What are the five best things to see and do in Palm Beach?

Susan Barnes

If you must pull yourself away from the beach during your stay in Palm Beach, there’s plenty to pique your interest. Here’s our list of the five best things to see and do in Palm Beach:

1. Visit the Norton Museum of Art. The largest museum in Florida, the Norton Museum of Art resides in West Palm Beach. Head to the internationally known museum to see works from 19th- and 20th-century masters like Gauguin, Matisse, Miró, Monet, Picasso, Hopper and Pollock. It also carries an impressive collection of Chinese art, contemporary art and photography.

2. Chug along to the Flagler Museum. Railroad tycoon Henry Flagler was instrumental in developing south Florida, and his hotels helped establish tourism in the state. The Flagler Museum is a testament to the pioneer’s vision and the Gilded Age.

3. Stroll down Worth Avenue. Shopping is a must on any vacation, and the place to break out your plastic in Palm Beach is Worth Avenue. Walk the street to peruse Chanel, Tiffany & Co., Jimmy Choo, Hermès, Armani, Cartier and Van Cleef & Arpels, along with about 250 other boutiques.

4. Sneak a peek at a turtle’s nest. Visit Palm Beach anytime May through October and you may come across a turtle nest. If you’re lucky, you’ll catch a female trudging her way from the water to continue the circle of life. Learn more about these amazing animals at the Loggerhead Marine Life Center.

5. Catch a polo match. You’ll become a fan of polo when you watch the ponies at the nearby Palm Beach Polo Golf and Country Club. The club is equipped with its own polo stadium, where you can get in on the action.

  • On July 16
    Susan Barnes answered the question: Susan Barnes

    What should I pack for a trip to Palm Beach?

    When packing your bags for a trip Palm Beach, beach gear is a must. Be sure to tote along swimsuits, sunglasses and especially some sunblock — the bright Florida sun can get you any time of year.

    If you’re visiting in the summer, throw in a few pairs of your favorite shorts and tank tops, and your walking shoes and sandals. You’ll also want to bring a few resort-casual outfits for nice dinners out. Bring a light sweater, too — restaurants tend to keep the air-conditioning turned up, and you’ll feel it if you chill easily. An umbrella is another good idea; summer storms pop up in the afternoon and can leave you soggy.

    During the spring, fall and winter, long pants and capris will get you through the day, and a light sweater or jacket will keep you warm during the cool evenings. As always, it’s always a good idea to check the weather just prior to your trip.
  • On July 16
    Susan Barnes answered the question: Susan Barnes

    What is the best way to see Palm Beach in two days?

    If you have two days to spend in Palm Beach, you may choose to spend one of the days baking on the beach. But if you want to do more than work on your tan, you’ll have a number of options.

    Start your first morning strolling along Worth Avenue in the heart of Palm Beach, just steps from the sand. The strip of upscale shops is Florida’s answer to Rodeo Drive. Among the 250 boutiques on the strip, you’ll find Chanel, Tiffany & Co., Jimmy Choo, Hermès, Armani, Cartier and Van Cleef & Arpels.

    After lunch at one of the cafés on Worth Avenue, head to the Norton Museum of Art, the largest museum in Florida. There, you’ll see works from 19th- and 20th-century masters like Gauguin, Matisse, Miró, Monet, Picasso, Hopper and Pollock. The museum also carries an impressive collection of Chinese art, contemporary art and photography. Afterward, relax at a waterfront restaurant, watch the sunset and reminisce about your day.

    The next morning, visit Spanish River Park in nearby Boca Raton. The 95-acre park — which has 850 feet of ocean frontage — is a fun place to spend the day. Climb up the 40-foot observation tower for an aerial view, or hit the fitness trails for a quick workout.

    After lunch — choose an on-the-water spot for the best views — check out the South Florida Science Museum in West Palm Beach. Test your mind with some brainteasers, touch a 232-pound meteorite from space, view Egyptian artifacts or safely experience the force of a tornado. The hands-on, interactive exhibits and laser and star show will keep you busy for hours.

    When the sun’s about to set, make your way back to the beach and take a walk. The gorgeous beach is the city’s best asset, so don’t leave Palm Beach without sinking your feet into the sand.
  • On July 16
    Susan Barnes answered the question: Susan Barnes

    What is the best way to see Palm Beach in one day?

    If you have one day to spend in Palm Beach, you may just want to stay on the beach and soak up the sun’s rays or play in the Atlantic. But if you want to explore the area, you can get a good feel of all that Palm Beach has to offer in one day.

