|West Palm Beach is in South Florida. |
West Palm Beach is served by Palm Beach International Airport (PBI), a small, yet highly adequate airport. While both the Miami and the Ft. Lauderdale airports are busy, PBI is easy to get in and out of, and is about 5 minutes from downtown West Palm Beach. Travelers flying into South Florida or the Bahamas should strongly consider PBI.
Amtrak has a stop in the southern part of the county (about 12 miles away), and the Tri-Rail runs between Miami and West Palm.
West Palm Beach is easily accessible by Interstate 95 and the Florida Turnpike.
PalmTran runs throughout Palm Beach County. At the corner of Quadrille and Clematis you will find a popular hub, connecting many different routes
There are entire guidebooks dedicated to covering Palm Beach County. Here is just a short list:
• Flagler Museum, on the island of Palm Beach, features the restored home of Henry Flagler, co-founder of Standard Oil, and the man who conceived of Florida as a tourist destination. Tour his home ($10 per person) and have high tea ($28 per person).
• Norton Art Museum, in downtown West Palm, has been newly renovated and has become a piece of art itself. Located on Dixie Hwy, about a quarter of a mile from Okeechobee Blvd. Open 7 days. Forgot the price, but no more than $10 (I think). Go check it out.
Shopping is a popular activity in West Palm, particularly considering the weather is so mild year-round. There are a number of places to shop, including:
• CityPlace, two recently-renovated blocks in downtown West Palm that now features dozens of high-end shops, including Brookstone; Pottery Barn; White House, Black Market; Macy's; and more.
• Clematis Street, runs perpendicular to CityPlace, and is the older, trendy shopping district, featuring Ann Taylor and several unique, eclectic shops.
• South Dixie Road provides several blocks of second-hand shops, from thrift stores to high-end antiques.
• Pizza Girls -- gourmet pies, or pizza by the slice
• Tony's Place -- good Cuban food, cheap
• Rhythm Cafe -- outstanding food -- the menu changes regularly -- in an eclectic setting
• ER Bradley's Saloon -- bar food in sight of the Intracoastal
• India Palace -- great Indian food
• Brewzzi -- local microbrewery cooks up excellent meals
• TooJay's -- ny style deli just over the bridge in palm beach
• Legal Seafoods -- excellent seafood and service
• Blue Martini -- well-made drinks and live music on the weekends
• Bacio is a gelateria in CityPlace that boasts some of the best sweets in West Palm. As an added bonus, it's lower in fat than traditional ice cream!
• Clematis by Night, sponsored by the City of West Palm, is a lively event each Thursday on Clematis Street. There's live music, and the audience can purchase beer and wine -- poured by a (rotating) area non-profit, who gets to keep the profits. Imagine: drinking and doing good!
• O'Shea's Pub is a traditional Irish pub with a great beer garden on Clematis.
• The Blue Martini, an upscale martini bar (martinis run about $15 apiece), featuring al fresco and a weekend jazz band, dining in CityPlace.
• Paradise Bar and Grill, on Clematis, features cheap pitchers and live bands on weekends.
Hotel Biba is a funky, sea-foam-colored hotel with colorful, ultra-modern decor. Located about 3 miles south of Clematis Street, Hotel Biba bills itself as "a 43-room historic landmark boutique hotel." The hotel features Biba Bar, a hip nightclub featuring live music on the weekends. For more information, contact: 561.832.0094
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There are over 40 miles of beautiful beaches in Palm Beach County. The proximity of the gulf stream keeps the waters warm year-round. For Snorkeling, 2 places might satisfy. One is McAurther State Park, located on the north end of Singer Island. A shallow reef full of fish.
Be careful, shark and barracuda are seen regularly. This park also has kayaking, music on Sundays, and some short hiking trails. Another snorkeling spot is the Breaker's reef. Located on Palm Beach, the reef is nestled right behind the Breaker's hotel. This reef is one long stretch that juts out into the ocean. You can park on the side roads near the Breakers.
The Tiki Bar is a casual bar on the Intracoastal about 2 miles north of West Palm, in Riviera Beach just off US 1. They feature live music 7 days a week. If you go, try the Grouper Tacos, an unforgettable taste treat. One plate serves 2 people.
Heading north about 5 more miles takes you to Blue Heron Road. Turn right, and cross the bridge. You'll find yourself on Singer Island, a small beach community that wants to be the next Cocoa Beach. Featuring clean, wide, white sandy beaches, several open-aired beachside restaurants, and a few large surf shops, this is a very relaxing place to get away from the trendy shopping and nightlife of West Palm.
There are a lot of other interesting cities surrounding West Palm, including Jupiter and Palm Beach Gardens to the north, and Delray Beach, Boca Raton, and Boynton Beach to the south.