Whether you’re considering moving to West Palm Beach or just vacationing there, these are the destinations and events to simply not miss. From just behind the airport when you’re freshly arrived to the famous celebrity-dotted beachfront properties, this is your list of must-do’s and must-see!
Park the car and walk the historic heart of downtown West Palm Beach— it’s where the party is most definitely happening!
Clematis St | Downtown | clematisstreet.org
Like its flowery namesake, Clematis Street leisurely winds its way from Flagler Drive through downtown West Palm Beach, blooming with shops, art galleries, and antique shops on the main drag and on side streets that also boast flowery names. Hungry? Clematis Street and the surrounding area doesn’t lack for bars and restaurants! Travelers praise the abundance of shopping and food options, and stick around for the night life! But since you’re on vacation, it’s worth checking out Pizza Girls and Sloane’s Ice Cream— because vacation calories don’t count!
Clematis Street really blooms at night! Clematis by Night is Clematis Street’s free entertainment every Thursday night at Centennial Square by the Intracoastal Waterway. Music, food, drinks and fun have been a tradition here for over 20 years. If you don’t feel like limiting your Clematis nightlife to Thursday— or if you missed it— check out the awesome nightclubs! And don’t worry about drinking and driving if your hotel is downtown— you can walk, or take the free Molly’s Trolly that picks up and drops off every 10-15 minutes around downtown West Palm Beach. And if you happen to be around during Spooky Season check out Moonfest, Clematis Street’s creeptastic Halloween block party. It’s said to be the best in town!
“...Clematis Street is one of the nicest places to be at in West Palm Beach. The area is well kept… The restaurants are top notch and the entertainment in the area is really good… All in all, it's a fun place to be, and feel safe as well.” TripAdvisor.
1450 S. Dixie Highway | Grandview Heights | norton.org
Norton Museum of Art was founded in 1941 by Ralph Hubbard and Elizabeth Norton after Ralph retired from the steel industry to house their impressive art collection. With over 7,600 works of art from all over the world, this museum only looks small on the outside! Inside is a whole world of art, begging for you to get lost in everything from European classical artists to ancient Chinese dragons to modern artists like Picasso.
The Norton Museum of Art was recently expanded, offering art lovers even more to delight their senses. The museum’s temporary exhibits are just as highly praised as its permanent collection, and they also boast separate exhibits for photography and contemporary art. Remember to include the sculpture garden when you visit!
“...This in now a cultural destination to be visited and revisited, and I have already been five time since it reopened to the public last February. It is especially pleasing to see expanding collections that express the aspirations and experiences of our diverse population....” TripAdvisor
1301 Summit Blvd | Dreher Park | palmbeachzoo.org/
Over 550 animals call the Palm Beach Zoo & Conservation Society home, including Sassy— the zoo’s very own panther! The zoo boasts interactive exhibits with sloths, tigers and koalas— definitely have your camera ready! Afterwards, take the kids through the interactive play fountain, let them spin on the Wildlife Carousel, and wave enthusiastically from Safari Train.
Planning your trip ahead of time— and on a weekday— ensures smaller crowds and a crack at some of the zoo’s coolest events. Visiting on cooler days ensures the animals are more likely to be out and active, and the impressive grounds— featuring over 23 tropical plants— easier to manage. Enjoy the 11 daily shows and take a break during your visit at the full-service restaurant.
Drive to the zoo for free parking and let the kids go wild themselves in this family-friendly destination! Then let them graze at the restaurant everyone will enjoy.
“You could tell that the staff takes great care in watching over the animals, and all of the habitats we witnessed were very well kept. I would recommend The Palm Beach Zoo And Conservation Society, as you can truly get up close with many animals.” TripAdvisor
531 N Military Trl | West Palm Beach Farms | mounts.org
A gorgeous, relaxing way to recover from your plane trip— this has to be your first stop before your hotel! “A flower by any other name may smell as sweet” but Mounts Botanical Garden has more than just pretty blooms to offer.
Admission is a suggested donation of $5, and trust us— it’s one of the best $5 you’ll ever spend! We can’t think of a more gorgeous way to walk off a plane ride or simply enjoy the scenery. Make sure your camera batteries are charged, and bring a tripod if you have one! You might even want to consider shelling out some extra money to attend one of Mounts’s gardening or photography classes if you’re a real enthusiast or just want to try something different.
