West Palm Beach is a mid-sized city (around 100,000 residents) in the South Florida (Miami-Fort Lauderdale-West Palm Beach) Metropolitan area, which has over 5.5 million people.
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The climate is classified as subtropical. Cold snaps affect the area in winter briefly, bringing temperatures around freezing, as well as frost. Snow flurries have even been recorded, though the weather is usually warm and muggy.
Palm Beach International Airport (IATA: PBI), 1000 Turnage Boulevard, (561) 471-7420, . This is a small, yet highly adequate airport served by Air Canada; American Airlines; Delta; JetBlue; Spirit; AirTran; Southwest Airlines; United; and US Air as well as regional carriers. The airport has restaurants as well as fast food. While both the Miami and the Fort Lauderdale airports are busy, PBI is easy to get in and out of, and is about five minutes from downtown West Palm Beach.
Travelers flying into South Florida or the Bahamas should strongly consider PBI. The airport serves both air carriers (airlines) and general aviation aircraft. The airport has a 24 hour control tower and a U.S. Customs & Immigration port of entry facility. The general aviation traffic at PBI has a choice of three fixed base operators. North Palm Beach County General Aviation Airport (F45) is located in the north portion of the county and provides easy access to the Florida Research Park, Jupiter, and Palm Beach Gardens.
Boca Raton Airport (BCT) is 25 miles to the south and offers another option for general aviation with its newly opened customs & immigration office. Air charter companies such as Palm Beach Jet Charter  and West Palm Jet Charter  offer access to aircraft at all Palm Beach County airports ranging from economical single & twin-engine planes to luxury Gulfstreams and business jets.
The #44 bus connects PBI with Downtown Palm Beach, where connections can be made to other areas of Palm Beach County.  Service is every 30 minutes on weekdays, and 60 minutes on weekends.
Amtrak has a stop in the downtown West Palm Beach, and the Tri-Rail runs between Miami and West Palm.
West Palm Beach is easily accessible by Interstate 95 and the Florida Turnpike.
PalmTran  runs throughout Palm Beach County. At the corner of Quadrille and Clematis you will find a popular hub, connecting many different routes.
Greyhound has a bus station right in Downtown WBP, next to the Tri-Rail station. www.greyhound.com/en/locations/terminal.aspx?city=471570/
With the development of the West Palm Beach Waterfront, downtown West Palm Beach has become very boat-friendly. There are several downtown docks on the Intracoastal (this part of the Intracoastal Waterway is called Lake Worth) that are open to boaters....but not overnight. Sailboats in the 30'-50' range are moored between the docks, some for weeks or months at a time. There is easy access to the supermarkets and, of course, to entertainment. Because of the new docks, downtown West Palm Beach has become a popular way station for boats heading North from the Keys, South to Miami, or on their way to the Bahamas.
Skyline of Downtown West Palm Beach at sunset.
The easiest way to get around West Palm Beach and South Florida is by car. The city is set up on grid system, and is fairly easy to navigate. Downtown is roughly 2 mi north east of Palm Beach International Airport. Palm Beach County is served by Interstate I-95 and U.S. Highway 1 and US 441. It is also served by Florida's Turnpike.
Florida has "no fault" auto accident laws, which means that you are responsible for up to $10,000 in damage to your car, even if you are not responsible for the accident. Make sure that your rental car comes with collision insurance, or obtain separate insurance. Florida also has a very high rate of auto fatalities, so take extra care on the roads.
Car rental companies include the following:
- Alamo Rent A Car, ☎ +1-800-462-5266, . edit
- Avis Rent A Car, ☎ +1-800-331-1212, . edit
- Budget Rent A Car, ☎ +1-800-527-0700, . edit
- Enterprise Rent-A-Car, ☎ +1-800-261-7331, . edit
- Hertz Car Rental, ☎ +1-800-654-3131, . edit
Outside-of-Airport car rental companies with Shuttle include:
- E-Z Rent-A-Car, ☎ +1-800-277-5171, . edit
- Sunshine Rent A Car, ☎ +1-888-786-7446, . edit
- West Palm Beach Exotic Car Rentals, ☎ (561) 570-1218, . edit
Taxis are generally expensive, but available at almost any time and place.
