Outside of Miami, West Palm Beach is one of the wealthiest cities in South Florida, but there is more to this vibrant metropolis than mega-mansions, private yachts, and secluded beaches. In West Palm Beach you get the best of both worlds—a city pace with vacation vibes. From the beautiful beaches to the pulsating nightlife to the family-friendly fun, this city has something for everyone.
West Palm Beach is a business hub for many large companies headquartered South Florida, but because of it's geographical location, right on the water, the city attracts all types of visitors, too. If you are looking for Miami-pace but on smaller scale, West Palm Beach is the city for you.
Swim at John D. MacArthur Beach State Park
As the Palm Beaches only state park, John D. MacArthur Beach offers a place for swimmers and sea life alike. Snorkeling and fishing are also popular activities in the area. Head to Rock Reef for some amazing snorkeling, it's easily accessible from the shore. There is also a playground, nature center, gift shop, and kayak and canoe rentals, and tours around the Lake Worth Lagoon.
Visit the Norton Museum of Art
Over 7,000 works are on display at the Norton Museum of Art. Collections include American, European, and Chinese works, as well as more contemporary pieces and photography. The museum is open Tuesday thru Saturday from noon-5pm. On Thursdays evenings, the museum runs, Art After Dark, an evening of lectures, live music, and workshops. Admission is free.
Explore the South Florida Science Museum and Aquarium
If you’re traveling with kids, the South Florida Science Museum and Aquarium is a great place to visit. It’s on the smaller side compared to other science museums but it’s jam packed with hands-on exhibits that kids will love. The aquarium is attached to the museum and is included in the entrance fee. All shows, including the planetarium, are an extra charge. There is also a small, shaded, outdoor park and mini golf area for kids as well. Toddlers will love the indoor play area at the back of the museum.
Drive through Lion Country Safari
Florida’s only drive-through safari is located in West Palm Beach. Lion Country Safari is a great place to bring young children. Park admission is a little steep but it includes the drive-through safari, where you’ll come up close with lions, rhinos, and ostrich, and a walk-through park with splash pad that is open majority of the year, so pack a bathing suit!
Kayak to Peanut Island
This is a great day trip for all ages. Rent kayaks at the Riviera Beach marina, and it’s only about a 20-30-minute kayak ride to the tiny island. Pack a picnic lunch and some snorkel gear for a relaxing day on the quiet island oasis. Be on the lookout for manatee, cowfish, and sea stars that live in the waters around the island. Bring everything you’ll need for the day because besides for some camp ground bathrooms, there is nothing else on the island.
Play all Day at Rapids Water Park
Located in Riveria Beach, about 15 minutes outside of West Palm, is Rapids Water Park. This is a great place for all ages. There’s a small kiddie zone that will entertain young children all day, a wave pool, lazy river, and over 35 water slides. Most guests park their belongings by one of the thousands of beach chairs that line the entire park, but lockers are available for rent as well. Life vests are available free of charge.
Shop and Dine at CityPlace
This upscale shopping destination is a great place to walk around, shop, and eat at some of the area’s best restaurants. Live music and CityPlace live events, like art fairs and wellness seminars, are always happening in the area, so be sure to check the calendar before visiting to see what’s going on. The famous West Palm Beach trolleybus circles the area.
Enjoy the Palm Beach Zoo
The Palm Beach Zoo is another must-visit when you’re in the area. At 23-acres, the zoo is manageable to walk around with smaller children, and with over 550 species, it’s exciting for all ages. Like many outdoor attractions in South Florida, there are jumping fountains right in the center of the park where children can run around and escape the heat. The zoo is open daily from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Explore Northwood Village
From funky shops to one-of-a-kind galleries, Northwood Village is the epicenter of West Palm Beach’s boho culture. But it’s not just art and galleries, vintage clothing shops, unique cafes, and restaurants with exotic flavors call Northwood Village home. Visiting Northwood is worth it for nothing else than to than to enjoy the original murals that line the streets, but you’re bound to find something original or unexpected down here.
Watch at Game at the FITTEAM Ballpark
For all the baseball fans visiting West Palm, a trip to the newly renovated FITTEAM Ballpark will be a thrill. It’s the spring training home to the Houston Astros and Washington Nationals, and visitors are welcome to come and watch the team when they’re in the area. A brand new concourse with restaurants and seating is available to visitors to relax or take a stroll on the Banana Boat brand lawn, right next to the field.
Shop at the Palm Beach Outlets
If outlet shopping is your thing, then you’ll want to head over to the Palm Beach Outlets during your visit to the West Palm. This 440,000-square foot outlet mall has over 100 stores, including Kenneth Cole, Tommy Hilfiger, Banana Republic, and Under Armour. The restaurants and live events are great as well. The mall is open Monday through Saturday, 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. and Sunday 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.
Learn something new at Manatee Lagoon
Manatee Lagoon, is a Palm Beach County attraction dedicated to teaching visitors about Florida wildlife and how to protect their precious environment. At Manatee Lagoon you'll find a viewing area, hands on exhibits, and a chance to meet Mia the Manatee, a mascot of sorts used to educate visitors about the Lake Worth Lagoon and it's surrounding areas.
Manatee Lagoon is open Tuesday thru Sunday 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Admission is free.
Take a Stroll Down Antique Row
Over 40 antique shops line the roads of this charming area. Located on South Dixie Highway, Antique Row is home to some very impressive vintage finds. It is considered the “Antique Design Center” of Florida and one of the east coast’s premiere antique shopping districts. Shipping and packing is readily available in the area as well, so you can bring something home no matter where you live. Art galleries and award-winning restaurants are dispersed between shops as well.
Walk around Clematis Street
A great place for a night out or afternoon stroll, Clematis Street is filled with colorful boutiques, nightclubs, restaurants, and live music. The area is also where many annual West Palm Beach events take place including the Palm Beach International Boat Show, and SunFest. Be sure to stop by the dancing fountains and take in the waterfront views at the end of the street as well.