Accented with bright blue skies, palm trees, and pristine stretches of white sand, Florida’s The Palm Beaches provide an iconic escape that reaches far beyond the shoreline.
Usually unassuming and decidedly understated, The Palm Beaches (made up of 39 towns and cities) has been thrust into the spotlight recently, as the affluent area is home to Donald Trump’s now-famous Mar-a-Lago estate—unofficially dubbed the “Winter White House” under the new United States administration. But presidential traffic jams, secret service boat patrols, and no-fly zones aside, this posh beachfront locale is still a prime destination for the well-heeled crowd.
Where to Hang Your Hat
A property where luxury meets low-key beach getaway, the newly-renovated Eau Palm Beach Resort & Spa in Palm Beach features bright, sunny rooms and suites created by popular designer Jonathan Adler. The resort has two stunning swimming pools that overlook the ocean, plus an abundance of lounge chairs, two restaurants with patios, and easy beach access. The expansive day spa includes indoor-outdoor space and a lovely relaxation garden. With separate male and female saunas, steam rooms, and Jacuzzis, the sprawling spa also offers 20 private treatment rooms (some oversized for couples).
Glimpsing “Old Florida”
A tour of the historical Flagler Museum in Palm Beach offers a robust look at how South Florida has evolved into a vacation spot that boasts the most expensive zip code in the country. With antique artifacts and traditional furnishings dating back to the Gilded Age, this mansion invites visitors to step back in time to the early 1900s and experience the extreme wealth of entrepreneur Henry Flagler, who earned his fortune in the oil and railroad industries and played a major role in Florida’s overall growth. For an extended overview of the entire Palm Beaches area, the Island Living tour provides a personalized experience by foot, car, or bicycle.
The Palm Beaches attract food lovers with innovative chefs, seasonal menus, and (of course) locally-caught seafood. A favourite among food aficionados is PB Catch’s distinctive “seacuterie” menu, a featuring items such as salmon pastrami and scallop mortadella. At PB Catch, which is located in Palm Beach, standouts include Chilean seabass, fish and chips, and swordfish.
Then there is Grato, in West Palm Beach, bustling and lively with high ceilings and a rustic ambience. This place offers homemade pasta and delectable varieties of pizzas made in brick ovens. With an open kitchen, Grato’s menu showcases an array of items counting grilled snapper, herb-marinated chicken, and roasted clams among them.
Nearby, the newly-opened The Regional Kitchen and Public House, also in West Palm Beach, has quickly become a hot spot, and was named the best restaurant of 2016 by the Palm Beach Post. Led by chef Lindsay Autry, a finalist on the ninth season of Bravo’s Top Chef, this eatery combines southern cooking styles with regional dishes. A few kitchen staples are tomato pie, fried chicken, and seafood stew.
Beyond the Beach
Art aficionados have found that West Palm Beach has become a surprising destination that displays a range of brightly-hued murals and thought-provoking, often edgy street art. The CANVAS Outdoor Museum Show is a non-profit public program that invites artists from around the world to create interesting and intriguing installations on walls, sides of buildings, and other unexpected locations. The 2016 iteration took place in November, but the murals remain in place long after the exhibition closes. Admirers are often seen photographing and interacting with the colourful and creative art pieces throughout the area.
Offering cultural, artistic, and historical experiences as well as poolside pleasure, The Palm Beaches are a destination that combines relaxation with utmost sophistication.
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