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Florida's wealthiest county centers around the island of Palm Beach, where high and immaculately manicured ficus hedges hide the mansions of old-moneyed families, statesmen, captains of industry, and celebs. It's a pretty island to drive around and window shop in a historic context, but bring a bag of money if you plan to eat or sleep. The beach is public, so if you can find a parking space, enjoy it for the cost of feeding a meter. Drive down Route A1A along which the litany of wealthy communities continues. Lake Worth makes a nice stop for beaching, fishing, and finding affordable eats at its pier. Farther south, Delray Beach has more ...

Florida's wealthiest county centers around the island of Palm Beach, where high and immaculately manicured ficus hedges hide the mansions of old-moneyed families, statesmen, captains of industry, and celebs. It's a pretty island to drive around and window shop in a historic context, but bring a bag of money if you plan to eat or sleep. The beach is public, so if you can find a parking space, enjoy it for the cost of feeding a meter. Drive down Route A1A along which the litany of wealthy communities continues. Lake Worth makes a nice stop for beaching, fishing, and finding affordable eats at its pier. Farther south, Delray Beach has more diverse, affordable shopping and eating along Atlantic Avenue, plus some historic and cultural sites. At the county's southernmost extreme lies Boca Raton, another bastion of old wealth, with pretty beaches and more museums to occupy the culturally minded.

On the mainland across the bridge from Palm Beach, West Palm Beach is a no-nonsense town with an inviting redeveloped downtown designed for nightlife and entertainment. Don't miss the Norton Museum of Art. Lake Okeechobee reaches the town's western edge. The largest freshwater lake in Florida, it's known for its fishing and walking trails; a national wildlife refuge where you can catch an airboat ride; and Lion Country Safari, where you drive through contained African animal habitat where the animals run free.

Chelle Walton
About the Expert

Chelle Walton is coauthor of Fodor's Florida and author of Fodor's Compass American Guides: Florida and The Sarasota, Sanibel Island & Naples Book: A Complete Guide.

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Facts at a Glance

  • Location: The town of Palm Beach is an incorporated town in Palm Beach County, Florida. The Intracoastal Waterway separates it from the neighboring cities of West Palm Beach and Lake Worth.
  • Research: Palm Beach | West Palm Beach | Palm Beach
  • Weather: Daylight | Rainfall
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Climate

  • Best Time to Visit:

    Palm Beach is a year-round destination. You'll find it most crowded and expensive in winter and spring.