Prior to moving to the Palm Beach area from Fort Lauderdale almost three years ago, it was always our stay-cation destination of choice. We loved the quiet, slow pace feel accompanied by the stunning architecture and breathtaking ocean views. The refined charm of this little town filled with history and glamour lures tourists from all over the world. I often get asked to share my favorite places to eat and stay in Palm Beach and having been a tourist AND a resident in this city, it has given me a unique perspective in giving recommendations on how to spend your time there. Let’s first start with what to wear because although Palm Beach is a beach town, fashion and style does not take a back seat.
What to Pack
A typical day in Palm Beach is filled with balmy breezes and sunshine. If you are visiting in the months of Nov-April, expect ideal weather with little to no rain and temperatures in the mid 70’s to low 80’s. The summer months are HOT HOT HOT with the occasionally rain shower. This means that dresses, shorts and warm weather attire is pretty much appropriate year round. Palm Beach is certainly a more refined beach destination, as its homes to some of the world’s most rich and famous. If you want to fit in with the local crowd, spend a little extra time on selecting what you put in your suitcase.
Swimsuit: the sun is intense in south Florida so I prefer to wear something with great sun protection. This Cabana Life unisuit is incredibly chic while still giving me the coverage I need.
Dresses: Grab a short sundress for the day and a long maxi dress for the night. Go for bold prints and florals or stay more understated with white or pastels.
Coverup: A cute coverup to take you from your room to the beach/pool and back is a must.
Sandals: I love my Jack Rogers or Palm Beach sandals that can worn to the beach or a evening out.
Sun Hat and Sunglasses: Weather is a packable sun visor or a wide brim hat, you don’t want to make sure you have something to keep you covered while out shopping or laying poolside.
Accessories: As I mentioned, Palm Beach is high fashion so this is the time to show off your favorite bag or statement jewelry.
Beach Tote: Bring along your straw beach tote that you can fit your towel and other necessities. You can use it as your carry on if its too big to fit in your bag.
*be sure to leave a little extra room in your suitcase for purchases as there is plenty of shopping opportunities to be had (more on that below!)
Where to stay
The Brazilian Court: This was the first Palm Beach hotel I ever stayed at and it really just oozes charm and the location allows you to be walking distance to worth avenue and several great restaurants. It’s a smaller hotel that has a boutique feel to it has with old Florida Spanish style architecture and beautiful white scalloped awnings. The spa is small, but still nice. I had a massage there are really enjoyed my experience. I’ll talk more about their in house restaurant in the food section but it is a must visit in my opinion. Certainly on the pricey side but worth the splurge if you are willing to
The Breakers: Certainly the most iconic hotel on the island, The Breakers allows you to feel like you have stepped back in time yet while still giving you all the modern amenities. It’s one of the very few beach front hotels and the property is quite expansive. My husband treated me to a day at the their spa recently and it was just fantastic and you could spend the entire day there lounging in their outdoor sitting area and indulging in the complimentary gelato. There are also several wonderful restaurants right there on property so if you chose to not leave the premises during your entire stay, you would be just fine. It’s a short drive to the main shopping/dining areas so that is a a bit of a downside.
The Four Seasons: The Four Season’s is also beach front but is probably the furthest hotel from all the action in Palm Beach. Located on the south end of the island, The Four Seasons is a beautiful, serene hotel that is decorated with whites and sea-inspired colors. We spent an anniversary weekend here and appreciated how quiet and peaceful it was. The spa was very nice and there are a few great stores you can shop at there in the hotel.
Other recommendations of places I have not personally stayed at but hear good things about:
The Pineapple Pad
Where to eat
Sant Ambroeus: Even if Sant Ambroeus didn’t serve food, I would tell you to go there for the ambiance alone! It is the most darling restaurant that makes you feel like you are in New York CIty or Italy, They serve lunch and dinner as well so you can’t go wrong with visiting Sant Ambroeus for any meal. Pop in for a latte or a scoop of gelato at the very least.