- Yellow Cab, ☎ +1 561-682-2222. The largest company in the city. edit
- Palm Tran, ☎ +1 877-930-4BUS (4287), . Palm Tran runs seven days a week (excluding holidays) serving more than 3,500 bus stops. edit
- Molly's Trolley, ☎ +1 561-838-9511, . A free trolley serving the Downtown West Palm Beach Clematis Street District. Hours of Operation Sunday-Wednesday 11AM-9PM and Thursday-Saturday 11AM-11PM. edit
Tri-Rail, ☎ +1 800-872-7245, . Commuter train which runs north and south parallel to I-95, connecting Miami, Fort Lauderdale and West Palm Beach. Tri-Rail provides access to South Florida's three major airports, as well as links to Miami's Metrorail. edit
- Flagler Museum, on the island of Palm Beach, features the restored home of Henry Flagler, co-founder of Standard Oil, and the man who conceived of Florida as a tourist destination. Tour his home ($10 per person) and have high tea ($28 per person).
- Norton Art Museum, in downtown West Palm, has been newly renovated and has become a piece of art itself. Located on Dixie Hwy, about a quarter of a mile from Okeechobee Blvd. Open 6 days. $12 adults; $5 for ages 13 to 21; free for members and kids under 13.
- The Raymond F. Kravis Center for the Performing Arts, The Raymond F. Kravis Center for the Performing Arts, located in West Palm Beach, Florida, is one of the premier performing arts centers in the Southeast with a growing national and international reputation. True to the spirit in which it was created, the Center is expanding programming by initiating projects on local, national and international levels. The world-class Kravis Center opened fully funded, with a total construction cost of $68 million, of which a remarkable $49 million came from private individuals and corporations.
- Palm Beach Zoo, 1301 Summit Boulevard, West Palm Beach, Florida, . The Zoo houses over 1,400 animals within 23-acres of lush tropical habitat. It's also known for its Florida Pioneer Trail, Lizard House, Koala Forest & Wallaby Station, Tiger Falls, Tropics of the Americas, and West End. A great family outing with lots of fun events! edit
- South Florida Science Center and Aquarium, 4801 Dreher Trail North, West Palm Beach, FL 33405, . edit
West Palm Beach is the nightlife hub of Palm Beach County. CityPlace, about 4 blocks West of the Intracoastal Waterfront has dozens of restaurants, a club with a live band every night, two or three outside bars, a dance club, and...about to open (as of July 31, 2013)...a karaoke bar...alongside a brand new country and western bar which is a few feet away from a bar that specializes in beer. There is a 20 screen movie theatre with ballpark seating, a comedy club that features the same comedians who appear in bigger cities, and a giant musical fountain with a stage in front featuring...on weekend nights...a local band. CityPlace tries to be family friendly and there are events on most weekends. There is a free trolley from CityPlace to Clematis Street.
Clematis Street runs East to the Intracoastal past a park with a dancing water fountain for kids to play in (there is even a Life Guard on duty during busy days) and the city's docks (built more for people than for boats). Along the way is an ice cream shop with a bathroom that was featured on TV (Travel Channel-WORLD'S TEN BEST BATHROOMS). Clematis Street has another dozen bars and restaurants (a Wine Bar, beers from around the world, a hookah bar, a Mexican Restaurant/Bar, dance clubs, Cuban restaurants, a rooftop bar, Asian restaurants, etc). It tends to draw a younger crowd than CityPlace....especially at 2:00AM.
About one mile East of downtown WPB....across a short bridge with a protected pedestrian walkway, are the beaches of Palm Beach, along Route A1A (the route closest to the Atlantic Ocean). Public beaches (county and city) are interspersed all along A1A....next to beach front mansions and hotels....and all the way South to Miami Beach. On both sides of the Intracoastal Waterway are pedestrian walkways and bike paths.
There are over 40 miles of beautiful beaches in Palm Beach County. The proximity of the Gulf Stream keeps the waters warm year-round. A nearby public beach in the city of Palm Beach has lifeguards during the day, and is easily accessible. Flags by the lifeguard announce hazardous conditions (red for dangerous surf conditions, and purple for dangerous sea life).
For snorkeling, two places might satisfy. One is John D. MacArthur Beach State Park , located on the north end of Singer Island. The beach contains a shallow reef full of fish. Be careful, shark and barracuda are seen occasionally. This park also has kayaking, music on Sundays, and some short hiking trails. Kayaking is popular in a calm inlet located in the park, which is surrounded by mangrove swamps.
