At the end of the 19th century, The Palm Beaches – an Atlantic coast barrier island just north of Miami – were developed into a winter resort for the rich and famous. Drawn by its excellent weather, they lined its shores with Italian Renaissance mansions. Today, the stakes have been upped to neoclassical palaces that now rub shoulders with ultra-luxury hotels and historic sights.
No longer exclusive to the ultra-wealthy, though, the city offers everything from eco-tours and water sports to theatres and galleries. Be sure to take a stroll along famed Worth Avenue, renowned for its Addison Mizner architecture, and to visit the former mansion of Henry Morrison Flagler. Then, the 47 miles of palm-tree dotted golden sands look out onto snorkelling and sometimes surf spots, the front to bicycle and rollerblade paths.
Sailfish Marina, Palm Beach
Heading away from its sandy eponymy will bring you to The Palm Beaches' more cultural side. Sights include the Norton Art Museum, Palm Beach Zoo and the Flagler Museum, housed in the restored mansion of the man who first brought tourism to Florida. However, its best attractions lie in its superb nightlife. Decadent bars abound as fine dining restaurants are used to catering to the most discerning of tastes. And, this is all summed up by Worth Avenue with its glitzy mix of fashion boutiques, art galleries and shops linked by picturesque alleyways reminiscent of Spanish villages.