Surf Side Dinner: This is the cutest spot for breakfast that feels like an old luncheonette right on county rd but make sure you either get there early as it can get quite busy on the weekends
Sunday Brunch at The Breakers: If you find yourself here on a Sunday morning and want to have a 5 star brunch experience, make a reservation for the iconic Breakers Sunday Brunch They have anything and everything you could possibly imagine and be sure to wear your Sunday best as casual attire (torn denim, t shirts, hats or sweats) are not allowed. Priced at $120 pp this is certainly a splurge experience, but if you are up for the price tag, I’d say its a must do! Reservations are recommended.
The Honor Bar: This spot is great for lunch, dinner or just cocktails. We usually go here for date night as its a bit more casual than its sister restaurant next door, Palm Beach Grill, but the food is so good. I love their hand shaken daiquiri We almost always order the dip duo, kale salad and the burger with fries. The menu is small but you can’t go wrong with anything you select!
Pizza Al Fresco: Nestled right off Worth Avenue, Pizza Al Fresco is such a gem for a charming outdoor dinging experience under the palm trees. This Italian restaurant has all of your favorite pasta staples and of course an amazing selection of pizzas. Come here for lunch or dinner but make sure the weather is nice.
Coyo Taco: One of the few fast casual restaurants on the island Coyo Taco will satisfy your Mexican cravings. We love the Alambra taco and the guacamole is delicious. Finish it off with some churros and you will need to take a nice long nap after this meal.
Seafood Bar: One of the few (maybe only?) locations to take in a meal with an ocean view, the seafood bar at the Breakers is a wonderful place to eat lunch. As the name suggests, the fresh seafood is certainly a specialty but even if seafood is not your thing, there are plenty of delicious alternatives to choose from. You typically don’t need a reservation and the menu is reasonably priced.
Buccan: This is 100% my favorite restaurant and where we go for any and every special occasion we celebrate. Its predominantly a tapas style menu, offering many small plate selections but there are also large dinner portions for individuals if you want to go that route. My favorite things to order are the watermelon martini, short rib empanadas, shrimp scampi, sweet corn agnolotti and whatever flavors they have of their homemade ice cream. Make sure you make a reservation relatively far in advance, especially if you are visiting during the busy season months of Oct-May.
Cafe Bolud: Located inside The Brazillian Court, Cafe Bolud is a must visit if you want a high end dining experience while still maintaining the laid back island atmosphere. We ate here for our anniversary one year and enjoyed every bite of our food. I particularly loved the chocolate soufflé to finish out the meal!
Bricktops: Located not far form Worth Ave, Bricktops is a perfect place for a more relaxed dinner while still being walking distance to Worth Avenue. Cuisine is American so you are sure to find something on the menu you will love!
what to do.
Shop high end designers on Worth Avenue or small boutiques: Window shop or actually shop as you take a stroll down iconic Worth Avenue that boasts of most high end designers or pop over to the Royal Poinciana Plaza.. If you are looking for more budget friendly boutiques, check out The Skinny Dip, Rapunzels Closet or C. Orrico.
Walk or bike the Palm Beach Lake Trail: If the weather permits, the lake trail is truly one of the best way to see beautiful sites, homes and take plenty of photos of Palm Beach. Its a 16 mile path so you can do as little or much as you are up to!
Spend the day at the beach: Wake up early to see the sunrise or head over mid morning, Palm Beach has a large public beach with plenty of roadside parking . I recommend grabbing a sandwich from The Sandwich Shop (walking distance from the ocean) or pack your own charcuterie board and enjoy eating it seaside.
Tour the Flagler Museum or Visit The Breakers: If you enjoy history and want to learn more about Palm Beach, take a peek into Whitehall, the 73 room mansion of Henry Morris Flagler or walk the grounds of The Breakers. Whitehall was built in 1902 by railroad tycoon Henry Flagler and is situated right along the intracoastal. Both are great indoor activities to do on a rainy or extra hot day.
Have a spa day: Make a reservation for a massage at The Breakers Spa or spend the day at Eau Spa and pamper yourself. I personally love the spa at The Breakers because they have complimentary gelato and frozen grapes in their lounge!
I hope I have wet your appetite enough to book your next getaway to the place i get to call home. Thank you to Cabana Life for partnering with me in this post. All the outfits you see me wearing are c/o of them and are the perfect addition to your suitcase to your beach destination. Each garment is made with UPF 50 material and will keep you protected while still looking chic as you play and explore under the sun…whether it be Palm Beach or beyond!
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