About West Palm Beach
Download the CNU 20 City Guide.
The New York Times advises on how to spend 36 hours in West Palm Beach.
And the Chamber of Commerce of the Palm Beaches offers a wonderful overview of West Palm Beach.
Local Area Attractions
Shopping and Dining:
- Clematis Street - Clematis Street is the historical heart of Downtown West Palm Beach. Starting at Flagler Drive on the Intracoastal Waterway, walk west along Clematis Street and experience the indigenous flavor of its colorful boutiques, nightclubs, live music, restaurants, antique shops, points of interest and historical landmarks.
- CityPlace - CityPlace is comprised of 600,000 square feet of retail businesses, including restaurants, a 20-screen theater, open-air plaza, cultural arts theater and 570 private residences. Come shop in a place where old-world architecture, beautiful fountains, and sidewalk cafés create an atmosphere strikingly reminiscent of an European town center.
- The Gardens Mall (13 mi.)- The Gardens Mall in Palm Beach Gardens, Florida, is a luxurious 1.4 million square foot regional shopping center, featuring over 160 fine specialty shops, anchored by Nordstrom, Saks Fifth Avenue, Bloomingdale's, Macy's and Sears. The shopping center is conveniently located one mile east of I-95, on PGA Blvd.
Arts and Culture:
- Norton Museum of Art (1.3 mi.)- in downtown West Palm, located on Dixie Hwy, about a quarter of a mile from Okeechobee Blvd. The Museum is internationally known for its distinguished permanent collection featuring American Art, Chinese Art, Contemporary Art, European Art and Photography. View special exhibitions and attend lectures and exhibition programs for both children and adults Open 6 days. $12 adults; $5 for ages 13 to 21; free for members and kids under 13.
- Ann Norton Sculpture Gardens (1.3 mi.)- The Ann Norton Sculpture Gardens comprise the former residence of sculptor Ann Weaver Norton (1905 -1982), the widow of Ralph Hubbard Norton. The house is listed in the National Register of Historic Places, and the 2.16 acre property, featuring a collection of 300 species of tropical palms, lies near downtown West Palm Beach on the Intercoastal Waterway. Displayed throughout the house, studio and gardens are more than 100 works by the artist, including nine monumental sculptures, eight in brick and one in granite. The Gardens were designed by Ann Norton and Sir Peter Smithers. The largest tract of garden containing the great brick sculptures, is designed in a natural, unmanicured style. The experience of coming across Norton's mysterious monoliths as surprises in their lush green jungle-like setting is akin to discovering another world.
- Kravis Center for the Performing Arts - The Raymond F. Kravis Center for the Performing Arts, located in West Palm Beach, Florida, is one of the premier performing arts centers in the Southeast with a growing national and international reputation. True to the spirit in which it was created, the Center is expanding programming by initiating projects on local, national and international levels. Please check their website for performance calendar.
- Flagler Museum (1.4 mi.) - on the island of Palm Beach, features Whitehall, the restored home of Henry Flagler, co-founder of Standard Oil and the man who conceived of Florida as a tourist destination and brought the first train to paradise. Tour his home ($10 per person) and have high tea ($28 per person). Children are invited to a special children's tour of the exhibition with the Museum's Education Director. Afterwards, children may participate in a hands-on learning activity. The Children's Activity is usually free with Museum admission, but space is limited. Please r.s.v.p by calling the Museum at (561) 655-2833.
- Richard and Pat Johnson Palm Beach County History Museum - within the historic 1916 Courthouse in downtown West Palm Beach at 300 North Dixie Highway. The county-wide history museum enriches the lives of children and adults alike by making local history accessible, interesting and meaningful. The restored building also serves as the headquarters of the Historical Society of Palm Beach County.
- Palm Beach Dramaworks - is a professional not-for-profit theatre company that engages and entertains audiences with provocative and timeless productions that personally impact each individual. Visit the newly renovated theater on Clematis Street.
- Armory Arts Center (1.0 mi.) - The historic Armory building was built in 1939 by the Works Progress Administration (WPA) in Art Deco style, designed by architect William Manley King. From 1939-1982 it was used as an armory and occupied by the National Guard. By the late 1980s, and after a period of multiple community uses, it had deteriorated and was scheduled for demolition. However, when the nearby Norton Museum of Art closed its art school in 1986, its students and teachers joined forces with the Palm Beach County Cultural Council and other community activists to convince the City of West Palm Beach to spare the Armory building from demolition and convert it to an art school. With generous contributions from many patrons, most notably Robert and Mary Montgomery, the Center opened its doors in 1987 and has leased the building from the City of West Palm Beach ever since. Today, the Armory Art Center welcomes more than 3,000 students annually, and offers over 100 course titles as well as twenty-five Visiting Master Artist Workshops.
- The Philip Hulitar Sculpture Garden and the Four Arts Gardens (1.4 mi.) - The enhanced sculpture garden of the Society of the Four Arts honors the memory of a creative and public-spirited leader. Philip Hulitar was a prominent American couturier and Palm Beach resident who restored several historic houses here. The garden’s evolution, from a trio of vacant lots with tangled vines and scrub palms to its magnificence today, is a continuing tribute to his vision. The enhanced Hulitar Sculpture Garden has been carefully designed to serve The Four Arts and the Palm Beach community as an outdoor museum, as a handsome urban park, as a botanical garden and as a gathering space for concerts, social occasions and other events. Starting with relatively few works on display, the Society’s curator, advised by its Art Acquisition Committee, will populate the garden carefully, adding only works judged to be of high artistic quality. There is no charge for admission and a self-guided tour is available from The King Library. The Gardens are open every day from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Traveling with children and family:
- Take a ride on the free Trolley that connects CityPlace to the Clematis Street District and the Waterfront. Download a a Trolley map here.
map of the Trolley here.
