Things to Do in West Palm Beach, Florida - Locals
People living in West Palm Beach are likely to enjoy going to the beach for fun, as well as shopping and eating at Rosemary Square. They also enjoy biking along the Lake Trail and partying at Clematis Street. To appreciate the local art and collections, residents go to the Norton Museum of Art, where they can enjoy the sculpture garden and the upscale dining experience.
The Norton Museum of Art is the Talk of the Town
- Founded in 1941 by Ralph Hubbard Norton, the Norton Museum’s permanent collection consists of more than 7,600 pieces, distributed in five curatorial departments. The Museum recently went through renovations to expand the location and reopened on February 9, 2019.
- The new structure now includes a 12,000 square feet gallery space; expanded classroom space; a 210-seat auditorium; a student exhibition space; a Great Hall; restaurant and store; a lawn for outdoor programming and a sculpture garden; and six cottages to house artists.
- According to Bloomberg, the recently renovated Norton Museum is the “talk of the town.” It was also voted the best art gallery in Palm Beach County.
- Locals enjoy the restaurant and cafe, with indoor and outdoor seating overlooking the garden. On Fridays, the Museum host a weekly Art After Dark Program, where visitors can view exhibitions, enjoy performances, and participate in art activities.
Locals Enjoy Shopping and Eating at Rosemary Square
- Formerly known as CityPlace, Rosemary Square is a popular destination for tourists and locals. Located in downtown West Palm Beach, it offers a great variety of restaurants, entertainment, live music, and shopping experiences.
- After months of renovation, the area reopened in December 2019, with newly paved streets, more trees, a 100,000-light faux banyan tree, and a new fountain. The opening gathered a crowd and locals enjoyed the outdoor atmosphere, the options available, the lightning of the Wishing Tree, and the green landscape.
- The location is still undergoing severe renovations, with a five-year, $550 million investment to transform the area “from a retail and entertainment center to a vibrant community and destination.”
Nightlife at Clematis Street
- Located in downtown West Palm Beach, Clematis is known for its nightlife. Home to popular bars, restaurants and clubs in West Palm Beach, such as Respectable Street, Avocado Grill, among many others, Clematis Street is known for having “something for anyone.”
- It is a sought-after location for happy hour, as locals can choose from several bars and restaurants, such as Lynora’s, Bonefish Grill and Roxy's Pub, a local favorite.
- Every Thursday, visitors can experience “Clematis By Night,” a free live music event considered “an institution in the Palm Beaches for the last twenty-two years when it comes to bringing the community together for a free event on the waterfront in downtown that features live music from the area’s best musicians & groups.”
Biking or Jogging Along the Lake Trail is a Popular Local Activity
- Biking or running along the Lake Trail is a popular local activity due to its incredible view. The 5.5-mile trail, parallel to the Intracoastal Waterway, is packed with natural wonders, such as the kapok tree, nicknamed by the locals as “Big Tree.” Just over the bridge, visitors can rent bicycles by-the-hour and enjoy the trail.
- The trail also takes visitors near The Society of Four Arts and The O’Keeffe Gallery, where they can spot monuments and art forms, a part of the landscape. Along the trail, nannies and children can be seen by the Lagoon. The view, photo opportunities, and vibrant artistic surroundings makes this spot a local favorite.
The Beach is Part of the Culture
- Going to the beach is a traditional activity for those living in West Palm Beach. The public beaches attract visitors and locals alike throughout the seasons.
- Delray Beach is one of the most beloved beaches in the West Palm Beach Area by the locals for its small-town charm and warm waters, while Palm Beach it's known for its beauty and luxurious atmosphere.
- Peanut Island is a hot party spot, as well as a great place to snorkel and camping. Juno Beach attracts locals thanks to its dog-friendly shores, while the MacArthur Park is great for kids and nature lovers.
In order to uncover what West Palm Beach’s locals do for fun, the research team scoured through multiple blogs, local and national news outlets, Trip Advisor, Niche and Yelp reviews (only reviews from residents were considered), and Reddit, Twitter and Facebook. We focused on activities residents were likely to enjoy frequently. Important to clarify that not all beaches included are in West Palm Beach per se, but are in the area and research suggest that they are likely to attract West Palm Beach locals.