Another snorkeling spot is the Breaker's reef. Located on Palm Beach, the reef is nestled right behind the Breakers hotel. This reef is one long stretch that juts out into the ocean. You can park on the side roads near the Breakers, although it is technically illegal and police often tow out of town cars from this wealthy neighborhood.
A beach activity unique to Florida is watching rocket launches out over the ocean. Rockets lifting off from Cape Canaveral are visible during both daylight and night hours, although night and early morning launches are significantly more impressive. From most beaches, looking directly north up the coast will orient you correctly. Launches are visible from anywhere in Florida, but the ocean guarantees a clear view and night launches often reflect in the water.
There are bicycle paths throughout the area. One of the nicest is on the West (Intracoastal) side of Palm Beach. It runs from the middle bridge to the inlet that separates Palm Beach from Singer Island. This path is also suitable for roller blading.
- McCarthys Wildlife Sanctuary (McCarthys Wildlife), 12943 61st Street North, West Palm Beach, Florida (Take I95 to Northlake blvd west to coconut south to 61st north west to 12943), ☎ 561-790-2116, . 11AM to 3PM. At this non-profit wildlife rehabilitation center, you can see over 90 animals and have a close encounter with over 22 large cats lions, tiger, panther, snakes and more. Money raised goes towards the care of the animals. Bring your camera. A fun and educational experience. 10 children 20adult. (,1 hour) edit
- Lion Country Safari. lies just west of the city. Originally, there were several of these Safari Parks, but this is the only to remain. Includes rides for children; makes a great family fun day! edit
- Legends of Xscape, in downtown West Palm Beach, interactive family fun escape room challenge game. 60 mins to work together as a team and solve the puzzles. Located at 324 Datura St, right off Clematis. Open 6 days. $28 per person, reservations required. 561-406-0611 website
- iscootpalmbeach, 325 S. Dixie Hwy., West Palm Beach (On NW Corner of S. Dixie Hwy. & Fern St., DOWNTOWN), ☎ 561-328-6196, . 10:30-5:30 most days. Rents motor scooters and bicycles for self-guided tours along the Intracoastal Waterway and the Atlantic Ocean.....Palm Beach's scenic highway. Miles of waterside bicycle paths are two blocks from the front door. Motor Scooter riding lessons available (18 or over). edit
- Panther Ridge Conservation Center, 14755 Palm Beach Point Blvd, Wellington, FL 33414 (Lake Worth Road West then left first right take road to end make left), ☎ 561) 795-8914, . By appointment only. Panther Ridge Conservation Center provides permanent homes for endangered exotic cats. Tours of the facility are available for a small donation of $25 for adults and $10 for children. All tax deductible. On tour you will see Cheetahs, Ocelots, Panthers, Clouded Leopards, Jaguars and more. Fun for kids and families. Top rated attraction on Trip Advisor. Adults 25 Children under 12 $10. edit
- Uptown Art. This is a step-by-step painting studio located just downtown West Palm Beach. You are able to bring your favorite drinks and food to enjoy while learning to paint. Great time for all ages! Reservations are highly recommended at www.UptownArt.com. Prices range from $20 and up and includes all materials. Just BYOB! edit
Shopping is a popular activity in West Palm, not least because the weather is so mild year-round. There are a number of places to shop, including:
- CityPlace, two recently-renovated blocks in downtown West Palm that now features dozens of high-end shops, including Brookstone; Pottery Barn; White House, Black Market; Macy's; and more.
- Clematis Street, runs perpendicular to CityPlace, and is the older, trendy shopping district, featuring Ann Taylor and several unique, eclectic shops.
- South Dixie Highway provides several blocks of second-hand shops, from thrift stores to high-end antiques.
- Worth Avenue on Palm Beach Island is home to many luxury boutiques.
- Downtown at the Gardens in Palm Beach Gardens has many restaurants, along with other stores selling clothing, like urban outfitters, and other shops. Also includes Cobb movie theaters.
- Rents motor scooters and bicycles for self-guided tours on A1A, along the Atlantic Ocean, and, for bicycles, on miles of bike paths in West Palm Beach and across the Intracoastal Waterway in Palm Beach.
