Conveniently located just inland from scenic West Palm Beach, Florida, Wellington has a small-town feel, with lots of nearby attractions for those with a wide range of interests.
The state of Florida is a mecca for golfers, and the Wellington and Palm Beach areas are full of courses with a wide range of greens fees – from budget to VIP.
The area is also known for its many nature preserves and wildlife rehabilitation centers. Within 20 minutes, there are more than a few world-class museums and art galleries too.
Below are 15 of the best things to do in Wellington.
1. Panther Ridge Conservation Center
Located at 14755 Palm Beach Point Boulevard in Wellington, the Panther Ridge Conservation Center is home to some amazing big cats that were once injured and have been rescued from the wild.
Tours are available; although they’re not cheap, the money goes to feed and care for the animals, so it’s a great cause.
On the tour, you’ll learn about the panthers that still prowl the Florida Everglades, and how their numbers have sadly dwindled over the last century.
For safety reasons, you won’t be able to touch the majestic animals, but you’ll get close enough to appreciate their power and beauty.
2. South Florida Fairgrounds
South Florida Fairgrounds is located on Southern Boulevard in West Palm Beach and hosts one of the area’s most popular fairs.
It’s been going strong since 1912 and takes place in January and February every year when Florida’s weather is just perfect.
The fair is full of games, shopping, activities for kids, and lots of fantastic food.
Weekends are more expensive and crowded than weekdays, so if you’d rather avoid the chaotic crowds, plan on going during the week or early in the morning when the fair opens.
There are also a lot of carnival-style rides that are surprisingly exhilarating.
3. Village Park
No matter where you are, municipal parks are great places to spend a few hours relaxing, reading a book, or communing with nature.
Located on Pierson Road in Wellington, Village Park is full of indoor and outdoor activities that’ll keep you and your travel partners engaged, including basketball and volleyball courts, two roller-hockey rinks, baseball and soccer fields, and a playground for the little ones.
Many of the park’s facilities are free, like the playgrounds and outdoor pavilions, which are great for picnics and birthday parties.
The sports facilities are available to rent, so check out their website before you go.
4. Take a Painting Lesson
For aspiring artists in need of little professional guidance, inspiration, and motivation, taking an art lesson at the Art Cellar would be a great way to get all three.
The Art Cellar is located on Forest Hills Boulevard in Wellington and is staffed by artsy and enthusiastic teachers who will demystify the process of creating a great painting.
Different courses with varying themes are available throughout the week. In addition to all the training and supplies you’ll need, the class also includes wine.
Classes generally last from 6:30 to 9:30 PM, though the times vary slightly from class to class.
5. Copperpoint Brewing Company
Microbreweries are sprouting up everywhere, and Wellington and West Palm Beach are no exception.
Copperpoint Brewing Company is located on Commerce Road in nearby Boynton Beach. It is one of the local favorites for tasty microbrews, good food, and a friendly atmosphere.
Offerings include a vast array of beers with different flavor profiles and alcohol content, so with a little testing, nearly everyone will find a refreshing brew that they love.
There’s a special tasting room, and the brew-master may give an impromptu tour of the production room as well.
It’s a great place to watch sporting events and escape the brutal Florida sun.
6. Wellington Aquatics Complex
The Wellington Aquatics Complex is a municipal center that’s open to the public and includes amenities for every age and ability.
It features an Olympic size pool, concession stands, showers and even lockers for the safekeeping of your valuables while you’re enjoying the facilities.
For the little ones, there’s a water park and splash pad. If you’d rather swim laps quietly away from the children, there are designated areas for that as well.
The complex also offers swimming lessons and CPR and lifeguard certification courses, so check their website to see when they’re available and how much they cost.
7. Peaceful Waters Sanctuary
Peaceful Waters Sanctuary on Pierson Road in Wellington is comprised of more than 30 acres of wetlands that have been set aside to promote their natural beauty and ensure they remain undeveloped.
The park is full of local plants and animals and features well-marked trails and informative signs.
There’s also an elevated boardwalk that leads guests around the different wetland ponds. The sanctuary is a favorite of bird lovers and nature photographers, who come to see the egrets, cranes, and spoonbills that call its beautiful grounds home.
8. Okeeheelee Nature Center and Trail
Featuring a two-mile loop trail full of birds and wildflowers, Okeeheelee Nature Center is conveniently located between Wellington and West Palm beach and usually isn’t very crowded.
