West Palm Beach is a vibrant community filled with natural wonders, fun shops, a thriving arts scene, and world-class beaches—not to mention swaying palm trees under the Florida sun.
Green, leatherback, and loggerhead sea turtles begin nesting on the beaches here in May, and turtle nesting and hatching season runs through October. If you happen to encounter a female sea turtle laying her eggs, or come across a hatching nest at night, be sure to give them space. This natural phenomenon has been happening here for centuries, and the turtles don’t need our help. Instead, join the pros for a turtle walk to learn more about these fascinating animals. In nearby Riviera Beach (five miles north of West Palm Beach), a snorkeling trail provides a peek into the undersea world at Phil Foster Park. An artificial reef, including shark sculptures, in just six to 10 feet of water provides ample housing for all types of sea life and is easily navigated by beginner and experienced snorkelers and SCUBA divers.
In nearby Delray Beach (20 miles south of West Palm Beach), the Morikami Museum and Japanese Gardens highlights the century-old connection between Japan and South Florida. The museum and its beautiful gardens host exhibitions, festivals, and monthly tea ceremonies.
Best Day Trip
About two hours south of West Palm Beach lies Everglades National Park, which has also been designated a World Heritage site, International Biosphere Reserve, and a Wetland of International Importance. Spend time exploring the natural habitat that is home to a number of rare and endangered species, including the American crocodile, manatees, and the rarely seen Florida panther.
Off the Beaten Path
Meander through the quiet, lushly landscaped Ann Norton Sculpture Gardens and you’ll come across nine works of art created by Ann Norton herself. In addition to the sculptures, the gardens are home to a collection of more than 250 rare palm species.
Most Iconic Place
The CANVAS Outdoor Museum is considered the largest outdoor art show in the U.S., right here in West Palm Beach. Contemporary artists from around the world have created vibrant works of art in public spaces that have visually changed the city’s landscape—for everyone to enjoy.
When night falls, dial up Clemantis Street in downtown West Palm Beach for all of your dining, drinking, and dancing needs. On one side of the street there are relaxing waterfront views and on the other side are hopping restaurants, bars, and nightclubs.
Housed in a historic 1916 courthouse, the Richard and Pat Johnson Palm Beach County History Museum showcases the county’s local history, including the natural environment and the people who contributed to the development of Palm Beach County.
- Nat Geo Expeditions
It may sound funny, but one thing that those who live in West Palm Beach love to do is go consignment shopping. As one local says, with so many out-of-town visitors, “As soon as high season is over, you can find many brand name designer labels in consignment shops, many of them with tags on them, never having been worn!”
Neighborhood to Explore
Walkable Northwood Village is just about a mile outside of downtown West Palm Beach with streets filled with vibrant murals, one-of-a-kind shops, and international dining spots. And if you’re visiting in June, make plans to attend the Mango Heritage Festival—it was here in Northwood Village (at the Gale House) that the first fruit-bearing mango tree in the U.S. was planted.
Close to Nature
Hop into a kayak or canoe and join one of the naturalists at Grassy Waters Everglades Preserve to experience a bit of the Everglades without having to drive two hours south. During the one-, two-, or three-hour guided trips, you’ll navigate through the shallow waters while at the same time learning of the area’s history and ecology.