around every turn. 

Hollywood, FL

Downtown Hollywood – Streets line up with shops, art galleries, and a mix of restaurants serving everything you can imagine. Murals brighten building walls, creating an open-air gallery feel. At night, the area comes to life with music from local bars and clubs. Every month, the ArtWalk showcases local artists and performers. 

Yellow Green Farmers Market – Think of this market as a world tour of taste, with artisanal vendors offering exclusive items that you won’t find anywhere else​​. With over 300 booths under one roof, plus more lining the outside, it’s a maze of shopping and dining where you can find some of the most flavorful produce Florida has to offer. 

Hollywood Beach Boardwalk – Named one of America’s Best Beach Boardwalks by Travel and Leisure Magazine, the Hollywood Beach Boardwalk is where cyclists, joggers, and walkers share space. Eateries and cafes dot this 2.5 mile path, offering treats from ice cream to seafood. Street performers add a musical backdrop, while nearby, beachgoers bask in the sun. 

LGBTQ+ Bars, Clubs and Nightlife In Hollywood

When the sun sets, the nightlife in Hollywood awakens with spots to enjoy live music, dance, or just hang out with friends.  Whatever your pleasure, check out some of our favorite after hours spots.

Hollywood, FL
Photo by Rachel Covello

Karma Hollywood – Karma is the place  where the music never stops and the dance floor is always hopping, where friends meet to laugh, dance, and have fun. Themed nights add an extra twist, inviting guests to dress up and join in the madness. It’s a welcoming space, perfect for those looking to let loose, enjoy good tunes, or dance the night away.

Cloud 9 Bar & Grill – As the evening rolls in, Cloud 9 Bar and Grill comes alive with music and high energy. Friends meet here to dance, chat, and enjoy the atmosphere. There’s often a game of pool or darts in progress, where laughter, good times, and making memories under the glow of neon lights is always on the menu. 

Octopus Garden – When you walk into Octopus Garden, you find yourself in a whimsical world, where the underwater world theme tickles your imagination. The atmosphere is casual and inviting, perfect for a relaxed outing with friends or family. It’s your typical smoker-friendly dive bar with great drink prices and karaoke. 

Hollywood, FL
Photo by Rachel Covello

Annual Events and Festivals in Hollywood

Hollywood has its share of fun when it comes to annual events. From its Film Festival to Fantasy Fest and everything in between, there’s always a reason for the community to come together to celebrate. Here are some of our favorites.

Cardboard Boat Race – The Cardboard Boat Race is where creativity sets sail. Participants craft boats from cardboard and race them, leading to plenty of laughter and unexpected sinkings. It’s a day filled with inventive designs and racing competition.

4th of July Star-Spangled Spectacular Celebration – The Star Spangled 4th of July Celebration is a display of patriotism. The sky lights up with fireworks, and the ground buzzes with parades, music, and festivities. Families and friends gather to enjoy this colorful tribute to Independence Day.

Camelot Days Medieval Festival – The Camelot Days Medieval Festival transports you to a time of knights and jesters. The air is filled with the sounds of medieval music, clashing swords, and laughter. Visitors can enjoy historic reenactments, feast on period food, and browse through a medieval market.

Seminole Tribal Fair & Pow Wow – The Seminole Tribal Fair and Pow Wow is a cultural extravaganza celebrating Native American heritage. The event features traditional dances, music, and art. Attendees experience first-hand the rich history and traditions of the Seminole Tribe. 

Hollywood, FL
Photo by Rachel Covello

Hollywood: A Hidden LGBTQ+ Treasure in South Florida

South Florida has long been known for its LGBTQ+ friendliness, and Hollywood is no different. While maybe not as well known, its location between two gay meccas make it an ideal place for LGBTQ+ travelers to vacation. It’s the perfect spot for a queer adventure, without the usual big-city hustle. If you’re in for drag shows, artsy haunts, or just lounging on the beach, Hollywood serves it up with a side of small-town charm. Its blend of sun and fun, along with a friendly community, is wrapped up in a package of inclusivity and warmth, and tied with a great, big rainbow bow, just waiting to be opened.

**Disclaimer: There is a good chance that this post contains affiliate or sponsor links. If you make a purchase through them, we may receive a small commission at no extra cost to you (for which we are extremely grateful).

Also, while we do our best to highlight LGBTQ-friendly destinations and businesses, info provided is based solely on personal experience and recommendations by community partners. We hope that nobody experiences discrimination or homophobia while visiting Florida and beyond, but we make no guarantees. Please inform us if you experience discrimination or homophobia while visiting any destination so we can make updates to our recommendations.

Events are subject to change. Please check the events webpage for updates and schedules.

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