- Walk down the Docks and enjoy the beautiful views of the Town of Palm Beach across the Lake Worth Lagoon
- Play in the Interactive Fountain at the Nancy M. Graham Centennial Square
- Grab some lunch at Pizza Girls and an Ice Cream at Sloan’s
- Visit the West Palm Beach Public Library which offers a children section and activities throughout the day
- Watch a Movie at Muvico in CityPlace
- Get refreshed with an Italian Ice at Rita’s
- Clematis by Night – Enjoy a Thursday evening out in downtown West Palm Beach at this all ages community event. Listen to live music and grab a bite to eat from a variety of food and drink vendors from 6:00 - 9:00 p.m. in Centennial Square at the top of Clematis Street.
- Peanut Island: Call the water taxi at (561) 683-TAXI (8294) to pick you up from Clematis Street and take you to this unique eighty acre tropical park situated in the Intracoastal Waterway. The park is a favorite destination for boaters and provides numerous recreational opportunities for visitors. Fishing and snorkeling are popular activities in the beautiful clear waters that surround the island. Guarded and unguarded swimming beaches provide the perfect access for bathers of all ages to enjoy the sun and fun.
A Short Drive Away:
- Palm Beach Zoo at Dreher Park (6 mi) - The Zoo houses over 1,400 animals within 23 acres of lush tropical habitat. Its mission is to provide an open-air classroom of living creatures to foster awareness, appreciation and respect for the natural world. In addition to exciting animals from all over the world living in natural habitats, the zoo features a colorful carousel, an interactive water play fountain, a full service restaurant, daily performances of the "Wings Over Water" bird show, and many other programs and events throughout each day.
- Snorkeling – Various places offer great snorkeling, including (1) Peanut Island (5 mi), (2) John D. MacArthur Beach State Park (8.4 mi), located on the north end of Singer Island, or (3) Breaker's reef (1.4 mi), located on Palm Beach.
- South Florida Science Museum & Dekelboum Planetarium (6 mi) - Located in West Palm Beach, the Museum features more than 50 hands-on exhibits, a digital planetarium, freshwater and saltwater aquariums, as well as natural history exhibitions. The Museum provides curious minds of all ages with an entertaining and educational journey through science and technology. Each year the Museum welcomes more than 120,000 visitors and reaches more than 55,000 students through workshops at the Museum and outreach programs to local schools. Established in 1961, the Museum is a non-profit institution dedicated to exciting curiosity and furthering the understanding and appreciation of science and technology.
- Lion Country Safari (21 mi) – Florida’s Only Drive Through Safari Adventure! It is the home to over 900 animals in the drive-through preserve and in the Safari World exhibit area. Among the most notable species on display at the park are lions, white rhino, chimpanzees, zebra, and giraffe. Don’t miss the Ferris wheel, water sprayground, petting zoo, merry-go-round, boat rides, aviaries, bird, reptile, alligator, and squirrel monkey exhibits.
- Loggerhead Marine Life Center (17 mi) - non-profit education and ocean conservation facility located on the Atlantic Ocean in Palm Beach County, Florida. The facility houses a variety of exhibits, live sea turtles and other coastal creatures. Exhibits include a massive prehistoric Archelon sea turtle replica, salt water aquaria and displays of local wildlife, as well as educational displays about South Florida's marine environment. Park amenities include a guarded beach, nature trail, playground and picnic pavilions.
- Beach - Palm Beach County has over 40 miles of beautiful beaches. The proximity of the Gulf Stream keeps the waters warm year-round. A nearby public beach in the town of Palm Beach has lifeguards during the day, and is easily accessible (metered parking available).
- Rapids Water Park (8 mi) - Totally Tube-ular Rides... 35 Water Slides from Mild to Wild! There's something for everyone! Rapids Water Park features a full day of fun for the entire family whether you make a splash in the cool blue waves, take a thrilling ride down any of our 35 waterslides, or just float around the lazy river. Rapids Water Park has over a million and a half gallons of water and 30 acres of action packed adventure with something for everyone. Please check website for hours of operations - open during the weekend in the month of May.
- McCarthy’s Wildlife Sanctuary (21 mi) - While on tour you will see White Tigers, African Lions, Black Panthers, Florida Panthers, Spotted Leopards, Ruffed Lemurs, Kinkajous, Scarlet Macaws, African Greys, Red tail Hawks, Great Horned Owls, Snakes, and many other Reptiles! Tours last about an hour to an hour and a half. Tours are by reservation only. Monday-Saturday 11:00am-12:00pm-1:00pm-2:00pm.
- Schoolhouse Children’s Museum & Learning Center (14.9 mi) - Today, it is difficult for children to appreciate Florida’s past. High-rise towers, vast malls and super highways shadow the state’s natural beauty. The goal of our Museum is to illuminate the past so that children can find value in their heritage and pride in a sense of place. They will learn about the strength, perseverance and determination of Florida pioneers who created homesteads and built businesses in a wild, tropical land by exploring our 2 floors of hands-on, interactive exhibits, workshops, guest presentations and other educational programs. Hours of Operation: Tuesday – Saturday 10:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. Closed Sundays, Mondays and major holidays.
FREE – Members and children under 1
$4 Children ages 1-17
$4.50 Seniors (ages 62 and older)