101 GuidescityTravel

palm beach and west palm beach guide

by Grace Bonney

today’s design guides are all about sunny florida, so today we’re wrapping things up with a guide to palm beach and west palm beach written by lorrie browne of my design secrets. lorrie’s guide includes museums, shops, restaurants and some great local haunts so i hope you’ll enjoy lorrie’s guide! [thanks to lorrie for her hard work]

CLICK HERE for the full guide to palm beach and west palm beach

ps: be sure to check out sarah miller’s great post on artists’ sketchbooks on the d*s guest blog today!

On the outside, this town is known is mostly known for its people: The Old Rich, the New Rich, and the vacationers. Palm Beach is more than mansions; if you look a little closer you’ll notice that there are many more cottages than castles. A 14-mile haven that opened its first hotel in 1894, it is has been lovingly cared for by generations of people who cherish the beauty and island lifestyle. As you walk around town you will notice architectural splendor but also a welcoming ambiance. Corner stores have rounded Art-Deco windows to soften the look and for the most part people drive slowly. Lots of flower boxes and Vias (little walking paths off the streets) that beg for you to wander down them and wile away the afternoon; perhaps stopping for coffee and a pastry. The shopping is great and the off-season (May-October) offers a peaceful getaway with good bargains in the stores and restaurants.


Flagler Museum – Whitehall:

Start here to learn about Florida from the beginning, when Henry Flagler’s railroads and luxury hotels established tourism and agriculture as the mainstays of Florida’s economy. Start Here, to discover the Gilded Age, the most fascinating period in American history.

Society of the Four Arts:

A great little art gallery that attracts great speakers, collections and films. They have an awesome library with more than 65,000 books and periodicals that house everything to do with decorative arts, interior arts, photography, and architecture and art history. There’s a quaint little garden outside. A Red Chinese Gate, brilliant blue tile and a Noguchi sculpture all in one garden.


Worth Avenue is known for fashion, food and art. Most of the fashion and art is out of the reach of most of us, but there’s tons of inspiration from looking at Pucci fashion to high end art.


Church Mouse – This consignment shop is housed in the beautiful church Bethesda by the Sea, so this is a two-for-one stop. The church and grounds are beautiful. The consignment shop is chock full of Palm Beach castaways: accessories, art, jewelry needlepoint and the helpful staff are delightful. 141 South County Road (S. County Rd. at Barton Ave.)Palm Beach, Florida 33480, Telephone: 561-655-4554


Liman Gallery – A gallery with beautiful and unusual pieces from emerging artists.

Architecture & Beauty

The Breakers Hotel: a landmark hotel built by Flagler that has been resurrected from the ashes after two fires. A hotel that has to be seen to be believed. The architecture and décor are breathtaking. The renovated the hotel a few years ago and I spoke to a decorative painter who was up on scaffolding cleaning the painted ceilings with a Q-tip! Go to their Seafood Bar for a drink and appetizer. The view is breathtaking.


FIORI–A EUROPEAN FLOWER MARKET: has a beautiful collection of flowers to admire.


A classic restaurant on trendy Worth Avenue. Sit up front to people watch or on the back to see the murals.

A long time Italian favorite. Great food and seasonal coupons on their website.

Hamburger Heaven:
A Favorite Local Spot for lunch since 1945. Loud and casual with a horseshoe shaped counter. They featured burgers, salads and vegetarian fare. Lots of good comfort food with daily soup and hot-plate specials. 314 S. County Rd., Palm Beach, FL Phone: 561/655-5277

Green’s Pharmacy:
Coffee shop style breakfast and lunch spot. Formica counters and checkerboard floors. The food is delicious, simple and affordable. You can walk to the beach from here. 151 N County Rd, Palm Beach, FL 33480 (561) 832-4443

Sprinkles Ice Cream and Sandwich Shop:
Great Tuna sandwiches and their triple chocolate ice creams was voted best in the country by People Magazine. 279 Royal Poinciana Way, Palm Beach, FL 33480 (561) 659-1140‎

Cucina Dell’Arte:
Open from 7AM to 3AM everyday, they offer it all. From morning coffee and breakfast through the day to after hours. The front wall of the entire restaurant opens making it and indoor/outdoor affair. Dogs are welcome and it’s a place to kick back and have fun. 257 Royal Poinciana Way, Palm Beach, FL 33480 (561) 655-0770

West Palm Beach Design Guide

West Palm Beach is just over the bridge to the tonier Palm Beach, winter playground of the rich and famous. But they could not be more different. West Palm Beach is rich in history, hot spots and good food but in a much more low-key, down to earth fashion. Here are some of my favorite places.


The Norton Museum:
This museum benefits from it’s proximity to Palm Beach. Its impressive permanent collection is complemented by a healthy does of costly new collections that range from contemporary art and photography to traveling shows from NYC and LA.

