After exploring the beautiful street art in Hollywood and stopping off for a bite to eat, we decided to have a little jaunt around Hollywood, Florida – which, in a lot of ways, looks and feels pretty similar to Hollywood in LA with its palm tree-lined avenues and rather cool and sometimes quirky houses.
We stopped off at the beach, which I just happened to see on a map and didn’t even know was ‘a thing’ before visiting, and turned out to be where everyone in the city was. Like it was properly busy with families spanning across the beach as far as the eye could see (see – I told you the Floridians were keeping these holiday hotspots a secret for themselves – hehehe! 😄).
We decided to check out a smaller, quieter beach which one of the locals had recommended for those who were crowd shy but to be honest, the vibe on the main beach was just so much more fun! Plus, there were more cocktail spots there too. 😉
We decided to head back to the Pelican Grand Beach Hotel for a bit of beach and pool time, with cocktails thrown in for good measure, before dinner time but at the last minute, decided to make a quick stop off in Bonnet House – a historic home Fort Lauderdale.
Bonnet House is one of those places where you don’t even feel like you’re in the city anymore when you’re here. In the mornings, the wild manatees swim up here to bask in the waters and the whole place just looks and feel so serene and a far cry from the busy city, it’s sitting smack in the centre of.
We wandered around the grounds, stopping off at the main house to check out its colourful gardens…
…those my favourite spot by far here has to be the little lake (which once upon a time used to be a part of a long river coming from a totally different state). When you arrive at the right time, the reflection or the palms trees on the lake is just perfect and it’s such a beautiful (and rather calming spot to visit).
Calm, content but definitely ready for wine and cocktails, we headed back to the hotel, where I’d promised to try to show you more of what the room looked in the daytime but ended up taking a couple of photos before panicking about making the most of the sunshine and heading down to the pool!
The pool here, by the way, is warm so it doesn’t matter what time of day you want to go for a dip – as long as it’s open, you can jump right in. It. Is. Incredible! (We’ve had our fair share of cold swimming pools so this was just absolutely fantastic!)
Oh, and luck was on our side this evening – turns out the hotel had a free wine tasting evening (something which happens quite frequently here) which meant that after grabbing a few cocktails, we got to sample some of the wine selections here (the wines are from all parts of the world).
I would like to tell you my wine tasting here was more academic (I did pay attention at the time to the backstory about each wine) but I was in Florida holiday mode and the wines ended up being the perfect end to a fantastic day exploring a part of Florida I’d never visited before and a brilliant beginning to a night out in the fantastic city of Fort Lauderdale.
*Major sidebar – I didn’t realise it yet at the time but our day of basically lazing ambling around Fort Lauderdale, drinking cocktails and relaxing on the beach turned out to be the start of why I just wasn’t ready to leave the city when it was time to head home! 😀 But more on that in the upcoming posts…