West Palm Beach

Destination Location

  • 26.715501, -80.053673:primary
  • 26.683167, -80.095582:secondary

Overview

Welcome to one of Florida's best-kept secrets, where palm trees and perfect sand stretch out for nearly 50 miles in Palm Beach County and waters are warm year round thanks to proximity to the Gulf Stream. The city of West Palm Beach is home to sunny palm-lined streets, breathtaking waterfront views, unique shopping districts, historic and scenic neighborhoods and year-round outdoor festivals.

With some of the best beaches in the U.S. on display, your trip can include the unbeatable combination of relaxation and recreation in one visit. From beach and water activities, shopping, golfing, cultural activities, dining and nightlife spots, West Palm Beach truly has something to offer every visitor.

For snorkelling, John D. MacArthur Beach State Park, located on the north end of Singer Island, comes highly recommended by local residents. The beach contains a shallow reef full of fish on full view. This park is also a great place for kayaking and hiking. For those looking to enjoy outdoor activities on land, any West Palm Beach resident would tell you, the city's spectacular waterfront walkways and breathtaking views of West Palm Beach are best experienced on the bicycle paths throughout the area.

Just because the beaches are relaxing and the recreational activities are laid back, don't think this great city goes to bed early. When the sun sets on West Palm Beach, a bustling and exciting nightlife emerges. Downtown West Palm Beach is a cultural hub teeming with vibrant shops, restaurants and cultural venues. City Place is a great spot to get started: located in what was once a rundown and forgotten area of West Palm Beach, it's now distinctly reminiscent of an Italian town center. The original streets are still there but the fountains, storefronts, and restaurants are as modern as it gets.

If you want to tap into the local arts and cultural scene, be sure to check out the Kravis Center, Norton Museum of Art, Palm Beach Opera or Meyer Amphitheatre. Clematis Street is at the area's center and is where Clematis by Night, the weekly open-air concert featuring a wide-variety of art vendors, takes place. A free trolley system connects most of the downtown area.

What are you waiting for? Get your sunscreen and flip-flops ready, there's never been a better time to visit Florida's best beaches at West Palm Beach. Whether you're looking to unplug and lounge on the beach in tropical weather, catch some sun on the back nine or hit some of Florida's best antique shops, West Palm Beach is waiting for you. With an easily accessible airport only five minutes from downtown, how could you go wrong with West Palm Beach?

Destination basics

Summers in West Palm Beach are, you guessed it, hot and humid with average high temperatures of 30 to 32°C (86 to 90°F) and lows of 21 to 24°C (70 to 75°F). Make sure to pack breathable clothes, plenty of sunscreen, your favourite hat and sunglasses.

Winter is dry season. November through April you can expect warm temperatures and mostly dry conditions with average high temperatures of 24 to 27°C (75 to 82°F) and lows of 14 to 19°C (57 to 66°F), so you may need a sweater or light jacket for evenings out.

Average monthly temperature and average monthly rainfall diagrams for West Palm Beach

When Henry Flagler and his friends came south to Palm Beach, they brought along their high standards and demands for the best of everything, including fine dining. That legacy can still still be found for anyone who takes eating seriously. Palm Beach County has many excellent restaurants to choose from. You can eat at the affordable to the very, very expensive. The range of tastes is considerable, from good old Southern style American to European, Mexican, Asian, and more.

Palm Beach
For old world atmosphere and noted for its caviar bar and high ranking with the locals, be sure to patronize Cafe L'Europe. Another continental dining on Worth Avenue is Taboo. Great Italian fare can be enjoyed at Renato's.

Noted for fresh seafood entrees is Charley's Crab. Looking for a more casual atmosphere? For terrific hamburgers since 1945, Hamburger Heaven is the place to go. 

West Palm Beach
Here's a community that can boast the same excellent quality dining establishments as it's sister city east of the Intracoastal, offering a variety of ethnic and American restaurants. An Old World style Italian restaurant in this historic part of Palm Beach is the Stresa. For French Mediterranean fare, the Bellagio offers excellent dining in a romantic atmosphere.

On Saturday mornings, you can enjoy an outdoor street breakfast while buying fresh pastries and vegetables at the GreenMarket in West Palm Beach, a popular weekend pastime. If you're at the Palm Beach Kennel Club, be sure to dine at the well-regarded Paddock Reataurant.

