It’s true, our family loves to explore beach towns and we’re on a mission to check out the best things to do in West Palm Beach and other South Florida beaches on the way to our week-long road trip to Key West, Florida. Actually, I’m on magazine story assignment but I’m also sharing a series of posts of the good and the don’t-waste-your-time Florida beaches we encounter on the way to the southernmost city. Since there aren’t online articles containing what women want to know about these Southern destinations, it’s my mission to provide them for Y’all. Let’s start with the seven best things to do in West Palm Beach, shall we?!
Things to do in West Palm Beach
I’d heard of West Palm as a luxury shopping destination but this is the first time we were able to spend family time in the area. We rolled into town mid-morning and checked-in to our hotel room before exploring the city. More on this fabulous hotel in a moment, but let’s just say that it couldn’t have been in a more central location to all the fun things to do in West Palm Beach, Florida.
West Palm Beaches
The clock tower showed up on a google map along Ocean Boulevard when I was researching beach accesses so that became our beach destination. The beach was about four and a half miles from our hotel. We got on I-95 S for 0.7 miles, then continued on FL-704 E (Royal Park Bridge) to Hammon Ave for 3.8 miles, which led us to S Ocean Blvd.
As soon as we crossed the Royal Park Bridge toward the beach, the posh-factor increased by leaps and bounds. My jaw literally dropped at the multitude of luxurious homes and manicured boxwood hedges that led us to Ocean Boulevard. All we wanted to do was find the beach and little did we know that we had landed smack dab in the midst of the “Rodeo Drive of Florida.”
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? I realized when we returned to the car to hunt for celebrity homes that we were but mere miles from Donald Trump’s Mar a Lago Estate, 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.
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 for the 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 in West Palm Beach since it’s truly the crown jewel of shopping for the state of Florida.
A few hundred feet from our hotel room was a gorgeous Target shopping center – complete with a lower level, covered parking garage, and escalators for people AND shopping carts. We were very thankful for the covered parking 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 like
- Yankee Candle
- Vera Bradley
- Under Armour
- Steve Madden
- Anne Taylor
As you can see, the Palm Beach Outlets are diverse and they are beautiful. We really enjoyed our time shopping at this spot.
One of the unexpected things to do in West Palm Beach is a visit to the large premier park, Okeeheelee, with many available outdoor activities for families. There’s more than enough to choose from with kayaking, canoeing, hiking, water skiing, bike trails, picnic pavilions and a dog park. 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 and is set up with an aquarium or museum-like layout. Take a self-guided tour if you’d rather go at your own pace than follow the 30-minute tour with a guide. If you visit during winter or early spring, you just might see manatees is the beautiful lagoon as well.
West Palm Beach Hotel time
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 all the exciting action that West Palm Beach has to offer. When I say exciting action, I’m talking about close proximity to the beach, shopping, and the best restaurants. A Target was located literally steps away from our hotel room and the Palm Beach Outlets Shopping Complex is located right across the street! Also nearby is 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 and the pullout couch bed was perfect for her. I loved how there was an actual bedroom and living room/dining room setup. Another perk was how our room faced the tropical courtyard area with the pool. You can tell in the video below how gorgeous this place really is.
West Palm Beach mentions
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