Considered to be the first resort destination in the U.S, the Palm Beaches are a tropical playground with something for everyone. There are beaches and water activities, museums and gardens, exquisite shops, sporting events, and sightseeing tours. Here are the top ten things to do in the Palm Beaches.
Ann Norton Sculpture Gardens
Located on the grounds of sculptor Ann Weaver Norton’s house, the gardens feature nine monumental sculptures among 250 different species of rare tropical palms and cycads. Approximately 100 smaller sculptures created by Norton can be found Inside the Monterey revival house. The Gardens host art, sculpture, and photography exhibitions; concerts; and guest speakers.
Address: 253 Barcelona Road, West Palm Beach
Also known as railroad magnate Henry Flagler’s Gilded Age estate Whitehall, the estate was restored in 1960 and renamed the Flagler Museum. Today, the museum combines mansion tours with exhibits, music performances, holiday events, and a tea service. Whitehall’s first two floors, the estate grounds, and the Flagler Kenan Pavilion, home to Flagler’s personal railroad car, are open to the public.
Address: One Whitehall Way, Palm Beach
Island Living Tours
Local resident Leslie Diver leads private driving, walking, and bike tours of Palm Beach, focusing on the town’s history and architecture. On the Best of Palm Beach Tour, Diver takes visitors to see some of the town’s most elegant mansions, telling stories about the mansions and their residents, including author James Patterson, musician Rod Stewart, and more.
John D. MacArthur Beach State Park
The only state park in the Palm Beaches, the John D. MacArthur Beach State Park has 1.6 miles of beaches well suited for sunbathing, swimming, snorkeling, kayaking, and paddleboarding. The park has two nature trails lined with tropical plants and an estuary. The park’s Munyon Island is a mangrove habitat accessible by kayak or paddleboard.
Address: 10900 Jack Nicholas Drive, North Palm Beach
Loggerhead Marinelife Center
The Loggerhead Marinelife Center specializes in the research, rehabilitation, and conservation of sea turtles. The Center has a fully equipped hospital that treats and cares for injured sea turtles. The Center offers exhibits and hosts events related to sea turtle rehabilitation and conservation. Guided tours include visiting the hospital’s patients.
Address: 14200 U.S. Highway 1, Juno Beach
Mounts Botanical Garden
The Mounts Botanical Garden encompasses 6,000 different plant species in 25 different exhibition areas covering 16 acres. The exhibits are designed to provide inspiration to home gardeners. A special exhibit features replicas of Easter Island monolithic statues. Special events are held year-round. Both guided and self-guided tours are available.
Address: 531 North Military Trail, West Palm Beach
Norton Museum of Art
Founded by Ralph Hubbard Norton and his wife Elizabeth Calhoun Norton, the Norton Museum of Art houses over 8,000 works of European, American, Chinese, and contemporary art, sculpture, and photography. Works from Jackson Pollock, Georgia O’Keeffe, Claude Monet, Paul Gaugain, and Pablo Picasso are on display. The museum offers special exhibitions, a sculpture garden, and music and dance performances.
Address: 1450 South Dixie Highway, West Palm Beach
Spring Training Baseball
The St. Louis Cardinals, Miami Marlins, Houston Astros, and Washington Nationals use Palm Beach County as their home base for spring training; the Astros and Nationals play their spring training games in West Palm Beach while the Cardinals and Marlins play their spring training games in nearby Jupiter. Spring training runs from the end of February to the last weekend in March.
Addresses: FITTEAM Ballpark of the Palm Beaches (Astros & Nationals), 5444 Haverhill Road, West Palm Beach; Roger Dean Chevrolet Stadium (Cardinals & Marlins), 4751 Main Street, Jupiter
Websites: ballparkpalmbeaches.com, rogerdeanchevroletstadium.com
Sunset Catamaran Cruise
Visit Palm Beach offers a daily sunset cruise onboard the Hakuta Matata, a catamaran. The two-hour cruise takes passengers along the Intracoastal Waterway and the Atlantic Ocean to see West Palm Beach’s skyline, Peanut Island, and Palm Beach’s mansions and iconic hotels. Beverages and snacks may be purchased on board. Additional cruises and land tours are available.
Address: 141 South Flagler Drive
The Palm Beaches’ main shopping district is located on Worth Avenue. Often compared to Beverly Hills’ Rodeo Drive, Worth Avenue has over 200 well-known boutiques like Chanel, Gucci, Lilly Pulitzer, Louis Vuitton, and Max Mara. A historical walking tour delves into the history, architecture, and significance of Worth Avenue’s landmarks.
Address: Worth Avenue between Coconut Row and South Ocean Boulevard, Palm Beach