10 Things We Love About Palm Beach

 

Palm Beach is the magical little island in Florida we are so lucky to call our home — and inspiration. In case you’re visiting, here’s a totally subjective list of our ten favorite things about PB.

  1. The little vias that lead off Worth Avenue. Wander them and discover a more local mix of stores (CJ Laing on Via Mizner is one of our faves) than the big brands of the Avenue.
  1. Addison Mizner. He’s the architect credited with bringing the Mediterranean charm to the architecture around town. He’s responsible for many of the Palm Beach trademarks you see in town — beautiful tiling, whimsical streets, gorgeous ironwork … and was known to stride about with his pet monkey on his shoulder. What’s not to love?
  1. Breakfast at St Ambroeus, in the Royal Ponciana Plaza. We love stepping into 1930s Milano for the chicest morning coffee on the island. Nor is there any better spot for an Aperol Spritz if you’re strolling the shops one afternoon.
  1. Sunday with the newspapers on the front lawn of the Breakers hotel. Anyone can go … do as we do: grab a giant ice coffee and the Sunday Times from the News Gourmet, and settle down into one of the lawn chairs and enjoy.
  1. Cycling up the Lake Trail to the tip of the island. Rent a bike from Palm Beach Bicycle Trail Shop (at the Royal), and off you pedal the most magical bike path – peeking over bougainvillea and hedges to glimpse fabulous homes and pools entirely optional.
  1. A martini at the Palm Beach Grill. The Grill is still the place where all the locals go; kudos to you if you can get a table during Season. Many come for the ribs … I’m happy just to have one of those ice cold martinis in a glass the size of small vase.
  1. A poolside lunch at the Colony. A recent facelift has restored the charm and the glamour of this classic Palm Beach hotel — get a table by the pool and step into a scene right out of a Slim Aarons photograph.
  1. Courtyard dinners. Palm Beach is filled with enchanting courtyards in which to dine under the stars and swaying palms: Bice is our favorite, Renato’s is lovely for lunch, and everyone goes to Pizza Al Fresco.
  1. The Norton Museum. Yes, there’s culture! The Norton recently re-opened after a complete transformation at the hands of starchitect Norman Foster. It’s a masterful study of minimalism, that holds one of the most significant art collections in Florida. The sculpture garden alone is worth a visit, and the restaurant is a delight.
  1. And don’t forget the beach. The joke is that locals hardly ever step foot on the beach (it’s so sandy, and don’t you have a pool?), but take a walk and see the simpler charms of the island, plovers darting among the waves, and pelicans flying in formation overhead.

Enjoy and discover it all for yourself!

(And PS. If ever you want a fuller guide to what the island is about, we heartily recommend “Palm Beach: The Essential Guide” by Rick Rose. You can find it at any local bookstore, like the Classic Bookshop at 310 South County Road, or hotels like the Breakers in Palm Beach and Grandview Gardens in West Palm Beach.)