From exquisite architecture to white sandy beaches, the town of Palm Beach is just waiting to be discovered. Check out our Palm Beach travel guide for top inspiration here…
There’s something about Palm Beach that captivates you as soon as you cross the bridge from the mainland over the Lake Worth Lagoon and land in what feels like your own private island. We arrive in the midst of summer and the sun overhead is strong, enveloping the roads in a deliciously toasty haze. Palm trees sway and as we wind the windows down on the car we can hear waves lapping against the shore in the distance. Palm Beach is a hideout of rock stars, screen icons and billionaires, with the likes of Rod Stewart and Donald Trump residing here. And it’s not difficult to see why. This is a place that has everything, from water sports and relaxed Caribbean style dining, to museums, art galleries, spas and bars. Whether you decide to visit here as a full holiday or for a short break you will quickly plant your roots and find it almost impossible to be dragged away once your vacation comes to an end. Here is our travel guide to Palm Beach, from where to stay and what to do, to the best things to see and places to eat…
To get there
You can’t get a direct flight from London to Palm Beach, so we recommend you either fly to Orlando and make a road trip of it, or you fly in to Fort Lauderdale which is a short hour drive away and takes roughly 9 hours 45 minutes to fly. For our experience, we flew with British Airways to Fort Lauderdale and drove to Palm Beach using rentalcars.com. The flight includes plenty of leg space, 23kg of luggage, food and bar service and 30-31″ legroom as well as food and bar service. You can upgrade to Premium Economy for 38″ legroom, 2 x 23kg baggage allowance, a separate smaller cabin and a three course meal as well as bar service. Take a look at flights here.
When in Palm Beach there is no better place to stay than the Eau Palm Beach. A beautiful resort with over 300 guest rooms and suites, it boasts the closest restaurant on the island to the beach, a Forbes Five-Star Spa, three tennis courts, two pools and four restaurants. As soon as you pull up to the sun-yellow exterior you are greeted by staff who are only too happy to help, presented with a cold glass of champagne and shown effortlessly to your room. Each room features unique decor by Jonathan Adler, his playful and sophisticated style represented in each sun-drenched nook and cranny of the space. The rooms feel luxuriously homey, with a plush king-sized bed and unique ornaments and each balcony features a cushioned swinging chair ideal for relaxing and watching the ocean views below. During your stay be sure to dine at Temple Orange, the on-site Mediterranean restaurant, and also Angle for a more fine dining dinner. To relax, we recommend you book into the spa for a treatment – they pride themselves in their “Champagne and Cupcakes” offering and as well as a range of treatments, you can create your own healing body scrub, relax in the hot tub and read a magazine from a swinging chair while dipping your toes in cool water. There’s no better way to while away a day. If you’re lucky enough to stay in the Hotel during Turtle hatching season, head to the beach either early in the morning or late at night and you might be lucky enough to see some baby turtles emerging from their nests.
Take to the water on a Stand Up Paddleboard
If there’s one way to see Palm Beaches it’s from the water and Blueline Surf & Paddle Co. located in Jupiter offer a whole host of ways to do this. It’s not the main ocean meaning there aren’t big waves and the beauty of the intracoastal sees it bordered by large palm trees, a lighthouse and houses of extravagant beauty with their own mini docks for their privately owned boats. This location means you can tie it in with lunch at Guanabanas, or head for a pre-shopping trip on your way to the Palm Beach outlets just a half hour drive away. Either way, you have no excuse for skipping out on this water craze where you stand on an oversized board and use a paddle to manoeuvre yourself around. If you’re a little more daring, they also run exercise classes such as yoga and Pilates on the boards. And if you do fall into the water (which, let’s face it, is pretty likely) the weather’s so beautiful you soon dry off. Try it and find out more information on paddle boarding in Palm Beach here.
Take a bike tour of Palm Beach
Cycling is no longer reserved for die-hard outdoorsy types and this tour is ideal to suit anyone looking to find out more about Palm Beach in an interesting way. Head to Island Living Tours where you can rent your bike and from there you will be shown the high-society life of the island of Palm Beach from past to present. Your guide Leslie makes the tour exciting and interesting, with plenty of stops to take in the views and learn about the town’s world-class architecture, colourful history and its residents – both the famous and the infamous. Be sure to take water with you as it can get tiring when the weather is hot.
