This winter I had the pleasure of staying in Palm Beach with my family in a little beach cottage on the north end of the island. By the end of the trip I truly felt like a local, relaxed and captivated in the chic laid back glamour of this little island. The great walls of greenery, designed to inspire, were there to enhance, and protect some of the world’s most extravagant homes, clubs, restaurants and public places. But like all works of serious design, hedges also contribute to making Palm Beach this unique little paradise.
The 16-mile-long island of extravagant mansions, luxury retailers and lush landscaping is rich in history and significant landmarks, from the magnificent Breakers Hotel to St. Edward’s church (where the Kennedy’s worshiped). But Palm Beach is also a small gem offering simple pleasures, I love it, and really enjoy immersing myself in the preppy laid-back culture.
Walking or biking the lake trail is an absolute morning must. This beautiful walking path is along the inter-coastal and runs the length of Palm Beach. The trail is beautiful and I love to admire all of the pretty homes clad with privacy hedges. Stop for a quick bite at Surf Side Diner, this cute little diner is located where the old Hamburger Heaven held sway for decades and stays true to the same feeling. Arrayed with large-scale underwater photography by Chris Leidy, Lilly Pulitzer’s grandson, it’s the perfect easy-going lunch. We recommend ordering a grill cheese sandwich with the side of tomato soup, a simple classic, and they do it perfectly.
From there take a stroll down to Worth Avenue, my favourite spots skip over the typical high-end luxury stores, I am more into seeing luxuries we can’t find elsewhere. Pop into Lindroth Designs it is home to the original painted monogrammed bag, and the Florentine paper store Il Papiro. Here, you'll find stationery, place cards, and notebooks that are made with the most beautiful old-world inks and techniques. And you cannot be a Palm Beach local without at least one pair of Stubbs & Wootton needlepoint and monogrammed smoking slippers.
After an afternoon of shopping treat yourself to Sant Ambroeus for a cocktail or coffee, sit outside and enjoy the newly redone Royal Poinciana Plaza, perfect for people watching and enjoying the sunshine. Of course you can always walk to the end of Worth Avenue as well and enjoy the beach for a few hours.
Finish your perfect Palm Beach day with a dinner at Chez Jean-Pierre, a classic French bistro with the best Dover sole you will ever have. All in all Palm Beach is a wonderful destination if you are looking for an inspiring yet laid-back sunny vacation.