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It’s true, our family loves to explore beach towns and we’re on a mission to check out the most fun things to do in West Palm Beach Florida on the way to a family-friendly Florida Keys and Key West, Florida vacation. I’m on a magazine story assignment about the Florida Keys and thought it would be fun to share the best east coast Florida beaches we encounter along the Florida east coast on the way to the southernmost city. Let’s start with all things from Downtown West Palm Beach, West Palm attractions and shopping, to the seven best things to do at West Palm Beach for families, shall we?!
FAMILY-FRIENDLY FUN THINGS TO DO IN WEST PALM BEACH FLORIDA
I’d heard of West Palm as a luxury shopping destination. Other than that, we had no idea what to do in West Palm Beach!
We rolled into town mid-morning and saw our centrally-located hotel before exploring the city.
Let’s just say that I loved the luxurious the nearby Downtown West Palm Beach district.
But there are many fun things to do on West Palm Beach, Florida, so let’s get to it!
PALM BEACH ZOO
Palm Beach Zoo and Conservation Society is truly a family vacation spot in Florida to go wild as a family!
Meet cuddly koala bears, stunning tigers, jaguars, alligators, even a white alligator. There are definitely too many fabulous animals to name!
There’s even a place to let kids play in a fun water jet fountain when temperatures.
BEACHES AT WEST PALM BEACH
It’s no surprise that our top priority of West Palm Beach attractions was to find a beautiful place in the sand.
When I’d researched the best Palm Beach access, a “clock tower” showed up on a google map.
This clock tower beach spot turned out to be about four and a half miles from our hotel. We traveled I-95 S for 0.7 miles. Then drove on FL-704 E (Royal Park Bridge) to Hammon Ave. We came to S Ocean Blvd.
My jaw literally dropped as we crossed the Royal Park Bridge.
The multitude of luxurious homes and manicured boxwood hedges that led to Ocean Boulevard were stunning.
All we’d wanted to do was find the beach.
But we’d landed smack dab in the midst of the “Rodeo Drive of Florida.”
Being at this spot was my favorite of all the Palm Beach activities and I didn’t want to leave.
WEST PALM BEACH CELEBRITIES
As we were crossing the bridge to the beach, Superman mentioned that Donald Trump had a resort home in the area.
Remember the iconic clock tower that we parked by?
When we returned to the car to hunt for celebrity homes, I realized we were but mere miles from Donald Trump’s Mar a Lago Estate. This is his winter “white house” with 58 bedrooms and 62,000 square feet.
Of course, we had to take a ride to gander at it.
Other West Palm Beach celebrity homes include those of Ivana Trump, Rush Limbaugh, Rod Stewart and Venus, and Serena Williams.
RAPIDS WATER PARK
Looking for a unique way for the whole family to cool off in south Florida?
Check out Rapids Water Park!
Close to I95 in West Palm, it takes up 30 acres and has water fun for literally every age group.
There are wave pools with seven-foot waves and seven-story speed slides for the adventurous ones. A lazy river that spans a quarter-mile exists for the relaxed visitor. And there are plenty of kiddie slides for the little ones.
WORTH AVENUE SHOPPING
If you find the clock tower in Palm Beach, you’ve literally found the start of Worth Avenue, “the Rodeo Drive of Florida.”
World-renowned as one of the most upscale shopping districts in America, it includes designer boutiques and luxury department stores such as Tiffany and Co, Jimmy Choo, Chanel, Gucci, Louis Vuitton, Valentino, and Neiman Marcus.
Many upscale restaurants and a history tour truly make it one of the must-see things to do. This area is the crown jewel of shopping for the state of Florida, after all.
WEST PALM BEACH OUTLETS
A few hundred feet from our hotel room was a gorgeous Target shopping center. We were very thankful for the covered parking there because we were in the midst of a rain shower at the time of our shopping trip.
This Target was even better than most (I mean, who doesn’t adore Target?) because of all of the beachwear it contained.
Directly across from our hotel and Target we found the Palm Beach Outlet Mall. This outdoor, luxury shopping center has close to 150 stores.
- Yankee Candle
- Vera Bradley
- Under Armour
- Steve Madden
- Anne Taylor
As you can see, the Palm Beach Outlets are diverse and beautiful. We really enjoyed our time shopping at this spot.
One of the unexpected things to do is a visit to the large premier park, Okeeheelee.
There are many available outdoor activities for families.
Kayaking, canoeing, hiking, water skiing, bike trails, picnic pavilions, and a dog park are included.
What a fun place!
FREE MANATEE LAGOON
Another unique treat for the family that’s worth a stop is Manatee Lagoon.
This clean and contemporary educational center has free entry, tours, and parking. It’s set up with an aquarium or museum-like layout.
Be sure to take a self-guided tour. But if you’d rather go at your own pace, follow the 30-minute tour with a guide.
If you visit during winter or early spring, you just might see manatees in the beautiful lagoon!
YOU MAY NEED:
These travel bags are fabulous because you’re able to separate clean clothes from dirty ones. You can also keep wet items from dry ones.
I love that there are two waterproof material clear bags. One of these bags is TSA-approved. There’s also a quart-size bag available for carrying on an airline with toiletries or other liquids!
Dreaming about Florida road trips in 2021? You don’t want to be without this helpful road atlas…
WEST PALM BEACH HOTELS
We love to stay in luxurious resorts on our family vacations, but sometimes, you need a budget hotel.
Sometimes you need an affordable one that’s safe and gets the job done.
Located at Exit 71 east of I-95, we greatly enjoyed the Best Western Palm Beach Lakes as our relaxing home base right in heart of West Palm Beach.
We had close proximity to the beach, shopping, and the best restaurants.
A two-story Target store was steps from our hotel, and the Palm Beach Outlets Shopping Complex was right across the street!
Also nearby was the chic Downtown CityPlace, the Palm Beach Convention Center, Kravis Center for the Performing Arts, the Norton Museum, and the Rapids Water Park.
Honestly, we’d never stayed in a Best Western hotel and I was thoroughly impressed with this one.
Our king suite room was especially roomy and super clean. We only had one of our kiddos with us. The pullout couch bed was perfect for her.
I loved how the bedroom and living room/dining room were setup.
Another perk was how our room faced the tropical courtyard area with a pool.
You can tell in the video below how gorgeous this place really is.
BEFORE YOU GO TIPS
Worth Ave Shopping: Worth Ave, Palm Beach
Palm Beach Outlets: 1751 Palm Beach Lakes Blvd West Palm Beach
Beach access: 423 S Ocean Blvd, Palm Beach
Okeeheelee Park: 7715 Forest Hill Boulevard, West Palm Beach
Manatee Lagoon: 2578, 6000 N Flagler Dr, West Palm Beach
Best Western Palm Beach Lakes: 1800 Palm Beach Lakes Boulevard West Palm Beach (561) 683-8810
West Palm Beach is known for celebrity homes like the Trump mansion. It’s also known for several upscale shopping districts of boutiques. Serene beaches and tall pine tree-lined streets are another unique aspect of this part of Florida.
There are several free things to do in West Palm Beach Florida. Window shopping in shopping districts, walking around Downtown Palm Beach, parks, Rosemary Square exhibits are just a few ideas.
Did you find this family travel guide helpful?
Let me know if I can help you with future travel plans. I’m not a travel agent, but have helped many women plan family-friendly trips!