West Palm Beach is a large city in Southern Florida that is known for good food and pretty scenery. It’s typically a short drive to the beach, depending on where you’re coming from. West Palm is the city that is connected to Palm Beach Island, which is the home of the rich. However, if you’re not looking to spend a fortune, there are plenty of free things to do in West Palm Beach as well. Here are a few of my favorites:
*Also keep in mind that you should definitely visit the beach which is located over the bridge on Palm Beach, but I will save that for my Palm Beach blog post…
1.Visit The Square:
The Square, formerly known as City Place, is a public space in the center of West Palm Beach that is perfect for people watching, relaxing, and enjoying the Florida weather. There are often events and performances happening in The Square, so be sure to check the schedule before you go.
For shopping they have H&M, Lulu Lemons, Urban Outfitters…
Some restaurant suggestions are Saito’s (Hibachi restaurant), Cheesecake Factory, Planta (Vegan), RH Rooftop, True Food Kitchen, etc.
They recently added this artificial tree in the middle, it is a great photo spot. At night it even lights up.
Since The Square is very picturesque it is perfect for taking cute instagram photos! Sometimes they also have little pop-ups and fun events on the weekends.
Where can I park in The Square?
Parking right in The Square can get expensive, I recommend parking on Clematis Street (parking garage) because hourly rates are only $1 compared to over $5 at The Square’s parking garages.
2. Grandview Public Market:
Grandview Public Market is a trendy indoor food hall with a variety of local vendors selling everything from coffee and pastries to wood-fired pizza and craft beer. There are also several retail shops selling items like jewelry, clothing, and home goods. In the back they have a beautiful surf shop that sells some really cool items.
This market is also a great location for taking photos, I recommend exploring the property since you can find some cool spots.
You can also sit in their spacious open area, which is filled with couches and tables, and do some work.
3. Peanut Island:
Peanut Island is a great place to go if you’re looking for a day trip. It’s located right in the middle of the Palm Beach Inlet and it’s free to get into. There’s a small beach, picnic areas, and a few trails. You can also explore the abandoned missile base on the island.
If you know someone with a boat, you don’t need to pay to get on the island. If you are interested in taking the shuttle boat, it is around $15 and a quick 8 minute boat ride to the island. They dock you right at the heart of the island so you don’t have to walk too far (if you are looking to relax immediately). The ferry comes every 20 minutes and the last one leaves at 5pm (so don’t be late!). Make sure to bring your snorkels because there is a lot of beautiful sea life by the jetty!
When you walk around the island towards the East side you will come across a little lagoon. Sometimes Manatees come by here, it is a sight to see!
On the island, there is also a Cold War-era bomb shelter which was constructed for President Kennedy as a backup safe space if anything were to happen.
Clematis is a popular street in downtown West Palm Beach that is lined with restaurants, bars, shops, and art galleries. There is always something going on here, so it’s a great place to people watch or grab a bite to eat.
I either like to go to Clematis on weekend nights or brunch on Sunday’s because the street is busy and it is always a good time.
From October through May, on every Saturday from 7am-1 pm, they have a local West Palm Beach green market that is always bustling. It’s by the water and has a variety of eateries. You can get fresh produce or if you’re hungry, there are foods from different vendors to choose from. I love getting the cider donuts and arepa, it has always been my go-to.
During Halloween the street is typically closed for Moonfest, which is a fun dress up festival for adults. It’s a cool scene if you are looking to party.
If you are going in March, they have an Irish festival for St. Patrick’s Day.
If you are going in late April/May, there is usually Sunfest which is a musical festival that happens every year.
Clematis is also filled with a lot of nightclubs. The best days to go are Fridays/Saturdays and of course spring break; it is a very popular location to go out and have a good time.
5. Try the amazing restaurants
West Palm Beach is filled with so many amazing restaurants. You can find just about anything you’re in the mood for. Here are some of my recommendations:
Cafe Sapori Dining Room
- Cafe Sapori :
- The Palm Beach Post calls Cafe Sapori the “best Italian restaurant in West Palm Beach.” I couldn’t agree more. The food is all authentic Italian and made in house. It’s definitely worth a visit if you’re looking for a delicious pasta dish or pizza. Since it is not on Palm Beach, the food is pretty affordable compared to other fine dining restaurants.
- Kapow offers modern Asian cuisine with a twist. The menu is full of inventive dishes like chicken and waffles or miso glazed pork belly. It’s definitely a unique dining experience that you won’t find anywhere else in West Palm Beach. Also Monday nights everything is half-off as long as you work in the service industry.
- Aioli is a great lunch place if you’re looking for something healthy and affordable. They have a large variety of sandwiches, salads, and soups to choose from. And their aioli sauce is delicious!
- If you’re looking for a vegan-friendly restaurant in West Palm Beach, Planta is the place to go. They have an extensive menu with dishes like black bean tacos, cauliflower steaks, and jackfruit nachos.
