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HomeRoyal Palm Beach, FLAn ASL-friendly Weekend in The Palm Beaches

An ASL-friendly Weekend in The Palm Beaches

With a wide range of ASL-friendly attractions, informative signage, and a welcoming community, The Palm Beaches are an ideal destination for Deaf and hard-of-hearing travelers!

By: Lily Yu

Hi there! I’m Lily, a Deaf Travel Content Creator from Southern California, and I’m thrilled to be back in The Palm Beaches again for a weekend! Did you know this stunning destination holds the title of America’s First Resort Destination? It’s not just one beach, but a collection of 49 stunning towns and cities, stretching from Boca Raton and Delray Beach all the way up to Palm Beach and Jupiter!

The Palm Beaches offer a unique experience for all, particularly travelers who use American Sign Language (ASL). With a wide range of ASL-friendly attractions, informative signage, and a welcoming community, The Palm Beaches are an ideal destination for Deaf and hard-of-hearing travelers. From stunning beaches to vibrant cultural hotspots, we have everything you need for an unforgettable getaway!

Day 1

Land and Unwind: Check-in at Hilton PBI Airport Hotel

After a red-eye flight into Palm Beach Airport, we breezed through car rental and were on our way to relaxation in no time. Our haven for the getaway: the Hilton Palm Beach Airport hotel. Conveniently located just three miles from the beach and minutes from Downtown West Palm Beach, this hotel promised a resort-style atmosphere from the moment we arrived. True to its word, the Hilton impressed us with its modern design, spacious rooms, and stunning views of both Lake Cloud and the city skyline. Excellent service and accessibility made our stay truly unforgettable!

Lunch at Lucky Shuck Oyster Bar & Taphouse

For lunch, we headed to the Lucky Shuck Oyster Bar and Taphouse, a genuine raw bar experience that serves up fresh seafood and craft beer in a unique setting. The moment we step inside, we are struck by the soaring ceilings and vintage-inspired nautical decor, evoking the charm of an early 20th-century shipyard. There’s nothing quite like savoring a moment outside, seated by the table with breathtaking views of the iconic Jupiter Inlet Lighthouse, perfectly framed to create a picturesque scene! Our waitress was a delight – not only friendly, but also ASL-friendly! Her willingness to adapt to our communication needs truly made us feel welcome and included. To ensure a seamless and enjoyable dining experience, she utilized written notes whenever needed. Pointing to my desired dishes on the menu worked flawlessly – she understood everything perfectly!

“Fun in the Sun” Paradise in Jupiter and Juno Beach

This stunning coastal duo offers the perfect recipe for a day of pure bliss, relaxation, and adventure. Here is what I recommend you do:

  • Immerse in the rich history of the iconic Jupiter Lighthouse, boasting awe-inspiring views of Palm Beach County that span an incredible 5,000 years! The lighthouse offers Deaf visitors informative exhibits with written descriptions, making its rich history accessible and engaging for everyone.
  • Unwind on the expansive sandy shores of Juno Beach Pier, where the soothing sound of waves crashing against the pier creates a serene ambiance.
  • Explore the hidden gem of Coral Cove Park, featuring towering limestone rock formations revealed only at low tide – a true natural wonder!

Legendary Ribs and More: Dinner at Tony Roma’s

We can satisfy our cravings for American classics at Tony Roma’s inside the Hilton PBI Airport Hotel! This iconic spot is famous for its fall-off-the-bone ribs, but their expertly grilled steaks and creative comfort food are just as tempting. While the staff wasn’t familiar with ASL, they went the extra mile to communicate with us through gestures, making us feel included and valued. This was further enhanced by the menu’s visual images and descriptions, which made ordering effortless.

Stroll at CityPlace

After enjoying a delicious dinner, we took a leisurely stroll to CityPlace, a vibrant neighborhood pulsing with energy. This lively hub offers a diverse range of restaurants, shops, and activities, making it an ideal spot for a fantastic night out. CityPlace’s design incorporates open spaces and quiet areas, ensuring Deaf and hard-of-hearing visitors can communicate and navigate with ease. Don’t miss the iconic Wishing Tree, which transforms into a dazzling display of color after sunset. This enchanting visual experience is sure to captivate and delight!

