Accessible Bicycling Locations in The Palm Beaches
Accessible Bicycling Locations in The Palm Beaches These…
Local disability advocate Cayetana Uranga shares with us a 1-day barrier-free itinerary for Palm Beach County, FL
My name is Cayetana Uranga, and I’m a disabilities advocate. I was born with Cerebral Palsy (CP). Traveling and discovering new places is one of my passions, but sometimes we tend to forget to explore our own backyards. So I decided to be a tourist for the day in The Palm Beaches and discover how accessible my own hometown is.
To me, and others like me, accessibility is crucial as it truly makes my life easier when I’m able to access the same services as everyone else without additional help, and it makes me feel included in society. Accounting for accessibility is an important part of creating an inclusive environment and providing equal opportunities for everyone. It involves ensuring that everyone can access and use services, products, and resources regardless of their disabilities.
This includes making sure websites and digital content are easy to use, providing easy-to-understand information, ensuring physical spaces are accessible, offering different formats for information, and providing assistive technology and alternative communication methods. Everyone has the right to access the same services—and accessibility is an important part of providing this.
In The Palm Beaches, one’s usual activities include spending a day at the beach or laying out by the pool, which I am guilty of doing most of the time—hence my extensive bikini collection.
Today, though I am going to show you another side of Palm Beach County, which is accessible to all.
We’ll start off by taking the Brightline because you don’t need a car to explore The Palm Beaches.
The golden age of travel is back and even more accessible to the disabled community with the Brightline. My sister and I are West Palm Beach locals, so going to Boca Raton is a bit of a southern drive for us. So, we decided to further explore Boca Raton and make it a “car-free carefree ride” with the Brightline. And the good thing is that you do not need a car at all. We took the Brightline from the West Palm Beach station to the new Boca Raton station, and upon arrival, we utilized the Brightline complimentary and convenient electric shuttle, which can be found waiting right outside the station upon every train arrival. They even have an app that allows you to request a ride back to the station from the downtown Boca Raton area.
I’m a mega fan of the Brightline because of how accessible their services are from their online booking to the contactless tickets, which I could access on my phone. If you prefer to live in the moment, you can also purchase your tickets at the station using contactless payment at their ticket booths.
The station is accessible and easy to roam around. It’s also such a relaxed travel experience. Two of the most surprising features of the Brightline trains are the bathrooms and the premium lounge. The restrooms are very spacious and wheelchair friendly, just as the train seats onboard which are equally spacious and comfortable. A unique feature of the new Boca Raton Station is the premium lounge which can be accessed through the entrance to the train platform as it leads you directly to the premium railroad car providing a short transfer between lounge and train seat. The experience on the Brightline is truly unique.
Once we arrived in Boca Raton, we had access to the Brightline complimentary electric shuttle, which dropped us off at Mizner Park in Downtown Boca. It was a gorgeous day to walk around and snap a few photos with the iconic Mizner Park fountain and teal blue gazebos. I enjoy walking around Mizner Park because of the spacious sidewalks and the visible and plentiful ramps available.
When I’m in Mizner Park, I never have to worry about walking up any stairs. With the help of the plaza real directory, found next to Max’s Grille, we did a bit of shopping and managed to find a few of our favorite stores. My sister and I enjoyed a complimentary game of mini golf next to the Mizner Park fountain. We worked up an appetite after our game which was satisfied by Max’s Grille.
If you are looking for a delightful place to enjoy lunch, then look no further than Max’s Grille. It is one of the most popular restaurants in Mizner Park serving a variety of mouthwatering flavorful meals since 1991. This restaurant has such fantastic service and artistic décor. The wall-to-wall bottle bar and delicious sushi bar are totally worth coming back for. The restaurant itself is very large and offers indoor and outdoor seating. I found moving through the restaurant easy and spacious enough that I did not bump into anyone or any tables. Although we sat at a booth, most tables available were free-standing and could be accommodated to fit anyone. My sister and I shared the crispy Brussels sprouts which was a big mistake because they were so delicious, we ended up fighting for the last crumbs! We washed down our meals with two Don Julio spicy margaritas!
A perfect ending to a fun and accessible-friendly day would have to include visiting the Wick Theatre & Costume Museum and catching a show. When I started high school, I was terrified to speak up, so I joined the drama club to help me step out of my comfort zone and into the spotlight. Just kidding, I was usually an extra, but being on stage helped me overcome my fear of public speaking. It also taught me to appreciate the theater.
We chose the Wick Theatre & Costume Museum because of the convenient location, the costume museum available onsite to explore, and general accessibility.
A unique aspect of the Wick Theater is its costume museum, which includes original costumes from more than 35 Broadway productions. In total, Marilynn Wick has accumulated some 1.2 million pieces for the museum. I was lucky enough to see the costumes from one of my favorite musicals – “My Fair Lady” – the Julie Andrews performance. But I was even luckier to catch one of my favorite shows – Cole Porter’s “Anything Goes.”
The most entertaining part was watching the tap dancing “Anything Goes” performance in the front row, where you can see the grace of all the thespians.
All the theater entrances were accessible via walkways including the upper and front stage seats. The walkways were large and accommodating. We sat up front for the show, but for those who prefer a wider view seat, the upper section has this available and is accessible. During intermission, the Wick Tavern was open, and seating was plentiful and inclusive. Snacks and drinks were available, and the ladies powder room was spacious and accommodating for all. I truly enjoyed my visit to the theater and museum.
We had such a fun day full of many activities, but as a person with CP, I tend to use more energy than an able-bodied person, so exhaustion is very common in my life. It was such a relief to jump onto the Brightline, enjoy a glass of wine, put my seat back, and relax as we were taken home.
I recommend that you check out these accessible friendly activities if you are a local or tourist in The Palm Beaches!
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