Things to do in the Town of Palm Beach

One of the most exclusive addresses in the world is surprisingly accessible and fun!

The Town of Palm Beach is an island, both physically and in lifestyle. Time takes a leisurely pace there, unaffected by trends and pressures from the outside world. Quiet, decades-old neighborhoods remain well-kept and tropical, and busy business districts carefully preserve the beautiful architecture that have been a signature of the island for decades. The only seasonal change to observe are the fashions that fill the windows on Worth Avenue. It is a place of charming streets and “vias” (as the delightful hidden alleyways are known), small stores full of color and style, and quiet corners that won’t give way to development. Forget about deadlines, put on your walking shoes, and enjoy our list of things to do while visiting the Town of Palm Beach.

Flagler Museum

 

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To ascend the front steps of Flagler Museum is very much like entering the home of a head of state. The white marble steps, towering columns, and the intricately-decorated door are reminiscent of a European palace; perhaps a bit foreboding in stature, but irresistible all the same. In a way, this palatial structure, known as “Whitehall,” was the home to a head of state. Built by Henry Morrison Flagler at the end of the Nineteenth Century, Whitehall was a wedding gift to Flagler’s third bride, Mary Lily Kenan. Flagler, a businessman and oil tycoon, built the railroad that allowed for the development of much of Florida’s east coast. The home he built has long been a jewel of The Palm Beaches, visited and enjoyed by worldwide travelers and local residents alike. A tour of the museum will walk you through breathtaking halls of marble and gilded trim, intimate business offices filled with substantial mahogany furniture, and bedrooms decorated with the finest linens and wallpapers. Painstakingly restored to its original configuration, the museum will transport visitors back to the very beginnings of Palm Beach, a time when the world’s elite vacationed together as friends in Flagler’s newly created holiday destination.

The Lake Trail

 

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One of the best-kept secrets on Palm Beach is the beautiful and meandering Lake Trail, a 5-mile walk or bike ride that runs along the western edge of the island. Heading out on this trail means an ever-changing view of Lake Worth Lagoon and the West Palm Beach skyline. Interesting trees and plants decorate the walk, many planted by the homeowners who live adjacent to the path. Locals enjoy this pathway as much as visitors, so make room for strollers and bicycles as you take an “islander’s” view of casual Palm Beach.

Pan’s Garden


Walking down a quiet street of small, well-kept shops will take you to a spot that is a hidden, yet celebrated, treasure. Nearly obscured by tall, groomed hedges is a small gate, flanked by unassuming concrete benches. Step through the portal, and you will be taken far away from the commerce and bustle of the business district. You will be standing in a place called Pan’s Garden. Here, you will find a place of peace and beauty created for all to enjoy. To one side, a statue of Pan of Rohallion playing his pipes stands over a reflecting pool, and a winding path takes you past old gumbo limbo trees, rare orchids, and samples of Florida’s beautiful native plants. Take a moment and enjoy the serene surroundings, a corner of Palm Beach that so typifies its heart and originality.

The Paramount Theater

 

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A walk along North County Road will take you to an icon of Palm Beach, a place that typifies the graceful, yet casual style of this community. The Paramount Theatre was built in the era of the movie palace, and the Paramount does not disappoint. Step under the street-side facade and see a courtyard of shopfronts and tropical plants. The wide steps lead up to the theatre entrance, a portal where generations of Hollywood’s elite mingled with the residents of Palm Beach. Open the door and you’ll be met with a pleasant surprise: the theatre, which now serves as a church, has thousands of photos placed on display, covering nearly every inch of wall space in the lobby and adjacent hallways. Wander the lobby and look for your Hollywood favorites, as chances are good they visited this very theatre.

Philip Hulitar Sculpture Gardens at The Society of the Four Arts
 


This serene and inspiring attraction is a garden that mixes works of art with the natural masterworks of plant and flower. Visiting the Philip Hulitar Sculpture Garden will show you a place where the art of man has been blended with nature, with exceptional results. Follow the cobbled, meandering walks and enjoy beautiful classic and contemporary sculptures collected from around the world. Wide stone walkways will lead you to individually-themed garden rooms, adorned with vine-covered pergolas, flowering shrubs and graceful palms.

Sea Gull Cottage


In the shadows of the Flagler Museum is a small cottage, clad in blue shingles and a wood shake roof. Called the Sea Gull Cottage, this unassuming little structure is perhaps as historically important to the Island as Flagler’s palatial home. Built in 1886, the cottage was considered one of the nicest homes on the island, with stained glass windows and a staircase constructed of mahogany salvaged from a local shipwreck. Henry Flagler was so impressed he decided to buy the house and the entire tract of land it sat upon. The cottage became Flagler’s winter home, and the land nearby became the construction site for his new mansion, completed in 1902. The charming, three-level cottage is next to the Lake Trail, and serves the community of Palm Beach for functions and events.

Worth Avenue and Clock Tower


Take a walk down the stylish and ornate street called Worth Avenue, and you’ll be walking down one of the most exclusive shopping districts in the world. There’s a reason why this four-block stretch is mentioned in the same breath with Paris’ Avenue Montague and Rodeo Drive. Each perfectly kept storefront is a feast for the eyes and an inspiration in style. The names you’ll see will read like a who’s who of the finest merchants in the world. Feel free to linger and enjoy the street’s unmistakable Addison Mizner architecture, or make your way down to the oceanfront to see the graceful clock tower that marks the end of the street.

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