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Wheelchair-Accessible Itinerary in Palm Beach, FL

Here is a suggestion for a fabulous 1-day wheelchair-friendly itinerary to Palm Beach, Florida

By: Rosemarie Rossetti

When my husband and I travel, I bring my manual wheelchair and folding scooter because I have a spinal cord injury. We are a couple who like to schedule a full itinerary. This one-day itinerary in Palm Beach was just what we were looking for. The day included a historic walking tour of luxury shops, a casual lunch at a beautiful outdoor shopping plaza, and a tour of a magnificent landmark mansion, now a museum.

Worth Avenue in Palm Beach

Historic Walking Tour of Worth Avenue

On a Wednesday morning in Palm Beach, my husband and I joined about 40 people on the Historic Walking Tour of Worth Avenue. Rick Rose, the historical docent with colorful stories and an outfit to match, gave us inside information about the past and present of the area.

I was on my scooter and found it easy to navigate the wide sidewalks and cross the many streets in this area during the 75-minute leisurely tour. Frequently, I found myself at the head of the line so I could be closer to Rick Rose as he spoke.

There were benches along the route so some people could rest on the tour.

Wheelchair-Accessible Itinerary in Palm Beach, FL

The Worth Avenue Area is lined with luxury shopping, including men’s, women’s, and children’s apparel,  jewelry, art, rare books, cigars, home furnishings, eyeglasses, linens, flowers, fashion accessories, shoes, leather goods, and more!

The area has a hotel/resort, restaurants, art galleries, and a travel agency.

  • Wide sidewalks were easy to navigate in a wheelchair
  • Accessible curb cuts and crosswalks were clearly identified
  • Benches were present to allow people to rest on the tour

Celis Juice Bar & The Royal Poinciana Plaza

After the historic tour, my husband and I enjoyed lunch at the wheelchair-accessible Celis Juice Bar in the Royal Poinciana Plaza.

Accessible parking was easy to identify near the entrance to the plaza.

This breakfast and lunch restaurant has no seating indoors; people take out food at tables in the Royal Poinciana Plaza. Food can be ordered online, so it is ready to pick up.

The manager, Camilo Celis, greeted us and made suggestions for our lunch. The menu included juices, smoothies, acai bowls, sandwiches, salads, breakfast burritos and beverages.

celis juice bar at the royal poinciana plaza

Mark and I had a chicken salad sandwich containing chicken salad, avocado, cucumber, tomato, arugula, herb aioli, and local sourdough bread. This was a filling sandwich. We also ordered a delicious acai bowl that contained acai sorbet, peanut butter, coconut flakes, hemp/flax granola, honey, banana, strawberries, and blueberries. This was a delicious, cool, and nutritious lunch choice. Mark also had a smoothie made with peanut butter, strawberries, blueberries, banana, and almond milk.

We sat at a table under an umbrella, enjoying the view of the Royal Poinciana Plaza. After lunch, my husband and I strolled around this unique shopping center. Using my manual wheelchair, I found it easy to roll on the sidewalk.

The wheelchair-accessible public restroom near where we ate in the courtyard was easy to find.

The plaza has 180,00 square feet of retail space, two courtyards, and gardens. There is a mix of luxury retail fashion, dining, and entertainment.

Flagler Museum

Later, we visited the Henry Morrison Flagler Museum, a one-of-a-kind mansion rich in history, beautiful architecture, art, and elaborate furnishings.

The museum is a 75-room, 100,000-square-foot Gilded Age mansion. This home was completed in 1902. The private estate of a wealthy entrepreneur and cofounder of Standard Oil, Henry Flagler, named this mansion “Whitehall.”

On a recent visit, I rolled in my manual wheelchair from the accessible parking lot to the front gate.

My husband and I were led on a tour by David Carson, Public Affairs Director. We toured the museum’s first floor and the Flagler Kenan Pavilion, which houses Flagler’s Railcar No. 91.

Flagler's Railcar No. 91

Visitors using mobility devices may gain access to Whitehall through the museum’s accessible entrance on the property’s south side. Whitehall was built with elevation changes as a classic feature of its architecture. Permanent ramps and an elevator have been installed to make the entire property accessible. I found it easy to navigate all the ramps to the mansion. Short ramps occasionally led from the hallway into some of the rooms.

The floors were easy to roll on. The doors to the interior rooms were wide enough for me to enter. There was ample space in the rooms and hallways to navigate in a scooter or wheelchair.

The accessible restroom in the Flagler Kenan Pavilion was spacious for my wheelchair and had grab bars and room under the sink for my knees.

In front of the steps to enter Flagler’s original restored Railcar #91 was a video screen so people unable to climb the steps to enter the railcar could watch a video of the interior.

Rosemarie at the Flagler Museum

Accessible Features and Services at the Flagler Museum

  • Accessible parking close to the entrance
  • Accessible ramp entrances
  • Wheelchair-accessible hallways, exhibitions, galleries and rooms
  • Wheelchair-accessible restrooms on the first floor of Whitehall and in the Flagler Kenan Pavilion
  • Self-directed audio guides (Telecoil enabled)
  • Sign Language Interpretations can be arranged by request
  • Braille and large print materials are available by request
  • Docent-led tours that utilize a group guide system for amplification and a smartphone app (Bluetooth enabled)
  • A closed caption video is playing outside of Railcar No. 91 as an alternative option for visitors who cannot safely climb steps
  • Service animals are welcome and must be on a leash
Accessible ramp at the flagler museum

Visitors to Palm Beach and people who live in the area should not miss visiting the Flagler Museum. You can’t help but notice this magnificent mansion as you drive by and wonder what’s inside. From my experience on a tour of this museum, I learned the history of Henry Flagler and how he was the co-founder of Standard Oil and a pioneer in developing the state of Florida.

The interior design was breathtakingly beautiful, including the furniture, artwork, woodworking, and lighting. One can only imagine what it would’ve been like in the early 1900s when the Flagler family lived here.

After you’ve visited Palm Beach Island, cross the bridge and visit West Palm Beach, where you will find more arts and culture, and plenty of dining and entertainment options.

Wheelchair-Accessible Itinerary in Palm Beach, FL

Rosemarie Rossetti

Rosemarie Rossetti, Ph.D., is an internationally recognized accessibility consultant, speaker, author, and president of Rossetti Enterprises LLC.

Having been paralyzed from the waist down with a spinal cord injury, she speaks from her wheelchair, sharing her dramatic personal story. She presents to audiences throughout the U.S. and beyond as a recognized expert on inclusive design.

Rossetti and her husband led a design team, built and live in the Universal Design Living Laboratory, North America’s top-rated universal design home.



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