When I think of what I want to do when I visit the beach, there’s a lot that comes to mind. Of course, I’m going to want to spend some time hanging out in the sun, relaxing on the sand, and standing in the water. Aside from that, how am I going to spend my vacation at the beach?
Depending on the beach I plan to go to, there are actually several things that I can consider doing. Each beach has its own attraction that makes it unique, setting it apart from all other beaches both neighboring and across the country. Florida’s West Palm Beach is no different from this.
As for the things to do in West Palm Beach, there are several different routes I can take. If I want to explore the art and the museums that this famous Florida beach has to offer, then there are several places that I can choose to do this. If I wanted to explore the nature and the unique wildlife that lives in this part of Florida, there are also many places where I can do this as well.
There are also quite a few sights and landmarks that I can look at, if I feel like I want to look at what makes West Palm Beach different from the rest of the beaches of Florida. These are just a few of the different routes I could take next time I choose to go to West Palm Beach.
Seeing the Art of West Palm Beach
Art has played a massive role historically, and this is especially the case in places such as Florida’s West Palm Beach. Because of this, there are several places in West Palm Beach that I would definitely go if I wanted to learn more about art and see the art for myself.
For instance, the Box Gallery is a place in West Palm Beach where I can experience the art that the artists wanted me to see. This is a gallery that prides itself on having unique art created by local artists and contemporary artists alike. If I am in the mood to see what the people of Florida think of as art, then this would be one of the first places on my travel list, and I would be more than happy to visit multiple times, considering that the artists will always change.
Society of the Four Arts
There is also the Society of the Four Arts, which is an organization that was founded in 1936, back when West Palm Beach was still growing as a resort community. The four arts that made up this organization include sculptures, botanical gardens, libraries, and even a children’s library. Both for the art and the historical value, this is a place that hold a lot of meaning to the people of West Palm Beach.
Norton Museum of Art
Finally, there is the Norton Museum of Art, which has recently been renovated with one of the largest changes this historical building has ever seen. This building was first founded and built in the early 1940s, and over the course of time, it has amassed over 7,600 pieces of art in its permanent collection. The art has five major departments, with those being: European, American, Chinese, Contemporary, and Photography.
Seeing the Museums of West Palm Beach
There are quite a few other museums aside from the ones that are focused on art in West Palm Beach. Two of the biggest museums that I enjoyed visiting are the Manatee Lagoon and the Henry Morrison Flagler Museum.
Henry Morrison Flagler Museum
Consider the name of the Henry Morrison Flagler Museum, it is safe for anyone to assume that this is a museum dedicated to the namesake. This assumption would be the correct one. In fact, one of the things I find the most fascinating about this museum is the fact that within its 73-roomed mansion, most of the original furnishings and art still remain, even after more than a century has passed.
As for the Manatee Lagoon, this museum focuses on manatees, as the name might suggest. The goal of this museum is to educate communities to preserve and protect the manatee so that future generations can see the wildlife and learn more about it. This was one of the most interesting museums, complete with wildlife and educational exhibits alike. If you aren't able to visit, you can also check out their manatee cam during manatee season (November 15 - March 31).
Seeing the Nature of West Palm Beach
Speaking of wildlife, there are also many ways that I enjoyed looking at the wildlife of West Palm Beach. Out of the parks and places dedicated to nature, I found that the most interesting places were the Lake Trial and the McCarthy’s Wildlife Sanctuary.
The Lake Trail is one of West Palm Beach’s most popular nature trails that people, including me, enjoyed. Not only does it offer scenic hiking that no other beach in the area can compete with, it also offers biking trails for people who want to bring their bikes, and see what the nature of West Palm Beach has to offer with the cool sea breeze against their faces.
McCarthy’s Wildlife Sanctuary
McCarthy’s Wildlife Sanctuary is a wonderful place to look at what the wildlife of West Palm Beach has to offer, as well as some other animals that aren’t exactly native to the area. This is a place where I can easily spend the majority of the day getting lost in and exploring all the various animals, as this sanctuary has about eight acres of space for both animals and botanical gardens.
In fact, if a person enjoys looking at wildcats as much as I do, this is one of the first places that should be visited on any trip to West Palm Beach, as there are white tigers, black leopards, ligers, amur leopards, and even more. In fact, this sanctuary allows guests to get as close as possible to the animals without interfering with the law, meaning that I was a mere four feet away from these big cats.
There are even more animals at this sanctuary, ranging from alligators to kinkajous, making it one of the most interesting places for anyone who enjoys wildlife as much as the sea breeze on the beach.
These are all just a few of the things that the iconic West Palm Beach has to offer, and if a person dives deep enough into the roots of West Palm Beach, there’s a very good chance of that person finding even more reason to return when summer rolls around once again.
Megan Jones is the lead author of Seaside Planet. She is an avid surfer, scuba diver, and travel enthusiast who takes any opportunity she can to spend time in the ocean. You can learn more about Meg and the rest of the editorial team here.