    Start your morning strolling along Worth Avenue, considered the Rodeo Drive of Florida. Window-shop among 250 boutiques, including Chanel, Chanel, Tiffany & Co., Jimmy Choo, Hermès, Armani, Cartier and Van Cleef & Arpels.

    After lunch at one of the cafés on Worth Avenue, visit the Norton Museum of Art, the largest museum in the state. There, you’ll see works from 19th- and 20th-century masters like Gauguin, Matisse, Miró, Monet, Picasso, Hopper and Pollock. The museum also carries an impressive collection of Chinese art, contemporary art and photography.

    At the end of the day, toast the sunset at a waterfront restaurant and make plans for your return visit to Palm Beach — you’ll realize one day just isn’t enough.
  • On July 16
    Susan Barnes answered the question: Susan Barnes

    What’s the best time to visit Palm Beach?

    Any time is the right time to visit Palm Beach. Traditionally, spring is a beautiful season there — warm, without being as humid as the summer months. That beckoning warm weather and sunny skies oftentimes make for the perfect retreat from the lingering northern winter months. On the other hand, Floridians typically flood Palm Beach in the summer to lounge by the beach or pool and soak up the sun.

    Of course, for many, the beach is a fall and winter destination — holidays are always popular — and you’ll find tourists enjoying the balmy days then, too. The cooler weather is the perfect time to get outside and enjoy one of the myriad events held in the Palm Beach area, including Art Palm Beach, ArtiGras Fine Art Festival, the South Florida Fair, tennis championships and golf tournaments, not to mention spring training as that time of year approaches. Whatever time of year you choose to take a trip, Palm Beach will be ready with great weather.
  • On July 16
    Susan Barnes answered the question: Susan Barnes

    What are the five best free things to do in Palm Beach?

    If your wallet starts to feel the pinch, there are plenty of things to do in Palm Beach that won’t make it hurt even more. Here are our picks for the five best free things to do in town:

    1. Hit the beach. Obviously, Palm Beach’s premier attraction is its miles of beaches. Throw down a towel or pull up a lounge chair and soak in the rays, or grab your boogie board and ride the Atlantic waves. Locals say that Jupiter Beach is best, but another popular pick is Delray Beach, due to its proximity to the downtown Atlantic Avenue strip. Whichever you choose, a day at the beach is always a fun — and wallet-friendly — day.

    2. Take a hike. Walk along the 2.5 miles of trails through 90 acres of pine flatwoods and wetlands at Okeeheelee Nature Center in West Palm Beach, just off of the Florida Turnpike and west of the Atlantic Ocean. You’ll also have the chance to visit hands-on exhibits and get up close and personal with live animals, such as birds of prey and snakes, or go on an owl prowl after the sun sets. Admission to the center is free; there may be a charge for special programs. Though be forewarned that the Nature Center’s exhibits are closed Saturdays, Sundays and Mondays.

    3. Soak up local history. Learn about the history of Palm Beach and its surrounding areas at the Richard and Pat Johnson Palm Beach County Museum. Housed in a 1916 courthouse in downtown West Palm Beach, the museum features two permanent exhibits — The People Gallery and The Place Gallery. In the former, learn about those who established the area and helped develop it into what it is today, including pre-Columbian inhabitants, Seminole Indians, early pioneers, educators, influential leaders and more — all through video displays, kiosks and exhibits. The Place Gallery is filled with models and photographs of the area’s natural environment, and the animals and ecology that make it unique.

    4. See some art. The largest museum in Florida, the Norton Museum of Art, offers free admission select Saturdays. The museum is internationally known for its 19th- and 20th-century Chinese, European and American works of art. It also boasts a good selection of Contemporary art and photography.

    5. Go biking. It’s not free, but almost. For just $5, join in the full moon bike rides at Riverbend State Park, and finish up with s’mores alongside a bonfire. It’s a nice way to see the city after dark. Check with the park for dates and times.
  • On July 16
    Susan Barnes answered the question: Susan Barnes

    What are the five best things to do with kids in Palm Beach?

    There’s plenty to do in Palm Beach that will appeal to you and your kids. Of course, you can spend all of your days frolicking on the beach. But if you want a reprieve from the sun, here are our top picks:

    1. Play at the park. Spanish River Park’s 95 acres — with 1,850 feet of ocean frontage — offer a fun place to spend the day with the kiddies. Climb the 40-foot observation tower for an aerial view, or stay on the ground and take a stroll along the trails.