- Sun Spray Tanning & Boutique, 323 S Dixie Hwy (NW Corner of S Dixie & Fern St), ☎ 561-345-3747, . Mon-Sat.9am-9pm Sun. 12pm-6pm. Sun Spray Tanning & Boutique, is the Palm Beach's Premier Spray Tan Destination. Featuring top of the line equipment, The VersaPro and The Evolv, you are sure to receive a spray tan like never before. A calm and inviting space with a boutique in the lobby - full of beach ready dresses, blouses, and accessories. Complementary beverages and all the amenities you need for your spray session are included. The products and solution have active anti aging ingredients, ginger, lemon grass, avocado oil, caffeine, vitamin D & E just to name a few.. You actually nourish your skin during your treatment. For the days when its not so sunny out, this is a great alternative! Not to mention it's healthy. Healthy & Luxurious! Sun Spray also travels up to 20 miles to accommodate you in your hotel or home. The perfect Florida tan in minutes. edit
- Verdea Wine Bar, 4350 PGA Boulevard, ☎ 561-622-1000, . Wine Bar and fine dining restaurant in Palm Beach Gardens. Farm to table cuisine that features local products. Over 250 wines available. edit
- Whole Foods Market, 11701 Lake Victoria Gardens Drive, Palm Beach Gardens (xxit Hwy 95 at 79A, travel east less than one mile, it is in Downtown at the Gardens on the north side of PGA before (west) of the Gardens Mall), ☎ 561-691-8550, . 8AM-10PM. Full grocery and cafe offering fresh and local produce, fresh and local seafood, grass fed beef as well as a butcher in the house, enticing array of salads and entrees prepared to eat-in or take-out, brick oven pizzas, custom sandwiches, full scale bakery, unique coffees, great wine and beer selections, nutritional supplements and spa products, and cheeses from around the world. edit
- Pizza Girls 114 S Clematis St, Tel: +1 561 833-4004-- a great place to grab a quick, expensive bite; offers gourmet pies, or pizza by the slice.
- Sushi Jo 319 Belvedere Road #12, Tel: +1 561 868-7893  -- Best sushi around; always ask for market price!
- Rhythm Cafe 3800 S Dixie Hwy # A, Tel: +1 561 833-3406 -- outstanding food -- the menu changes regularly -- in an eclectic setting.
- ER Bradley's Saloon 104 S Clematis St, Tel: +1 561 833-3520 -- decent bar food in sight of the Intracoastal.
- The India Palace 4778 Okeechobee Blvd, Tel: +1 561 478-5606 -- great Indian food, at a moderate price.
- Brewzzi 700 S Rosemary Ave # 212, Tel: +1 561 366-9753  -- local microbrewery cooks up excellent meals.
- Havana 6803 S Dixie Hwy, Tel: +1 561 547-9799 -- authentic Cuban cuisine. Open for lunch and dinner, with an all-night take-out window.
- Longboard's 519 N Clematis St, Tel: +1 561 833-4660 -- great seafood and a fun atmosphere. large appetizer selection and happy hour
- Clematis by Night, sponsored by the City of West Palm, is a lively event each Thursday on Clematis Street. There's live music, and the audience can purchase beer and wine -- poured by a (rotating) area non-profit, who gets to keep the profits. Imagine: drinking and doing good!
- O'Shea's Pub 531 Clematis St, Tel" +1 561 833-3865-- a traditional Irish pub with a great beer garden on Clematis.
- Blue Martini 550 S Rosemary Ave # 244, Tel: +1 561 835-8601 -- an upscale martini bar (martinis run about $15 apiece), featuring well-made drinks, doormen who are in love with themselves, and live music on the weekends.
- Brewzzi, 700 S Rosemary Ave # 212, Tel: +1 561 366-9753 . Restaurant, Brewery and Bar at CityPlace. Winning both gold and silver medals at the Great American Beer Fest 2000-2003, Brewzzi is the most honored brewery in Florida. Brewzzi's Patio Bar overlooks the CityPlace fountains and there is a 2 for 1 Happy Hour, M-Th 3PM-6:30PM.
