Hotels.com asked me to share my favorite things to do and see while traveling in Palm Beach, Florida. It is a blossoming destination with numerous cultural treasures and an attractive city center where people enjoy one-of-a-kind shops, superlative dining, and countless entertainment options. And, we cannot forget, the city is just minutes away from the Atlantic Ocean, with easy access to 47 miles of some of the best beaches in the United States. Whether you are looking for an ocean resort or a cheap hotel, you will have no problem finding something to suit your budget.
If you are thinking that you want to head south, the following are the five best things for you and your family to experience:
Atlantic Avenue in Delray Beach
About 15 miles south of Palm Beach, in the town of Delray Beach, is one of the most beautiful streets in Florida and certainly one of the liveliest. Lined with shops, boutiques, eateries, cafés, and art galleries — it is a delightful area to explore! Atlantic Avenue also boasts one of Florida’s best people parades, especially on weekend evenings and Sunday afternoons. In addition, Delray Beach is known for its outdoor art festivals. Bring your bathing suit and flip-flops, too, because Atlantic Avenue ends right at the beach.
Loxahatchee National Wildlife Refuge
Drive about 10 miles south of Palm Beach and you can experience primeval Florida. At the Arthur R. Marshall Loxahatchee National Wildlife Refuge you will see hundreds of species of animals and plants that exist only in the Florida Everglades ecosystem. You can get up-close-and-personal with endangered species, such as the snail kite and the wood stork, as well as the king of Florida wildlife, the American alligator. You can walk on elevated boardwalks through tropical landscapes, such as marshes, mangroves, and hammocks (small islands in the Everglades). There are numerous trails for walking or biking, along with watery “highways,” where you can paddle in a canoe. And you can do all of this in a vast expanse of 147,392 acres.
Lion Country Safari & Palm Beach Zoo
Another first-rate animal attraction that is certain to please is the Lion Country Safari. Set on 600-plus acres in Loxahatchee, this family-friendly attraction is really two experiences in one: a fun drive-through safari (guests use their own cars), as well as a theme park. It boasts a collection of 1,000 animals; most of them in a cageless environment in which they can wander around relatively freely. Along the way, you will hear commentary on your audio guide and get a chance to view a wide variety of species (except the lions, who for safety reasons are behind a fence). The theme park area, Safari World, includes a number of fun rides, waterslides, a petting zoo, and giraffe feeding experiences.
Florida’s Beloved Sea Cows at Manatee Lagoon
Manatee Lagoon is one of the best places to visit in Florida to see these gentle 1,500- to 2,000-pound creatures. Manatees love people. If they see you on a dock, they will swim right up and have even been known to roll over in the water, so that you can pat their bellies. On the endangered list for many years, they are now making a comeback, and today some 6,300 manatees are known to inhabit the waters around the state, more than almost any other place in the world. Manatee Lagoon features imaginative hands-on exhibits, observation areas, a manatee webcam, and an outdoor deck at which the manatees congregate, especially in winter.
Rosemary Square is an exciting Mediterranean-themed retail and entertainment center where tourists can literally spend all day and night without experiencing everything on offer. On weekend evenings, excellent local bands perform in the open-air plaza. There is also an Improv Comedy Club & Dinner Theatre, as well as the AMC CityPlace 20, which boasts 20 movie screens and technological features, such as an impressive IMAX experience.
Please keep in mind that traveling in this moment remains uncertain, thus always make sure your safety and the safety of others is your #1 priority. If you are indeed comfortable with traveling, ensure you travel responsibly and within regulation. You travel at your own risk.
Here are some recommendations should you travel:
- Wear a face mask.
- Bring hand sanitizer and wash your hands on a regular basis.
- Check official websites before your trip for the latest updates on policies, closures, and status of local businesses. Be aware you might have to self-quarantine upon arrival.
- Book a hotel with free cancellation in case you need to change your plans at the last minute.
- Be patient and calm. Remember we are all trying to do our best and are in this together.
Palm Beach offers visitors year-round excitement within easy reach of smooth-sand beaches and enticing waterways. It is easily one of those places where you will never get tired of visiting. Whether you want to spend your time in the sun, trying out new cuisine, or taking in the ritzy architecture, there is something for everyone. I guarantee you will be thinking about your next visit while you are still on your trip!