    2. Check out the zoo. Go international without leaving the country when you visit the 1,500 animals from North, Central and South America, Asia and Australia at the Palm Beach Zoo. Be sure to see the adorable tiger cubs.

    3. Splish-splash around. You and your kids will make a splash at Rapids Water Park. Zoom down one of the park’s 16 water slides, or if you want to go low-key, float along the lazy river.

    4. Spot a turtle’s nest. From May through October, you may come across a turtle nest along Palm Beach’s sandy shores. A quarter of the state’s sea turtle nesting happens there. If you’re lucky, you’ll catch a female slowly trudging her way from the water to continue the circle of life. Learn more about these amazing animals at the Loggerhead Marine Life Center.

    5. Get your hands on science. If science is more your thing, visit the nearby South Florida Science Museum. Its hands-on, interactive exhibits and laser and star show will delight you, not to mention your kids. Touch a 232-pound meteorite and see the only adult female mastodon in the state.
  • On July 16
    Susan Barnes answered the question: Susan Barnes

    What are the five best romantic restaurants in Palm Beach?

    You can find romance at nearly any restaurant in Palm Beach — after all, it is a beach city. However, if you’re looking for tried-and-true romantic spots, be sure to make reservations at one of the following restaurants for an evening to remember:

    1. The Restaurant. When the sun sets, the Four-Star Restaurant at the Four Seasons Resort Palm Beach becomes a romantic dinner destination. All of the tables in the dining room have a view of the ocean. Spend the evening whispering sweet nothings over a delectable American meal and candlelight.

    2. The Ritz-Carlton, Palm Beach. For an intimate dining experience, reserve a cabana and have a table set for two at the Ritz-Carlton, Palm Beach. When dinner is served, you’ll be left alone to enjoy each other’s company with stars twinkling overhead and the crashing waves of the Atlantic Ocean providing the soundtrack.

    3. Top of the Point. The stunning views add a dramatic backdrop to the warm décor and decadent cuisine at Top of the Point at the Breakers. Add that to your dining companion and unobtrusive, impeccable service, and romance is sure to bloom.

    4. Renato’s. An elegant, fine dining experience is what’s in store when you make reservations at Renato’s on Worth Avenue in the heart of Palm Beach. European cuisine and attentive service make this a popular choice to celebrate an anniversary or other special occasion.

    5. The Courtyard. If you’d like to dine alfresco, do breakfast or lunch in the Courtyard at the Chesterfield Hotel. The flower-filled space will set the mood for romance under the sun.
  • On July 16
    Susan Barnes answered the question: Susan Barnes

    Which five Palm Beach restaurants are best for brunch?

    When you crave a delicious brunch, it can be hard to navigate through all the pancake-laden options in Palm Beach. Here’s our list of the five Palm Beach restaurants that offer a fabulous brunch:

    1. Temple Orange. At the Ritz-Carlton, Palm Beach restaurant’s “Freshly Squeezed” Sunday Brunch, you’ll find staples such as meat-carving and omelet stations. But you will want to head straight for the pancake cart, which rolls around with indulgent toppings like chocolate chips, bananas, nuts, berry compote and warm sugar cane syrup. Or, eat like a local and fill up on shrimp and chilled seasonal seafood. Round out your meal with family-style pastries and desserts.

    2. Ocean Bistro. Stop by the Ocean Bistro at the Four Seasons Resort Palm Beach and order tweaked brunch favorites, including croque madame (brioche, Swiss cheese, ham, turkey and fried egg), steak and eggs, or barbecue short-rib hash with poached eggs and lemon hollandaise sauce.

    3. The Circle. Brunch is celebrated at the Circle at the Breakers. The domed room with 30-foot frescoed ceilings and Renaissance-inspired murals is filled with delectable selections, complimented by drinks concocted by the bartenders on hand. And forget your diet — there are more than 30 desserts on offer.

    4. Buccan. Newer to the brunch scene, Buccan is the place to go for twists on the usual suspects. Try dishes like ham-and-egg pizza, butternut squash beignets, eggs Benedict with roasted heirloom tomatoes, and bacon, shrimp and grits, and buttermilk friend chicken.

