Things to Do In and Around West Palm Beach

July 17, 2019

Welcome to Downtown West Palm Beach! Whether you came in on our brand-new Virgin Trains USA high-speed rail (formerly Brightline) or flew into Palm Beach International Airport (15 minutes from downtown), we’re happy you’re here.

Downtown West Palm Beach has a lot to offer both visitors and residents. Here are a few of the best things to do to get you started.
 

1. Enjoy the food of Clematis Street.

Clematis Street runs east to west through the heart of downtown and offers restaurants to satisfy every taste.

Care for a burger? The best are at Grease, whose menu has 21 of the juiciest burgers in town. My favorite is the “PB Illustrated A-List,” a nod to the local Palm Beach Illustrated magazine; this burger has fresh mozzarella, red and yellow tomatoes, radicchio, red onion, pesto and balsamic glaze.  You can also order one of Grease’s signature cocktails or choose from their collection of over 230 whiskeys. With a drink in your hand and the vintage bulbs hanging from meat hooks, you’ll swear you’re in NYC’s meatpacking district in the 1920s.

Looking for something south of the border? Cross the street to Rocco’s Tacos and Tequila Bar. Rocco’s is one of the most popular destinations on Clematis. Get a pitcher of Rocco’s signature margarita, or order one of the 391 different tequilas at the bar.

For sushi, Kabuki is an incredible dining experience. The vibe is cosmopolitan and the menu is diverse, offering many Thai specialties. You can sit at the bar and watch the skillful chefs create their beautifully crafted traditional sushi, sip sake at the intimate tables or—my favorite—sit at one of the tables on Clematis Street, enjoying the fine food while watching the world go by.

Head on over to Hullabaloo for an authentic gastropub experience. Yes, I know that these days everything is a “gastropub,” but you’re not going to find a place like this just anywhere. There’s an open kitchen, community table, booths, live music and sidewalk cafeteria seating, or go out to the back patio and enjoy your food and drinks inside the vintage Airstream camper retrofitted for your dining pleasure. How hip is that? The menu includes Antipasto (with choices like smoked pork belly), Pizza (from their wood stone oven), Farm (try the duck confit fettucine carbonara) or Mar (local red snapper on citrus scampi with fingerling potatoes, spinach, leeks and olive heirloom tomato relish is a favorite). Amazing! The handcrafted cocktails are to die for. Try the Chris Cornell "Black Hole Sun" or the Ian Curtis "I Remember Nothing" ... yup, each cocktail is named after a dead rock star. I apologize if that got a little dark, but the citrus and blackberry flavors of Chuck Berry's "My Ding-A-Ling" cocktail should cheer you up and get you back to your mission of exploring downtown West Palm Beach.

If it’s later in the evening and you want to have the most interesting drink in South Florida, find a local and ask them for directions to 215 Speakeasy. You won’t regret it.

Want a guided tour of downtown’s dining options? Head on over to westpalmbeachfoodtour.com and book a tour to try the best of what West Palm Beach’s dining scene has to offer.

2. Take a walk through part of the Ale Trail of The Palm Beaches.

We used to have to either drive south to Due South Brewing in Boynton Beach or north to Tequesta Brewing in Jupiter to find the nearest brewery, but in the last three years the brewing scene in West Palm Beach has exploded. 

Now you can start in downtown West Palm Beach and take a four-mile walk which hits five local craft breweries. This is what I like to refer to as the West Palm Beach Ale Trail, which is a small, yet amazing, subset of the larger Ale Trail of the Palm Beaches.
Punch these addresses into your GPS, and let’s start walking:

Then take a five-minute Uber and find Accomplice Brewery & Ciderworks, West Palm Beach’s first ciderworks.

Or check out the “Central County” tour at DamnGoodBeerBus. This is an amazing experience, and with your own private driver you’ll be taken through the breweries of the West Palm Beach, Royal Palm Beach and Lake Worth.

3. Enjoy the arts.

The streets of Clematis Street and Rosemary Square (formerly CityPlace) have dozens of beautiful murals painted by world-class street artists and muralists.
The sides of the parking garages host massive murals, as do the stairwells of each parking garage. There’s plenty to see by just wandering through the streets of downtown, but guided tours are offered—those start at Hilton West Palm Beach.

Want to catch a play? Check out Palm Beach Dramaworks. This amazing nonprofit theater has been producing wonderful performances of classic plays and can be enjoyed in the comfort of one of the 218 seats at the Don & Ann Brown Theatre. The rich design elements and amazing soundscapes produced for each of Dramaworks’ productions are second to none and are known to leave theater-goers in downtown West Palm Beach spellbound.

Finally, the Kravis Center is for those who want to catch a Broadway play, symphony or opera from within walking distance of downtown. Here, the splendor of the world-class 2,195-seat Alexander W. Dreyfoos, Jr. Concert Hall rivals anything you’ll find in New York’s Theatre District and can’t be missed.

4. Get active on the waterfront.

Whether you came to West Palm Beach for business or pleasure, what’s a trip to West Palm Beach without getting in the water?

Head to Visit Palm Beach at the  Waterfront Visitor Information Center to book a leisurely sunset cruise on the Hakuna Matata catamaran. Take a canoe out for a paddle among the wildlife-filled spoil islands of the Intracoastal Waterway. Or book a snorkeling trip to the beautiful Peanut Island. Up for something that will get your heart pumping? Try taking a JetSki out for the afternoon, or go flyboarding.

If you love water but aren’t so adventurous, take the afternoon off and enjoy the beautiful pool at Hilton West Palm Beach. Enjoy the amazing food and craft cocktails from the fine folks at The Galley while taking in the afternoon sun and planning what you’re going to do tomorrow in West Palm Beach.

Whatever you find to do, I guarantee you’ll love it and will be telling your friends about it when you get home!

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Aarom Wormus rappelling
Aaron Wormus
Aaron Wormus authors the “a Guy on Clematis” blog, which has chronicled the growth of Downtown West Palm Beach, specifically Clematis Street, over the last 10 years. In 2011, The Sun-Sentinel named "a Guy on Clematis" the Best Overall Blog in South Florida. “A Guy on Clematis” has also been profiled in The Palm Beach Post, The Palm Beacher magazine, and Palms West Monthly.