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.

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    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.
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    Where can I go to watch sports in Palm Beach?

    Sports fans will find plenty to cheer about when visiting Palm Beach. Start your engines and watch drag or kart racing at the Palm Beach International Raceway. If you visit in February, you can catch the Palm Beach Grand Prix. Though, you can take the wheel yourself and enroll in a driving course.

    In the winter, equestrian fans will delight in watching a polo match, steeplechase or dressage at any of a number of centers throughout the Palm Beach area. You can even mount your own horse and ride along Palm Beach’s 300 miles of trails.

    Baseball die-hards make a pilgrimage to South Florida in the spring to see the Florida Marlins and St. Louis Cardinals, both of whom have spring training at Roger Dean Stadium in nearby Jupiter. Grab your Cracker Jacks and you’re set.

    If your game takes place on the gridiron, travel just about an hour away to watch the Miami Dolphins battle it out at Sun Life Stadium.

    Of course, if you’d rather sit back with a pint and watch the game on TV, there are plenty of bars in the area that are sure to show your favorite team: Grease, Duffy’s and O’Shea’s Pub in downtown West Palm Beach; Dive Bar in Jupiter Island; or the Old Key Lime House or Dave’s Last Resort and Raw Bar in Lake Worth.
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    What are the best Palm Beach museums?

    If you’re looking for the best museums in Palm Beach, start with the state’s largest, the Norton Museum of Art. It exhibits works from 19th- and 20th-century masters like Gauguin, Matisse, Miró, Monet, Picasso, Hopper and Pollock. The internationally known museum also carries an impressive collection of Chinese art, contemporary art and photography.

    For some local history, try the Flagler Museum. It’s dedicated to railroad tycoon Henry Flagler, who was instrumental in developing south Florida. His hotels also helped establish tourism in the state. Want more history? Check out 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 People Gallery, learn about those who helped build up the area and 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.

    If science is more your thing, geek out at the South Florida Science Museum in West Palm Beach. Test yourself 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 just might make you forget about Palm Beach’s lovely beaches — at least for a little while.
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    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.
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    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.
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    What are the five best things to do on a romantic trip to Palm Beach?

    It’s easy to find romance in Palm Beach — there’s sunsets, sand, the beach. But if you need some help in the romance department, here’s our list of the five best things to do with your sweetheart in Palm Beach:

    1. Stroll along the coastline. At the risk of sounding cliché, a moonlit stroll on the beach is always a winner when it comes to fairy-tale romance. The water lapping at your feet, the sand beneath your toes and a nice breeze blowing through your hair make the walk that much more enchanting.

    2. Ogle some artwork. Impress your sweetie with your cultural savvy by bringing her to the Norton Museum of Art, internationally known for its permanent collection. The 19th- and 20th-century Chinese, European and American works of art will give you plenty to talk about on your date.

    3. Hit the shops on Worth Avenue. Stroll along Worth Avenue and you’ll know why this ritzy strip of shops is known as the Rodeo Drive of the East Coast. Pop into any one of the 250 boutiques, and you’ll surely find that special something for your special someone. You’ll definitely score some points if you pick up a sparkly gift from Tiffany & Co., Cartier or Van Cleef & Arpels.

    4. Drift into the world of romantic relaxation. To really reconnect, book a couples treatment at Eau Spa at the Ritz-Carlton, Palm Beach. For a really special treat, reserve a private Garden Villa, complete with outdoor shower or bath and fragrant gardens.

    5. Catch a polo match. If you’re visiting Palm Beach in the winter months, you may want to take in a polo match at the Polo Club Palm Beach. Time it right and you just may be able to attend the U.S. Open Polo Championship. You and your loved one will have fun rooting for the ponies.
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    What is Palm Beach’s cultural scene like?

    Although Palm Beach is all about the sun and sand, it offers a rich culture scene. It boasts the state’s largest museum, the Norton Museum of Art. The internationally known museum specializes in 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. Another spot worth a look-see is the Flagler Museum. The museum pays homage to railroad tycoon Henry Flagler, who was instrumental in developing south Florida. His hotels helped establish tourism in the state.

    Want more history? Check out 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 People Gallery, 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.

    If live art is more your style, check out the performances at the Kravis Center for the Performing Arts in West Palm Beach. The center is the home base for the Miami City Ballet, Palm Beach Opera, and the Palm Beach Pops. You can catch everything from Broadway productions like Les Misérables to stand-up comedians like Dennis Miller on its stage.

    Of course, larger cities like Fort Lauderdale and Miami aren’t too far away, offering even more opportunities to take in a bit of culture during your stay.
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    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.
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    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.
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    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.
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    What is the best Palm Beach nightlife?

    Many choose to visit quiet Palm Beach to get away from it all, which means it’s not a banging spot for nightlife. However, if you want to party the night away, there are several options in and around Palm Beach. In West Palm Beach, make your way to Feelgoods Rock Bar for a rockin’ good time. Dance the night away to tunes from a live band or a DJ. Other West Palm Beach spots are Gratify, which has a pub atmosphere, or the Blind Monk Wine Bar, where you can sip a glass with friends.

    In nearby Delray Beach, Falcon House is popular for its creative cocktails and laid-back vibe, while the Office is a gastropub with a bar-next-door feel. Buddha Sky Bar offers a rooftop bar with views of the ocean in an exclusive setting. And if you want to stay in Palm Beach, try Cucina Dell’Arte, the hot spot on the island. People hang out at Cucina daily till 3 a.m., drinking grappa and noshing on seafood. It’s one surefire place to party in Palm Beach.
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