What’s New in 2020 in The Palm Beaches

December 26, 2019

From new attractions to buzzworthy hotel and restaurant openings, here’s a look at some exciting happenings in the year ahead.

New Attractions & Experiences

Man and boy at Drive Shack
A new kind of golf experience has landed in Florida’s Golf Capital®: Drive Shack lets everyone from families to golf aficionados tee off with technologies like augmented reality and virtual courses from around the world – all in the comfort of climate-controlled bays with lounge seating, a restaurant and cocktail bar. 
 
On the heels of a $100 million transformation, the iconic Norton Museum of Art is premiering two major exhibits for its 2020 season: Georgia O’Keeffe: Living Modern (on view through Feb. 2, 2020) and Robert Rauschenberg: Five Decades from the Whitney’s Collection (Feb. 21 - June 28, 2020).
 
Three can’t-miss art installations made their debut at Rosemary Square in 2019: the stunning Water Pavilion West Palm; a light installation by artist Shilpa Gupta called MEIYW (My East is Your West); and The Wishing Tree, a 32-foot LED banyan tree. 
 
On Quadrille Boulevard in downtown West Palm Beach, visitors will soon be treated to a “Mary Poppins”-esque flight of fancy with Shade Parade, an interactive art installation featuring bright pink umbrella sculptures that move with pedestrians.
 
With a $50 million expansion underway, the Kravis Center for the Performing Arts is bigger, better and more star-studded than ever. The 2019-2020 season includes Jim Gaffigan’s Secrets and Pies Tour and the national tour of Broadway hit Hamilton.
 
Howard Park in West Palm Beach is the backdrop for Foreverglades, a floating photography exhibit (through Feb. 29, 2020). Housed in a replica 1920s steamboat docked in the Stub Canal Turning Basin, the exhibit focuses on life in The Glades.

New Restaurants to Savor

 
The newly opened Elisabetta’s Ristorante, Bar & Pizzeria – featuring two bars, al fresco dining and a balcony overlooking Atlantic Avenue in Delray Beach – boasts a scratch kitchen with a menu ranging from fresh seafood and pasta to dry-aged steaks.
 
Sassafras, a new venture from the Subculture Group, recently made its debut in the Clematis Street Entertainment District. Get there ASAP to indulge on Southern fare like fried chicken and buttermilk biscuits, but with a creative spin.
 
Just around the corner, the sleek, contemporary Sourbon Kitchen + Bar from Chef Richard Leadbetter draws culinary inspiration from around the world – featuring fun shareables, a raw bar and more, all locally sourced whenever possible. 
 
Colorado-based Rush Bowls is another new addition to Clematis Street, and plans are in the works for a Boca Raton location as well. Choose from 30+ combinations of creamy, blended smoothies and fruit bowls with an assortment of tasty toppings.
 
Award-winning chef Laurent Tourondel is the force behind Scusi Trattoria, a coastal Italian culinary experience in Palm Beach Gardens. The menu, which features elevated takes on traditional entrees, pastas and pizzas, pays homage to the food of Chef Tourondel’s childhood. 
 
Since opening in 2012, Steel Tie Spirits has grown to become the largest distillery (by production capacity/volume) in the Southeast. Visitors can now take a fully guided tour with complimentary tastings, or participate in Stretch and Sip Sunday yoga.
 
Coming in 2020:
 
Already a well-known name in Nantucket, Lola 41 is coming to the White Elephant Palm Beach (more on that below) in January. This stylish bistro and sushi bar interprets the cuisines of countries along the 41st parallel, with dishes like Hot Pepper Hamachi and Korean Beef Bulgogi.
 
Another jewel in the Breakers Palm Beach crown, Henry’s Palm Beach will serve elevated comfort food with a hint of nostalgia. Henry’s (named after Breakers founder Henry Flagler) will open at Via Flagler by The Breakers, a new alfresco plaza with a curated roster of boutiques, eateries and residences.
 
Texas-based Japanese chain The Blue Fish has been racking up accolades for 20+ years. Starting in January, its ultra-fresh sushi and sashimi, rolls and Asian hot dishes are about to make a big splash at Boca Raton’s Mizner Park.
 
Sustainable seafood and local, seasonal ingredients will be on offer at Lionfish in Delray Beach. But no doubt the star of the menu is the namesake lionfish – a species that is wreaking havoc on the world’s reefs, but can be served a variety of tasty ways.
 
At Rosemary Square, Pura Vida will whip up acai bowls, superfood-packed smoothies and everything else you need for a post-yoga refuel.
 
Delray Beach will be the site of Florida’s flagship HAWKERS, serving flavorful street eats from around Asia (think Korean twice-fried wings and Malaysian curry). 
 
Fans of True Food Kitchen, rejoice! You’ll soon be able to get your thoughtfully made vegetarian, vegan and gluten-free faves at a new Rosemary Square outpost.
 
For those who can’t get enough of the food hall trend, Delray Beach Market is set to be Florida’s largest food hall beginning in late 2020, with a whopping 35 vendors.

Buzzworthy Digs

Brazilian Court pool
A Palm Beach fixture since 1926, the Brazilian Court Hotel is posher than ever after a chic and playful makeover – from whimsical wall panels in a wisteria motif to rich accents of mahogany, leather, marble and brass. 
 
The Delray Beach Marriott has transformed into Opal Grand Oceanfront Resort & Spa with a fresh new American-Caribbean vibe. The resort offers lavish guest rooms, a spa and over 30,000 square feet of event space in the heart of Delray Beach.
 
The Ben, a Marriott Autograph Collection property, is coming to downtown West Palm Beach in February 2020. Named after Ben Trovato, the Gilded Age estate of Palm Beach hospitality pioneers Byrd and Fred Dewey, the hotel will harken back to that glitzy era with modern luxuries like a rooftop pool, private cabanas and the city’s only waterfront ballroom. 
 
True to its name, the Canopy by Hilton Downtown West Palm Beach will feature a 60-foot fiber-optic banyan tree held within a soaring glass atrium when it opens in February 2020. The 150-room property will also boast a rooftop restaurant called Treehouse that promises some of the most photo-worthy views in town.
 
Palm Beach’s illustrious hotels will welcome a new neighbor with White Elephant Palm Beach, an intimate, 32-room boutique property inhabiting a 1920s Mediterranean Revival building. The hotel will offer a courtyard and pool, plus two penthouse suites with rooftop terraces, when it opens early in 2020.
 
Spanning over seven beachfront acres on Singer Island, Amrit Ocean Resort & Residences is a next-level take on wellness. Combining Eastern philosophies with Western technologies, the resort will offer personalized wellness journeys for each guest, with features like hydrothermal water therapy, sound and light therapy, and one of the most sophisticated Ayurvedic and yoga programs in the U.S. It’s set to open this spring.

Arrive in Style

Brightline train
Brightline (soon to be Virgin Trains USA) launched high-speed rail service between 
downtown West Palm Beach, Miami and Fort Lauderdale two years ago. Now, construction is underway on a new line that will connect West Palm Beach with the Orlando International Airport in just two hours, with service slated to start in 2022. The following year, a new station is expected to open in Boca Raton.
 
There are several new ways to fly into Palm Beach International Airport (PBI). Air Canada Rouge, the only airline providing nonstop service between Canada and West Palm Beach, offers additional flights from Montreal and Toronto through April 2020. United Airlines, Frontier and Allegiant Air will be making it even easier to get here as well, with expanded service to 10 U.S. cities.
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