ideal towns >> west palm beach, fl
West Palm Beach — Florida’s Gold Coast
by Scott Kauffman
Ever since founding father Henry Flagler opened the Royal Poinciana in 1894, turning Palm Beach into a vacation hot spot for Northerners, this part of southeast Florida has long been
one of the most exclusive places to live and visit.
If Palm Beach is where the rich and famous gather amongst “glitz and glamour,” West Palm Beach on the other side of the Intracoastal Waterway represents a more “normal” lifestyle. But make no mistake, though less swanky than its sister city across the bridge, West Palm Beach is every bit as lively and desirable.
With its vibrant new CityPlace shopping and dining center, dozens of gorgeous golf and resort-style communities and historic Clematis Street, one of 15 designated historic districts in the city, West Palm Beach has a historic and hip character unique to most urban places.
Plus, flanked by Riviera Beach to the north and Lake Worth to the south, this 55-square-mile city offers lots of open space for outdoor enthusiasts and attractive real estate values.
Basically, West Palm Beach represents the best of both worlds:proximity to the Palm Beaches but world’s apart in pricing and attitude.
- Avocado Grill is one of the newer restaurants rolling into West Palm, featuring a full raw bar and small plates of delightful avocado-centric dishes.
- Café Boulud was established as a Palm Beach foodies’ paradise at the Brazilian Court Hotel.
- Café Chardonnay features innovative cuisine set in a contemporary space with an outstanding, naturally, wine list.
- Café L’Europe is one of Palm Beach’s best-known establishments. It’s perfect for romantic outings, featuring a weekend jazz combo to help set the mood.
- Marcello’s La Sirena’s Northern Italian menu focuses on al dente-perfect pastas, light as air, and accompanied by sumptuous sauces.
- Meat Market, originally started in Miami, is a self-described “sexier and more glamorous” place to enjoy steak and seafood.
Top Things To Do
- CityPlace This mixed-used center is a buzz of shopping, entertainment and dining.
- Clematis Street A must-stop in the historic heart of downtown West Palm Beach.
- Coral Sky Amphitheater This open-air venue is great for outdoor concerts.
- Flagler Museum Formerly the Palm Beach estate of Henry Flagler, it was once dubbed the “Taj Mahal of North America.”
- Lion Country Safari It’s best to stay in your car in this rare real-life safari ride amongst lions.
- Mounts Botanical Garden Approximately 14 landscaped acres display tropical and subtropical plants, both native and exotic.
- Norton Museum of Art Collections range from 19th- and 20th-century paintings to Chinese bronzes and Buddhist sculptures.
- Okeeheelee Park Just west of the city is a beautiful place for adventures with kayak rentals and outdoor activities.
- South Florida Science Center and Aquarium Hands-on exhibits explore light, color, sound and paleontology.