Ann Norton Sculpture Gardens:
Located in the historic EL Cid Neighborhood is the home, intact artist studio and gardens of Ann Weaver Norton (1905 – 1982) featuring 9 monolithic sculptures. Gardens featuring over 300 varieties of rare palms. 253 Barcelona Road, West Palm Beach, FL 33401, 561.832.5328

Armory Art Center:
The Palm Beaches’ leading visual arts education and exhibition center offering year-round art classes for adults and youth art workshops, lecture series, special events and rotating gallery exhibitions. 1700 Parker Avenue, West Palm Beach, FL 33401, 561.832.1776

Farmer’s Markets

The West Palm Beach Green Market – October thru April

The Oceanside Farmer’s Market (Lake Worth) – October thru May


Rhythm Café:
A converted 50’s drug store that is a “must see” and “must eat”. Incredible menu of creative homemade dishes and desserts. They make their own ice cream and their own vanilla extract. How could you go wrong at a place that offers “A cookie and a scoop” as a dessert? The vintage décor is fun and the staff is beyond friendly.

Spoto’s Oyster Bar:
Brick floors, mirrored walls, and a ceiling adorned with copper squiggles on a teal background give the place immediate character. The cuisine makes it eminently worthy of notice. Great seafood and raw bar. Solid, consistent and fresh. Lunch and dinner. Forte Di Asprinio, 225 Clematis Street, (561) 833-3330

Forte Palm Beach:
The cutting-edge concept is a contemporary Italian restaurant and social club that creates a distinctive dining experience with bold flavor combinations, extensive wine list and creative cocktails. The contemporary interior is dreamlike. Opened by Top Chef competitor Stephen Asprinio.

ER Bradley’s Saloon:
Indoor/outdoor grill with a Key West feel. Burgers and salads, great drinks and nightlife. Overlooking the Intracoastal Waterway.

Cabana Nuevo Latino:
Latin Caribbean fusion dining.


Arte Ceramica:
Imported Spanish ceramics – tile, bowls, jars in an unbelievable selection of colors and patterns.

Palm Beach Designer Fabrics:
3516 South Dixie Highway,West Palm Beach, FL 33405
Phone: (561) 833-3535 Monday-Saturday 10:00-5:00
Indoor and Outdoor designer fabrics at discount prices.

Objects in the Loft:
Objects in the Loft is a 6,000 square foot gallery showcasing mid-century modern furniture and decorative arts. The 2nd floor New York style loft space and first floor gallery provide the setting for mission, mid-century modern, and vintage rattan furnishings.

Coco House & Company:
3617 South Dixie Highway, West Palm Beach, FL 33405
Phone: (561) 914-7336 or (561) 305-3157
A curatorial collection of 19th century Victorian bamboo and French rattan furniture. A jewel of a showcase with a large warehouse close by.

The Chris Ellis Consignment Collection
3636 South Dixie Highway, West Palm Beach, FL 33405
Phone: (561) 659-1919
Monday-Saturday 10:00-5:00 Sunday 12:00-5:00
Consignment with 5,000 square foot showroom. Antiques, vintage, new designer furniture, lighting, art, china, silver, decorative accessories.

Antiques, Antiques:
3700 South Dixie Highway #7, West Palm Beach, FL 33405
Phone: (561) 655-9302
Monday-Saturday 11:00-5:00
Decorative items of whimsy and shabby chic. Specializing in mirrored furniture and screens.

3700 South Dixie Highway #8, West Palm Beach, FL 33405
Phone: (561) 832-4550 Monday-Saturday 11:00-5:00
This gallery of unusual finds has received national recognition for its collection of one-of-a-kind, bizarre, “off the wall” craziness. Dolce intrigues all that dare throw convention out the window and risk entering its confines! Dolce specializes in the decorative, exceptional lighting, and mid-century design.

Cashmere Buffalo:
3709 South Dixie Highway, West Palm Beach, FL 33405
Phone: (561) 659-5441
Monday-Saturday 10:30-5:00 • Summer: Tuesday-Saturday 11:00-5:00
After 15 years on Antique Row, Cashmere Buffalo is all grown up with a fresh new look. Their collection includes an array of mid-century, modern and deco home furnishings. You’ll still find large collections of vintage linens, sterling, hollowware and lots of jewelry, old and new.

Mary’s Orchids & Exotics:
3715-1 South Dixie Highway, West Palm Beach, FL 33405
Phone: (561) 248-9400
Tuesday-Saturday 11:00-4:30
Wednesday-Saturday 11:00-4:00 or by appointment (off season)
Enter a shop and trellised courtyard brimming with orchids, bonsai and tropical exotic plants grown at our own nursery in Lake Worth. Mary’s Orchids specializes in orchids, orchid arrangements, bonsai, fine containers, and home and garden accessories. A must see.

