10 Things to Do in Palm Beach
Start exploring Palm Beach, Florida with these 10 not-to-be-missed attractions!
Sophisticated and elegant, Palm Beach is a world-renowned destination for its intriguing architecture, blue ocean waves, small-town character, genuine hospitality, and cultural offerings. This stunning town nestled between the Lake Worth Lagoon and the Atlantic Ocean offers plenty of things to do. Here we have listed our top 10!
1. The Breakers Palm Beach
An iconic destination for more than 125 years, The Breakers is a luxury, Italian Renaissance-style resort situated on 140 acres of oceanfront property in the heart of Palm Beach.
Founded by Henry M. Flagler in 1896, this stunning property delights guests with gracious service, unparalleled seaside glamour and world-class amenities. The resort’s legacy began in 1894 with the development of the Royal Poinciana Hotel, a Georgian beauty built on the shores of Lake Worth. Opening to universal acclaim, Flagler quickly decided to expand his estate, constructing a second hotel on the beachfront portion of the property, down by “the breakers,” or where the waves crash.
Throughout the years, The Breakers has been rebuilt twice due to fires in 1903 and 1925. The second reconstruction was awarded to New York City-based designers Schultze and Weaver, who used European influences and inspiration from the Villa Medici in Rome.
Upon reopening, the resort’s reputation continued to grow, and today, The Breakers is recognized as one of America’s most iconic resorts. Book a suite or enjoy a spectacular brunch experience at The Circle on Sunday morning.
2. The Henry M. Flagler Museum
Situated on the west side of Palm Beach Island, the Henry Morrison Flagler Museum offers tours of Henry M. Flagler’s Gilded Age-era estate, Whitehall.
Completed in 1902 and used by Flagler and his wife as a winter retreat until 1913, the 100,000-square-foot mansion is today a National Historic Landmark. The museum has restored Whitehall in all its gilded glamour, and highlights Flagler’s accomplishments in shaping Florida’s history and America’s Gilded Age.
Changing exhibitions and special programs are offered throughout the Palm Beach season, and visitors can climb aboard Flagler’s private Railcar No. 91 which dates to 1896. The museum is open Tuesday through Saturday from 10 am to 5 pm, and on Sunday from 12 pm to 5 pm. Buy your tickets here.
3. Worth Avenue
Worth Avenue is an enchanting and a world-renowned shopping destination spanning three blocks from the Atlantic Ocean to the Intracoastal Waterway.
Considered one of the most beautiful shopping venues in the country, Worth Avenue is a sophisticated area where the spectacular shopping and dining scene pairs with art exhibit and architectural beauties. Here, you’ll find anything from gourmet restaurants to high-end stores and short “vias” located off the main street. Via Parigi, Via Mizner, Via Roma, and Via Amore are just a few of the several vias filled with boutiques and outdoor dining options.
Some of the big brand names that boast a store on this luxurious avenue include Neiman Marcus, Cartier, Louis Vuitton, Tiffany & Co., Tourneau, Hermès, Ralph Lauren, Gucci and many more.
Stop at the Lilly Pulitzer boutique and shop authentic Palm Beach resorts’ wear with bright colorful floral patterns. And if you’re hungry, take a seat at Pizza Al Fresco. Located in Via Mizner, this peculiar restaurant offers delicious brick-oven pizzas and classic Italian specialties in an outdoor courtyard surrounded by beautiful architecture.
Hidden among the fern fronds of the restaurant’s courtyard, you’ll find the only cemetery in Palm Beach—actually a pet cemetery. One of the two graves resting there belongs to spider monkey Johnnie Brown, the famous pet once belonging to architect Addison Mizner. Johnnie Brown became famous in Palm Beach around the 1920s, as he made his way around the island on the shoulder of Mizner. His tombstone reads “Johnnie Brown, The Human Monkey, Died April 30, 1927.”
4. The Clock Tower
The Clock Tower—an iconic landmark hard to go unnoticed—is located between palm trees right at the entrance of Worth Avenue.
The clock faces both the avenue and the beautiful Atlantic Ocean that lies behind. The 25-foot tower stands out majestically on the sidewalk of Old Ocean Boulevard—just the perfect place to take a selfie! The clock is also intended to be a monument to the Palm Beach Pier which stood on that site before it was destroyed by a hurricane in 1930.
The construction of the clock was part of a $15.8 million renovation to the stylish Worth Ave in 2010, which included wider sidewalks, antique-style streetlights, and palm trees lining up along the sidewalks.
