West Palm Beach, FL - February 2016
It's snowing in New York. So what better time to share some photos and recommendations from my trip to sunny, gorgeous West Palm Beach!?
My mom moved down there a few years ago, as moms do. But make no mistake--rather than chasing the sun to some sleepy community where she lounges on the beach every day, she's honestly more active than ever. She exhausted me with a trip filled with long walks, museum tours, swimming, kayaking, and lots (lots) of mojitos.
I love this city. From glitzy, glamorous Palm Beach, where you can stroll down incredibly upscale shopping districts dotted with palm trees, to the artsy, beach bum towns nearby where you can participate in a street art festival or join in a free yoga class, it has everything I want in a vacation. Relaxing days on the beach paired with buzzing nightlife, museums, art galleries, and lots of outdoor activities.
Below are a few spots/activities that I loved. Visit during the winter months--everyone clears out in the summer and free activities disappear--for added fun. Festivals, farmers' markets, boat shows, and more can be found left and right from October through May. Check local newspapers or social media accounts for listings.
The Musical Swings: Located right on Clematis Street, the stretch of downtown West Palm Beach with all the nightlife, these swings live in a carved out mini-park with murals on three sides. The huge swingset sounds like wind chimes when "activated." Visit after a dinner and swing--or just watch and listen. The swings are only in WPB through March 6, but they tour North America through the end of the year. Go here for more dates and locations.
Grease Burger Bar: Also on Clematis, this burger joint has a huge beer list and awe-some specials. This trip we went a bit simpler and got a wedge salad, classic burger, and French Onion Soup. But last time I was there I had a burger with beer battered, deep fried bacon on top.........
Flagler Museum: Tons of things in the town sport the name "Flagler." He was an early 20th century an oil tycoon who, according to the museum, was the father of modern southern Florida, or something like that. Anyway, you can tour the mansion that he built for his wife. It's grand and gilded with a fun patio where you can sit for tea time and watch the yachts roll by.
MacArthur State Park: Rent kayaks at this spot and explore Lake Worth. The coolest part is Munyon Island. Park your kayak on this now abandoned island that used to house a hotel that's now burned down. If the tide is high, you can even explore the streams that now traverse the flooded island on your kayaks. You might see some manatees or pelicans!
Old Key Lime House: Best key lime pie!!! In a super Floridian spot. It's a drive from West Palm Beach, but take a stop in the town of Lake Worth. That's where we found the chalk art festival, pictured above. You can also swing by the Hoffman's Chocolates store for the best chocolate-covered pretzels that the area has to offer.
The Breakers/Worth Avenue/Palm Beach: Make a day of this one. Start with brunch at one of the many restaurants at this huge, gorgeous hotel--built by Henry Flagler. Then, explore the property. There are beautiful gardens lined with lounge chairs, lots of high-end stores to pop in and out of, plus one of the best beachfronts. Then, move over to Worth Avenue, the main stretch in Palm Beach where you (I) can afford basically nothing but a Starbucks drink. That's OK though because just walking down the avenue, poking in and out of different courtyards, will make you feel like a million bucks. End your walk on the east end of the avenue; you'll know you're there because there's a clocktower and the beach! Hang out there for a bit if you have a towel. If not, just walk some more and soak up the sun!