Located along the southern portion of Florida’s Atlantic coast in Palm Beach County, the village of North Palm Beach is known for its stunning ocean vistas, exclusive lifestyle, and fantastic attractions, like world-class beaches, golf courses, and restaurants.
At the time of the last census, North Palm Beach had a population of just more than 12,000 residents. Though it’s probably not a good fit for traveling penny pinchers, for those willing to cough up a few extra bucks, it’s a prime destination.
Below are 15 things to do in and around North Palm Beach that rank highly on many visitor’s itineraries.
1. John D. MacArthur Beach State Park
Located on an amazingly scenic stretch of coast along Jack Nicklaus Drive in North Palm Beach, the John D. MacArthur Beach State Park is one of the region’s most pristine parks, and offers visitors a glimpse into the past to a time when the Palm Beaches weren’t so developed.
The long stretches of beach along the Atlantic are the park’s main draw, but there are also a variety of natural environments just inland, including forested areas and marshy inlets that are home to a diverse array of plant and animal life.
Many guests choose to spend an entire day in the park, and it’s a good idea to check out the nature and visitor centers first.
2. Tulipan Café-Bakery
North Palm Beach is known for its trendy eateries and stunning natural scenery. For those visiting the area in need of a coffee or Cuban-inspired food fix, there’s no better place to check out than Tulipan Café-Bakery.
Located on Northlake Boulevard, they are mainly known for their strong, tasty Cuban coffee and delicious, beautiful cakes and pastries.
Those in the know consider their café con leche to be the best in the area, which is quite a statement considering the abundance of Cuban influenced restaurants and coffee shops in the area.
There’s another location in nearby West Palm Beach as well.
3. Twisted Trunk Brewing
Twisted Trunk Brewing is open from Tuesday to Saturday and is located on PGA Boulevard near downtown North Palm Beach.
It’s the perfect place to relax with a cold one after a long day on the beach or exploring the area’s historical and natural attractions.
Twisted Trunk offers a variety of made-on-site beers that run the gamut from stouts to IPAs. For visitors who prefer grape-based intoxicants, there’s a hefty selection of wines as well.
Previous guests have noted that the brewery’s comfortable and contemporary atmosphere was pleasant. Though they don’t serve food, several nearby restaurants will deliver.
4. North Palm Beach Country Club
For most visitors, the greens fees at North Palm Beach Country Club are nothing short of prohibitive, but for those with high-limit credit cards and wads of cash looking for a once in a lifetime golfing experience, there’s no better links destination.
The par-71, 18-hole North Palm Beach course plays just more than 7,000 yards from the longest tees and is particularly well-known for its championship-class greens and fairways that are head-and-shoulders above what you’ll find on most courses.
There’s a strictly enforced dress code on the course and club grounds, so cut-off jeans and Bud Light tank-tops are sadly out of the question.
5. Book Exchange & Comic Shop
For some beach-minded vacationers, good books are imperative elements of quality time spent under the sun.
Like most of the country, south Florida has no shortage of national chain bookstores, but for those who’d rather browse a locally-owned business, an hour or so spent at Book Exchange and Comic Shop on Northlake Boulevard would be time well spent.
Featuring rows and rows of pre-owned books categorized by genre, it’s a bit like a treasure hunt, and it’s full of classic and contemporary literature as well as kid’s books and non-fiction as well.
If you have a few books you’ve already read, bring them along, because you may get store credit for them.
6. Loggerhead Marinelife Center
Loggerheads are large sea turtles for which the Loggerhead Marinelife Center is named.
Loggerhead Marinelife Center is located on U.S. Highway 1 just up the road in Juno Beach, and especially for visitors with animal-loving kids, it’s one of those places that tends to stand out.
The center’s interpretive area is full of interactive exhibits and a variety of live animals, most of which are the abundant species of marine turtle that call the waters off the Florida coast home for much of the year.
Admission is free, though most guests choose to leave a donation to assist the center in continuing its vital work.
7. Manatee Lagoon Eco-Discovery Center
Manatees are large marine mammals that live in the warm coastal waters around the Sunshine State.
They’re often referred to as sea cows, because they’re massive, slow-moving, and herbivorous just like their land-based bovine cousins. There’s no better place to see them in their natural habitat than the Manatee Lagoon Eco-Discovery Center.
The center is near a Florida Power and Light power generation facility which discharges warm water that attracts the manatees. There are several dedicated viewing areas that give visitors unobstructed views of the animals and their environment.
Manatees are more commonly seen during the winter months, so consider visiting then.