An ASL-friendly Weekend in The Palm Beaches

Day 2

Breakfast at the Verdana

We began our day with a peaceful breakfast at Verdana, a charming restaurant nestled inside the Hilton Palm Beach Airport hotel.  This tranquil oasis provided a serene atmosphere, the perfect way to start a day of exploration. We opted for the buffet, which allowed us to serve ourselves and gather food at our own pace, a convenient and stress-free experience.

Finding Inspiration with the Sea Turtles: A Loggerhead Marinelife Center Visit

We visited the Loggerhead Marinelife Center, a non-profit dedicated to ocean ecosystem conservation. We met Jennifer Reily, the Deaf Research Operations Manager, who led us on a fascinating private ASL tour of the facility.

Her passion and dedication to protecting threatened and endangered sea turtles were truly inspiring. Her dedication to educating others about creating safe environments for these incredible creatures was equally admirable.

Jennifer and her team are making a profound impact, driving meaningful change and safeguarding the future of our planet’s precious marine life. Witnessing the adorable sea turtles receiving care from the talented team at the state-of-the-art campus hospital was an absolute delight. The interactive exhibits with clear signage, stunning aquariums, and captivating gift shop all added to the ASL-friendly experience. We left feeling motivated to make a positive impact on our planet’s precious marine life.

Escape to the Peanut Island

We secured advanced water taxi tickets at Sailfish Marina for the 11:30 am departure to Peanut Island, a hidden gem in The Palm Beaches. The staff was friendly and helpful, and we were able to communicate easily using our phone’s speech-to-text feature when we needed directions to find a water taxi. Since water taxi departures are limited, planning ahead was key. With a return taxi at 3:30 pm, we had a perfect three and a half hours to explore this enchanting isle.

Peanut Island offered a tranquil escape from the ordinary, a chance to unwind amidst its natural beauty. Whether you prefer snorkeling, paddling, or a scenic hike, the island caters to all types of relaxation. We opted for a breathtaking 1.25-mile trek, rewarded with jaw-dropping 360-degree views. Crystal-clear waters beckoned me for a snorkeling adventure. While the elusive baby sharks, stingrays, and manatees remained shy this time, vibrant fish swirled around the colorful rocks, captivating my attention. So gorgeous!

Explore Downtown West Palm Beach

We savored the vibrant atmosphere of Downtown West Palm Beach at our own pace. This thriving hub of The Palm Beaches radiates tropical energy, its palm-lined streets pulsating with an infectious rhythm. As the epicenter of nightlife, entertainment, cultural attractions, and recreation, Downtown West Palm Beach offers an unparalleled experience.

We made a memorable stop at Lost Weekend, a legendary bar that seamlessly blends billiards, art, and vintage games, creating a unique and captivating ambiance that lingers long after the night ends. Ordering drinks was incredibly easy, as I could simply type my request on my phone and show it to the staff, eliminating any language barriers or misunderstandings.

Day 3

See the Exhibit at the Historical Society of Palm Beach County

We had the privilege of experiencing the captivating “Endless Summer Exhibit” at the Historical Society of Palm Beach County.  Kalani, our knowledgeable docent, expertly guided us through the exhibit, accompanied by a skilled ASL interpreter, ensuring an inclusive and enriching experience.

This ASL-friendly exhibit explored the fascinating evolution of Palm Beach resort wear over the past 129 years. This captivating display highlighted how Palm Beach, known for its luxurious ambiance and subtropical climate, became a leader in setting resort fashion trends. Over 85 pieces from top designers and brands like Saint Laurent, Gucci, Valentino, Lilly Pulitzer, and Iris Apfel adorned the exhibit, showcasing a range of styles – from timeless elegance to playful prints. Dresses, swimsuits, sportswear, and accessories likely filled the space, offering a glimpse into the history of Palm Beach fashion.

This immersive experience left a lasting impression, and the Historical Society offers many other captivating exhibits throughout the year.

