West Palm Beach

Travel Guide North America USA Southern United States Florida South Florida West Palm Beach

edit

Introduction

West Palm Beach is located along the east coast of Florida, USA. West of the smaller, more famous town Palm Beach, West Palm Beach is mostly commercial but has some attractions and landmarks worth visiting.

Top

edit

Sights and Activities

There are over 40 miles of beautiful beaches in Palm Beach County. The proximity of the Gulf Stream keeps the waters warm year-round although many miles are private a nearby public beach in the city of Palm Beach has lifeguards during the day, and is easily accessible. Flags by the lifeguard announce hazardous conditions (red for dangerous surf conditions, and purple for dangerous sea life).

For snorkeling, two places might satisfy. One is John D. MacArthur Beach State Park, on the north end of Singer Island. The beach contains a shallow reef full of fish. Be careful, shark and barracuda are seen occasionally. This park also has kayaking, music on Sundays, and some short hiking trails. Kayaking is popular in a calm inlet in the park, which is surrounded by mangrove swamps.

Another snorkeling spot is the 'Breaker's reef on Palm Beach. The reef is nestled right behind the Breakers hotel. This reef is one long stretch that juts out into the ocean. You can park on the side roads near the Breakers, although it is illegal and police often tow out of town cars from this wealthy neighborhood.

A beach activity unique to Florida is watching space shuttles launch out over the ocean. Shuttles lifting off from Cape Kennedy are visible during daylight and night hours, although night and early morning launches are significantly more impressive. From most beaches, looking directly north up the coast will orient you correctly. Launches are visible from anywhere in Florida, but the ocean guarantees a clear view and night launches often reflect in the water.

There are bicycle paths throughout the area. One of the nicest is on the West (Intracoastal) side of Palm Beach. It runs from the middle bridge to the inlet that separates Palm Beach from Singer Island. This path is also suitable for roller blading.

  • Flagler Museum (on the island of Palm Beach). This museum features the restored home of Henry Flagler, railroad entrepreneur co-founder of Standard Oil, and the man who conceived of Florida as a tourist destination. Tour his home ($10 per person) and have high tea ($28 per person).
  • Norton Art Museum, on Dixie Hwy, about a quarter of a mile from Okeechobee Blvd (in downtown West Palm). Tu-Su noon-5PM. its permanent collection features American Art, Chinese Art, Contemporary Art, European Art and Photography. Its masterpieces of 19th century and 20th century painting and sculpture include works by Brancusi, Gauguin, Matisse, Miró, Monet, Picasso, Davis, Hassam, Hopper, Manship, O'Keeffe, Pollock and Sheeler. The museum presents special exhibitions, lectures, tours and programs for adults and children throughout the year. Free.
  • The Raymond F. Kravis Center for the Performing Arts. The Raymond F. Kravis Center for the Performing Arts is one of the premier performing arts centers in the Southeast with a growing national and international reputation.
  • Graffiti Street Art - you will find one of the most beautiful and biggest graffiti street art of Florida if you walk around wpb downtown
  • McCarthys Wildlife Sanctuary (McCarthys Wildlife), 12943 61st Street North (Take I95 to Northlake blvd west to Coconut south to 61st north west to 12943 1 hour), ☎ +1 561-790-2116. 11AM to 3PM. At this non-profit wildlife rehabilitation center, you can see over 90 animals and have a close encounter with over 22 large cats lions, tiger, panther, snakes and more. Money raised goes towards the care of the animals. Bring your camera. A fun and educational experience. $10 children, $20 adult.
  • Lion Country Safari. Just west of the city. There used to be several of these Safari Parks, but this is the only one to remain. Includes rides for children.

