Top Ten List for Palm Beach, Florida
- Stay at The Breakers Hotel
- Explore the island by bicycle
- Visit the Henry Flagler Museum
- Have dinner at Chez Jean Pierre
- Have lunch or dinner at Renato’s
- Have dinner at Cafe L’Europe
- Stroll down Worth Avenue
- See a show at the Kravis Center for the Performing Arts
- Go to a Spinning Class at Velocity in West Palm Beach
- Go to the Green Market in West Palm Beach (mid-Oct – mid April)
- 5 oceanside pools within a Mediterranean-style beach club
- private beach
- golf academy and 18 hole on-site golf course
- tennis courts and junior tennis program
- 20,000 square foot spa and fitness center
- 6,160 square foot family entertainment center multiplex
- kids club and camp
- bike rentals and tours
- yoga, pilates, and water aerobics classes
- snorkeling and scuba diving
- catamaran tours and Hobie Cat sailing
- business center
- 7 restaurants on site and 2 restaurants within a mile
Rates from $319 per night. Check website for specials especially during low season (June through November).
The best way to see Palm Beach is from a bicycle utilizing the many bike trails, wide sidewalks, and bike lanes on the road. Bicycles and tours are available through the Breakers Hotel but you can also rent a variety of bikes: cruisers, three wheelers, tandems, bikes with a kid’s seat, and even scooters from the Palm Beach Bicycle Trail Shop (PBBTS). Located about 4 blocks from the Breakers, the PBBTS provides maps, tours, and bike repairs. Next door is the Champs Elysees Bakery at 229 Sunrise Avenue – a small French bakery that has very good croissants, pastries, and also serves breakfast or lunch.
Going north, the trail is extra wide to accommodate walkers, runners, skaters, and bikers. The views are beautiful and being able to cycle without worrying about cars makes the whole experience relaxing, especially if kids are in the group. Also, use the map and explore the other portions of the bike trail that go south and the beautiful extra wide sidewalks that go for more than 5 miles south along the Intracoastal Waterway on the West Palm Beach side of the bridge.
Rates vary depending on rental length and range from $29 for a 1/2 day to $79 for a week.
The Henry Flagler Museum was built by Henry Flagler, a founder of Standard Oil, as a wedding gift to his wife, Mary Lily Kenan in 1902. The museum is also known as “Whitehall” and is a national historic landmark. Whitehall is a 75-room 60,000 square foot mansion that can be seen using an audio guide, by self tour, or human guide. Located on the western shore in the center of the island, the museum is within walking or biking distance from the Breakers.
Stop by Cafe Des Beaux-Arts in the glass enclosed pavilion in the museum for lunch or tea. The surroundings are beautiful – green and sun-drenched – with views of the back lawn and Intracoastal Waterway. The museum also has a wide variety of programming including concerts, lectures, and holiday specials. During the holiday season, Whitehall is beautifully decorated to reflect the Christmas season.
The restaurant is open seasonally (November 25 – April 7) Tuesday-Saturday from 11:30-2:20 and on Sunday from 12:00-3:00. Reservations are highly recommended during the season.
Chez Jean Pierre is arguably the best French restaurant on the island and consistently excellent. Open since 1991, the restaurant has been managed by the same family that hails from Normandy. My idea of a perfect meal: warm shiitake mushroom salad followed by Dover Sole Meuniere with spinach and carrots, “real” French fries and a warm apple tart.
Open Monday-Saturday from 5:30-10:30. Closed Sunday. Reservations are essential.
Renato’s is an Italian restaurant located in Via Mizner between Worth and Peruvian Avenue in the center of the island. The restaurant has both an indoor dining room and a garden terrace, which is especially beautiful in the evening. The menu offers a wide variety of choices but I am partial to the pear salad and pennette caprese which in all its simplicity, is perfectly cooked.
If your preference is to have a more casual dining experience, stop by Renato’s take-out window on Peruvian Avenue called Piccolo Mondo (which is actually Renato’s) and order the pennette to go. Piccolo Mondo is one of the best kept secrets in Palm Beach among locals because the prices are half of what is charged in the restaurant for lunch take-out and you don’t have to be dressed up. We often ride our bicycles over, order lunch and sit at one of the umbrella covered tables in the via and enjoy a delicious meal.
Open for dinner every day from 6:00-10:30 and lunch on Monday-Saturday from 11:30-3:00
Cafe L’Europe is an elegant restaurant (and piano bar) that can be quite the scene. The dining room is breathtakingly beautiful and wide open making it hard to choose between focusing on the delicious food or people watching. The crab cakes with mango and pineapple salsa followed by the salmon served with potatoes, spinach, and tomatoes are delicious. Afterwards enjoy a cheese plate for dessert and watch the bar scene crowd with both locals and tourists.
Cafe L’Europe is a virtual institution in Palm Beach that has been open since 1980 with ownership and management kept in the same family.
Reservations are essential during the season and on weekend nights.
Stroll down the vias and stop in Mary Mahoney at 336 Worth Avenue for beautiful housewares or at Barzina at 66 Via Mizner (across the via from Renato’s) for sea salted caramels and treats that taste every bit as good as they look. Go to www.worth-avenue.com for a listing of stores and a map of the avenue.
Ticket office on site for immediate purchase or will-call.
Open 7 days a week, offering 25 classes