updated March 2, 2019
So, you want to take a Palm Beach Tour? Maybe catch a glimpse of the rich and famous lifestyle or gawk at the fabulous mansions?
Our self-guided Palm Beach Tour will show-off the best of Palm Beach. The tour begins in Downtown West Palm Beach and makes a loop. If you don’t stop, expect to spend about 30 minutes, but why rush? Get out and admire The Breakers, tour the Flagler Museum, enjoy a picnic in the Four Arts Sculpture Garden, do a little shopping (or maybe window-shopping) on Worth Avenue and dip your feet in our beautiful blue water.
Palm Beach Tour
- Take Okeechobee east over the Royal Park Bridge – locals refer to this as the middle bridge or big bridge.
- After crossing the bridge, make your first left into Four Arts Plaza – it’s before the traffic light, and the street sign is difficult to see. Pull into their parking lot on the left.
We encourage you to get out and explore their sculpture and botanical gardens. Even better, pick-up sandwiches and chocolate chip cookies from Buccan Sandwich Shop and enjoy a picnic! Admission is free and and the gardens are open 7 days a week, 10 am – 5 pm.
- When leaving The Society of the Four Arts parking lot, turn left and make an immediate right on Seaspray Avenue (there’s no street sign).
- At the stop sign, make a left onto Cocoanut Row.
- In just a few blocks, you’ll see The Breakers Golf Course on your right, and the Royal Poinciana Chapel on your left. Just past the chapel, make a left into the Flagler Museum.
Stop #2: The Flagler Museum
The Flagler Museum, also known as Whitehall, was Henry Flagler’s winter home, and today it is open to the public everyday except Monday. The 1-hour docent led tour will make your head spin with history!
- Before leaving the Flagler Museum, head south along the path to admire the Sea Gull Cottage, a Royal Kapok Tree and a beautiful view of downtown West Palm Beach!
- Make a left onto Cocoanut Row as you exit the Flagler Museum.
- At the first traffic light, make a right onto Royal Poinciana Way.
- Royal Poinciana Way will dead end into S. County Road, make a right onto S. County Road.
- At the next traffic light, make a left onto Breaker’s Row.
- Upon entering The Breakers, let the guard at the gate know that you are there to eat or shop and tell them you would like to self-park. Otherwise, you’ll be directed to the $30 valet parking. Of course, if you do intend to enjoy a cocktail or do a little shopping…they will validate your parking.
Stop #3: The Breakers
This is Henry Flagler’s iconic 5-star resort that he built for northerners to escape the cold. The first two versions of The Breakers were destroyed by fire, and the current building is a historic building that was completed in 1925. Go beyond the lobby and explore! The Seafood Bar is a favorite cocktail stop with beautiful ocean views and a bar that is an aquarium. If you want to splurge, make reservations for Sunday Brunch.
- When leaving The Breakers, turn left onto S. County Road.
- Left onto Royal Palm Way (3rd traffic light).
- Royal Palm Way will dead-end into S. Ocean Boulevard, turn right onto S. Ocean Boulevard.
Stop #4: THE BEACH!
If you want to walk along the beach or dip your toes in our beautiful blue water, find a parking meter along S. Ocean Boulevard and enjoy! This is the only public beach access on Palm Beach with lifeguards.
- Continue on S. County Road for about 5 blocks and turn right on Worth Avenue. The clock tower is your marker and the entryway to Worth Avenue.
Stop #5: Worth Avenue
Often referred to as the Rodeo Drive of the East Coast, Worth Avenue and is one of the reasons our area is consistently ranked among the best shopping destinations in the United States. This is a great place to take a shopping break or do a little people-watching. If you love fancy cars, there’s no shortage of them on Worth Avenue. Don’t miss the Via’s which are tiny walkways that lead to more shopping, more restaurants and bougainvillea draped courtyards.
- When you come to the end of the Worth Avenue shops, turn right on Cocoanut Row.
- At the first stop sign, turn right on Peruvian.
- In a few blocks, you will dead end at S. Ocean Boulevard, turn right.
- Follow S. Ocean Boulevard along the ocean for about 2 miles. When the road starts veering away from the ocean, look to your right… the large estate you see is Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago. No stopping, so have your camera ready!
Note: President Trump is frequently in town on weekends from December through April. If he is in town, roads will be closed and you will not be able to continue this driving loop. Instead, follow Cocoanut Row to Royal Poinciana Way, make a left on Royal Poinciana Way and go over the bridge to return to downtown West Palm Beach. If he is not in town, continue on!
“Stop” #6: Mar a Lago
The name Mar a Lago means sea to lake because this property spans the width of the island! Originally owned by Marjorie Merriweather Post. When she died, Mar a Lago was donated to the federal government, and she had visions of it being the next Camp David. This property requires a huge amount of upkeep, so he government said thanks, but no thanks. Finally, in 1985, Mar a Lago was sold to Donald Trump for 5-million dollars, and today it is worth 300-million! And, in a crazy round about way, Marjorie got her dying wish.
- The road will make a sharp right just after Mar-a-Lago, and continue over the Southern Bridge to return to West Palm Beach.
- Once you’re back on the West Palm Beach side, at the base of the bridge, you have 3 options:
- Option #1: continue straight on Southern Boulevard. and you’ll hit I-95 in about 1.5 miles.
- Option #2: turn right onto Flagler Drive and follow Flagler/Washington along the water to return to Downtown West Palm Beach. This is a neighborhood filled with beautiful historic homes.
- Option #3: if you’d like to explore Antique Row, boutique shops and delicious restaurants along South Dixie, DO NOT turn on Flagler Drive. Instead, after crossing the bridge, continue straight on Southern Boulevard, and turn right on S. Dixie Highway (4th traffic light). When you’re finished shopping, S. Dixie Highway will take you back to Downtown West Palm Beach.
Fun Facts About Palm Beach
- Palm Beach is the richest zip code in the United States and home to 32 billionaires.
- Years ago, the Kennedy’s had an estate on Palm Beach known as the Winter White House.
- Today, Palm Beach is home to Donald Trump, Rush Limbaugh, Howard Stern, Dr. Oz, Rod Stewart, James Paterson, Billy Joel and Vera Wang…just to name a few!
- The Lake Trail is a wonderful walking/biking path that runs 4 miles north along the intercostal waterway beginning at the base of the Royal Park Bridge.
Enjoy your visit to Palm Beach!