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Touring Diverse Neighborhoods in The Palm Beaches

Touring Diverse Neighborhoods in The Palm Beaches

Not just the premier location for fun and sun, The Palm Beaches are home to diverse population and neighborhoods with an energy that reflects their cultural makeup.

The Palm Beaches boast dazzling beaches, of course, but also incredible art, entertainment and culture. April’s Diversity Month calls for the celebration of diversity worldwide, and these Palm Beaches neighborhoods and towns embrace diversity and inclusion year-round.   Boynton Beach, which is nestled in Palm Beach County’s southeast corner near the coast, is known for its Old Florida charm. Near the downtown area of Boynton Beach is Troy’s Barbeque, one of the neighborhood’s most popular, Black-owned dining establishments. Troy’s is the perfect place to grab a plate of ribs and chicken, then head a few blocks north, where nightlife and culture in Boynton Beach sparkle. Throughout the year, the Boynton Beach Arts & Cultural Center hosts exhibits highlighting the work of BIPOC artists, including the Upcycled Fashion Exhibition taking place from May 7 through June 25, 2021. Boynton Beach also offers scenic and relaxing beaches along with shopping, breweries and oceanside dining. n the western part of The Palm Beaches near Florida’s largest lake, Lake Okeechobee, Belle Glade has an extensive makeup of Black and Latino residents. This is a city that captures the essence of togetherness and community while also celebrating different ethnicities and backgrounds. You can learn about local history at the Lawrence E. Will Museum then catch a show at the Dolly Hand Cultural Arts Center on the Palm Beach State College Belle Glade campus. Due to its proximity to Lake Okeechobee, Belle Glade also provides access to some of the region’s top outdoor recreation including hiking, wildlife watching, thrilling airboat tours and fishing charters. The community also has strong ties to agriculture and celebrates the harvest with the Black Gold Jubilee festival each year.

Eduardo Kobra mural in West Palm Beach
Eduardo Kobra mural on Clematis Street in West Palm Beach; photo by Alisha L. (@heyalishahey)

Back on the east side of The Palm Beaches is West Palm Beach, a thriving city that’s home to both retirees and diverse young professionals. One of the most popular downtown neighborhoods is Clematis Street. With its wide streets and stone-paved sidewalks lined with bars, art galleries and restaurants, this street is the heart of the city and hosts the West Palm Beach Antique & Flea Market every Saturday morning. Nearby, the West Palm Beach GreenMarket, also held on Saturdays, celebrates South Florida culture, food and flora.

West Palm Beach Antique and Flea Market
West Palm Beach Antique and Flea Market on Clematis Street; photo by Alisha L. (@heyalishahey)

Also in West Palm Beach, it’s worth heading to the Historic Northwest District, rich with African American history. The neighborhood is known for the famous Sunset Lounge, an iconic music and entertainment venue with solid ties to the Black community since the 1940s that is currently being renovated. The community is in the midst of a renaissance and undergoing redevelopment that aims to enhance its cultural roots and create a hub for Black-owned businesses.   A little farther south, Lake Worth is one of the most culturally diverse cities in The Palm Beaches. With a population nearing 40,000, the city highlights significant Caribbean and Hispanic (especially Mexican and Guatemalan) influences, which have brought new cuisines and added vibrancy to the area. One of the best places to visit is the Cultural Council for Palm Beach County gallery and information center, located in Lake Worth Beach’s downtown area. This is an ideal location to find art from local Black and Latinx artists in The Palm Beaches. Also downtown is Los Pancho’s Taco & Tequila Bar, a frequented spot for Mexican cuisine and live entertainment. Serving dishes with arguably some of the best Mexican flavors in The Palm Beaches, Los Pancho’s is open for brunch and dinner, and offers happy hour specials throughout the week. Listen to live music from a variety of Latinx musicians and bands while eating savory tapas.

Los Pancho's Taco & Tequila Bar, Lake Worth Beach
Los Pancho’s Taco & Tequila Bar in Lake Worth Beach; photo by Alisha L. (@heyalishahey)

Also in downtown Lake Worth Beach is Sugar Plum & The Grumbling Growler, a Black-owned business that’s a sort of combination art gallery, wine lounge and beer bar. The owners share a love of these three things, which is evident in the work of diverse local artists on display and great food, beer and wine available. Sugar Plum & The Grumbling Growler also creates space for the community with available workspaces and areas for events. Notable events include an Afrobeats dance class, movie nights and live music performances.

Sugar Plum & The Grumbling Growler, Lake Worth Beach
Sugar Plum & The Grumbling Growler in Lake Worth Beach; photo by Alisha L. (@heyalishahey)

Farther south in Delray Beach, you’ll find a focus on arts, diversity and culture that earned the city Rand McNally’s “Most Fun Small Town in the USA” designation in 2012. Located between Boca Raton and Boynton Beach, Delray Beach boasts rich history, a fun atmosphere and a trendy populace that loves to embrace local shops, restaurants and mural art both downtown and in the Pineapple Grove Arts District. One of the city’s most popular attractions is the Morikami Museum and Japanese Gardens, which features authentic Japanese gardens and art. Another popular attraction is the Spady Cultural Heritage Museum, a Black history museum and cultural center highlighting the contributions of people of African descent, including Afro-Caribbean cultures. Every year, the Spady Cultural Heritage Museum hosts a Juneteenth Celebration for the community to commemorate the emancipation of enslaved people in the United States.

Spady Cultural Heritage Museum, Delray Beach
Spady Cultural Heritage Museum in Delray Beach; photo by Alisha L. (@heyalishahey)

Finally, a little north of West Palm Beach, marine destination Riviera Beach is a popular stomping ground for the Black community in The Palm Beaches. Enjoy delicious seafood and draft beers in and around Riviera Beach Marina Village, then spend time at a cultural event like the weekly Sunday Tiki Market where guests can enjoy live Calypso music and Caribbean food, and shop for art and jewelry. Riviera Beach also hosts a Juneteenth Celebration featuring live music and food and spotlighting local Black-owned businesses and community resources.


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