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4 Reasons Why I Loved My Accessible Trip to The Palm Beaches

Travel blogger Cory Lee shares his experience as a wheelchair user in Palm Beach County

Before traveling to The Palm Beaches for the first time ever recently, I thought that it would be a beautiful destination. Just hearing the name “Palm Beaches” has such a nice sound to it, but aside from gorgeous beach views, I wasn’t too sure about what else to expect… especially as a wheelchair user.  I spent about four days exploring The Palm Beaches and it didn’t take long for me to be blown away by the destination. There were so many wheelchair accessible things to do that I couldn’t even decide what to do first. I have compiled my top four reasons why I loved The Palm Beaches and why you should visit for yourself! 

Seeing and meeting tons of animals 

Lion Country Safari is a zoo that you can enjoy from the comforts of your own vehicle. Located in Loxahatchee in Palm Beach County is this phenomenal drive-through zoo and walk/roll-through amusement park that spans across 600 acres. I love to visit zoos during my travels and this one exceeded my expectations. As I drove along the paved roads, I saw lions, giraffes, zebras, and rhinos among many other species. Several times, we even had to stop the vehicle to allow animals to cross the road. After driving through the animal habitats, we then parked and rolled over to the Adventure Park. Here, I was able to feed some beautiful birds, feed a couple giraffes, and roll around enjoying the zoo and some rides. Lion Country Safari was such a fun attraction and even better than I expected.  As much as I love animals, I knew I didn’t want to miss the Loggerhead Marinelife Center while I was in the area. Here, there were several sick turtles that were being nursed and monitored back to health. It was really sad to read on the posted areas near each turtle of the way they were found and the issues they were having. Even though seeing the sick turtles was a bit disheartening, it was very educational and eye-opening to see the care that Loggerhead Marinelife Center provides. It is a wonderful establishment that is doing remarkable things for sea turtles. 

Shopping and enjoying great food 

For a perfect evening, I decided to stroll on over to The Square. This is an area in the heart of downtown West Palm Beach that is beautifully lined with plush greenery, flowers, and more palm trees than you can count. Here, you can enjoy shopping in cute boutiques, dining for some scrumptious food at a variety of restaurants, and even go see a movie in the entertainment center. I also treated myself to the best ice cream that I have ever encountered at Angie’s Epicurean, and I even splurged for the extra topping of edible gold. Who even knew this was a thing?!

There was absolutely no way I could consider visiting The Palm Beaches without checking out the famous Worth Avenue. I knew I had arrived when I spotted a gorgeous view of the beach and saw the clock tower. This area has been called the “Rodeo Drive” of West Palm Beach. It is an upscale shopping district that stretches across 4 blocks, with more well-known stores than your wallet or purse can probably handle, such as Gucci, Louis Vuitton, and Saks Fifth Avenue to name a few. I did manage to open up my wallet for a few “special” purchases and later treated myself to the most delicious pizza at Pizza Al Fresco

Rolling through plush gardens

My visit to Mounts Botanical Garden was a photographer’s dream. The gardens cover a span of 16 acres with over 6,000 species of plants and are simply a tropical oasis. I’m just glad I didn’t visit there back in the days of the polaroid camera. I would’ve been blowing and shaking that film and camera to death as there were so many gorgeous photo opportunities. I had no trouble rolling across the paths here and I was able to enjoy all of the beauty it entailed. 

Because I wanted to see even more greenery, I then ventured over to Morikami Museum & Japanese Gardens. This place has full accessibility throughout the gardens with wide pathways that are gravel paved. There’s a massive lake in the center of it all, featuring a waterfall and even a Buddha statue. There’s also an area of Bonsai trees that you can roll through and see so many different sizes and shapes. I finished up this breathtaking tour with a quick stop for lunch at Cornell Cafe. They had a great selection of Pan Asian delicacies, and I chose the Bento Box and Boba Tea. It was most definitely a great choice. 

Cory Lee at Mounts Botanical Garden
Courtesy of Cory Lee

Enjoy some accessible beach time

There is no way I could visit The Palm Beaches and not rush over to see DuBois Park, located in Jupiter, FL. Here, I found smooth sidewalks all along this gorgeous inlet. I was also able to find complimentary beach wheelchairs that are available on a first-come, first-served basis, and ramped entrances to the beach area. This park is quite large and has the most amazing view of the Jupiter Lighthouse. If you really want to take advantage of the spectacular views and have a relaxing bite to eat, there are a host of wheelchair accessible picnic tables that you can also enjoy. 

Since I love the beach more than most, I couldn’t get enough and still wanted to see more at Ocean Reef Park in Riviera Beach. Like DuBois Park, I also found beach wheelchairs that are complimentary on a first-come, first-served basis. Once you have transferred into the beach wheelchair, there are lots of ramped entry ways to the sand and you can roll out for an amazing view of the water. 
The Palm Beaches is a wheelchair user’s dream destination. I know that I, for one, will certainly be back, as there is so much more to explore. Within just a few days, I could tell that inclusivity is very important to The Palm Beaches. This is a tropical paradise for all abilities!

Cory Lee at Ocean Reef Park
Courtesy of Cory Lee

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