Top

edit

Events and Festivals

Holidays

  • New Year’s Eve - The US celebrates the outgoing of the old year and incoming of the New Year quite dramatically. Every state boasts its own parties to ring in the New Year, but none is more extravagant than New York’s Time Square, which sees people overflowing into the neighboring restaurants, bars, parks, beaches, and neighborhoods.
  • Martin Luther King Jr. Day (officially Birthday of Martin Luther King, Jr. and sometimes referred to as MLK Day) is an American federal holiday marking the birthday of Martin Luther King Jr. It is observed on the third Monday of January each year, which is around King's birthday, January 15. The holiday is similar to holidays set under the Uniform Monday Holiday Act. The earliest Monday for this holiday is January 15 and the latest is January 21. King was the chief spokesperson for nonviolent activism in the Civil Rights Movement, which successfully protested racial discrimination in federal and state law.
  • St Patrick’s Day - March 17 celebrates the US’s large Irish population. Many cities around the country boast boisterous parades and Irish-themed parties, especially New York and Chicago, where the river is dyed green. Be wary of the drunkenness that dominates as this is definitely a party-day.
  • Memorial Day - Memorial Day is an important holiday throughout the United States, but not for crazy festivities. Parades commemorating wartime heroes are often held and the day is also the ‘unofficial’ start of summer. Most visitors follow the crowds to parks and beaches, which are capped off with informal BBQs.
  • Independence Day - Also known as the Fourth of July, Independence Day celebrates the US’s break from the British during the 18th century. Barbecues, street parties, beach trips, and weekend getaways are commonplace to appreciate freedom.
  • Labor Day is a public holiday celebrated on the first Monday in September. It honors the American labor movement and the contributions that workers have made to the strength, prosperity, laws, and well-being of the country. It is the Monday of the long weekend known as Labor Day Weekend. It is recognized as a federal holiday. Beginning in the late 19th century, as the trade union and labor movements grew, trade unionists proposed that a day be set aside to celebrate labor.
  • Halloween - Halloween is a fun holiday on October 31 for all generations to dress up in costumes and relive their youth. Children walk around the neighborhood trick-or-treating for candy, while adults attend parties. Other seasonal events include haunted houses, pumpkin farms and carving, and corn mazes.
  • Thanksgiving - On the fourth Thursday in November, Thanksgiving is held in almost every home in the US. Tourists will have a hard time finding anything to do as the country essentially shuts down in observation. A typical Thanksgiving meal consists of turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes and pumpkin pie commemorating the original Pilgrim’s feast at Plymouth Rock.
  • Christmas - On December 25, Christians celebrate Christmas as the pinnacle of their calendar by attending church and opening gifts from Santa Claus. Almost everything shuts down to promote family togetherness. The northern regions hope to experience a “white Christmas,” with trees and festive lights blanketed by snow.

Sport

  • Super Bowl Sunday - the world’s most watched sporting event and one of the highest grossing TV days of the year, Superbowl Sunday is a spectacular extravaganza. Held the first Sunday in February, the Superbowl is the final playoff game between the NFL’s top two teams. The venue rotates every year around America, yet the local parties seem to remain. Pubs, bars and restaurants are great places to enjoy the Superbowl or locals throw their own parties with different variations of betting.
  • The World Series is the annual championship series of Major League Baseball (MLB) in North America, contested since 1903 between the American League (AL) champion team and the National League (NL) champion team. The winner of the World Series championship is determined through a best-of-seven playoff, and the winning team is awarded the Commissioner's Trophy. As the series is played during the fall season in North America, it is sometimes referred to as the Fall Classic.

Top

edit

Getting There

By Plane

Palm Beach International Airport (PBI) has flights (some of which are seasonal only) to/from Montreal, Toronto, Atlanta, Buffalo, Philadelphia, Chicago, Dallas, Marsh Harbour (Bahamas), New York, Detroit, Boston, Hartford, Newark, San Juan, White Plains, Newark, Baltimore, Long Island (Islip), Tampa, Pittsburgh, Providence, Atlantic City, Houston, Cleveland, Charlotte and Washington, D.C..
The airports in Miami and Fort Lauderdale are not far to the south.

Miami International Airport (MIA/KMIA) is the city's main airport and is one of the United States' largest airports. It is located around 13 kilometres from downtown Miami. There are non-stop routes from and to well over 100 destinations worldwide, including cities throughout North and South America, Europe and the Middle East. Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport (FLL) has a number of international connections as well as a fair number of domestic flights. It is located about 5 kilometres from the CBD of Fort Lauderdale and about 33 kilometres from Miami.

By Train

Amtrak stops here on its way between NY and Miami. Tri-Rial has connections to Miami and places in between as well.

By Car

West Palm Beach is easily accessible by Interstate 95 and the Florida Turnpike.

By Bus

PalmTran runs throughout Palm Beach County. At the corner of Quadrille and popular Clematis street you will find a popular hub, connecting many different routes.

Top

edit

Getting Around

By Car

Many international rental companies have a wide selection of rental cars and these include Hertz, Avis, Dollar, Thrifty, Enterprise, Budget and Alamo/National. Most companies will require you are at least 25 years of age, although younger people might be able to rent cars at slightly higher rates and with some insurance differences as well. A national driver's license is usually enough, but an additional international one is recommended. Also note that it usually costs more to include lots of other extra things. For example extra drivers, GPS, the first full tank, SLI (Supplemental Liability Insurance), PAI (Personal Accident Insurance, usually covered already at home), road assistance/service plan, and drop-off costs for one-way rentals.
If you want to book a car, it is recommended that you book your car before arriving in the USA. This is almost always (much) cheaper compared to just showing up. Also, try and book with a so-called 'broker', which usually works together with a few or many car rental companies and can offer the best deal. Some examples include Holidayautos, Holidaycars and Sunny Cars. Some of the cheapest deals to book from Europe, includes Drive-USA, which also has a German version.