Lake Worth
A short drive south into this celebrated community also offers delicious fare. If you're on the beach and are ready for breakfast or lunch, the John G's is known for friendly service and good food.

Southern Towns
In Delray Beach, Ellie's 50's Diner has every dish on its menu named after a 1950s song. Also on the beach, you'll find Boston's on the Beach which serves good food all day long. The Two Georges Waterfront Grille in Boynton Beach has been around for a while. With a delightful tropical setting and great food, it's popular with the locals.

Boca Raton, one of the fastest growing communities that offers excellent dining and attractions, not to mention beautiful retirement developments.  

Northern Towns
Communities just north of Palm Beach include Jupiter, made famous by actor Burt Reynolds, as well as Palm Beach Gardens and Riviera Beach, noted for its marinas, sport fishing charters and dive shops. Wellington is home to the Palm Beach Polo Club. Many excellent restaurants in these towns offer dining establishments that equal those in the county's southern towns. In Palm Beach Gardens, the Abbey Road Grill and Sports Emporium, featuring TV screens everywhere for sports programs, offers great steaks and seafood.

Palm Beach and its neighboring cities offer a myriad of great places to eat for any time of the day. Depending on what activity you may be pursuing, whether it's a day of shopping on Worth Avenue, playing gold at one of the 147 courses in the county, or dressed to kill for a memorable night on the town, you'll find just the perfect restaurant, café, bistro, or diner to make your day complete. The choices are many and the decision may be a tough one, but no matter which you decide, the atmosphere of Palm Beach and its impeccable taste sets the standard.

Rich in pioneering history, inundated with great wealth, and steeped in Hollywood-style glamor, Palm Beach draws curious visitors and new residents alike. The name is recognized the world over as a destination for wealthy vacationers, royalty, and celebrities. In addition to having excellent cultural events throughout the year, Palm Beach County also has the largest number of golf courses in the United States: 147. Everywhere you look, you'll find courses designed by prestigious trophy winners such as Arnold Palmer.

Palm Beach
Once an uninhabitable swampland, the area would have remained a challenging wasteland except for the vision and determination of a man with lots and lots of money, railroad baron Henry Flagler. Whitehall, now the Flagler Museum, set the standard for other members of Henry Flagler's social and financial standing who followed him south. Constructed in the popular Beaux Arts architectural style in 1902 on six acres, Whitehall was a 55-room, 60,000 square foot vacation house. Open now to public tours, it offers a glimpse how the American millionaires of the period made a dramatic statement to the world. At the age of 72, Mr. Flagler certainly made one with this $4 million gift to his new bride and third wife, complete with European works of art, Roman sculptures, enormous ballroom with gilded mirrors, and gold china service and porcelain.

When the wealthy came south to Florida's warmer climate at the turn of the century, they had money to spend, of course. Their legacies of wealthy lifestyles have maintained our fascination with the Palm Beach aura and what the city it is today: a great place to visit or live. Worth Avenue has become a distinctive shopping destination with exclusive European shops and first class restaurants. Although changes have occurred over the years, you'll find over 200 specialty stores such as Chanel, Escada, Gucci, Hermes of Paris, Louis Vuitton, Maus & Hoffman, Myers Luggage, Saks Fifth Avenue, Sonia Rykiel, and of course, Tiffany & Co.. Antique shops and art galleries abound.

When it comes to dining, there are many excellent places to choose from. Charming cafes, delightful coffee houses, and quaint bistros can be found throughout the city and around famous Worth Avenue. You'll find great ocean view dining and fresh seafood at Charley's Crab.

West Palm Beach
West Palm Beach was created for workers who built the fabulous mansions and hotels for Henry Flagler at the turn of the century. Today, it's historic downtown district offers fine entertainment, shopping, and great restaurants. Many of its early homes are now charming bed and breakfasts. Interstate highway I-95 runs north and south through it as the major travel artery. Private yachts glide down the beautiful Intracoastal Waterway, mooring at marinas for overnight docking or extended visits. As a center of art and culture with museums and galleries, the county hosts some of the largest art festivals and music events in Florida, including professional touring companies who perform at the impressive concert hall, Kravis Center. On Saturday mornings, the GreenMarket in West Palm Beach is an experience in itself where breakfast can be enjoyed under shade trees while buying fresh pastries, fruits, and vegetables.

