NOTE: The Culture Lab and The Colony are now closed.
With a reputation for glitzy hotels and high-profile commercial developments (a product of a housing boom in the 1950s), West Palm Beach has remained a coveted, if somewhat exclusive, hideout for the cultural elite along the south Florida coast. But it’s not all glam and gloss. West Palm Beach also contains the state’s largest art museum, as well as a nifty 10,000 sq ft bandshell built inside an abandoned Holiday Inn. The well-attended music festival SunFest takes place right on the water, and has hosted acts as diverse as Lenny Kravitz, Alabama Shakes and Fetty Wap. Just 60 miles north of Miami, and with the new Brightline train route cutting travel time to under an hour, WPB remains a decidedly enjoyable—and doable—day trip for art and music lovers.
The Regional Kitchen & Public House, helmed by Top Chef finalist and multiple James Beard Award nominee Lindsay Autry, is spectacular contemporary American restaurant with roots deep in the Southern cooking tradition. Countryside favorites like pimento cheese, grits and fried chicken are finessed for modern palates and done up to fine-dining standards.
The 20-minute drive to Jupiter, FL, is totally worth it once you settle in for a ‘Castaways Caipirinha’ or one of dozens of other drinks on the menu at the unabashedly joyful tiki bar Square Grouper.
Immersive art installation The Culture Lab begins with a larger-than-life mural and continues inside with a sound piece by Stephen Vitiello that takes over the entire second floor of a former Macy’s department store.
If it’s color you want, color is what you’ll get at iconic West Palm Beach address, The Colony, whose interiors are done in rich shades of emerald, flamingo pink, and robin’s egg blue.
If you do just one thing...
Skip the al fresco restaurants and glassy shopping malls to spend time in nature at Lion Country Safari. The 300-acre park allows guests to drive through habitats containing lions, giraffes, zebra, and other non-native beasts—just make sure to roll the windows up.