Lily yu at the Historical Society of Palm Beach County

Lunch with a View: RH Rooftop Restaurant

We savored a luxurious lunch at RH Rooftop, elegantly situated atop the Restoration Hardware furniture store. This refined rooftop retreat offers an exceptional culinary experience, showcasing a range of timeless American classics and an impressive wine selection, all set against the stunning backdrop of Downtown West Palm Beach. As we indulged, we were enveloped by the warm glow of chandeliers, the gentle trickle of fountains, and breathtaking views of the city below, crafting a truly unforgettable experience that delighted our senses and left a lasting impression. It’s a must-visit! The friendly waiter easily understood our order when we pointed to the menu, and we appreciated the seamless communication.

Shopping on Worth Avenue: A Luxury Experience

We took a stroll at the Worth Avenue, a picturesque street just steps from the ocean, where historic charm and luxury converge. This iconic avenue is a dream destination, beckoning us to explore its enchanting “Vias” – secluded passageways off the main street, home to one-of-a-kind boutiques and exquisite outdoor dining experiences. We appreciated the clear and easy-to-read signs, making navigation accessible for Deaf and hard-of-hearing visitors like ourselves.

Lily Yu in Palm Beach

Picturesque Spots You Won’t Want to Miss

  • Worth Avenue Clock Tower: This iconic clock tower stands sentinel at the entrance of Worth Avenue, its face gazing out upon the prestigious avenue and the stunning Atlantic Ocean beyond.
  • Via Amore: With three inviting entrances and a treasure trove of visual delights, Via Amore is a close second to Via Mizner in terms of recognition and charm.
  • Via Mizner: Listed on the National Register of Historic Places, Via Mizner boasts a rich history as the former residence of renowned architect Addison Mizner, who designed the impressive five-story apartment building that anchors this picturesque via.
  • Via Parigi: As the via closest to Coconut Row, Via Parigi greets passersby with a lush, Mediterranean-inspired archway that beckons visitors to explore its charming oasis.
  • Blue Door: When strolling through Palm Beach, be sure to snap a photo in front of the famous blue door on Peruvian Avenue, conveniently located across from Renato’s.

Unleash Adrenaline at Shark Wake Park

We got ready for an adrenaline rush like no other at Shark Wake Park, an outdoor adventure paradise that guarantees non-stop thrills! This action-packed park offers an array of heart-pumping experiences, including cable wakeboarding, kneeboarding, and a challenging floating obstacle course complete with slides, climbing towers, and more.

As a first-timer, I was eager to try cable wakeboarding and kneeboarding, and the park’s expert guides were on hand to offer valuable tips and tricks. With the help of an ASL interpreter, our conversation was seamless, and I was able to follow their instructions with ease. While safety briefings may not be offered in ASL, the park staff is visually oriented and uses clear hand signals for instruction. The experience was exhilarating, and I can’t wait to go back for more!

lily yu at shark wake park

Dinner at the Avocado Grill

We dined at the Avocado Grill, a vibrant restaurant that truly celebrates the art of flavor. Inspired by the warmth of the sun and the freshness of the sea, this culinary gem employs world-class techniques and the finest local ingredients to craft refreshing cocktails and mouth-watering small plates. The atmosphere is effortlessly chic, with a hip and modern décor that spills out into an open-air setting, perfect for a relaxed yet stylish dining experience.

The menu boasts a diverse range of dishes, from savory tapas and fresh salads to satisfying entrees and decadent desserts. Be sure to try their signature whole avocado vinaigrette, creamy guacamole, and seared tuna poke.

Our ASL-friendly waitress was great! I used my phone to ask for her food recommendations, and she helpfully pointed to the menu items, making my choice easy and straightforward.

Self-Pouring at The Garden District

After dinner, we ventured to The Garden District, West Palm Beach’s first self-pour tap room, which we were thrilled to discover is ASL-friendly! This haven for hop lovers boasts a constantly evolving selection of 25 craft beers, ciders, seltzers, and wines, all on tap and ready to be discovered at your own pace.

We appreciated the self-serve system, which allowed us to order and enjoy our drinks without needing to interact with waiters, making it an inclusive experience for Deaf and hard-of-hearing visitors like ourselves.