Northern Cities
To the north of Palm Beach are the communities of Palm Beach Gardens, Wellington, Riviera Beach, and Jupiter. Diving and fishing charters are available, as well as tour boats along the Palm Beach coast and the Intracoastal Waterway.

Palm Beach's glamorous season provides a variety of exciting diversions, from lavish theatrical productions to leisure sports such as polo or croquet. From December to April, avid fans spend an amusing afternoon at the Palm Beach Polo and Country Club. Club members dressed in high style sit in reserved box seats on one side of the playing field and sip champagne. On the other side, non-members enjoy the sport as well, watching the fast playing action from chaise lounges next to their automobiles and feasting from picnic baskets. During the break, everyone gets on the field to replace divots.

Southern Cities
South of the city are the trendy towns of Lake Worth, Boynton Beach and Boca Raton, each with their own charming historic districts and enchanting 1920s bed and breakfast inns.

The city of Palm Beach has drawn visitors for over a hundred years. Its lure hasn't diminished one iota. As one of the most beautiful cities on Florida's east coast, it offers a myriad of activities, attractions, grand hotels and quaint historic inns, all in a most agreeable environment and setting. It is truly a paradise for everyone to enjoy on all levels.

Palm Beach is a destination with a warm climate, outstanding cultural and sporting events, great hotels, unique shopping experiences, and excellent dining. It attracts many for both business and pleasure. There's also a variety of entertainment, from sophisticated and complex to bargain basement casual. What more could you ask for?

Sports
In Palm Beach County, as in most of Florida, golf is a major sport and there's a course in almost every nook and cranny. At The Breakers-Ocean & West Course Resort, you'll find some of the oldest courses in the area. Across the Intracoastal Waterway to the west in West Palm Beach, the Emerald Dunes Golf Club will not disappoint the dedicated player looking for a challenge.

Palm Beach is the winter home to several professional sports teams. Avid fans won't want to miss practice sessions and games. In North Palm Beach, you'll find the New York Mets at Thomas J. White Stadium, and the Los Angeles Dodgers at the Holman Stadium. For Saint Louis Cardinals or Montreal Expos training center, check the schedule at Roger Dean Stadium.

For a different kind of spectator sport, take a champagne picnic and watch the ponies at the Palm Beach Polo and Country Club in Wellington, just west of Palm Beach. Racing and gambling enthusiasts will enjoy greyhound racing at the Palm Beach Kennel Club in West Palm Beach.

Educational Attractions
For family fun and entertainment, visit the 22-acre Palm Beach Zoo at Dreher Park in West Palm Beach, home to over 500 animals. Right next door is the South Florida Science Museum with prehistoric exhibits, an aquarium and planetarium show. In Clewiston, a few miles west of Palm Beach, learn about the Seminole Indians at the Ah Tah Thi Ki Museum. Also just west, is the well known Lion Country Safari, located in Loxahatchee.

Outdoor Activities
In North Palm Beach, the Rapids Water Park in Riviera Beach offers a wave pool, slides, and river rides. It's a great place to cool off when the summer heat is on. Fishing anyone? You've come to the right area, whether it's off a pier or from a charter boat, this sport ranks high here. Marinas up and down the county coast feature many fishing excursion options.

There are many parks offering a variety of amenities and activities. In West Palm Beach, the 800 acre Cholee Park features equestrian and mountain bike trails. At the 405 acre Dyer Park, you'll find biking and equestrian trails, picnic areas, freshwater fishing, and sports activities.

Theater and Music
For cultural events, there's the magnificent concert hall, Kravis Center in West Palm Beach. Other excellent performing arts theaters include the Royal Palm Performing Arts Theatre and the Royal Poinciana Playhouse.

For some great nightclubbing a short drive south, listen to touring blues bands in historic Lake Worth at the Bamboo Room. In West Palm Beach, the Caribbean-style Monkeyclub offers great live entertainment to spend a romantic evening.

Festivals
Art shows and festivals in the Palm Beach area are some of the biggest. In Boca Raton, a March event is the Meet Me Downtown where 4,000 artisans and crafters overwhelm US Highway 1. In May, you can't miss the Palm Beach Sunfest.

