In those months, you’ll find warm, sunny days. The nearby Gulf Stream and wide, white sand beaches are as fetching as a seductive siren. And Palm Beach has another distinction: It’s home to some of the priciest real estate in the nation. Multimillion-dollar mansions are strategically placed, commanding breathtaking views of the Atlantic; most sit along Ocean Boulevard (Route A1A), stretching from north of Palm Beach to Fort Lauderdale. Hotels can provide you with a list of homes of the rich and famous — Jimmy Buffet, Donald Trump, Rod Stewart and others — you’ll even get the address so you can ride by.
January brings with it two huge home events at the Palm Beach County Convention Center in West Palm Beach. The annual International Contemporary Art & Design Fair is held Jan. 8-13. Dealers of modern and contemporary paintings, sculpture and photography, among other arts, flock to this innovative juried fair. A bit later in the month is the Palm Beach Classic International Fine Art & Antique Fair, held Jan. 29-Feb. 8. The Classic features paintings, drawings, prints and classical photography. You’ll find unique items dating from the 18th to the 21st centuries.
Along with activities as varied as culture, arts, sports and ecotourism, Palm Beach offers premier shopping. Worth Avenue, just steps away from the oceanfront, is an eastern version of Rodeo Drive in Beverly Hills, Calif. A favorite snowbird hangout, Worth Avenue is a haven for serious shoppers as well people who just enjoy browsing. The avenue is filled with boutiques, designer shops and restaurants. Small courtyards with intriguing stops veer off here and there along the way. Although many stores feature clothing or jewelry, there are a handful of noted art galleries and home décor shops scattered about. Take for example, Johnnie Brown’s — named after a pet monkey — at 347 Worth Ave. The charming shop carries an array of unique gifts and decorative accessories. Nearby at 330 Worth Ave. is MacKenzie-Childs, filled with whimsical hand-formed home furnishings.
The Breakers and the Four Seasons hotels are just a short drive from Worth Avenue. Now into its second century, the Breakers, a AAA five-diamond resort that celebrated its centennial in 1996, continues the tradition of excellence started when Henry Morrison Flagler built his first hotel. The Henry Morrison Flagler Museum, which is close by and as elaborate as any European castle, is a must-see. The resort’s atmosphere reflects the elegant comforts of a grand residence. The Italian Renaissance-style hotel resides on 140 acres of oceanfront property in the heart of Palm Beach and features two golf courses, 10 tennis courts, a luxury spa, a Mediterranean-style beach club overlooking a half mile of private beach and an extensive program of family and children’s activities.ÿ
The Four Seasons Resort Palm Beach, a Mobil five-star, AAA five-diamond property, is more intimate. The resort’s sophisticated modern design features columns of textured stone in the lobby, marble flooring and artifacts from around the world. Private balconies for each guest room overlook the tropical- pool terrace that fronts the ocean. Terrace attendants stand ready with every comfort, including chilled mineral water, tropical fruit drinks and iced face cloths for quick cool-downs. For recreation, the resort also offers a full-service luxury spa and fitness center, three Har-Tru tennis courts and a complimentary, full-day children’s program.
Because it serves as a second home to many during the winter, Palm Beach offers numerous choices for dining. Amici, at 288 S. County Road, offers sumptuous Italian cuisine in a relaxing atmosphere. Waiters are extremely attentive and the dessert is worth the trip. It’s no wonder that snowbirds fly south for the winter. HS
Palm Beach County Convention & Visitors Bureau
1555 Palm Beach Lakes Blvd., Suite 800, West Palm Beach.
288 S. County Road, Palm Beach.
Henry Morrison Flagler Museum
Cocoanut Row and Whitehall Way, Palm Beach.
Four Seasons Resort Palm Beach
2800 South Ocean Blvd., Palm Beach.
One S. County Road, Palm Beach.
International Contemporary Art & Design Fair, International Fine Art & Antique Fair.
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