Palm Beach is home to the wealthy and also known as an annual winter playground for celebrities, professionals, and affluent tourists. But for local Florida residents, summer is the time to visit this glitzy town built around Hollywood Regency glamour. With nearly every Palm Beach hotel offering deeply discounted rooms for residents, you’ll encounter empty beaches, summer sales at locals shops, and choice seating at any of the hottest restaurants in town.
For an adult weekend of sunshine therapy and leisure, here’s a rundown of the spots you don’t want to miss.
Brazilian Court Hotel
Brazilian Court Hotel Cross over the Royal Park Bridge from West Palm and prepare to be greeted by remarkably tall swaying palms lining Royal Palm Way, luxury homes, and impeccable landscaping. Navigate to the Brazilian Court, a historic 80-room boutique hotel which made its debut in 1926. Let the lush surroundings and ocean breezes wash away the stress as you walk the premises. You’ll find each room designed with a Spanish Colonial influence and tropical accents. In-room radios are set to 100.3, Legends Radio, subliminally setting the tone for your stay with Golden Age brassy jazz hits. Guests flock to this hotel for its exceptional service and comfort. Attentive care from the staff shows in everything from a dip in the secluded pool to a superb dinner at Café Boulud, the hotel’s award-winning restaurant from Chef Daniel Boulud. Pack your most fashionable sun hat, glasses, and swimsuit because the beach is just two blocks away.
Surf Side Diner
As you might imagine, there is no shortage of great dining options in Palm Beach and nearby West Palm, from relaxed beachside bites to exclusive fine-dining.
Surf Side Diner Start your day here, just steps away from the Atlantic. Order a stack of fluffy pancakes or one of four different eggs Benedict. If you decide to skip a morning meal and grab lunch instead, save room for one of the mouth-watering, sky-high homemade cakes.
Buccan This airy, upscale cafe offers a wonderful menu of American fare with Mediterranean inspiration. The squid ink orecchiette, made with Italian sausage, conch, and chilies, brings explosive flavor with the right amount of heat. For meat lovers, the wood-fired lamb chop with harissa and eggplant tahini will leave you reminiscing about it days later.
Lynora’s Market If you’re searching for a casual red-sauce joint, you’ll find all of your Italian favorites from overstuffed meatball parm sandwiches to housemade pastas at this restaurant in West Palm Beach. The focal point of this laid-back, industrial space is the beautiful red and white custom pizza oven, revving with fire and producing perfectly charred Neapolitan pizzas within 90 seconds. Lynora’s Italian Market is the real deal for lunch or dinner.
Pistache A weekend in Palm Beach is largely spent on foot or bike but it’s super easy to zip over to downtown West Palm by car. You’ll find a very buzzy restaurant scene happening on this side of the Intracoastal. Get a taste of Paris at Pistache French Bistro. Traditional French fare, like moules frites, swim in a heaping bowl of broth made with white wine and garlic — for which you’ll find the crusty table side bread as the perfect vehicle for sopping.
The Colony Hotel
Hot, summer days lead to balmy nights and you’ve got to cap it all off with a cocktail. Take a trip back in time at one of these see-and-be-seen vintage lounges and cocktail bars.
Leopard Lounge Located in the Chesterfield Hotel, this historic piano bar serves a mature, loyal following with classic Palm Beach late-night ambiance. The dark-hued room and brass-lined bar make the perfect environment for sipping a chilled martini while a pianist plays Sinatra tunes. Glance up at the hand-painted ceiling and what at first appears to be broad, abstract brushstrokes soon comes into focus as risqué, intertwined heavenly bodies.
The Colony Palm Beach The Colony Hotel is yet another iconic Palm Beach landmark. The British Colonial design of this 1947 hotel is mixed with serious, tropical sophistication. From bold, bright textiles in the lobby to the palm frond wallpapered entry of the Polo Lounge, the vibe is beachy elegance without the stuffy attitude. A thirst quenching gin and tonic is just the right order at the bar, particularly in the early hours of the evening before the dinner crowd rushes in. For a truly special night, check out the Royal Room schedule and book ahead for a cabaret experience like none other.
HMF Bar at The Breakers
HMF Bar A visit to Palm Beach wouldn’t be complete without a stop at The Breakers. This palatial resort rebuilt in 1926, after the original structures suffered two fires, is worth a visit simply to tour the grounds and admire the Italian Renaissance architecture but you really should treat yourself to a drink. The HMF Bar exudes class and the strictly enforced cocktail chic dress code ensures that the atmosphere remains true to its character. Wine aficionados can browse the impressive 2,200-varietal wine list, while the craft cocktail set will feel right at home with a Manhattan in hand.
Worth Avenue You can easily spend a day strolling the luxurious boutiques, art galleries, eateries, and home interior shops along this botanical stretch of Palm Beach. Old-world buildings and secret nooks are decorated with tranquil fountains, colorful bougainvillea, and European charm.
Drive the Coast A slow cruise from the Palm Beach Country Club on the north end of A1A down to south Palm Beach, just past the Eau Palm Beach Resort is an excellent way to spend an afternoon. The winding drive leads you through spectacular ocean views, shady banyan trees, and a tour of untouchable real-estate.
Henry Flager Museum It’s no surprise that the man responsible for the development of much of Florida’s Atlantic Coast lived an opulent lifestyle. The 100,000-square-foot Gilded Age winter estate of Henry Flagler and his second wife, Mary Lily Kenan, is an immersive and visual pleasure. Wander the mansion and get a glimpse of the life they led. The French Renaissance-styled dining room, with green silk wall coverings and a fireplace mantle featuring intricate culinary carvings, in this room the couple hosted many lavish dinner parties and entertained for hours. After touring the first and second floors, move on to the 8,100-square-foot Pavillion which showcases the private railcar Flagler used to celebrate the completion of the Florida East Coast Railway to Key West.
A Quiet Beach Bring your snacks, blankets, and umbrellas and sprawl out for the day — take your pick of any spot on the seemingly empty beach. Summer water temperature is warm but comfortable and honestly just glorious for lazily bobbing in the sun.
The best summer room rates at most Palm Beach hotels for Florida residents usually run between July – September.