Shopping
When it comes to shopping, Palm Beach is in a class all its own. Next to Fifth Avenue in New York, Worth Avenue is most famous. When you get tired patronizing all those expensive specialty shops and you can't carry another bag, rest a while and re-energize with lunch at one of the many bistros and cafes along the shopping district. Don't forget to bargain hunt for designer discards, antiques, furniture and art work at the upscale thrift shop, Embassy Boutique.

Just north in Palm Beach Gardens, the Gardens Mall offers 160 specialty shops, or south in Boca Raton, there's Town Center at Boca Raton with 220 shops.

When it comes to entertainment, you'll find it all and then some here in Palm Beach and close by. There's so much to do and see. But you'll just have to discover it for yourself!

Palm Beach

State: Florida

Country: United States

Palm Beach by the Numbers
Population: 8,649
Elevation: 7 feet / 2 meters
Average Annual Precipitation: 62.3 inches / 158.2 centimeters
Average January Temperature: 66°F / 19°C
Average July Temperature: 83°F / 28°C

Quick Facts
Electricity: 110 volts, 60Hz, standard two pin plugs

Time Zone: GMT-5

Country Dialing Code: +1

Area Code: 561

Did You Know?
The city of Palm Beach was established by Henry Morrison Flagler in 1894 when he opened Royal Poinciana Hotel. Palm Beach is now considered one of the premier vacationing spots in America thanks to its mild temperatures year round.

Peanut Island has an underground bunker built for President John F. Kennedy.

Orientation
Palm Beach is located in South Florida on the Atlantic coast. It is about 67 miles (108 kilometers) north of Miami.

Before Florida became a territory of the United States in 1821, the country was mostly inhabited by many indigenous peoples, especially the Seminole Indians. Few white settlers had succeeded in taming the harshness of the land. Those who did were either cattle ranchers or farmers.

Men of vision and determination such as Henry Flagler saw a golden opportunity to develop the east coast of Florida. After visiting the area, he became enamored with its temperate climate and saw that hotels and a good transportation system would lure winter visitors. In 1893 he purchased 140 acres on the Atlantic Ocean of what was then called Palm Beach, named because of the many cabbage palms that grew along the beach.

In 1894, Henry Flagler opened his first Palm Beach resort, The Royal Poinciana, on Lake Worth. At the time, it was the only oceanfront hotel south of Daytona Beach. Two years later, he built the Port of Palm Beach, consisting of a pier 1000 feet long to accommodate steamships traveling to Nassau, Havana, and Key West.

By the turn of the century, Palm Beach was celebrated as the winter vacation grounds for the wealthy. The Royal Poinciana resort was enlarged to twice its size. In 1900, the foundation for the Flagler estate, Whitehall, was laid, opening in 1902.

Between 1920 and 1927, the population of Palm Beach increased four fold. The community saw new schools, an increase in farming, sugar businesses, hotels, theaters, and services. Hurricanes in 1926 and 1928 brought considerable property damage. To make matters worse, the stock market crashed in 1929, reducing property values in half. It took many years to regain the loss.

World War II brought the military into place along Florida's coastline to watch for enemy submarines and U-boats. During the 1950s, veterans from the war began moving into the area. This began a new era in the development of Palm Beach and neighboring communities.

Today, a revitalization program for the downtown district is underway. Mansions built by industrial magnates in the 1920s are museums. Whitehall is a magnificent example of the opulence of the era.

Many of the smaller neighborhood homes are now charming bed and breakfasts. Grand hotels cater to both the business and pleasure traveler. Worth Avenue is once again an exclusive shopping boulevard, lined with restaurants, art galleries, antique stores and boutiques. During the summer months, the town is more affordable. Seasonal rates at hotels and inns attract many who might not otherwise come during the winter.

Palm Beach is still the winter vacation-land of many, whether wealthy or not so wealthy. Visitors flock to this historic city all year long. The price of real estate is skyrocketing again. Renovations of historic homes are encouraged with grants and recognition.

Families and yuppies fit right in. Palm Beach appeals to everyone. For sure, the swaying palms, warm ocean breezes, and tropical waters haven't changed one bit.

Points of interest in West Palm Beach

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