For more information and tips about renting cars and campers, additional costs, insurance, traffic rules, scenic routes and getting maps and fuel it is advised to check the USA Getting Around section.

By Public Transport

  • Palm Tran, toll-free: +1-877-930-4BUS (287). Palm Tran runs seven days a week (excluding holidays) serving more than 3,500 bus stops.
  • Molly's Trolley, ☎ +1 561 838-9511. Su-W 11AM-9PM and Th-Sa 11AM-11PM. A free trolley serving the Downtown West Palm Beach Clematis Street District.
  • Tri-Rail, toll-free: +1-800-872-7245. Commuter train which runs north and south parallel to I-95, connecting Miami, Fort Lauderdale and West Palm Beach. Tri-Rail provides access to South Florida's three major airports, and links to Miami's Metrorail.

Top

edit

Eat

  • Verdea Wine Bar, 4350 PGA Blvd, ☎ +1 561-622-1000. Wine Bar and fine dining restaurant in Palm Beach Gardens. Farm-to-table cuisine that features local products. Over 250 wines available.
  • Whole Foods Market, 11701 Lake Victoria Gardens Drive, Palm Beach Gardens (xxit Hwy 95 at 79A, travel east less than one mile, it is in Downtown at the Gardens on the north side of PGA before (west) of the Gardens Mall), ☎ +1 561-691-8550. 8AM-10PM. Full grocery and cafe offering fresh and local produce, fresh and local seafood, grass fed beef as well as a butcher in the house, enticing array of salads and entrees prepared to eat-in or take-out, brick oven pizzas, custom sandwiches, full scale bakery, unique coffees, great wine and beer selections, nutritional supplements and spa products, and cheeses from around the world.
  • Pizza Girls, 114 S Clematis St, ☎ +1 561 833-4004. A great place to grab a quick, expensive bite; offers gourmet pies, or pizza by the slice.
  • King Super Buffet, 4270 Okeechobee Blvd., ☎ +1 561 567-8886. 10 AM - 9:30 PM M-Th; 11 AM - 9:30 PM Fr-Sun. Chinese food; large seafood variety.
  • Sushi Jo, 319 Belvedere Road #12, ☎ +1 561 868-7893. Best sushi around; always ask for market price!
  • Rhythm Cafe, 3800 S Dixie Hwy, ☎ +1 561 833-3406. The menu changes regularly -- in an eclectic setting.
  • ER Bradley's Saloon, 104 S Clematis St, ☎ +1 561 833-3520. Decent bar food at the end of Clematis St in sight of the Intracoastal.
  • The India Palace, 4778 Okeechobee Blvd, ☎ +1 561 478-5606. Great Indian food, at a moderate price.
  • Brewzzi, 700 S Rosemary Ave # 212, ☎ +1 561 366-9753. Local microbrewery cooks up excellent meals.
  • Havana, 6803 S Dixie Hwy, ☎ +1 561 547-9799. Authentic Cuban cuisine. Open for lunch and dinner, with an all-night take-out window.

Top

edit

Drink

  • Clematis by Night, sponsored by the City of West Palm, is a lively event each Thursday on Clematis Street until 9PM. There's live music, and the audience can purchase beer and wine -- poured by a (rotating) area non-profit, who gets to keep the profits.
  • O'Shea's Pub, 531 Clematis St, ☎ +1 561 833-3865. A traditional Irish pub with a great beer garden on Clematis.
  • Blue Martini, 550 S Rosemary Ave # 244, ☎ +1 561 835-8601. An upscale martini bar (martinis run about $15 apiece), featuring well-made drinks, doormen who are in love with themselves, and live music on the weekends.

