Palm Beach is a town in South Florida that’s known for its glitzy estates and long, sandy beaches. And in my opinion, it is *the* place to be in Florida with beautiful palm-lined streets, cultural attractions and a hub of nightlife. Thankfully, I’m only about an hour’s drive away in Fort Lauderdale so it makes for the perfect weekend staycation! Keep on reading to discover where to stay in Palm Beach, where to eat, and what to see and do if you only have about 24 hours…
Where to Stay in Palm Beach:
Palm Beach has a certain charm to it that can only be understood until you visit, and that charm is certainly felt in all corners of the White Elephant Palm Beach. This is the newest boutique hotel in Palm Beach and I personally loved staying at this luxury oasis.
The building dates back to 1924, but the White Elephant Palm Beach interiors recently underwent a total transformation led by Boston-based Elkus Manfredi Architects. They did an impeccable job of capturing Palm Beach’s timeless charm and elegance, with a contemporary interpretation of Mediterranean-revival architecture. I loved everything from the hardwoods floors and woven rugs to the soft neutrals color palette and exquisite tiles.
Being a true boutique hotel, White Elephant Palm Beach has only 13 deluxe rooms and 19 suites and I chose one of their Deluxe One-Bedroom Suites. These luxury suites feature a king master bedroom with separate living room space that includes a queen pull-out sofa, therefore, you can fit up to 4 guests. I appreciated the double vanities in the bathroom as well as the L’Occitane bath products… one of my favorite brands! Other modern amenities inside the suites at White Elephant Palm Beach include Nespresso coffee machines, premium cable, fine Italian linens and more.
Not only are you treated to five-star service, accommodation and food (more on that down below) at White Elephant Palm Beach, but you are also in the best location to see and do as much as possible during your stay.
What to See/Do in Palm Beach:
You’re only a stone’s throw away from the nearest beach while staying at White Elephant Palm Beach, and while I highly recommend relaxing by the water at some point during your visit, there are wonderful cultural sights to enjoy as well.
Do NOT leave Palm Beach without visiting the Henry Morrison Flagler Museum! Henry was the founder of Standard Oil and the Florida East Coast Railway, he built this grand estate in 1902 and named it Whitehall. I felt transported to Europe while touring this 75-room mansion built in the Gilded Age. Guests can explore three floors of ornate rooms with rotating exhibits, intricate displays, and stunning furniture. Both the interiors and the grounds are perfectly preserved and its certainly a feast for the eyes so bring your camera!
Another cultural gem in Palm Beach is the Society of the Four Arts. This nonprofit organization was founded in 1936 and is dedicated to inspiring and engaging people through artistic programs focusing on art, music, drama and literature! If you’re in Palm Beach from November through April, the Four Arts offers hundreds of events like concerts, art exhibits, workshops, children’s programs and so much more. But throughout the summer as well, anyone is allowed to stroll their beautiful gardens which also include flora, fauna, and sculptures. They have a couple libraries as well that are open to the public, which are beautiful both inside and out.
For those who enjoy shopping, or at least window shopping, I’d recommend heading to Clematis Street or Worth Avenue while in Palm Beach. Clematis Street is the very center of the historic downtown in Palm Beach, with a bustling waterfront district that has something for everyone.
For the more serious shoppers, I’d start at Worth Avenue, the premier shopping district in Palm Beach that is brimming with European sophistication and style. You can find everything here from fashion and accessories to antiques and even art. This 4-block avenue is filled with both upscale shops and restaurants – I really enjoy these quaint streets!
Where to Eat in Palm Beach:
I have two superb dining spots to enjoy in Palm Beach if you only have a day or two. Cafe Boulud is one of Palm Beach’s most coveted dining destinations and this upscale French-inspired restaurant does it all: breakfast, brunch, lunch, and dinner. The menu’s aren’t too big or overwhelming, as Chef Daniel Boulud clearly values quality over quantity. Since opening in 2003, this elegant restaurant situated in the heart of the historic Brazilian Court Hotel has earned 4 stars in the Forbes Travel Guide and Wine Spectator’s “Best of Award in Excellence.”
Chef Boulud uses only the best local ingredients and seafood, with seasonally-rotating menus that usually showcase inspiration from a specific destination. I absolutely love dining in the atmospheric courtyard terrace at Cafe Boulud, as it makes for a fun brunch spot with the girls, as well as a romantic date night venue. I would recommend any of their seafood dishes like the local spiced Mahi with Key West shrimp, pan seared scallops with Brussels sprouts or the beloved Dover Sole Meunière that is filleted table-side.
For those who stay at the White Elephant Palm Beach, you don’t have to travel too far for good food as the hotel’s restaurant Lola 41 is one of my favorite spots! The original location is in Nantucket where they’ve been serving innovate seafood specialties for years. Lucky for Palm Beach, we can now enjoy Lola 41 in a vibrant al fresco setting. We loved breakfast here which was convenient and delicious, but I’d also recommend dining here for happy hour or dinner too!
I really loved Lola 41’s half dozen East Coast Oysters, Poke Nachos, and the LoLa Peking Duck was a showstopper. This crispy skin whole duck with pickled vegetables and steamed buns feeds 2, just allow 45 minutes for preparation but it’s worth every minute!