Craving a tropical getaway? Well, you’re in luck because photographer Anna Reynal is taking us along on an adventure to West Palm Beach, Florida! Read on to see all of her dreamy photos, plus learn where to shop, stay, eat and play.
Have a spa day
If you’re headed to West Palm Beach, it’s probably safe to say you’re looking for relaxation and fun in the sun. Unwind by treating yourself to a spa experience. We booked massages at the playful Eau Palm Beach Resort & Spa. We spent the morning eating cupcakes and drinking Champagne while swinging leisurely in hanging chairs in the outdoor garden and lounging in the rain shower hot tub (complete with an adorable rubber ducky!).
If massages aren’t your thing, try indulging in a DIY scrub kit from the spa’s scrub and polish bar. You can use it during your spa experience, or take the kit home with you as a way to extend your vacation experience long after you leave. The heavenly scent will take you right back to your day of relaxation. We took advantage of the spa amenities and used ours while there. We walked away feeling so relaxed with deliciously scented, glowing skin.
Shop and eat local
The local movement in West Palm Beach is vibrant, and there’s nothing better than the cute boutiques and restaurants popping up downtown and in the #warehousedistrictwpb (check it out on Instagram!). Some places to go are below.
- Elizabeth Ave Station: For beautifully curated vintage, handmade and local paper goods, home décor, clothing and jewelry, this is the place to go. Gather & Seek is the brain and marketing genius behind the collaborative space and has a fabulously curated shop of its own featuring printed and textile art, ceramics and plants at the front of the building. While the whole warm neutrals and well-designed displays tie the entire space together (including a floral chandelier from local florist Flower and Fringe and ceiling textile art from a local Anthropologie installation artist), each shop has its own space within the warehouse.
- A few other shops of note: xiokat for feminine dresses and tops; Restated for clothes, fashion and home accessories; Manta swimwear (we love the palm prints!); Olwen for modern metal jewelry; Makerwear for mixed material jewelry (think: wood, leather, metal); MyFight for its wood teepee and bullet jewelry made by women fighting their way out of extreme poverty; Heartswell and The Prime Floridian for sweet cards and paper goods; Avenue Pottery for beautiful handmade pots and home accessories; Vintage Midcentury for peacock chairs and other mid-century furnishings; plus so many more. If you happen to be around for one of Elizabeth Ave Station’s evening affairs (check Instagram for upcoming events), special guests, live music and festive drinks add extra ambiance to the indoor/outdoor space. And before you leave, take a selfie in front of Melissa Deckert’s vibrant palm mural.
Along Dixie Highway:
- Dog and a Couch Designs (daac designs): Owned by a Palm Beach artist and his wife, the store boasts unique fine art and affordably bright-colored housewares (I scored a fabulous wire flamingo planter there).
- Shoppe 561: Love the storefront! You’ll be shopping for a cause because a portion of the proceeds go to Hope House, which is “a safe house for minor girls rescued from human trafficking.” Everything is handmade and mostly by Floridians. The store also hosts fun craft classes, so check the schedule when you’re in town.
Downtown West Palm Beach:
- Simplicity in Mind: An apparel and lifestyle boutique that also has a space at Elizabeth Ave Station. The downtown shop has additional clothing and an adorable apothecary of candles and natural, cruelty-free hair and skin products.
Places to eat
- Clematis Street: Dine under the palms (and twinkle lights at night!) next to giant murals. You probably can’t go wrong anywhere on Clematis—it is lined with adorable eateries and outdoor seating. Some favorites include Subculture Coffee for espresso and pastries (not to mention all the cozy vibes if you need a place to write a quick email); Field of Greens for the best soups, salads, sandwiches, juices, smoothies and acai bowls; Palm Sugar for Asian small plates and sake cocktails; and just down the street, Hullabaloo reportedly has an airstream for dining out back.
- Avocado Grill: A menu based around avocados and seafood is everything we ever dreamed—and more! The guac is excellent and there are lots of small plates, perfect for sharing. Indulgent flavors with healthy ingredients, and you’ll still feel good getting into a bikini afterwards.
Along Dixie Highway:
- Grato: Make a reservation, even if you go on a weeknight. It’s a little bit more of a splurge, but worth every penny for the modern Italian flavors in shareable plates and flatbreads. We had a melt-in-your-mouth mushroom gnocchi, and the roasted head of cauliflower with pecorino and pepper was to die for.
- Celis Produce: After an afternoon of shopping on Antique Row, swing by Celis for fresh pressed juice and smoothies. The Chocolate Funk is a perfect afternoon treat, and the cutest little patio awaits outside, with yellow chairs and flamingo string lights. If you need to grab something for dinner, it is also an organic market, and some of the produce is grown at Elizabeth Ave Station.
Sip afternoon cocktails by the pool
There’s no shortage of hotels and resorts around Palm Beach. If you find yourself at the Eau Resort & Spa, stick around for a cocktail at Breeze Ocean Kitchen and listen to the waves crash while you enjoy a colorful beverage (and admire the faces of the pottery wall art and the sunny tile on the bar). Or from West Palm Beach, head across Lake Worth lagoon to the island of Palm Beach and grab a drink poolside at Polo at The Colony or HMF at The Breakers. It’s the perfect way to relax and catch up with the girls if a siesta isn’t your thing.
Admire the street art downtown
Everywhere you turn downtown, there is something new to look at. A few favorites include the Einstein mural by Kobra next to Subculture Coffee; the see/speak/hear no evil mural by Kai on Datura Street; Clara, a mural by Sean Yoro under the Royal Park Bridge; JFK with sunglasses next to Camelot and Avocado Grill (mural by Anthony Hernandez—it reminds me of the glasses from The Great Gatsby); and the painted hardware building on S. Rosemary Ave (artist unknown). Many, but not all, are part of CANVAS, an outdoor museum show that took place in 2016.
See the flamingos
If you have a bit of free time around noon any day of the week, the Palm Beach Zoo has a Flamingo Experience where you can walk Chilean flamingos around the zoo’s interactive fountain, feed them and take photos. If the lunch hour timing doesn’t work out and you are flying in/out of Fort Lauderdale for your Palm Beach vacay, a visit to the Flamingo Gardens is only 20 minutes away from FLL airport. It’s well worth the quiet walk through the tropical gardens, where the sun glimmers through the palms and monsteras around a beautiful flamingo pond. Admission goes toward rescuing and rehabilitating injured indigenous animals, too!
Go kayaking or stand-up paddleboarding
Feeling up for a bit of adventure? Take Flagler Avenue all the way north to where West Palm Beach meets Rivera Beach and rent a stand-up paddleboard or kayak from Paddle Boarding Palm Beach. The waters are clearest at high tide, but truly beautiful any time of day. Paddling around Peanut Island is the happiest way to spend an hour on the water. If you have half a day, pack a lunch and have a picnic on the island!
Drive down Royal Palm Way
Palm Beach is famous for its celebrity visitors, high-end shopping and designer fashions like Lilly Pulitzer. West Palm Beach has a low-key, free-spirited vibe with lots of locally owned and curated shops, restaurants and street art. One of our favorite things to do is drive (or bike!) from one to the other. The main route between the two—named Royal Palm Way—is lined with giant palm trees and feels like the entrance to a paradise kingdom. West Palm Beach and Palm Beach are separated by Lake Worth Lagoon, so while West Palm Beach still has the laid-back attitude of a beach town, it’s worth going over to Palm Beach to actually walk on the oceanfront stretches of public beach at sunset. And if you’re looking for ways to spend a day or afternoon in Palm Beach beforehand, we’ve got you covered.