- Lynora’s is another great Italian restaurant in West Palm Beach. They serve classic dishes like lasagna, pizza, and capellini with vodka sauce. And of course, they have a huge selection of wine.
- Rocco’s Tacos:
- Rocco’s Tacos is the place to go if you’re looking for a good Mexican meal in West Palm Beach. They have tacos, burritos, quesadillas, and margaritas that will satisfy any craving. I also love their happy hour selection!
- RH Rooftop:
- RH Rooftop is a trendy restaurant located on the top floor of the Restoration Hardware building. They have a modern American menu with dishes like steak tartare and buttermilk fried chicken. The views of downtown West Palm Beach from the rooftop are definitely worth checking out.
- Jo Bistro:
- Jo Bistro sells a lot of great breakfast and lunch items. I like to go there for their amazing acai bowls and wraps (I highly recommend the Coconut Shrimp wrap).
- Kabuki :
- This is a great asian restaurant that has a little bit of everything. They have sushi, noodles, and wok dishes that will leave you wanting more.
- Howley’s :
- Howley’s is a classic American diner with all the comfort food you could want. They have burgers, fries, chicken fingers, and milkshakes that will take you back to your childhood.
6. The Norton Museum
The Norton Museum of Art is a world-renowned art museum that has a huge collection of paintings, sculptures, and other artifacts. It’s definitely worth a visit if you’re interested in art. It’s very modern and beautifully designed so it’s also another great spot to get pictures . Also if you are a college student, you can get in for free with your ID!
7. Checkout the Palm Beach Outlets
The Palm Beach Outlets is a huge outdoor shopping mall located in West Palm. They have many stores to select from, including a food court and a Target just down the street. If you’re staying in the downtown area, you’ll need either a car or an Uber to get there. I do not reccomend walking.
8. Drive Shack
Drive shack is the best place to go if you want to play some golf and drink some beers. They have a large selection of beer on tap and fun food options. I recommend going with a group because it is a lot of fun!
Northwood is also a neighborhood in WPB. It’s close to the action, but also has a more suburban feel. There are some nice restaurants and bars in the area that you should check out if you have the time!
(I recommend checking out Malakor Thai Cafe)
Other places I recommend Checking Out:
- The Alchemy: This is a brand new coffee shop that I love going to. There are usually a lot of open tables to work at, they sell great coffee, and they have a lot of different food options.
- Subculture: This is a classic coffee shop that has been around forever. They have a great selection of coffee and pastries, and they’re always playing good music.
- Composition Coffee House: This coffee shop is located in a very cute new Plaza on Belvedere. You can sit outside or inside and enjoy a nice Croissant with your coffee. I recommend the Vanilla Latte, it’s very tasty.
*In the same plaza where there is Composition Coffee House, there is a shoe store that sells a lot of Jordan’s and Yeezy’s (other street wear too) if you are interested in that.
If you are into thrifting, West Palm Beach has some great thrift stores. Max and I always love going around and checking out what these stores have. We love going to Goodwill, American Thrift, and World Thrift.
Can you walk in West Palm Beach?
So If you’re visiting, I recommend getting your own vehicle because a lot of things are spread out (or Uber). If you are staying in downtown West Palm Beach you are able to walk because most things are very close by.
How far is West Palm Beach from Miami?
- By Car rush hour (9am)/ (6pm)= Close to 1.5- 2 hours
- By Car not rush hour= 1 hour 20 minutes
- Palm Beach Tri-rail: 2 hours exactly
- Brightline Train: 1 hour 12 min (downtown West Palm to downtown Miami)
How far is West Palm Beach from Fort Lauderdale?
- By Car rush hour (9am)/ (6pm)= 1 hour
- By Car not rush hour= 45 minutes
- Palm Beach Tri Rail : 1 hour
- Brightline Train: 35 min
Is West Palm Beach Safe?
Overall it is safe, but like any city, there is always crime. It all depends on where you are going in West Palm. If you go out west, some areas can get sketchy and you should always keep an eye out. Most places east towards the water are very safe, especially Palm Beach Island.
Is West Palm Beach expensive?
If you are looking to rent or buy property, yes it is a very expensive area as the property market is very high right now. A lot of restaurants aren’t cheap, so if you are looking to eat out for lunch and dinner on a budget keep in mind it will add up.
West Palm Beach Weather:
Year round the weather is very hot and humid. The summer months will always be the most humid and ranging from 80-90 F. It’s typically sunny, but it does rain on and off. Sometimes it will just rain for 30 minutes then clear up, so I recommend checking the weather app everyday because Florida is unpredictable (or use AcuWeather because it is more accurate)
So here are some things to do in West Palm Beach. I hope I was able to give you a little taste of what West Palm has to offer. If you have any questions, feel free to reach out to Max and I, we would love to help you plan your trip.