Answers from Our Experts (1)
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.