A stunning mural showcasing the vibrant spirit of The Palm Beaches adorned the wall, adding a touch of local flair to the already inviting atmosphere. The ASL-friendly environment and independent service made our visit even more enjoyable!

Day 4

Wildlife Encounter at Lion Country Safari

We saw over 900 incredible animals, including lions, giraffes, zebras, ostriches, and rhinos, all roaming free at Lion Country Safari! Large herds of animals representing six continents roam freely in the safari, we got to observe them from the comfort and safety of our enclosed vehicle.

But that’s not all! After our unforgettable four-mile drive-through safari experience, we headed to the exciting Safari World Amusement Park, where we saw even more animals, fed giraffes, and even watched a giraffe create art on a canvas! The safari offers written materials, such as maps, guides, and informational signs, to help Deaf and hard-of-hearing visitors navigate and enjoy the park.

Where History Meets Elegance: Flagler Museum

We discovered an impressive art collection and original furnishings, transporting us back to an era of elegance and refinement. Nestled in the heart of Palm Beach, the Flagler Museum is a breathtaking estate that whispers tales of a bygone era.

Built in 1902 as a testament to Henry Flagler’s devotion to his third wife, Mary Lily Kenan, this magnificent property is a true masterpiece of Gilded Age architecture and design.

This National Historic Landmark is open to the public where we can explore 75 lavish rooms and 100,000 square feet of stunning space.

Marvel at the neoclassical Beaux Arts architecture, a masterpiece of its time. The Flagler Kenan Pavilion is a must-visit, housing Henry Flagler’s private Railcar No. 91 and the charming Cafe des Beaux-Arts, where we can indulge in a Gilded Age-inspired tea service.

Be sure to browse the Museum Store, offering a curated selection of books, gifts, and memorabilia that celebrate Florida’s rich history. Written brochures are available in multiple languages to enhance your visit.

Meet the Gentle Giants: Manatee Lagoon Encounter

We encountered manatees and support conservation at Manatee Lagoon! This free experience ignites curiosity about the Lake Worth Lagoon and its gentle giants, the manatees. Interactive exhibits with visual and tactile elements entertain while teaching about these endangered creatures.

Manatee Lagoon, a non-profit, champions manatee research, awareness, and protection. Witness these marvels during winter when cooler snaps with minimal cloud cover draw them to the warm water discharges from the nearby FPL power plant. Free admission, making it accessible to all.

Norton Museum of Art

Our whirlwind tour of The Palm Beaches left us wanting more! The Norton Museum of Art is a must-visit ASL-friendly destination that exceeded our expectations during our 2022 visit.

With an impressive permanent collection of over 7,600 works spanning five curatorial departments, this accredited gem is one of the largest and oldest in Florida, offering ASL-friendly exhibits and interactive experiences. The museum showcases an array of European masters, including El Greco, Monet, and Van Gogh, alongside American greats like Cassatt and Pollock.

What truly impressed us, however, was the Norton’s commitment to accessibility, providing an exceptional American Sign Language interpreter for our private tour, who breathed life into the artworks with captivating stories and infectious enthusiasm, making the experience truly unforgettable. We appreciated the museum’s dedication to inclusivity, ensuring that Deaf and hard-of-hearing visitors can fully immerse themselves in the world of art through travel in ASL.

The Palm Beaches offer an unforgettable experience for Deaf and hard-of-hearing travelers, with ASL-friendly attractions, services, and amenities. Bookmark this post for your ultimate Palm Beaches itinerary and get ready to bask in the sunshine, soak up the culture, and fall head over heels for the charm of this incredible destination! Follow Deaf Journey on social media for more inspiring adventures!


An ASL-friendly Weekend in The Palm Beaches

Lily Yu

Lily Yu is a Deaf travel content creator with a passion for exploring the world. Born profoundly Deaf in New York City, she was raised in Jersey Shore and later lived in Washington, DC for over 10 years. Lily currently resides in Southern California.

As a first-generation Deaf Asian American, she was born to immigrant parents who settled in the USA before her birth. Growing up in a hearing family with a Deaf sibling, I learned to embrace my identity and navigate a unique world.

Lily is truly blessed to have the potential to travel and show the world that deaf people can travel and overcome barriers without relying on hearing sounds!

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