Local Female Leaders Share What They Love about The Palm Beaches

March 1, 2021

This March, who better to tell the story of The Palm Beaches than the women who call them home?

In honor of Women’s History Month, we asked local female business owners, executives and community leaders their favorite things about The Palm Beaches. Read their responses below and add a ton of new ideas to your Palm Beaches to-do list, whether you plan to explore in March or throughout the year.

Living in Palm Beach County is like no other place in the world – we are so lucky! One of my favorite things to do is climb the Jupiter Lighthouse with my family. Being a native, I love reading about our history and then seeing the gorgeous views from the top. I also LOVE to take the boat out to the Jupiter sandbar or Peanut Island. The water doesn’t get much clearer than we have here and the paddleboarding is amazing. Shopping and dining are also some of my favorite things to do, and my chosen restaurant is Tommy Bahama in Harbourside. Yum! Lastly, my ALL-TIME fave place to hang out is the South Florida Science Center and Aquarium.  We have exhibits for all ages and it’s the best place to spend your weekend! Kate Arrizza, President & CEO, South Florida Science Center and Aquarium

Kate Arrizza and her son on the Jupiter Inlet Lighthouse
Kate Arrizza and her son on the Jupiter Inlet Lighthouse

Living in The Palm Beaches offers such a diverse and beautiful array of things to do. We have a 1-year-old son (named Jack), so our idea of activities has changed a bit lately, but it has given us the opportunity to explore more family-friendly activities. Recently, we visited Loggerhead Marinelife Center to see the amazing work they are doing, and it was a fun experience for our little one. Lion Country Safari has also been a recent favorite of ours and has been a COVID-friendly outing. Personally, to escape from the chaos of life, I really enjoy the spa at Eau Palm Beach for a relaxing day. Not only are their services amazing, but spending a day at the property and having lunch by the ocean or in the spa garden is a great way to reset. My Dad was in Cooperative Extension when I was growing up, so a visit to Mounts Botanical Garden is a nostalgic place for me, and it is an educational and beautiful place. – Lindsay Autry, Chef/Partner, The Regional

Chef Lindsay Autry with her son at Loggerhead Marinelife Center
Chef Lindsay Autry with her son at Loggerhead Marinelife Center

A few favorite things that I like to do in The Palm Beaches are enjoying a seafood lunch or dinner at The Breakers hotel, enjoying a nice spa day where I can rest and relax, attending galas for special events,  shopping at the local malls and outlets, and attending the student film showcase (The Palm Beaches Student Showcase of Films). Verdenia C. Baker, Palm Beach County Administrator

Verdenia C. Baker (left) with Mary Lou Berger
Verdenia C. Baker (left) with Mary Lou Berger at the student film showcase

I feel so fortunate to live in a county that has so much to offer our residents and visitors. It truly is paradise. There are so many “favorites” it is hard to feature just a few. When we have family or friends in town, we like to bring them to a variety of venues so they get the feel of how diverse and exceptional Palm Beach County really is as a destination. To highlight a few: The International Polo Club Palm Beach and Palm Beach International Equestrian Center is always a great time. During the season, you have the opportunity to see some of the best equestrians in the world compete. The Morikami Museum and Japanese Gardens is another great place to visit with beautiful scenery in a tranquil setting. There are several different festivals they hold each year as well. If it is a rainy day, then The Norton Museum is a good go-to or a performance at The Kravis Center. – Mary Lou Bedford, Chief Executive Officer, Central Palm Beach County Chamber of Commerce

Norton Museum of Art Central Garden
The central garden at the Norton Museum of Art

Visiting the Beaches – Singer Island, Palm Beach and Lake Worth Beach. Festival: SunFest in May. Shopping: City Place, Boca Mall, Palm Beach Outlet Mall, Gardens Mall and Worth Avenue. Charities: Soup Kitchen, Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure cancer walk. – Angella Gilzene, General Manager, Hilton Palm Beach Airport

Angella Gilzene during Race for the Cure
Angella Gilzene during Race for the Cure

I love a green market. I always seek them out when I’m visiting another city. You have a sense of being a local when you stop by one, no matter where you’re from. During the pandemic, these outdoor markets have been one of the few activities we could continue to enjoy. We’re lucky in Palm Beach County because we have several unique green markets to choose from. Of course, I’m partial to the Delray Beach Green Market on Saturday mornings at Old School Square. I always have to make extra time when I visit because I’m sure to see everyone I know! But I’ve also enjoyed the Twilight Green Market at Wellington on Friday nights. It’s fun to sip a glass of wine and stroll around, seeking out prime ingredients for your weekend dinners. We’ve all become cooks now, right? The Lake Worth Beach Waterside Farmers Market competes for my time on Saturday mornings since I live nearby in Lantana, as does the West Palm Beach Green Market at their beautiful location on the waterfront in downtown. It’s a great way to spend a Saturday morning. So, no excuses. Get out and enjoy the sunshine, support small businesses and have fun! Stephanie Immelman, CEO, Delray Beach Chamber of Commerce

Stephanie Immelman at the Delray Beach Green Market
Stephanie Immelman at the Delray Beach Green Market

