Florida and most people’s minds will immediately veer towards Miami Beach, Key West, or Fort Lauderdale. But on a recent trip, I found the state’s sunny Palm Beaches area to be a series of hidden gems, with plenty to do, easy accessibility, incredible cuisine, and some fun surprises along the way.Getting to West Palm Beach, the county’s central hub, is easy enough, with West Palm Beach Airport (PBI) featuring numerous direct flights, especially from colder northern cities.
But there are plenty of other flight options available, with Miami and Fort Lauderdale airports located roughly an hour away, and the newish Brightline train service connecting all three areas in a convenient and inexpensive way.
The region is also an easy 2.5-hour drive from Orlando and Naples — or a 3.5-hour drive from Tampa/St. Pete.West Palm Beach was sometimes regarded as Palm Beach’s slightly less glamorous cousin, sitting on the mainland as opposed to the barrier island opposite.
But that’s been changing in recent years, as a stroll down trendy and hopping-busy Clematis Street will quickly tell you. Stay at The Ben, part of the Autograph Collection by Marriott, for another example of the swanky new West Palm Beach.