Getting Oriented in Palm Beach and the Treasure Coast

This diverse region extends 120 miles from laid-back Sebastian to tony Boca Raton. The area's glitzy epicenter, Palm Beach, attracts socialites, the well-heeled, and interested onlookers. The northernmost cities are only about 100 miles from Orlando, making that area an ideal choice for families wanting some beach time to go with their visit to Mickey Mouse. Delightfully funky Delray Beach is only an hour north of Miami. The Intracoastal Waterway runs parallel to the ocean and transforms from a canal to a tidal lagoon separating islands from the mainland, starting with Palm Beach and moving northward to Singer Island (Palm Beach Shores and Riviera Beach), Jupiter Island, Hutchinson Island (Stuart, Jensen Beach, and Fort Pierce), and Orchid Island (Vero Beach and Sebastian).

  • Palm Beach. With Gatsby-era architecture, stone-and-stucco estates, and extravagant dining, Palm Beach is a must-see for travelers to the area. Plan to spend time on Worth Avenue, a collection of more than 200 chic shops, and at Whitehall, the palatial retreat for Palm Beach’s founder, Henry Flagler. West Palm Beach and its environs, including Lake Worth, are bustling with their own identities. Culture fans have plenty to cheer about with the Kravis Center and Norton Museum of Art; sports enthusiasts will have a ball golfing or boating or catching a spring-training game at the new stadium in West Palm Beach; and kids love Lion Country Safari.
  • Delray Beach. Its lively downtown, with galleries, independent boutiques, and trendy restaurants blocks from the ocean, is perfect for strolling. The Tennis Center draws the Love-Love crowds. To the west is the unique Morikami Museum and Japanese Gardens.
  • Boca Raton. An abundance of modern shopping plazas mix with historic buildings from the 1920s, masterpieces by renowned architect Addison Mizner. Parks line much of the oceanfront.
  • North County. Palm Beach Gardens, Jupiter, quaint Juno Beach, and Tequesta are more laid-back cousins to the areas south, with country clubs, newer malls, and family-oriented activities at the baseball stadium subbing for nightlife here. It’s a golfer’s paradise with PGA courses that make the pros.
  • Treasure Coast. The area north of Palm Beach county—from Stuart and beyond—remains blissfully low-key, with fishing towns, spring-training stadiums, and ecotourism attractions until you hit the cosmopolitan—yet understated—Vero Beach.

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