Visit the Henry Morrison Flagler Museum
When in Palm Beach, be sure to head to the Henry Flagler Museum to learn all about the history of Palm Beach and how it came to be the thriving hub it is today. The grand house was a wedding gift of Henry Flagler to his third wife and is a beautiful setting to spend an afternoon. With a beautiful white facade and palm-tree lined walk, the exterior is just as beautifully kept as the interior which portrays the buildings heritage dating back to 1902. We’d recommend booking in a tour to learn all the hidden secrets and facts of the place.
Head to the Zoo
Palm Beach Zoo is located at Dreher Park in West Palm Beach. The zoo houses more than 550 animals, many of them endangered, within 23-acres of lush tropical habitat, making it ideal for a day out. A large focus here is on their breeding programme, working to advance their conservation mission through helping endangered species to breed and also support conservation initiatives. The zoo is of a size that you can spend a good half day – or longer – strolling about talking in all the animals. There is everything from bears and tigers to an albino alligator, wild cat and everything in between. While there be sure to book into one of their experiences where you can get up close and personal with some of the animals. We tried the Aldabra Tortoise experience and got to both feed and pet them, as well as learn more about their habitat – a must for any animal lover!
Spend a day at Delray Beach
During your trip be sure to take a trip to Delray Beach where you can tale in the chilled vibe imbued with a playful edge. This is an area that throbs with the aplomb of being the cool kid on the block. It’s a super arty and inspiring area, with plenty of galleries to visit and wander round. There are throngs of bars, stylish boutique shops and restaurants to dip into as you explore and the powdery sands and crystal clear waters of Delray Municipal Beach beg a visit. We recommend you head to DaDa for dinner – a quirky restaurant in one of the oldest historic homes on Delray beach. It has an eclectic interior, fairylight adorned outdoor space and revolving artwork to compliment the creative cuisine. Be sure to try their innovative Margharita’s! After dinner wander a short way over to Silverball, a super cool and lively bar/ museum with more than 150 video games and pinball machines gating back as far as the 1930s – and all are free to play! At night you can expect live DJs a bar offering all your favourite drinks and hours of fun to be had. Don’t fancy walking round Delray Beach? One of the most common forms of transport is the golf cart service!
Grab lunch at the Grandview Public Market
Grandview Public Market is nestled in the city’s warehousing district – a series of industrial buildings that are”transforming into something special.” The open space warehouse of Grandview Public Market showcases twelve chef-inspired vendors offering a host of culinary delights in a creative and inspiring space. Whether you are looking for something to grab and go or a place to sit and network, catch up with work on your laptop, or to relax with friends it offers just that. We headed for lunch and couldn’t recommend it any more for a different sort of dining.
Lunch at Guanabanas
Sat right on the waterfront and just across the road from the Blueline surf and paddle Co is Guanabanas restaurant, a Caribbean inspired eatery with a delicious menu including island favourites and fresh seafood. Sip a cocktail at the tiki bar, enjoy live music and take in the beautiful Intracoastal Waterway view. A staple location in Jupiter, we recommend heading for lunch where they offer a range of sandwiches and wraps, and to refuel after a morning of water sports.
Dinner at Grato
For delicious Italian in Palm Beach, nowhere does it better than Grato. Grato is the sort of place where it can be what you want of it – if you want to slip into a dress and heels for date night it is perfect, or if you want to wear something more casual and head with your friends for Friday night drinks and a bite to eat it will cater for both. They offer housemade pasta, wood-fired pizzas and a whole host of other Italian dishes that you are sure to find more than one thing you really fancy. The decor is cosy and elegant, inviting you in and making you not want to leave when the plates have long been taken away.
There is so much to do, see and experience in Palm Beaches that no matter your vacation preference you will fall under the city’s charming spell. You will leave with a whole host of memories, feeling enriched, relaxed, informed and a whole lot more tanned than when you arrive. The setting is ideal to rid you of all your stresses and make you come back home feeling better than you have in a long time.
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