Don’t get us wrong–Orlando’s got Disneyworld. There is plenty of fun around all of Florida, from Miami Beach to Tampa Bay, but let’s not forget about sunny Palm Beach. The area might be known for its million-dollar mansions, miles of beach and upscale hotels, but you’re guaranteed to find more than just elite dining and entertainment. Palm Beach has activities for the whole family, from the Palm Beach Zoo to mini-golf and gourmet ice cream. Kids of all ages can enjoy the local sights and sounds, from toddlers to ten-and-up. Take a look at our picks for Palm Beach’s best destinations:
If your family loves camping, scuba diving, swimming, and fishing, you’ve found the perfect destination. The man-made island sits in the Lake Worth inlet and houses a park where you can do all of the above (and more!) Boat the lake and get ready to kick back for a day of grilling and chilling on a nearby sandbar, or camp out and wade in.
Kids and adults can get up close and personal with wild manatees at the Lake Worth Lagoon, watching the gentle giants float in the clear Florida waters. The attraction provides a dedicated area to view the manatees as well as an education center, so you and your children can learn even more about Florida’s local sea cows (and bonus—it’s entirely free).
What more can we say about a restaurant called the Grilled Cheese Gallery? If you or your children consider yourselves grilled cheese artistes, you’ll find your home here. Though you can’t go wrong with the traditional grilled cheese, try the lavender lemonade and a country boy (a grilled cheese layered with pulled pork and mac and cheese) for the real Gallery experience.
Wild rides, thrills, and chills are in no short supply at Palm Beach water parks such as Rapids Park. Ready, set and go on the Rapids Racer, a high-speed slide for kids of all ages, and compete for the fastest ride on the scoreboard. Older kids (and adults, too) will almost certainly want to try the Big Thunder, a 45-degree drop into an enormous funnel that takes riders up to 20 mph. Whichever you choose, it’s guaranteed you’ll find your new favorite ride.
What better to see Palm Beach than by car—and boat, all in one? Take a narrated 75-minute tour of Palm Beach’s historic sites, and watch for the area’s most impressive mansions. Just be sure you sit back a little in your seat as you splash into Intracoastal Waterway for a laidback cruise.
There’s a reason Sprinkles Ice Cream is a Palm Beach institution. The shop’s homemade ice cream and coffee drinks have been featured in national magazines and touted as the town’s best. Plus, it’s also been known as a place to spot the occasional vacationing celebrity.
If you’re looking for a day of shopping ‘til you drop, Downtown West Palm has it all. Kids will love the historic trolley, and if you’re looking for a little guidance, you’ll find plenty of walking tours of the downtown (including a history of the area’s most prominent landmarks).
Though it’s reservation only, McCarthy’s Wildlife Sanctuary is well worth the visit. Over 200 animals, from the exotic to the domestic, make their residence here–and you’ll meet them all on the two-hour guided tour. You and your children will see white tigers, sloths and other animals just a few feet away, not to mention a huge reptile room featuring albino vipers, rhino iguanas and more.
Take in local arts and culture at the gorgeous Norton House, the art studio and grounds of Ann Weaver Norton, a sculptor, and writer. The home’s real treat is its sculptures and gardens, displaying nine of Norton’s larger pieces and over 200 species of rare palm and unusual tropical plants. Kids and parents alike will love strolling the beautiful grounds, not to mention the picture opportunities.
You can’t visit Palm Beach without at least one day at the actual beach. The secluded John D. MacArthur Beach State Park features two miles of sand and sea, with opportunities to spot local wildlife, such as loggerhead sea turtles in the park’s limestone rock reef. And of course, you’ll have to make a stop at the town’s namesake.
For more information on the Palm Beach area, be sure to contact your local real estate experts today!
Jeremy is a online journalist who focuses on lifestyle and real estate trends locally. He is passionate about everything sports, as well as family, travel and outdoors. He can often be found splurging in episodes of Game of Thrones with his new puppy, Cooper.