Christa’s South Sea Shells:
3737 South Dixie Highway, West Palm Beach, FL 33405
Phone: (561) 655-4650
Monday-Saturday 10:00-5:00
Christa’s sells fine antiques, including dining room tables and sets of chairs. It’s one stop shopping for collectors and designers. Christa’s does lovely custom framing and has a witty line of custom seashell designs for sophisticated tastes.

Just down the way a few miles is the small town of Lake Worth.

A funky little downtown with a few antique and consignment shops. Some have a distinct 60’s feel to them. Lots of great glassware, antiques and bric-a-brac.

Soma Café:
609 Lake Worth Avene, Lake Worth, FL
Yoga in the front, fantastic health food and vegan café in the back.

Suggested For You


  • Yayyyyy!!! My hometown!!! I’ll have to go over this guide and check out anything I don’t know about.

    Update: Spoto’s Oyster Bar downtown is closed…try the location in Palm Beach Gardens on PGA Blvd…15 mins north. Delish!!!

  • ha! i booked a trip to west palm literally just last night; going to visit my bf’s family down there for the first time.

    thanks for the impeccable timing of this post!

  • Yay! WPB is my hometown–happy to see it here.

    Some extras:
    Hotel Biba
    A cute, inexpensive deco-ish hotel

    John G.’s
    A long-time local favorite for early-morning blueberry pancakes and French toast. The line for breakfast can stretch around the block, but the restaurant is on Lake Worth beach, so at least the view is nice. (Get there early, the restaurant closes at 3 PM) http://www.johngs.com

    The best Cuban food in town.

    Palm Beach Grill
    Classic American fare and killer Key lime pie.

  • It’s great to see a guide for my home town!

    I’m actually getting married next January at the Flagler Museum! It truly is a beautiful setting.

    For more pictures of the Flagler, here’s a link to a very recent blog my fiance and I started to document our wedding planning experience.

  • I’m with Lisa on this — your WPB restaurant guide is not complete without Havana. They have an atmospheric interior if you want to dine in, but in my opinion the best part is their 24-hour full-menu takeout counter. So convenient if you, say, happen to need a Cafe con Leche and some empanadas at 3AM. Just sayin’.

  • i just returned from wpb last eve.
    i highly recommend pistache french bistro on clematis in downtown wpb…fabulous food, service and ambience!
    some hidden treasures: safire thai restaurant in downtown lake worth, about 1/2 an hour south of wpb off of dixie hwy…the freshest seafood i’ve ever had in a small thai restaurant: seen over by the owner (da), and beautifully presented…the waitstaff is very professional and totally accomodating!
    mc arthur state park, on singer island, just north of downtown wpb , take broadway, then east over the blue heron bridge, and keep going north until you see signs, is a must see!
    mangrove swamps, the ocean, and an amazing reef! snorkelers and beachcombers alike will enjoy immensely!

  • i forgot to mention deja vu consignment boutique on sunrise in palm beach! it’s just down the street from publix! this beautiful designer boutique features softly worn chanel, versace, gucci, prada, etc…the prices are phenomenal, and the sales women are incredibly charming and ever-so helpful without getting in your way! (just behind testa’s courtyard, through the walkway!)

  • I second Hotel Biba–it’s a must- see, even if you just go to the bar for a drink (wed nights they have live jazz). Also, visitors should rent bikes and do the Palm Beach 4-mile bike trail along the intercoastal. A backyard view of beautiful homes.
    Great to see West Palm Beach get the design attention it deserves!

  • just returned with Costume jewelry enamel bracelets from a cute shop on S. County Road. I can’t find a listing. Does anyone know the name or phone number?

  • It could be C.Orricco?? Lots of Lilly Pulitzer in there, very cute shop….on S. County just north of Hamburger Heaven.

  • Chris Ellis is closed. Great new location for Glam!Vintage at 3300 S. Dixie Highway in Antique Row 561-533-7557. Don’t miss the new outdoor WPB Antique, Flea and Craft Market every other Sat during the season at Datura St and Quadrille Blvd. 561-833-4440

  • Here now and loving WPB – Rhythm is an amazing and one-of-a-kind restaurant – retro and modern and fun and totally delicious. Paris Bakery is fantastic and homey, even if you are not from Normandy! Have to say that City Place is AWFUL – really – who built it? Or who pre-fabbed it? It is all Cheezeburger Cheezburger and The Cheezecake Factory – forgive spelling since they use lots of stray “z’s” in their names. Yay, however, for the huge Barnes & Noble there, a bastion of literacy in City Place.

  • The Creative Community here in West Palm Beach is thriving! This City Guide should really be redone to include all of the new restaurants, shops…and especially the emerging Warehouse District, etc.! @thestationwpb

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