Spontaneity Part Four: Hollywood Dog Beach Review
After gorging ourselves on startlingly impressive vegan food at Darbster Bistro, we headed back to Fort Lauderdale to spend some time with my mom. After a while, we decided that since Suzie had been so well-behaved throughout the trip, she deserved a little treat.
We had heard a little bit about a nearby dog park that she might enjoy, so we got the details and headed on our way.
Hollywood Dog Beach, located in Hollywood, Florida, is the expanse of Hollywood Beach between Pershing and Custer Streets. It is open Friday through Sunday, between 3 p.m. and 7 p.m. During Daylight Savings Time, the hours are between 4 p.m. and 8 p.m.
I was surprised to find that there was a fee to enter the park - $5 for Hollywood residents, and $10 for non-residents. This fee is payable by check only.
Unfortunately, neither Josh nor I had any checks on us.
Fortunately, there was a nice man working who allowed us to enter on a "guest pass" and we were not charged.
There is ample metered parking available, but I would recommend getting there early for a good spot. It is a very busy place, and a line formed at the entrance before the park was opened to the public.
It was clear from the moment we arrived that Suzie was in absolute heaven. Normally, she is very nervous, but once we got in line and she got to sniff the behinds of some new friends, she was calm and happy. It seemed that a majority of the humans kept a close eye on their dogs, so there were no snafus or disagreements. Everyone was on their best behavior!
Suzie loved running near the waves and playing with the other dogs. While there was the option to allow her to be off-leash, we opted to keep her on one, due to the fact that it was her very first time at a dog park! Even so, I think that she had the best time of her life.
It was very hot the day that we were there, and I worried a bit about the welfare of some of the dogs who were running around in the heat. I felt better when I realized that there were dishes of fresh water out for them to drink if they so desired. (Suzie was a bit snobbish and refused to drink from the public bowls. She preferred her water fresh out of the cooler.)
There was a shower for the humans near the entrance of the park, and there was a hose with a spray attachment for rinsing off the muddy pups. We spent a couple of hours relaxing in the sunshine and splashing in the waves, and then we all rinsed off at our respective places. With one last look over our shoulders at the beautiful blue-green waters, we were off.
Overall, I'd rate Hollywood Dog Beach about a 7/10.
I wish that there had been a little bit more shade, and I wish that there had been another way to pay for the entry fee. It also would have been nice if the beach was cleared of sea-weed and debris a little better. There were quite a few spots that I had to keep Suzie away from. I feel that this could have been solved by a few minutes of raking.
Other than that though, the place was great! The dogs were all running around having a good time, and the water was beautiful. It's always nice to have a place to be able to bring the four-legged members of the family, and I appreciate that this little section of beach was carved out just for that. I think that Suzie and the other dogs that were there would probably rate it about a 9/10.
Suzie says, "Ruff! Keep this bark park in mind if you're in the Hollywood, Florida area! Woof!"