Just over the bridge from bustling West Palm Beach, you’ll find a sleepy and self-indulgent beach town by the name of Palm Beach. Technically, Palm Beach proper is an island, connected to mainland Florida by three bridges that stretch over to West Palm Beach—which was actually founded to function as a service area to Palm Beach—and this fact is obvious in that it feels worlds away from reality.
For the ultimate visitor’s guide to Palm Beach, Florida, you’ve come to the right place.
Things to Do in Palm Beach, Florida
Wondering what to do in Palm Beach? There’s an abundance of great restaurants and bars, but you can’t spend your whole time eating. To fill your days with fun in the sun, these are the itinerary “musts” for a trip to Palm Beach, Florida from a local’s perspective.
Go to the Beach
Though public beach access in Palm Beach is scarce, in many places you can just hop the seawall and pick a spot on the sand anywhere you like. Resorts like The Breakers and Eau Palm Beach have their own beach areas, which makes it easy.
Visit the Flagler Museum
We have Henry Flagler to thank for Palm Beach as we know it—the area was nothing but jungle before he extended his railroad down this way—and the Flagler Museum is the perfect place to learn about his (slightly scandalous) legacy in the area. For example, the museum itself was first called Whitehall, and he built it as a wedding present for his third wife.
Stroll the Gardens at the Society of the Four Arts
There are a host of beautiful gardens in Palm Beach, but the grounds of the Society of the Four Arts are some of the most captivating, and they’re open to the public.
Catch a Show at the Kravis Center or Palm Beach Dramaworks
Sure, these theaters are technically in West Palm Beach, but a trip to Palm Beach wouldn’t be complete without a little culture. Make a nice dinner reservation and then catch a Broadway musical at the Kravis or some “theatre to think about” at Palm Beach Dramaworks.
Bike the Lake Trail
There’s a trail along the Intercoastal in Palm Beach that stretches for a few miles, and it’s the perfect tropical oasis to bike, run, walk or roller skate. Don’t miss a jaunt down Lake Trail during your time in Palm Beach, because you’ll be practically in the backyard of some of the island’s most impressive estates and you may even catch a celebrity getting some fresh air.
Shop Worth Avenue
If you’re in the market for new Cartier, Tiffany, Gucci or Louis Vuitton, you’ve come to the right place. A highlight is the brand-new flagship Lilly Pulitzer store, complete with fountains made out of seashells, a print artist who paints in store, a custom shop where you can design your own shift dress and a juice bar, paying homage to the founder’s roots in a juice stand.
Go to Church
Yes, really! You probably haven’t seen a church like Bethesda-by-the-Sea before, with its beautiful gardens and unbeatable location a block from the beach. Celebrities and even our president think it’s great, too. Michael Jordan got married there, and you can catch President Donald Trump there on major holidays like Easter and Christmas if he’s spending them in Palm Beach at the “Winter White House,” Mar-a-Lago, his private club and residence (which you can also drive by).
Where to Stay in Palm Beach
There are plenty of options when it comes to hotels in Palm Beach and you’ll find everything from historic inns and ultra-luxe resorts to eclectically charming hotels.
One of my favorite hotels in Palm Beach for its slightly British, slightly Old-World charm mingled with the pinks and greens of the Instagram-obsessed present. There’s a flamingo pool float, a pool bar with a frosé dispenser and walls papered in banana leaf prints. What more could your feed ask for?
If you can swing it, stay at The Breakers. There’s nowhere like it and you’ll be treated to the utmost preferential treatment at every turn. There are multiple pools, a beautiful beach, restaurants and bars, and enough intriguing history to keep you entertained for days.
Eau Palm Beach
A modern take on Palm Beach, Eau Palm Beach’s fun and funky style presents the brightest the island offers. Designed in bright colors and with one of the best spas in the country, Eau Palm Beach is the ideal retreat for the modern jet setter who vacations to kick back and enjoy being treated like royalty.
The Brazilian Court Hotel
A stylish, refined and quiet getaway conveniently located in midtown Palm Beach, where a lot of the action is. This is where the Lilly Pulitzer crew loves to stay when they’re in town, if that tells you anything.
A super cute, pineapple-themed vacation rental created by influencers, for influencers (and wannabes). Located in the historic Palm Beach Hotel, Pineapple Pad is available for rent on Airbnb and VRBO and includes millennial-friendly perks like pink bicycles, The Palm rosé and strong WiFi, duh.
Where to Eat in Palm Beach
In a world-class vacation destination like Palm Beach, you can bet there are some world-class restaurants to match during your stay. Below are a few of my favorites.
A Palm Beach hotspot! Chef Clay Conley is one of Palm Beach’s beloved darlings of the culinary world, and everything that comes out of his kitchen is to-die-for. Next door, Conley’s sister restaurant Imoto serves up fabulous Asian fare.
An unsuspecting and historical spot, this working pharmacy that also happens to have an old-fashioned diner located inside. Stop by for a classic Americana breakfast or go for a milkshake at lunch.
A newbie on the Palm Beach scene, but an instant hit! They serve a modern twist on Chinese fare and the food is memorable. Next door, fast-casual TYCA is a grab-and-go version offering bowls and burritos.
A ritzy but approachable spot for steaks and seafood. Make sure you get a bowl of the popped corn things (I’m really not sure what they are) to snack on before your meal… I’d eat an entire bag if they sold them.
Don’t leave Palm Beach without at least having a cocktail at the Seafood Bar at The Breakers. Not only does the restaurant offer a direct view of the ocean, but the bar top is also an aquarium, so you can sip your drink while watching tiny fish swim by right beneath your glass.
Palm Beach Grill
Probably my favorite restaurant in Palm Beach, as it’s affordably priced and consistently delicious. You can’t go wrong with a meal at Palm Beach Grill, but it’s hard to get a reservation in season—if you get there and have to wait for a table, check out the hush-hush Honor Bar around back.
If you have something to celebrate and want the dinner experience of a lifetime, Flagler Steakhouse is your best bet! You’ll spend a lot of moola but you’ll indulge in probably the best steak of your life, with one of the most refined dining experiences Palm Beach offers.
Pizza al Fresco
For something a bit more casual and approachable, Pizza al Fresco is my go-to. The wood-fired pizzas are phenomenal and you can enjoy an outdoor courtyard setting, surrounded by palm trees and warm colors of bougainvillea.