- Embassy Suites Palm Beach Gardens Hotel, 4350 PGA Blvd., ☎ 561-622-1000, . All suite hotel. Free cooked to order breakfast daily, free eve reception with free drinks and snacks. edit
- PGA National Resort & Spa, 400 AVENUE OF THE CHAMPIONS, ☎ (800) 633-9150, . Resort has The Spa, iBar, iRONWOOD Grill, Golf courses, and personal trainers. edit
- Courtyard West Palm Beach, 600 Northpoint Parkway, ☎ 1-561-640-9000, . The Courtyard West Palm Beach features all the comforts, conveniences and hospitality you expect from a hotel in West Palm Beach, Florida. Just minutes from Singer Island and a short walk to AT&T, Thermo Fisher and Lockheed Martin edit
- Embassy Suites West Palm Beach - Central, 1601 Belvedere Rd, ☎ (561) 689-6400, . checkin: 4:00 pm; checkout: 12:00 pm. Less than a mile from the airport. Stay with free cooked-to-order breakfast and nightly manager's reception. edit
- Studio 6 West Palm Beach, 1535 Centrepark Dr. Very much a budget hotel; don't expect luxury or even much in the way of comfort, but if you're on a tight budget it's a private place to sleep. $75/night. edit
- Holiday Inn Palm Beach, 1301 Belvedere Rd, . Located near CityPlace and the Kravis Center, Holiday Inn Palm Beach Airport offers clean, comfortable rooms with beach-inspired décor and premium amenities like 32-inch LCD TVs, spacious work areas free wireless internet. $105/night. edit
- Hotel Biba, 320 Belvedere Road, West Palm Beach, ☎ +1 561-832-0094 ([email protected]), . A funky, sea-foam-colored hotel with colorful, ultra-modern decor. Located about 3 miles south of Clematis Street, Hotel Biba bills itself as "a 43-room historic landmark boutique hotel." The hotel features Biba Bar, a hip nightclub featuring live music on the weekends. $195/night. edit
- Homewood Suites, 2455 Metrocentre Boulevard, ☎ 561-682-9188, . checkin: 3pm; checkout: 11am. Suites with full kitchens, free internet, flat screen TV. Guests have access to free parking, free hot breakfast, pool and fitness center. $130. edit
- SpringHill Suites West Palm Beach I-95, 2437 Metrocentre Boulevard (just off I-95 and 8 miles from the Palm Beach International airport), ☎ 561-689-6814, . checkin: 3PM; checkout: noon. Extended stay hotel. Suites include free Internet, microwave, mini-fridge, and flat screen TV. Also available to guests are free hot breakfast buffet, free parking, pool, and fitness center. $90. edit
- Crowne Plaza West Palm Beach, 1601 Belvedere, ☎ +1 888 689-6892, . Located across the street from the Palm Beach Airport and minutes from the Palm Beach Convention Center, the Kravis Center and many of Palm Beach's famous golf courses. The property holds 219 rooms and 104 suites, an outdoor swimming pool, tennis courts, a fitness center and shuttle buses which go downtown and to the airport. $250/night. edit
- West Palm Beach Marriott Hotel, 1001 Okeechobee Boulevard, ☎ +1-561-833-1234 (fax: +1-561-833-4689), . checkin: 4PM; checkout: 11AM. Three-star hotel with all the usual amenities. $300/night. edit
- Jupiter Beach Resort, 5 North A1A, ☎ 866-943-0950, . Upscale resort and spa right on the beach. edit
Despite a dropping crime rate, the crime is very high for a city its size. It was recently rated as the 14th most dangerous city in the United States, but the worst areas are not the ones usually frequented by tourists. (Although the area along North Tamarind Avenue isn't far from the more touristic downtown section, so beware of walking in the wrong direction).
The Tiki Bar is a casual bar on the Intracoastal about 2 miles north of West Palm, in Riviera Beach just off US 1. They feature live music 7 days a week. If you go, try the Grouper Tacos, an unforgettable taste treat. One plate serves 2 people.
Heading north about 5 more miles takes you to Blue Heron Blvd. Turn right, and cross the bridge. You will find yourself on Singer Island, a small beach community that wants to be the next Cocoa Beach. Featuring clean, wide, white sandy beaches, several open-aired beachside restaurants, and a few large surf shops, this is a very relaxing place to get away from the trendy shopping and nightlife of West Palm.
There are a lot of other interesting cities surrounding West Palm, including Jupiter and Palm Beach Gardens to the north, Royal Palm Beach to West, Atlantic Ocean to East and Delray Beach, Boca Raton, and Boynton Beach to the south.
|Routes through West Palm Beach
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