Hallandadle Beach has a short but rich history. Incorporated for the second and final time in 1947, the city was once a hunting ground for Seminole Indians, who sought out coontie roots to produce arrowroot starch. Eventually Henry Flagler recruited a brother-in-law of one of his agents to found a settlement in this area; his name was Luther Halland – hence, the name “Hallandale.” It was only in 1999 that the name of the city was officially changed to Hallandale Beach. That same year, the city got its first directly elected mayor, Mayor Joy Cooper, who has lived in the city for 20 years now and has worked tirelesly in various capacities to better the city. Keeping it “Clean & Green” has been one of her primary goals, and as a result the City has been recognized with multiple awards from the National Arbor Day Foundation, and even with awards for the taste of its drinking water.
But in the past couple of years, what has really brought Hallandale Beach into the spotlight is the transformation of the old Gulfstream Park race trace into The Village At Gulfstream Park, an all-in-one entertainment destination comprising fashion boutiques, home and decor emporiums, outdoor cafe, topnotch restaurants and even nightlife venues. Whereas locals once had to visit Aventura Mall or Bal Harbour Shops to find high-style labels such as Rock & Religion, home furnishings favorites like West Elm and Crate & Barrel, and eateries that range from casual to fance, now The Village, situated on 1 million square feet of property, has them all, punctuated with pedestrian walkways, gardens and fountains. The mixed-use development will eventually include 1,500 residential units as well, for those who like to live where they work and/or shop. And the neighboring Gulfstream Park Casino is just next door and open 365 days a year.
One of the most beautiful resort hotels in South Florida, Starwood Hotels’ The Diplomat County Club and Spa (501 Diplomat Pkwy., Hallandale Beach, 954-833-4000), is located here; it’s home to a 30,000-square-foot European-style spa and a spawling 18-hole championship golf course along with topnotch restaurants, yacht slips for boaters and more.