Distance and drive time: 70mi, 1hr
Travel north from Miami the same distance you would south to the Keys and you’ll arrive in the United States’ epicenter of privilege and luxury. Palm Beach’s riches are there for the taking—so long as your tolerance for lunching ladies, pastels and general clichés of wealth is strong.
Eat: The Breakers (1 S County Rd; 561-655-6611, thebreakers.com) is a Palm Beach institution, and so is Sunday brunch at its restaurant the Circle. If the dramatic dining room and its 30-foot vaulted fresco ceiling don’t convince you, perhaps the extravagant buffet—complete with a raw bar, carving stations and a lavish dessert spread—will. A strict resort-wear policy is enforced (no jeans, tees or hats, please). This is Palm Beach, after all.
Drink: The Leopard Classic Martini at the Leopard Lounge (363 Cocoanut Row; 561-659-5800; chesterfieldpb.com) is prepared exactly as we like it: vodka with dry vermouth, chilled and topped with three olives. Black lacquer walls, leather banquettes and leopard print carpet are a serious mood at this sultry spot inside the Chesterfield Hotel, striking just the right level of throwback decadence. Nightly live music and a vast selection of rum, whiskey and bourbon make the Leopard Lounge a popular destination for both locals and visitors.
Stay: A historic boutique hotel and longtime stalwart of Palm Beach society, the Colony (155 Hammon Ave; 561-655-5430, thecolonypalmbeach.com) is a riot in technicolor pastel, floral and palm-frond prints. Don’t skip the cabaret dinner show at the Royal Room; it’s followed by a rollicking after-party with sing-alongs and martinis around the piano.