Ritzy and historic, Palm Beach in Florida is a suitable vacation destination for travelers who want a beach, spa, or foodie getaway. While it's well-known for the Mar-a-Lago Club, there's a lot more within Palm Beach and the surrounding areas to keep visitors entertained. From wildlife spotting to waterfront biking, here are the eight best things to do in Palm Beach and nearby cities.
1. Henry Morrison Flagler Museum
Henry Morrison Flagler, one of the Standard Oil founders, was known for developing Florida's East Coast cities as tourist destinations. Inspired by European palaces, Flagler built Whitehall - a 75-room, 100,000-square-foot Gilded Age mansion - in 1902 for his third wife. The couple retreated here during the winter until Flagler's death in 1913. The mansion subsequently served as a hotel, but Flagler's daughter bought the property in 1959 and opened it as a museum. Today, visitors can tour the opulent, antique-filled property, which houses a library room, music room with an organ, drawing room with a piano (performances are held here often) and a courtyard with a marble fountain. It's located on Lake Worth Lagoon in Palm Beach.
2. Worth Avenue
Palm Beach is a stellar shopping destination and its premier spot is Worth Avenue, which spans four blocks from Lake Worth to the Atlantic Ocean. Charming walkways (called "vias") are located off the main avenue, offering European-inspired architecture (picture bougainvillea-covered archways and wrought-iron balconies) and more shops. Upmarket stores in this district include Tiffany & Co., Jimmy Choo and Tory Burch, as well as Lilly Pulitzer, which got its start in Palm Beach. Art galleries and restaurants with outdoor dining are also available here.
3. Lake Trail
Whether you tackle it on foot or bike, the roughly five-mile Lake Trail is a great way to see the city. The well-maintained path runs along Lake Worth and the western edge of Palm Beach, making for a particularly scenic journey as trail-goers pass gorgeous mansions, docked boats, and historic sites such as the Flagler Museum and Giant Kapok Tree. Visitors looking to learn a little history can book a bike tour with Leslie Diver of Island Living Tours.
4. Phipps Ocean Park
No trip to the Florida coast would be complete without some beach time, and Phipps Ocean Park is a favorite spot for its uncrowded atmosphere and facilities. The beautiful shell-covered beach is wide and has ample space for visitors to spread out. Public tennis courts, picnic tables, barbecue grills, and restrooms are also all available. Those planning on driving here should note that parking is $5/hour.
5. Busch Wildlife Sanctuary