8. Oceana Coffee Cafe
For most traveling coffee junkies, missing their morning or afternoon java fix would be nothing short of a disaster; but the good news is that Florida’s Palm Beaches are brimming with coffee shops of nearly every size and description.
Oceana Coffee Cafe is located on Old Dixie Highway in nearby Tequesta and has been described as an oasis of nirvana-inducing coffee goodness by previous guests.
Oceana is locally owned and grinds their internationally-sourced and artisanal beans on site.
Most of their drinks are strong and distinct, and whether you go with a hot or cold beverage, it’ll be crafted with love by a professional barista.
9. Mounts Botanical Garden
Featuring thousands of species of local and exotic plants, trees, and flowers, Mounts Botanical Garden is the largest and most extensive public garden in the Palm Beach area, and it tends to be a vacation stand out for those who take the time to visit.
The garden grounds are comprised of several distinct cultivated areas connected by well-marked paths, and along the way, there are plenty of shaded seating areas and informative plaques so you’ll learn about the things you’re seeing.
The butterfly, rose, and palm gardens are perennial favorites, and there’s usually something in bloom no matter when you go.
10. Jupiter Inlet Lighthouse and Museum
Florida’s Atlantic and Gulf coasts are both studded with scenic lighthouses from bygone eras, and one of the most historic and picturesque is the Jupiter Inlet Lighthouse.
It started life guiding nocturnal mariners more than 150 years ago and has been lovingly restored over the years; it is still in nearly original condition more than a century and a half after it was built.
Guided tours are offered daily from 11 AM to 2 PM, and it’s possible to climb the 105 stairs that lead to the lighthouse’s apex, but kids will need to be at least four-feet tall to make the climb.
11. The Kravis Center for Performing Arts
West Palm Beach’s Kravis Center for the Performing Arts is located on Okeechobee Boulevard and is one of the region’s most popular art and culture venues.
The center is known for attracting nationally famous performers, and their productions range from dramatic theater and dance to live music, comedy, and kid’s performances.
Taking in an evening show is a great way to end a day out in the elements, especially for those looking for a decidedly unique and romantic experience.
Check out their website for a complete list of upcoming events, and consider buying tickets in advance to avoid a sold-out situation.
12. Downtown West Palm Beach
Clemantis Street is ground-zero for West Palm Beach’s swankiest shopping and dining attractions. Though it’s not a good fit for value-minded travelers on a budget, it’s one of those cool places to check out – even if it’s only for a cup of coffee or a bit of window shopping.
Downtown West Palm Beach is full of galleries, boutique shops, bars, restaurants, and coffee shops; it’s all just a few blocks away from some of the most beautiful beaches you’ll find anywhere.
The area hosts a variety of live entertainment as well as food, art, and movie festivals, and it’s always decorated to the hilt during the holiday season.
13. Arthur R. Marshall Loxahatchee National Wildlife Refuge
The Arthur R. Marshall Loxahatchee National Wildlife Refuge is a large area of preserved land adjacent to the north end of Everglades National Park.
The area is often referred to as a river of grass, and for much of its existence, was relatively impenetrable, and home to only hearty Native Americans and a huge variety of animals.
The refuge is a bird-watchers’ hotspot, and though sections are open to self-exploration, many guests prefer to sign-up for the guided ranger tours that are offered regularly.
Tour programs include photography and wildlife viewing, and even paddle-boarding and archaeological and historical options.
14. Verde Classics Auto Museum
With its abundance of sun and retired folks, it’s no wonder that Florida is such a classic car mecca.
Verde Classics Auto Museum features an eclectic mix of vintage rides, most of which date back to the ‘50s, ‘60s, and ‘70s.
The museum is located on Commerce Drive in nearby Boynton Beach; for those with access to a car, it’s a short but scenic drive up the coast from North Palm Beach.
Admission is free, though most guests choose to donate a few bucks to assist with the museum’s upkeep; a portion of donated funds goes to supporting a local veteran’s charity.
15. Game of Axes Throwing Bar
Like ham and cheese, kids and lawn darts, and axes and alcohol, some things just go together.
Game of Axes Throwing bar is a unique area attraction located on South Military Trail in nearby Boynton Beach; it’s the perfect antidote for those who are tired of beaches, botanical gardens, and wildlife sanctuaries.
Sampling microbrews and throwing axes at targets is an excellent way to blow off steam, and it’s all surprisingly safe.
Inexperienced throwers will get a crash course in effective tossing technique before jumping in, and though there’s no food served on-site, guests are encouraged to bring their own.