5. The Royal Poinciana Plaza
The Royal Poinciana Plaza is a high-end shopping destination built in the late 1950s. Today, the plaza includes a total of 50 hand-selected brands surrounded by classic John Volk architecture—a great example of his signature Palm Beach style.
With 180,000 square feet of retail space and lush gardens, the plaza offers a unique international shopping and entertainment experience for indulgence and retreat.
When you’re there make sure to stop at Sant Ambroeus and savor authentic Milanese specialties. This stunning upscale restaurant offers a fine dining experience, a bar with cocktails and café tables, and a signature coffee bar and gelateria.
A few steps away from the plaza, you’ll also find a 11-foot-tall bronze statue of Henry Flagler, located on Royal Poinciana Way on the median east of the intersection with Cocoanut Row and Bradley Place.
6. The Society of the Four Arts
Founded in 1936, the Society of the Four Arts is a nonprofit cultural organization and one of Palm Beach’s oldest and most respected cultural destinations.
This cultural institution offers a dynamic lineup of engaging and inspiring cultural programming, including art exhibitions, notable speakers, concerts, films, and educational programs.
The 10-acre campus along the Intracoastal Waterway in Palm Beach includes a performance hall, an art gallery designed by famed architect Addison Mizner, a modern education center devoted to lifelong learning, a library, a children’s library, and beautiful sculpture gardens designed in 1938.
7. The Lake Trail
In front of the impressive Flagler Museum alongside the western edge of Palm Beach, you’ll find Lake Trail, a place that boasts some of the most exclusive addresses in the world, but also a trail where joggers, nannies, visitors, and Palm Beach locals mix together along walls draped with bougainvillea and ivy.
The trail is 5 and a half miles long, running from South Lake Drive near Peruvian Avenue North to its terminus just north of the famous Sailfish Club.
One of the main attractions on the trail is a giant kapok tree, a transplant from the Amazon rainforest brought here as an experimental crop tree in Palm Beach’s earliest days. Another attraction on the trail is the old Bethesda-by-the-Sea, a deconsecrated church converted to a family residence. The all-wood home is full of early 20th century charm and design, with a concrete path lifted and buckled by an ancient Banyan tree.
Lastly, the sight of the splendid boats with the West Palm Beach skyline in the distance makes for an Instagram shot that should not be missed.
8. The Sea Gull Cottage
In the shadows of the Flagler Museum is a small cottage, clad in blue shingles and a wood shake roof. Called the Sea Gull Cottage, this unassuming little structure is perhaps as historically important to the Island as Flagler’s palatial home.
Built in 1886, the cottage was considered one of the nicest homes on the island, with stained glass windows and a staircase constructed of mahogany salvaged from a local shipwreck.
Henry Flagler was so impressed he decided to buy the house and the entire tract of land it sat upon. The cottage became Flagler’s winter home, and the land nearby became the construction site for his new mansion, completed in 1902.
The charming, three-level cottage is next to the Lake Trail, and serves the community of Palm Beach for functions and events.
9. Palm Beach Par 3 Golf Course
Nestled between the Atlantic Ocean and the Lake Worth Lagoon, renowned Palm Beach Par 3 Golf Course offers an unparalleled golfing experience.
The golf course was originally designed by legendary golf course architect Dick Wilson and his apprentice Joe Lee in 1961. Then, the course was completely renovated in 2009 by World Hall of Fame champion Raymond Floyd.
Palm Beach Par 3 Golf Course is immersed in a beautiful tropical landscape, along with two lakes and lush paspalum turf where there’s always an ocean breeze.
The golf course boasts 18 beautiful holes, from 81 to 211 yards and 3 sets of tees on each hole. There is also a new 2-story Key West style clubhouse that features a fully stocked Pro-shop and al Fresco Restaurant and Bar.
10. Buccan & Café Boulud
No visit of Palm Beach is complete without a gourmet dinner experience in the heart of Palm Beach at Buccan or Café Boulud. Curated by Chef Clay Conley, Buccan offers inventive American cuisine made with the freshest, carefully selected ingredients. On the menu you’ll find dishes with innovative flavors featuring fish, meat, pasta, and even plant-based specialties and raw options, such as ceviche or steak tartare. Reserve your table here.
Café Boulud is a legendary restaurant at the Brazilian Court Hotel. The restaurant boasts a wine cellar filled with vintages from every continent and a menu created by Michelin-starred Chef Daniel Boulud and Executive Chef Dieter Samijn.
Mouthwatering local favorites include Potato Crusted Seabass, Maine Scallops with Summer Squash and Olive Aioli, and the beloved Dover Sole Meuniere, filleted tableside.