Wellington, Royal Palm Beach and Loxahatchee: Explore a western part of The Palm Beaches

It’s renowned as “horse country,” but there's so much more to the western portion of The Palm Beaches.

Whether you seek a fun attraction for the entire family, a naturalistic park where man’s best friend can roam free or a world-class polo match, you can find it all in Wellington and the surrounding areas.

“The equestrian capital of the world is right here in The Palm Beaches, with the top hunter-jumper riders and horses competing weekly from January to March at the Palm Beach International Equestrian Center,” explained Roxanne Stein, a Wellington resident, equestrian competitor and news anchor for WPTV NewsChannel 5. “It’s a family-friendly event featuring Saturday Night Lights with show jumping and children's events, such as face painting, a petting zoo and a Venetian Carousel. There’s also dressage competition and many special equestrian events.”

“Also in our beautiful western communities, the Calypso Bay Waterpark is not to be missed,” Stein continued. “It has great water slides, an 897-foot river ride and a lap pool.”
 

Calypso Water Park

“Wellington, Royal Palm Beach and Loxahatchee all offer a variety of activities, many of which are great options for visitors who are looking for something fun to do away from the beaches,” said Stein. “I love living here, and the visitors who come to see me are always raving about how beautiful and fun the area is!”  

Wellington

Thousands of fans descend on Wellington each year for the equestrian scene. As one of the top polo destinations in the world, the village attracts the world's most accomplished polo players to the International Polo Club Palm Beach (IPC) to compete in “the sport of kings.” During March and April, IPC hosts the two most prestigious tournaments in the United States, the USPA Gold Cup® and the U.S. Open Polo Championship®.

The social scene during the Sunday Champagne brunch has become a popular experience, one during which you can expect to see international jet-setters, corporate giants, celebrities and trendsetting fashionistas. Polo matches are open to the public, with a wide range of hospitality and guest seating that includes elegant grandstand viewing, field tailgating, lawn seating, field-side champagne brunch at The Pavilion, and exclusive sponsor boxes. Tickets start at $10.

Wellington is also home to the Winter Equestrian Festival, an international equestrian extravaganza, at the Palm Beach International Equestrian Center. Managed by Equestrian Sport Productions (ESP), WEF hosts the world’s best horses and riders in every hunter/jumper discipline, from Olympic-level show jumping to short-stirrup divisions over twelve weeks of competition.

Each Saturday, the Saturday Night Lights series features fun activities for spectators to enjoy, in addition to the fantastic equestrian sport. Residents and visitors to Wellington are invited to enjoy the popular Kid’s Fair, and families can choose from a variety of food vendors. Following the conclusion of Saturday-night competition, nightlife continues at The Gallery Night Club at PBIEC. The Gallery is a stylish modern lounge that is open to the public every Saturday night with table seating and VIP bottle service available, along with great DJs and dancing.

The Mall at Wellington Green is a two-level Mediterranean-style shopping center which features more than 180 retailers, as well as a wide variety of restaurants. Located in the heart of The Palm Beaches, the mall is a premier year-round shopping destination that provides an exceptional shopping experience for every customer. It offers many customer amenities, including a children's play area, family restrooms, comfortable seating areas, free WiFi, valet parking, complimentary wheelchairs and stroller rentals.
 

Mall at Wellington Green

Wellington has a variety of dining options, including two popular bars: the World of Beer, which features more than 500 bottles from around the world, 50 taps, craft spirits and live music, and Bonefish Mac's Sports Grill, which specializes in fresh seafood. Asian fusion lovers will enjoy the Kontiki Wine & Raw Bar, where you can find authentic flavors from the regions of Asia Minor, Europe and the Americas in an exotic, yet cozy, atmosphere. The Grille Fashion Cuisine presents New American Bistro Cuisine highlighting fresh, in-house made culinary delicacies such as baked breads and gelatos. Agliolio Fresh Pasta & Wine Bar features pasta, fresh mozzarella, sauces, dressings, soups, bread – all made from scratch daily in the restaurant’s kitchens. La Fogata, a long-time favorite with locals, serves up Mexican cuisine such as chicken mole verde, carne asada and shrimp chimichangas.  

Royal Palm Beach

Royal Palm Beach is a beautiful, naturalistic village which features six parks, including stately Veterans Park and beautiful Commons Park. Commons Park offers a 2.6-acre dog park, which allows dogs of different sizes to play off-leash in different areas according to size. The dog park has three pavilions, fencing, lighting, dog water stations, benches, landscaping and concrete sidewalks for more fun with Fido.
 

Dog park

Additionally, Royal Palm Beach is home to a state-of-the-art cultural center, recreational center and two golf courses. A 747-acre pristine nature preserve offers visitors hiking and an equestrian trail. The preserve is located in the northwest corner of Royal Palm Beach. It has also been named Tree City USA by the National Arbor Day Foundation since 1990, and the entire village is designated as a bird sanctuary.

For dinner, Bimini Twist is a local favorite, which serves fresh food including specialty appetizer Bangin’ Bimini Shrimp and Certified Black Angus steaks, flowing specialty drinks and a tropical ambiance. The restaurant is consistently rated in the Top Ten Restaurants in all of South Florida on OpenTable.com. For a more exotic flair, try the popular India Grill and Bar, which combines the expertize of Continental and Indian chefs in its famous lunch buffet.

For those looking to dine nutritiously (yet deliciously), try the new fast-casual Bolay restaurant. You can build your own bowl featuring nutrient-rich super foods with flame-kissed proteins. Refreshing beverages include infused teas, in-house cold pressed juices, beer and wine.

Loxahatchee

The oldest of the western Palm Beach County communities, Loxahatchee Groves is today a true hallmark of suburban Florida lifestyle. This small corner of Florida is a favorite for people looking for wide-open spaces and a slower-paced way of life within a short distance of The Palm Beaches’ metropolitan Atlantic coast.

Become a part of the herd at Florida’s only drive-through safari, Lion Country Safari. Lion Country, which also features a walk-through amusement park and a water sprayground, is America's first "cageless" zoo. Spend the day on safari with more than 900 animals, including Little Mama, the oldest living chimpanzee on record. Meet and feed giraffes, come face-to-face with lions and admire the largest herd of zebra outside of Africa. With animal displays and encounters, animal feeding experiences, five rides, food, shopping and more, you're sure to have a memorable experience at Lion Country Safari.

For an eco-adventure you’re sure to remember, check out Mangrove Mamas Kayak & Ecotours. Paddle the rivers, canals and estuaries that make up the South Florida ecosystem. Kayaking is a fun, family-friendly way to get close to native wildlife, and the tours go at a relaxing pace through tranquil waterways.

Finish off your visit to this western part of The Palm Beaches with a stop at Loxahatchee Ice Cream & Coffee for a sweet treat. Try a Super S’mores Sundae or an Ice Cream Cannoli, and find out for yourself why this place is ranked the top Loxahatchee eatery on TripAdvisor.

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