Mounts Botanical Garden boasts over 18 gardens, each with a different theme. A quick Google search— or a query to a helpful employee— will tell you which butterflies you may spot in the butterfly garden (where your tripod will come in handy for macro and action shots) and which roses might be in bloom in the fragrant rose garden. With over 14 acres, you’ll definitely get your $5 worth of flowers, vegetables, and local wildlife!
“We just came here on a chance encounter and were completely surprised by the beauty of the gardens. There is a small gift shop from which to start, and then you can walk through the many regions within the gardens. The pond is particularly soothing and good place to feed koi and turtles. Kids will love it!” TripAdvisor
7715 Forest Hill Blvd | West Palm Beach | okeeheeleepark.com
Okeeheelee Park is West Palm Beach’s ideal spot to either be active or fully relax. With multiple outdoor activities and over 1700 acres of land, everyone is bound to find a way to enjoy themselves. The park boasts kayaking, golfing, hiking, fishing, volleyball and baseball. There’s even an equestrian center if you want to go horseback-riding across some of Florida’s prettiest land. Boredom is not in Okeeheelee’s vocabulary, that’s for sure!
The quieter grounds are home to many species of birds and butterflies, and your family’s dog can work off the plane trip at the dog park. The BMX track is run entirely by volunteers, and offers races from January through May and June through December— but you will need your USA BMX card for permission to use the track or race. Check out the new waterpark, too! Whether you want to stretch your legs a bit, hit a home run or play fetch with Fido, Okeeheelee Park is definitely worth the drive, and locals love it, too.
“Love to go to this park on a Saturday for the jogging trail and dog park. This park is beautifully landscaped with lakes and fruit trees.There are two dog runs, one for small dogs and one for large with an area to wash your dogs. You can hike the nature trail and visit the nature center. You can play Frisbee golf, baseball or soccer.” TripAdvisor.
1751 Palm Beach Lakes Blvd | Downtown | divaduck.com
Voted among the top things to do in West Palm Beach in 2002, Diva Duck tours begins at the Palm Beach Outlets just outside of Forever 21. The Classic Tour includes historical monuments and buildings such as the Society of Four Arts, Bethesda-by-the-Sea Episcopal Church, and the Biltmore Estates. Then, take a turn into the Intracoastal Waterway with a splash!
Once on the water, get an up-close, once-in-a-lifetime view of the lifestyles of the rich and famous. Relax as you pass by mansions and mega yachts, and keep an eye out for oceanic creatures. Who knows— maybe you’ll see a celebrity, visiting royalty, or curious ocean life! Tours are 75 minutes long and come complete with narration and music while you kick back and enjoy the ride and the views— letting someone else drive has never been so relaxing!
“As a local with many guests staying at my home, I am always looking for something fun and different to do in the area… I saw Palm Beach differently because of his excellent command of facts. Both the land and inter-coastal waterway tour was wonderful.” TripAdvisor
101 S Flagler Dr | Downtown/Waterfront | wpb.org/greenmarket
For 25 years and counting, West Palm Beach’s Greenmarket has grown from a lovely farmer’s market into a Saturday foodie tradition. Clematis Street transforms into a peak into old-time Europe, complete with butchers, cheesemongers, and florists. This weekly event is dog-friendly and features over 90 vendors. A local institution, don’t miss it. Just… don’t.
There’s free parking, too, in the Evernia Garage— but only during the market hours of 9am-1pm! They’ve also initiated great environmentally-friendly changes, such as eliminating plastic straws, coffee stirrers and styrofoam. And no matter what time of year you visit, this market won’t disappoint— there’s even Christmas events!
“From an incredible selection of orchids for sale to açaí bowls to fresh fruits and vegetables, to donuts made to order, to crab cakes and shrimp to go...the Saturday market in West Palm Beach has it all. The energy is infectious, the selection large and varied and many restaurants set up booths for the day…” TripAdvisor
Have we missed anything? Know of a great hidden spot we should shout-out? Let us know in the comments below! And don’t forget to leave any other travel tips for traveling in the West Palm Beach area, too.