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Old Charms, New Feels in The Palm Beaches

Discover the lively balance of old-school treasures with new-school vibes in The Palm Beaches.

Posted on Wed, Feb 7th, 2018 4:53 pm by joyoftravel.ca news services

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. – Frequented by affluent travellers since the late 1800s, The Palm Beaches is recognized around the world primarily for its deep-rooted ties to old Hollywood glamour, world leaders, royalty and celebrities, seeking to unwind and relax at its posh properties, seaside-retreats, and Mediterranean-inspired mansions and shopping districts. Although the destination has grown to encompass 38 other cities and towns since its beginnings in Palm Beach, it has kept much of its old charm. Old meets new in The Palm Beaches with colorful re-inspired historical retreats, playful arcades, stores, and cozy restaurants serving up selections and an ambiance like no other.

In a destination that has long captured the world’s interest, more so today as President Trump’s Winter retreat, more people are re-discovering the historic destination of Palm Beach County. Today, the destination continues to attract past visitors as well as a bounty of new faces, among them many of Hollywood’s celebrities: Justin Bieber, Michael Jordan, Rickie Fowler, Tiger Woods, Jon Bon Jovi, Kelly Slater, Sofia Vergara to name a few. Whether seeking the old or new, the destination offers a lively balance of old-school treasures with new-school vibes that appeal to travellers young and old. Here are a few places to experience the historic charm – with a new feel - this spring:

Hotels

The Colony Hotel – Palm Beach, Fla.
This ultra-posh paradise of a boutique hotel offers Instagram-worthy décor, beach-side yoga, a new art gallery space by Voltz Clarke, and much more. The 1947 landmark delights with its classic British Colonial architecture and 89 stunning rooms, suites, villas and penthouses. Many of Hollywood’s elite have spent time at the timeless property, including Frank Sinatra, Judy Garland, and John Lennon. It is also just steps away from the picturesque shopping district of Worth Avenue and Midtown Beach. 

Boca Raton Resort & Club, A Waldorf Astoria Resort – Boca Raton, Fla.
The Addison Mizner architecture remains in pristine, pink perfection, but the resort has seen many additions over the years, most recently debuting the new The Yacht Club Experience, which pampers guests with unique food and beverage offerings, personal concierge services, VIP shuttle service to shops and the Beach Club and more. The Boca Raton Resort & Club also boasts 15 eateries, a FlowRider wave simulator, Sea Level Experience, surf lessons, 30 clay tennis courts, and a 50,000-square-foot Waldorf Astoria Spa - modeled after the Alhambra Palace of Spain. Here, you can also enjoy the lavish Boca Beach Club, festive fruity beverages served in a coconut shell or pineapple, and a long list of wellness offerings. The property dates back to 1920s and even served as a military hospital during WWII.

The Breakers – Palm Beach, Fla.
A treasured palace of the past, with modern day appeal, this iconic resort dates to the 1890s when founder Henry Morrison Flagler set out to build a grand property on the shores of Palm Beach island. Today, the Italian-inspired resort destination annually invests more than $30 million to both preserve and enhance the property, balancing its classic charm with contemporary luxuries. The Breakers' 140 acres features four pools, a collection of 25 poolside bungalows, 36 holes of championship golf, on-site watersports, 12 shopping boutiques, a 6,000-square-foot oceanfront fitness facility, an indoor/outdoor spa, and even a luxury boutique hotel within the hotel – Flagler Club. Nine restaurant options are also available here, including HMF, a chic social club and restaurant very much steeped in the glamour of an earlier era, yet offering a globally-influenced menu, impressive cocktail creations and a varietal wine list of 2,200.
 

The Chesterfield Palm Beach – Palm Beach, Fla.
Located on the chic island of Palm Beach, this charming property combines modern Florida sophistication with old-world English elegance. The four-star, historic boutique is also a short stroll from the golden sand beaches of the Atlantic Ocean. Built in 1926, it’s recognized as a historical landmark by the Palm Beach Preservation Foundation. Celebrities such as Lauren Bacall and Margaret Thatcher have stayed at the property throughout the years. The Presidential Suite is the properties’ grandest room, discreetly situated on its own private floor and sumptuously dressed in a palate of luscious cream and pink hues, custom pieces add to its palatial pink feel.

Attractions

Silverball Museum & Arcade – Delray Beach, Fla.
Ranging from 1950s to 2016, this museum arcade offers more than 200 rotating vintage pinball machines and video games for play. Currently the museum houses 80 pinball machines from the 50s to current, 24 video games, and many others including air-hockey, and shuffleboard. Each machine also displays a placard with the origin, the year in which it was created, and the original quantity created. The arcade also houses the original skeeball lanes from New York’s Coney Island. An upstairs restaurant serves up classic favorites such as pulled pork sliders, lobster rolls, funnel cake, hot dogs and tomato pies, while the downtowns bar has 40 beers on tap and an impressive wine list.  

Wick Theatre & Costume Museum – Boca Raton, Fla.
Here, not only can guests enjoy critically acclaimed productions of Broadway’s favorite musicals, and pre- and post-show entertainment, but guests can tour the costume museum by appointment. The Museum’s impressive of vintage costumes is worth over $20 million dollars. The collection includes more than 55 Broadway productions and revivals such as costumes from the original productions of Titanic, My Fair Lady and Dracula. The theatre also offers visitors luncheon options at the Tavern at the Wick restaurant. The restaurant pays homage to the famed New York City landmark – Tavern on the Green – and incorporates many of the items from the original Tavern on the Green, such as silverware, place settings and a crystal chandelier.