The trail is easy enough for nearly everyone, but due to Florida’s oppressive summer heat and humidity, is best used from September to May.
The center includes a variety of ponds and wetlands; with a little luck, you may see tortoises, deer, and a fantastic array of indigenous birds.
The center’s trails can get wet and muddy, so wear appropriate shoes. Be sure to bring your camera and binoculars if you have them.
9. Green Motion Segway Tours
Segways are fun and unique ways to scoot around and see lots of sights without expending a lot of energy.
Located at 3491 Flying Cow Ranch Road in Wellington, Green Motion Segway Tours offer tours of many of the area’s most popular attractions.
A few favorite trips visit the Wellington Environmental Preserve and Douglas Everglades Habitat, both of which are full of near-pristine forests, plants, and animals.
The latter includes nearly 400 acres of preserved land boasting nature trails and a learning center. Tour groups are limited to six, and you’ll receive all the training you need before heading out.
10. Play a few rounds of golf
In the winter time, when much of America is firmly in the clutches of winter’s icy grip, Florida enjoys a climate that makes many people jealous.
It’s a big area for the so-called snowbirds that flock here to play golf; the Palm Beach and Wellington areas are the hotspots.
There are dozens of courses within a half hour of Wellington, ranging from inexpensive municipal courses to uber-expensive courses generally reserved for the rich and snooty.
Madison Green Golf Course on Crestwood Boulevard and Okeeheelee Golf Course on Forest Hill Boulevard are two of the local favorites. They’re reasonably priced, offer lots of natural scenery, and have restaurants and bars onsite.
11. Wellington Conservation Center
Dedicated to rehabilitating animals that have been injured or abandoned, the Wellington Conservation Center strives to return many of the animals it assists back to the wild.
Some of the center’s more dangerous and popular inhabitants are bears and big cats from different areas of the country.
The center is home to lots of birds as well; one of its focuses is on exotic South American animals that have become rare or endangered due to deforestation and poaching.
Tours of the facility are available, and donations are always encouraged and gladly accepted to help the center continue its essential work.
12. Tiger Shark Cove Community Park
Based on its name, you might expect this local attraction to be a shark sanctuary, but it’s really just an all-around fun park and playground that’s conveniently located on Greenbriar Boulevard in Wellington.
The park features a huge play area with an amazing array of castle-like structures full of ladders, slides, and obstacles.
The outdoor park is free, and there are covered seating areas perfect for picnics, birthday parties, or an afternoon of reading and relaxation.
It’s an excellent place for those on a tight budget or for those with little ones with short attention spans in dire need of exercise and outdoor time.
13. Hot Shots Paintball
Paintball’s popularity has skyrocketed in recent years, and new paintball facilities are popping up all over the place.
Conveniently located just inland from West Palm Beach at 16169 Southern Boulevard, in nearby Loxahatchee, Hot Shots Paintball is a Florida favorite and has nine different fields to choose from.
Regardless of the age and experience of participants, the staff at Hot Shots will make sure players are put with a similar group.
The facility is open every day, with hours extending to midnight and 10:00 PM on Friday and Saturday respectively.
Rental equipment and training are available, so everyone can have a fun and safe experience.
14. Palm Beach Skate Zone
Rumor has it that Palm Beach Skate Zone is the only facility in South Florida sporting three ice skating rinks.
It’s conveniently located just minutes off the Florida Turnpike on Lake Worth Road and includes nearly 80,000 amenity-packed square feet.
There are two restaurants onsite, a video arcade, locker rooms, and a pro-shop and store where you can pick up last minute items like mittens or shoelaces.
It’s a great place to hold birthday parties, team-building exercises and even bachelor and bachelorette parties with a wholesome twist.
Skating and hockey lessons are available. Check out their website for hours of operation and prices.
15. Norton Museum of Art
Norton Museum of Art in West Palm Beach was founded in 1941 by a local couple who wanted to preserve and promote contemporary art in a world-class setting.
The museum’s exhibits include an eclectic variety of themes and forms, including photography, painting, sculpture, and multi-media.
There are several international influences as well, mainly European and Chinese.
The museum is currently undergoing a massive renovation and is scheduled to reopen on February 9th, 2019.
In addition to its permanent exhibits, the museum hosts temporary exhibitions throughout the year, so check online to see what’ll be there when you’re in town.