We partnered with the Eau Palm Beach on a great Familiarization tour of Palm Beach with some amazing clients. On the way to dinner, we had some surprise stops along the way: the well-kept secret in Palm Beach of the “vias” along Worth Avenue and one of our favorite boutique shops, Sherry Frankel’s Melangerie with some extraordinary rare and fun gifts. We also had a “hooky day” and took our team out for a favorite West Palm Beach Food tour via trolley. Waiting for clients to join us, we took our new trolley to the National Croquet Center where we had a fun-filled afternoon of team building, music, great food and fun in our Croquet Whites and Lilly Brights! And of course, a catamaran cruise in Palm Beach to see the mansions and just get out on the water! – Paget Kirkland, President, Kirkland Event & Destination Services

Paget Kirkland with a tour group on Worth Avenue
Paget Kirkland with a tour group on Worth Avenue

Some of my favorite things in The Palm Beaches include the South Porch at Whitehall (of course!). Just sitting on the steps, looking out through the Cocoanut Grove to the Intracoastal is as peaceful and beautiful as it gets at this stressful time for all. A drive through Lion Country Safari watching lions lounge on the grass is so fun, or a quiet walk through the gardens at the Ann Norton Sculpture Gardens. For satisfying my sweet tooth, any kind of ice cream at Mary Lily’s at The Breakers or a Lemon Drop at 1000 North will do the trick. And my husband and I love going to the Astros and Nationals spring training games at The Ballpark of the Palm Beaches. Finally, to remember that life must go on, watching the sunrise at the Juno Beach Pier is a must. – Erin Manning, Executive Director, Flagler Museum

Sunrise at Juno Beach
Sunrise at Juno Beach; photo by Erin Manning

I have only been in The Palm Beaches for just over a year now and it has definitely been a journey. Unfortunately, two months after my move, we entered the pandemic so truly being able to fully take advantage of all the area has to offer been limited. But even with limitations, there are three things I have truly enjoyed taking time to do here in The Palm Beaches. First, the food. Being from Mississippi, I am always looking for good Southern cuisine and The Palm Beaches have not disappointed. I spent a lot of time just trying new restaurants such as City Cellar Wine Bar & Grill and E.R. Bradley’s. I really look forward to spending more time exploring the Clematis area and the restaurants along the beach as I truly enjoy live music, good food and good drinks. My best experience was when I came across the Skrimp Shack and I was able to eat some amazing catfish, which is a delicacy to people in Mississippi. The second thing I have enjoyed here in The Palm Beaches is the fitness. Being a person who LOVES to go to the gym, the pandemic definitely made that difficult. So I took advantage of local dance studios and gyms (of which there are so many options) doing online classes and it has been an amazing experience.  I have enjoyed hip hop dance, contemporary, floor work, yoga, boxing, capoeira, HIIT training and so much more. I look forward to going to them in-person and really taking advantage of what these businesses have to offer. The third thing I love to do here in The Palm Beaches is drive. Yes, I said drive. Every time I have moved to a new city, I always drive around to get the lay of the land. But driving around The Palm Beaches has been quite an adventure, primarily due to its size. There are just so many places to go from Wellington to Delray Beach, the farmers markets to the parks. On my off days, I will just get in my car and drive and stop wherever I please. I actually enjoy that the most; you just never know what you’re going to find. Finally, I look forward to really exploring the beach, which I haven’t had a chance to do yet – I know, please don’t judge me! I look forward to continuing to learn about The Palm Beaches and taking advantage of all it has to offer. – Jacqueline “Jackie” Mitchell, Director of Event Services, Palm Beach County Convention Center

A selection of wine and cheese from City Cellar
A selection of cheeses and wines from City Cellar

We are so fortunate here in The Palm Beaches to have so many wonderful things to see and do that it is hard to choose just a few. South Florida is truly a beautiful place to call home and nowhere has a better view than Flagler Drive. I like to hit the sidewalk in my tennis shoes for a run, on my scooter for a quick commute to my next meeting or even hop into the Intracoastal Waterway on a paddleboard to see the sights and sounds of my favorite city from a new perspective. On the right day, you can even catch a concert at the Meyer Amphitheater Sunday at the Waterfront, a drive-in movie at Currie Park or visit our award-winning waterfront Green Market… outdoor, physically distant and a great way to get out and move. I love the neighborhood vintage stores and local restaurants of Northwood Village. After perusing the latest local art and eclectic finds along with rare consignments, I enjoy a bite at one of many local eateries or just a coffee, cocktail or craft beer at the brewery, while I enjoy the sights and sounds of a true neighborhood street filled with murals and decorated storefronts. Each doorway is filled with a new authentic experience and a new neighbor, as our village shops are run by local small business owners who are also residents. Whether I’m close to home or out exploring, there are so many things to do in this great city I get to call home. Even though we are all physically distant, we can be close at heart and my heart belongs to West Palm Beach. – Kelly Shoaf, District 1 Commissioner, West Palm Beach

Kelly Shoaf at Day by Day Shoppe
Kelly Shoaf at Day by Day Shoppe in Northwood Village

 

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