    5. Café Boulud. Found within the Brazilian Court Hotel & Beach Club, Café Boulud was the first of chef Daniel Boulud’s outposts of his Manhattan location. The prix fixe, three-course brunch menu is filled with unexpected dishes, but those you’d expect from this exceptional chef. Go for a wild mushroom omelet; a mâche salad and truffle vinaigrette; grilled chicken paillard with watercress, fennel, endive and a grapefruit basil vinaigrette; or moules frites with crispy pommes frites.
  • On July 16
    Susan Barnes answered the question: Susan Barnes

    What are the five best Palm Beach food experiences?

    If you’re a foodie, you’re going to love your time in Palm Beach, whatever time of year you visit. The city’s culinary scene is brimming with experiences that are worth savoring. Here are our five best picks for Palm Beach food experiences:

    1. The Metropolitan Cooking & Entertainment Show. In the spring, make plans to attend the Metropolitan Cooking & Entertainment Show. A star-studded lineup — think the Food Network’s Paula Deen, Bobby Flay and the Neelys — joins the 100 or so exhibitors, live cooking demonstrations and tasting workshops. Each year features a new slew of celebrity chefs and demos, so even if you’re a repeat attendee, you’ll always find something new.

    2. Try discount dining. Palm Beach Restaurant Month and Flavor Palm Beach are month-long events designed to get you to try area restaurants. Both fine-dining spots and more casual eateries offer prix fixe, three-course lunch or dinner menus for a fraction of the typical prices during these promotions. The events are typically held in the summer and early fall, respectively.

    3. Palm Beach Food and Wine Festival. Worth Avenue in the heart of Palm Beach sets the scene for the Palm Beach Food and Wine Festival, a premier tasting event your stomach won’t want to miss in the winter. Well-known chefs like Daniel Boulud, David Burke and Michelle Bernstein have participated in the fest. The most exclusive restaurants in the area showcase their best food and wines — all you need to do is taste and sip.

    4. The Garlic Festival. Garlic lovers rejoice during the annual Garlic Festival in nearby Delray Beach. As you can imagine, garlic takes center stage in everything offered during the wintertime food festival. Don’t miss the chance to taste garlic ice cream.
  • On July 16
    Susan Barnes answered the question: Susan Barnes

    What is Palm Beach’s restaurant scene like?

    From casual beachfront joints to exquisite fine dining, mainstream restaurants to intimate, candlelit cafés, you’ll find something to please your palate in Palm Beach. No matter where you go, seafood reigns as the food of choice here. Whether it be yellowtail snapper from the Keys or local conch, fresh-from-the-ocean goodies will be listed on almost every menu in town.

    The hottest spot right now is Buccan, a contemporary American restaurant. For brunch, you’ll find twists on the usual suspects: ham and egg pizza, butternut squash beignets, eggs Benedict with roasted heirloom tomatoes and bacon, and buttermilk fried chicken. When dinner rolls around, the tapas menu at Buccan won’t disappoint, with dishes such as steak tartare with grilled bread, black truffle and crispy egg yolk; fried Ipswich clams with pork belly, cherry pepper aioli and lemon and parsley salad; squid ink orrechiette with sausage, conch, basil and chilies; or bacon-wrapped Florida peaches with an orange ginger glaze, blue cheese and greens.

    Another fine-dining option is the Restaurant at the Four Seasons Resort Palm Beach. Every table in the Four-Star restaurant affords a view of the ocean and candlelight sets the mood. The Restaurant specializes in Atlantic seafood, like a local yellowtail snapper served alongside lobster mashed potatoes and basil vin blanc, or ahi tuna and jumbo prawns, boniato, citrus, shiitake and onion relish.

    For dessert try a regional specialty: Key lime pie. Old Key Lime House, the oldest waterfront restaurant in the state, serves a mean version of the tart custard pie. It’s a must if you want to taste a slice of Florida.
  • On July 16
    Susan Barnes answered the question: Susan Barnes

    Where is the best Palm Beach shopping?

    When the shopping bug bites, you’ve got plenty of options to choose from in Palm Beach. You’ll definitely want to make your way to Worth Avenue in the heart of Palm Beach, just steps from the sand. Who needs Rodeo Drive when you can stroll the avenue among the beautiful people and peruse boutiques like Chanel, Tiffany & Co., Jimmy Choo, Hermès, Armani, Cartier and Van Cleef & Arpels? Worth Avenue is home to about 250 upscale shops.

    More mainstream shopping can be found at CityPlace in downtown West Palm Beach. The open-air shopping center features Sephora, Banana Republic, Anthropologie, Williams-Sonoma and plenty more shops to exercise your right to charge.
Next