Over the bridge from the island of Palm Beach is the city of West Palm Beach, Florida. Known for its diverse, eclectic locals and its bohemian atmosphere, artists venture here to feel inspired, and Palm Beach islanders go to loosen their buttoned-up collars. West Palm Beach offers more than simply a hopping nightlife, shopping, and entertainment, however. Thanks to an abundance of health-food stores and yoga studios springing up, this beach town has become a wellness hub.
Before your (first) morning yoga class, switch your mat for a beach blanket and head to the soft sand of Palm Beach Island. Make your way to the Worth Avenue Clock Tower just before sunrise, and as the new day breaks on the horizon, close your eyes, connect to your breath, and set your intentions for the day ahead. You’ll be inspired by the invigorating smell of salt water and the mellow rolling tide.
After meditating, you’ll be ready to salute the sun on your yoga mat. The heated studio of The Yoga Society on Clematis Street, is a favorite local hot spot in every sense of the phrase. It is a fun, powerful, positive space where yoga practitioners can sweat to energetic hatha vinyasa flows.
If it’s a Saturday, most locals will be fighting over parking spots at the WPB Green Market, located in the heart of downtown on Clematis Street. Vendors sell organic fruits and vegetables, bagels, colorful orchids, quiches, and more. This season, the market’s 90-plus vendors have made a sustainability pledge to oust plastic straws, styrofoam containers, and coffee stirrers. Bring a reusable shopping bag, and devour a cider doughnut while you explore.
On Clematis Street, you’ll also find a striking rainbow mural—created by well-known muralist Eduardo Kobra—featuring none other than Albert Einstein. The perfect backdrop for a brilliant selfie, this artsy wall will make you wonder if you’re in the streets of Sao Paulo rather than West Palm Beach. Under Einstein’s watchful gaze, you’ll find a lovely local coffee shop and roaster, Subculture Coffee. Order a yogi’s favorite: avocado toast and a double dirty chai latte with soy milk.
West Palm Beach affords plenty of unique shopping options. The Warehouse District is an excellent place to begin browsing. At Elizabeth Ave. Station, discover a plethora of local wares: vinyls, soaps, handmade cards, community clothing vendors, and funky jewelry. When you get hungry, duck inside Grandview Public Market, an eclectic indoor marketplace filled with local food vendors. Since I’m usually going to another yoga class in the late afternoon, I choose something light from the new “Grandview Green Collection,” a compilation of all the vegan and vegetarian options from the market’s vendors. Other top choices include The Poke Lab Eatery and Zipitios, a taco eatery that serves up delicious vegan tacos as well as the meatiest burritos for your carnivorous friends. Be sure to pick up a Thai rolled ice cream from Crema Rolls—watching the treat be prepared is almost as much fun as eating it.
In the creative arts district of Northwood Village, filled with art galleries and funky craft stores, a local store called Wanderer Bracelets sells darling jewelry, hand-crafted by artisans in Bali. I recommend designing your own coordinates bracelet. Pick out your preferred color, type in the name of your newly discovered favorite spot in West Palm Beach, and voila! A store clerk will etch the coordinates onto a bracelet for you.
If you find yourself back on Palm Beach Island in the afternoon, pop on over to the Royal Poinciana Plaza where the flagship Lululemon store has just opened and where you can attend non-heated Yoga Society Palm Beach classes. As long as you’re already on the island, head toward the bright, well-curated Palm Beach Yoga Shala for an early afternoon vinyasa class to wind down the day.
For dinner, I recommend a restaurant that’s as green as it is delicious: Avocado Grill. This farm-to-table, tapas-style restaurant is the perfect place to eat after a day of wellness. You’ll definitely want to order ginger guacamole for the table along with the avocado wedges. Had enough avocado? Order the stuffed zucchini blossoms. You can ask your server for the secret vegan menu, created by local vegan DJ Adam Lipson and executive chef Julien Gremaud. Add the large curried veggie bowl to your order and get a—you guessed it—avocado-inspired dessert.
Before hitting the town, relax at The Blind Monk on Evernia Street with a glass of wine from their sizeable wine list and a delectable cheese plate, complete with honeycomb and fig. Say salut to the night ahead!
On the corner of Clematis St. and North Rosemary Ave, O’Shea’s Irish Pub promises an evening of fun as one of the local hot spots. Order a Guinness, and dance the night away to the tunes of the live band. Feel free to keep bar hopping, but keep an eye on the clock—there’s a Sunday morning yoga class at The Yoga Society you won’t want to sleep through!
- Nat Geo Expeditions