With its miles of white sand, clear water and proximity to New York City by air, it’s no wonder that Florida’s Palm Beach has long been a warm weather haven. The area brims with natural beauty, delicious dining options and local history.
Where to go:
Be sure to visit Palm Beach’s signature symbol — the beach! Palm Beach County is home to several beautiful stretches of surf that are free to explore, such as Juno Beach (14775 U.S. Highway 1, Juno Beach). The fishing is good at Coral Cove Beach Park (1600 Beach Road, Tequesta).
Get up and close with rescued turtles at the Loggerhead Marinelife Center (14200 U.S. Highway 1, Juno Beach, 561-627-8280, marinelife.org) a sea turtle rehab hospital where visitors can interact with the endangered sea creatures. Trainers also lead paddleboat and snorkel tours of the sea turtles’ habitat.
Enjoy the view from the Jupiter Inlet Lighthouse and Museum ($12 adults, $6 ages 6-18, free ages 5 and under; 500 Captain Armour’s Way, Jupiter, 561-747-8380, jupiterlighthouse.org). The Civil War-era structure debuted in 1860, designed by Union commander George Meade as a beacon for ships passing by the sometimes stormy waters. After 105 steps to the top, there’s an incredible view of the coastline, the site of many a marriage proposal.
For another slice of history, the Henry Morrison Flagler Museum ($18 adults, $10 ages 13-17, $3 ages 6-12, free under 6; 1 Whitehall Way, Palm Beach, 561-655-2833) was once home to railroad baron Henry Flagler. Today, the 114-year-old mansion — which Flagler built as a gift to his third wife — is a testament to the pomp and excess of the Gilded Age. The 75-room Beaux Arts estate, which Flagler dubbed Whitehall, boasts a huge collection of original art and furniture from the period.
Get an insider’s tour of Palm Beach’s current high society with Island Living Tours (prices vary; 561-868-7944, islandlivingpb.com), with tours that include visits to the area’s glamorous homes.
Where to eat:
Meat Market Palm Beach (191 Bradley Place, Palm Beach, 561-354-9800, meatmarket.net) has a unique spin on the classic steakhouse, with dishes like Kobe-style American meatloaf and a bone in filet mignon with a maple syrup glaze.
Located on West Palm Beach’s restaurant row, Lynora’s (207 Clematis St., West Palm Beach, 561-899-3117, lynoras.com) is considered the go-to Italian restaurant in Palm Beach. The eatery, named for the owner’s grandmother, dish up meals native to Ponza, an island off Italy’s coast between Rome and Naples, like branzino al cartoccio, with shrimp, clams, calamari and mussels in a scampi marechiara sauce.
Banko Cantina (114 S. Olive Ave., West Palm Beach, 561-355-1399, bankocantina.com) serves northern Mexican fare, including skirt steaks and lobster tacos cooked over a traditional open flame, in what was once an old bank. Guests come for dinner and stay for the dragon fruit mojitos in the upstairs lounge.
Add a bit of glamour to your visit with brunch at Cafe Boulud (Brazilian Court Hotel, 301 Australian Ave., Palm Beach, 561-655-6060, cafeboulud.com), which is reportedly the site of “The Real Housewives of New York City’s” Luann de Lesseps’ upcoming nuptials.
Where to stay:
The Palm Beach Marriott Singer Island Resort & Spa (3800 North Ocean Drive, Singer Island/Riviera Beach, 561-340-1700, marriott.com) offers upscale apartment-style living with full kitchens, separate living areas and marble bathrooms. The 193-suite property is located on the bucolic Singer Island, on the Atlantic Coast of Palm Beach County, and has its own private beach and a full-service spa.