Two hours from Miami, Palm Beach is one of America’s most storied and glamorous resort towns packed full of celebrity zip codes, family fortunes, and of course sandy beaches. To give you a brief history lesson – in the late 19th century Henry Flagler retired from Standard Oil and set out to build a series of luxury hotels to establish tourism as a mainstay of Florida’s economy. Of course, he fell in love with Palm Beach where a lush grove of coconut palms had grown up following the shipwreck of the Providencia in 1878. Right on the ocean he established what he called, and what we now know as “paradise.” Since then, the city has served as a winter haven for names like the Kennedys and Pulitzers and can be your opulent playground too all year round (Florida stays pretty warm). Keep reading to see what the VWT team would do and where we would stay in sunny Palm Beach!
For a real taste of Old-World Palm Springs, Henry Flagler’s fifty-five room Gilded Age estate turned museum will transport you to the era of Great Gatsby glamour. The Standard Oil co-founder built Whitehall, now the Henry Morrison Flagler Museum, as a gift for his wife and when finished in 1902 was regarded by the New York Herald as “more wonderful than any palace in Europe, grander and more magnificent than any other private dwelling in the world.”
Hop over to West Palm Beach and visit the Norton Museum of Art founded by industrialist Ralph Hubbard Norton and his wife Elizabeth Calhoun Norton in 1941. The museum, which is now one of the largest in Florida, had humble beginnings as a collection of sculptures and paintings used to decorate the couple’s home. The museum houses more than 8,200 diverse works, a 37,000 square foot sculpture garden, and a modern-American fare restaurant.
This five-and-a-half-mile long trail gives an intimate taste of the Palm Beach lifestyle. Hugging the shoreline of Lake Worth to the west and the backyards of some of the most exclusive Palm Beach addresses to the east, your eyes will have a feast devouring the Palm Beach skyline, the passing by of luxury yachts and sailboats, and a few guest appearances from the Flagler Museum and the original, and iconic, Palm Beach Church (now renovated into a family home).
Golfing in Palm Beach is a really big deal – like huge. Coined Florida’s Golf Capital, Palm Beach is home to over 160 golf courses and the best golfers happen to live here as well. Pros can head to the Jack Nicklaus-designed course, The Champion, where the Honda Classic takes place. But for the ultimate Palm-Beach style golf trip, The Breakers Ocean Course is Florida’s oldest (and most picturesque) 18-hole golf course.
If you are looking for the embodiment of Old-World Palm Beach, look no further. The Breakers Palm Beach is truly an icon in the city, founded by the founder himself Henry Flagler who named the hotel after the location it sat in – “the breakers,” where the waves crash into water. Over the years, the hotel has been built to feel like an Italian Rennaissance Palace rather than a hotel. The 140-acre resort houses four swimming pools, two 18-hole golf courses, ten tennis courts, nine restaurants, and ten boutique shops. The Seafood Bar deserves an honorable mention as you will feel as though you just stepped onto a luxury yacht – just trust us!
To read more about The Breakers Palm Beach click here.
Sitting on seven acres of private beach, seclusion and serenity will be the heartbeat of your stay at Eau Palm Beach Resort & Spa. After being greeted with a glass of champagne, head to your Jonathan Adler designed room (blue and yellow will have a different meaning after leaving here) with a private balcony and ocean front views. The Eau Spa is not to be missed when staying at this hotel. The 42,000 square-foot wellness haven is truly what dreams are made of and was given a Forbes Five-Star spa Rating to prove it. The resort has four restaurants and is only fifteen minutes from the lively nightlife of Delray Beach and shopping along Worth Avenue.
To read more about Eau Palm Beach Resort & Spa click here.
The properties shared are part of our Valerie Wilson Travel Suite Access™ portfolio. Learn more about VWT’s Suite Access program here.