Palm Beach has the long standing reputation as a luxury high net worth destination. And that’s certainly true. It’s not just Palm Beach but the Palm Beaches—and smart travelers know that once you leave the upscale resorts they can experience it—and experience it well—like a local.
Many of you may know Palm Beach as one of the most premiere resort destinations in the United States. For some of you, it becomes synonymous with luxury, high network travel. But this Florida destination is much more accessible than that. Smart travelers have figured out that if they want to get to know the real Palm Beach, get out of the resorts and then discover it like a local.
Once you get away from Palm Beach and into the rest of the county, you start to find out how the locals live and how they get around. Just over the bridge in West Palm Beach, you’ll find a local bike share system. Now there are about 20 bike stations all around West Palm Beach, which means they can take you pretty much anywhere you want to go.
Throughout the Palm Beaches you’ll find plenty of food options. From traditional Cuban food in Lake Worth at Havana, Mexican in Delray Beach, and even some healthy roadside options like Nomad, a food truck along the A1A. In West Palm Beach, there’s the Grandview Market.
The market is located in a once abandoned, now converted warehouse. It’s 14,000 square feet and has 14 vendors. Chicken, olive oil, burgers, smoothies, cheese and poke are just some of the food items you’ll find from their all local vendors.
After grabbing lunch, it’s time to get back outdoors. Most people know the Palm Beaches offer plenty of locations for your typical ocean
water sports like water skiing an kite surfing, but once you get away from the beach–you’ll discover what the locals know–that there is a lot more to the water here than the ocean.
Roughly 65 miles inland is Lake Okeechobee, a popular local spot for fishing largemouth bass. And if you go to the Everglades, you won’t just find people boating but rather, airboating! Airboats are one of the best ways to get around marshy areas with water that is often too shallow for traditional propeller engine vessels. Just don’t forget your ear protectors.
Then there’s the Jupiter Inlet that leads to the Loxahatchee River, where you can boat, kayak and stand up paddle board. But what really keeps the locals coming back here is an up-close view of the local sea life. It’s a nesting ground for sea turtles and a favorite spot for manatees.
If you’re tired of paddling, you can check out the Jupiter Inlet Lighthouse and Museum, where you can climb the tower that dates back to 1860. If you’re looking for another outdoor museum experience, there’s the Morikami Museum and Japanese Gardens, a hub for Japanese culture and arts located in Delray Beach.
But what do you do when it rains or during high heat months? You can head indoors to a few spots only the locals might know about.
Hidden in what looks like a local strip mall, is Wick Theatre and adjacent, you’ll find the Wick Costume Museum. Founder and Executive Producer Marilynn A. Wick has been collecting costumes for nearly 40 years. The museum rotates its display every year to fit a new theme and showcase different costumes. The collection has pieces from over 35 Broadway productions and has an estimated value of more than $20,000,000.
Right next to Mizner Park is the Boca Raton Art Museum. It’s filled with modern art pieces like “Dilemma,” by Charles McGill, a wall-sized work made completely from repurposed leather golf bags. Here, you’ll also find paintings by Kehinde Wiley, the man who painted President Obama’s portrait for the National Gallery of Art.
You also need to visit the Spady Cultural Museum. There, you’ll learn the importance of African American history in Palm Beach County.
And the place I’m ending my night? Head right down the Atlantic Avenue in Delray Beach to find out what the locals already know–that one of the best museums to go to is the Silverball Museum. Inside you will find about 110 of the oldest pinball machines in the United States. What’s really cool is that they all work! And even better? You can play them, but you won’t need to load up on quarters for these machines.
For one flat fee, you can play as many of the pinball machines and other games as you like.
So whether you are heading to the beach, enjoying a diverse food culture, or finding out some unusual fun indoor activities–you too can discover Palm Beach, like a local.
By Peter Greenberg for PeterGreenberg.com