Top

edit

Sleep

  • Studio 6 West Palm Beach, 1535 Centrepark Dr. Very much a budget hotel; don't expect luxury or even much in the way of comfort, but if you're on a tight budget it's a private place to sleep. $75/night.
  • Holiday Inn Palm Beach, 1301 Belvedere Rd, ☎ +1 561 659-3880. Near CityPlace and the Kravis Center, Holiday Inn Palm Beach Airport features clean, comfortable rooms with beach-inspired décor and premium amenities like 32-inch LCD TVs, spacious work areas free wireless internet. $105/night. $105/night.
  • Hotel Biba, ☎ +1 561 832-0094, e-mail: reservations@hotelbiba.com. A funky, sea-foam-colored hotel with colorful, ultra-modern decor about 3 miles south of Clematis Street. Hotel Biba bills itself as "a 43-room historic landmark boutique hotel." The hotel features Biba Bar, a hip nightclub featuring live music on the weekends. $195/night.
  • Homewood Suites, 2455 Metrocentre Blvd, ☎ +1 561-682-9188. Check-in: 3PM, check-out: 11AM. Suites with full kitchens, free internet, flat screen TV. Guests have access to free parking, free hot breakfast, pool and fitness center. $130.
  • SpringHill Suites West Palm Beach I-95, 2437 Metrocentre Blvd (just off I-95 and 8 miles from the Palm Beach International airport), ☎ +1 561-689-6814. Check-in: 3PM, check-out: noon. Extended stay hotel. Suites include free Internet, microwave, mini-fridge, and flat screen TV. Also available to guests are free hot breakfast buffet, free parking, pool, and fitness center. $90.
  • Embassy Suites West Palm Beach - Central, 1601 Belvedere Rd, ☎ +1 561 689-6400. Across the street from the Palm Beach Airport and minutes from the Palm Beach Convention Center, the Kravis Center and many of Palm Beach's famous golf courses. The property features complimentary breakfast, free high-speed internet access, an outdoor swimming pool, tennis courts, a fitness center, and shuttle buses which go downtown and to the airport. $150/night.
  • West Palm Beach Marriott Hotel, 1001 Okeechobee Blvd, ☎ +1 561-833-1234, fax: +1 561-833-4689. Check-in: 4PM, check-out: 11AM. Three-star hotel with all the usual amenities. $300/night.
  • Embassy Suites Palm Beach Gardens Hotel, 4350 PGA Blvd, ☎ +1 561-622-1000. All suite hotel. Free cooked to order breakfast daily, free eve reception with free drinks and snacks.
  • PGA National Resort & Spa, 400 Avenue of the Champions, toll-free: +1-800-633-9150. Resort has spa, bar, grill restaurant, golf courses, and personal trainers.
  • Casa Grandview, 1410 Georgia Ave, ☎ +1 561 6558932. Bed and breakfast and vacation rentals with an onsite pool and pet-friendly rooms. $179-400.

Top

edit

Keep Connected

Internet

There is a very small internet bar/cafe culture in the USA. Even then most of the internet bars/cafes tend be located in major urban centers. Accessible WiFi networks, however, are common. The most generally useful WiFi spots are in coffee shops, fast-food chains, and bookshops, but also restaurants and hotels more and more have a network to connect on. Some of them might require you to buy something and you might need a password too, especially in hotels.

Phone

See also International Telephone Calls

The general emergency phone number is 911. The USA has a great landline phone system that is easy to use. The country code for the U.S. is +1. The rest of the telephone number consists of 10 digits: a 3-digit area code, and a 7-digit number. Any small grocery store or pharmacy has pre paid domestic or international phone cards. These phone cards are very cheap and offer good rates. The once ubiquitous pay phone is now much harder to find. Likely locations include in or near stores and restaurants, and near bus stops. The cellphone network in the states is slowly getting better but is still not as good when compared to other western countries. Cell phones tend to operate using different frequencies (850 MHz and 1900 MHz) from those used elsewhere in the world (2100 MHz). This used to prevent most foreign phones from working in America. Phones must be tri- or quad-band to work in the U.S. Fortunately, technology has meant that most phones should now be able to pick up one of the U.S. networks. Prepaid phones and top-up cards can be purchased at mobile phone boutiques and at many discount, electronics, office supply and convenience stores. A very basic handset with some credit can be had for under $40.

Post

The US Postal Service is a very good and well priced mail system. There are post offices in every small and large town for sending packages internationally or domestically. Although some might keep longer hours, most are open at least between 9:00am and 5:00pm. If wanting to send a letter or postcard it is best just to leave it in a blue mail box with the proper postage. First-class international airmail postcards and letters (up 28.5 grams) cost $1.10. There are also private postal services like FedEx, UPS, TNT and DHL, which might be better value sometimes and are generally very quick and reliable too.

Top

Contributors

as well as bigleap.abg (<1%)

West Palm Beach Travel Helpers

We don't currently have any Travel Helpers for West Palm Beach

This is version 10. Last edited at 11:09 on Jun 14, 19 by Utrecht. 10 articles link to this page.

Creative Commons License
Except where otherwise noted, content of this article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 License