Rag Tops – West Palm Beach, Fla.
A vintage car museum filled with automotive memorabilia, dating as far back as the 1920s. Museum highlights include automotive excellence from the 1920’s to modern day collectibles.

Surfing Florida Museum – Lake Park, Fla.

Learn more about the rich, 100-year history of surfing in Florida, especially its roots in Palm Beach County at this museum. It may be small, but it’s packed with history. The museum features an impressive photo archive including enlargements from a 5,000-transparency photo collection taken in the 1960's by photographer by M.E. Gruber, a local photographer from West Palm Beach. The collection was acquired by the museum 10 years ago. The museum also houses many antique surfboards and 70 oversized photo/story-panels produced by University Galleries at Florida Atlantic University. The oldest photo shows people surfing at The Breakers Hotel Pier in Palm Beach in 1919. The content in the photo panels was used in the making of the book authored by local artist and surfer, Paul Aho, entitled "Surfing Florida, A Photographic History”. 


Shops

Raptis Rare Books – Palm Beach, Fla.
Specializing in rare, signed and inscribed first editions, this antiquarian book gallery opened its doors in Palm Beach in November of 2016. Over the years, Raptis Rare Books has built some of the finest collections in the world. Currently, he most valuable book in the exceptional collection of landmark books and documents is John Locke's Two Treatises on Government, listed at $250,000. Other highlights include a rare first edition of Adam Smith's The Wealth of Nations ($150,000), a finely bound first edition of Shakespeare's Fourth Folio ($100,000), a first edition of Casino Royale inscribed by Ian Fleming to his secretary ($160,000), and a first edition of The Cat in The Hat signed by Dr. Seuss ($14,000). 

The Royal Poinciana Plaza – Palm Beach, Fla.
The 1950s property maintains its signature John Volk architecture style, while reviving playful elements such as checkered floor tiles, verdant courtyards and an array of eclectic shops, exquisite food and endless fun, including 30 new hand-picked tenants joining The Royal Poinciana Plaza’s beloved existing tenants. New additions include Celis Produce - a local organic market and juice bar, Saint Laurent, Magasin, Cynthia Rowley, Kirna Zabête, Assouline, Vespa, The Honor Bar and Virginia Philip Wine, Spirits & Academy.

Dining

City Diner – West Palm Beach, Fla.
Memorabilia and relics of the past cover every inch of this petite, homey establishment. Diners can enjoy the atmosphere and listen to the “oldies”, as a miniature train circles overhead.

Howley’s – Palm Beach, Fla.
The renovated 1950s diner, sports tin ceilings, jukebox décor, and modern local art on its walls, with comfort food favorites on its menu.

Okeechobee Steakhouse – West Palm Beach, Fla.
Recognized as the oldest steakhouse in Florida, this steakhouse has been serving up steak and exceptional service since 1947. They have developed their own exclusive aging process for their beef and serve closely-trimmed top-quality angus beef, which is trimmed by hand. An old-fashioned dry-aged, 27-ounce bone and rib eye, is among the specialties on the menu.

The Warehouse District – West Palm Beach, Fla.
This newly redeveloped part of town is comprised of eight vintage Warehouse buildings from the 1920s. The eclectic urban neighborhood now boasts local food and beverage vendors, artists, and fitness enthusiasts. The 85,000-squarefoot district is located near Downtown West Palm Beach, and offers local artisans and entrepreneurs a creative space in which to sell their goods. 

Parts of the District include:

Grandview Public Market (GPM): Opening this month, the 14,000-square foot multi-vendor food hall will provide a uniquely curated dining and shopping experience from a wide range of local and national purveyors. The 12 independent food purveyors are a mix of established local brands with loyal followings, and three concepts from nationally recognized New York-based hospitality company, Three Kings Restaurant Group, comprised of Bravo “Top Chef” alum Dale Talde, and his partners David Massoni and John Bush. There will also be an additional space called “The Incubator” which will serve as a rotating space for selected unique vendors. GPM will hold recurring weekly programming, with the focus on bringing locals of all ages together.
 
Elizabeth Avenue Station: This event-driven curated collection of local merchants offers visitors an unconventional retail experience. Dozens of one-of-a-kind artisans and creatives, ranging from clothing and jewelry to pottery, paintings and more, fill the re-envisioned warehouse space. The Station also holds gatherings such as yoga and open mic nights to help nourish and cultivate the local community. 
 
Events

Palm Beach Jewelry, Art & Antique Show: February 14-20, 2018

More than 170 international exhibitors will display their fine works from across the globe at this prestigious show, drawing in thousands of art works, antiquities, and estate jewels. The show is the largest of its kind in the United States and draws in tens of thousands of private collectors, museum curators, investors, and interior designers each year.

2018 Barrett-Jackson Palm Beach Auction: April 12-15, 2018
The World’s Greatest Collector Car Auctions® returns to the South Florida Fairgrounds as Barrett-Jackson presents its 16th Annual Palm Beach Auction. The world-class automotive lifestyle event, where hundreds of the world’s most sought-after, unique and valuable automobiles cross the block in front of a global audience — in person and on live national and international television, features extraordinary offerings from several prominent collections, including more than 140 vehicles from the John Staluppi Collection.