Blake Walsh

15 Best Things to Do in Palm Beach Gardens, FL

  • Published 2022/05/12

Home to the Professional Golfers’ Association of America (PGA), the best things to do in Palm Beach Gardens involve a lot of time in the sun and various activities.

Palm Beach Gardens is a major city in the Miami metro region, Florida, with around 6.1 million people as of 2019.

Before the development of Palm Beach Gardens, the property was predominantly cattle ranches, pine woods, and swampland farther west.

Development in the area began in 1959, starting with 4,000 acres of residential area for 55,000 people.

After the owner, John D. McArthur’s proposal to name the area Palm Beach City was rejected by the Florida Legislature due to the name’s closeness to the adjacent Palm Beach, he settled on Palm Beach Gardens.

MacArthur added the name “Garden” because of his plans to develop a garden city.

More and more young people are recently moving to the area because of the pleasant weather, beautiful beaches, and low state income taxes.

Here’s how to make the most of your visit to Palm Beach Garden, from the best stores and restaurants to unique activities:

Stroll around Downtown Palm Beach Gardens

Bedazzling Downtown Palm Beach Gardens

Sean Pavone /

Downtown Palm Beach Gardens is Palm Beach Gardens’ finest shopping district.

Whole Foods, Cobb 16 Theatres, West Elm, and many more can be found downtown.

It also features an exclusive collection of locally owned boutiques.

Far view of Tall builings in Downtown Palm Beach Gardens

Sean Pavone /

It doesn’t matter your interests; it has something for everyone.

If you wish to take in some sunshine and enjoy the breeze, the lakeside part of downtown offers a great setting for a peaceful stroll.

Visitors to Palm Beach Gardens downtown are welcome to find a whole new and refreshing paradise.

Play and Unwind at PGA National Resort and Spa

The PGA National Resort & Spa is a famous golf, vacation, and spa resort in South Florida’s Golden Isles area.

Renowned for its 90-hole golf course, including the PGA TOUR’s The Honda Classic and “Bear Trap,” the resort includes 369 guest rooms, themed suites, and five championship courses.

Golfers of various skill levels may enjoy the course’s five sets of tees, rebuilt by Jack Nicklaus in 2014.

Various unusual and taxing tasks are interspersed among the broad landing zones and expansive greens.

All of the world’s greatest golfers and course designers have contributed to creating the Palmer, Squire, Fazio, and Estates.

PGA National Sports & Racquet Club features a 33,000-square-foot facility with 18 Har-Tru tennis courts.

With its 32 treatment rooms and more than 100 therapies at the Spa, indulge yourself in a 40,000-square-foot haven of peace and quiet.

Experience the Luxury of PGA Commons

PGA Commons in Palm Beach Gardens’ Art and Dining District.

Stunning pathways connect the well-curated enterprises.

PGA Commons runs from I-95 to Florida’s Turnpike and boasts a wide selection of restaurants, premium boutiques, and galleries for those looking to dine out.

Shoppers will be delighted by the diverse selection of shops, including everything from apparel to spa services.

European architecture and public art greet you as you visit the area.

Go Hiking through Bluegill Trail

Dusty road along the Bluegill Trail

Thomas Barrat /

The Bluegill Trail follows the eastern bank of the C-18 Canal.

If you have narrow tires, steer clear of the trail because the surface is full of shell rock.

Equestrians can make use of a nearby grass walk.

On its 665 acres, Riverbend Park is an ideal setting for a picnic and some fishing.

However, do note that dogs are not permitted here.

You could see sandhill cranes, wild turkeys, and the typical characters, such as herons, egrets, gopher tortoises, and softshell turtles, while you stroll or cycle around the walkways.

Run with Your Furbabies at Lilac Park

Visiting Palm Beach Gardens, Florida’s Lilac Park with a dog, is a fantastic experience! South Palm Beach Gardens, Florida, is home to this park, located immediately off Military Trail.

The park offers a variety of amenities for both children and adults and a dedicated area for your pet.

In addition to a wide multi-purpose field, the primary location has a playground, a playhouse, a picnic table, and restrooms for visitors to utilize during their stay.

Additionally, Lilac Dog Park offers a separate section for smaller breeds of dogs weighing no more than 30 pounds.

Lilac Park also features picnic tables, grills, hot dog vendors, and bathrooms.

All of these indoor amenities are open year-round.

Additionally, the pavilion features a refreshment kiosk and an inflatable playground for children.

Pavilion constructions are made of fire-resistant polymers, making them safe for parking.

A miniature golf course and a lake next to the park are just two of the many fun things in Lilac Park.

Your kids will enjoy the basketball court, slide, miniature golf course, moonwalk, beanbag playhouse, climbing wall, and rope swing.

The park also features a water play pond, where children may splash and create rafts for water-based activities.

Have a Picnic at Karen T. Marcus Sandhill Crane Access Park

You won’t find a more lovely park in Florida than this one!

It used to be a popular filming location due to the beautiful environment, many birds, and stunning views of Biscayne Bay and the Indian River.

Depending on the season, the park is suitable for birdwatching, outdoor hikes, and picnics.

The two primary attractions in the park include the American Bald Cypress and Sandhill Cranes.

Both of them provide a variety of distinct pathways with varying levels of difficulty.

You may spot a kind of cypress tree that is endemic to Central America.

Since the United States Forest Service considers it a nuisance, it is prohibited from being chopped down in areas that can affect people, animals, or crops.

The park is available year-round starting May till November.

Even if it is off-season, you may still enjoy the park and get a good workout.

Take Photos with Vessels at Loggerhead Marina

In the middle of three busy cities, Loggerhead Marina-Palm Beach Gardens is in a well-protected port just off the west side of the Intracoastal Waterway, between the Jupiter Inlet and Lake Worth-Palm Beach Inlet.

Just south of Donald Ross Road Bridge, in a quiet neighborhood, is Loggerhead Marina, a privately owned marina providing year-round, seasonal, or month-to-month leasing agreements.

It has 130 state-of-the-art fixed slips for vessels ranging from 30 to 120 feet in length and is open to the public.

If you have a boat, you may dock yours here.

The Captain’s Lounge is packed with all the facilities one would need for free and high-speed internet access and cable TV.

Also available is a wide range of Loggerhead Marina-branded apparel and gifts at the Ship’s Store.

Meanwhile, if you’re simply visiting, the fleet of vessels provides a stunning background for photoshoots.

Have a Retail Therapy at The Gardens Mall

Bird's eye view of The Gardens Mall

Felix Mizioznikov /

Palm Beach Gardens, Florida’s Gardens Mall is a two-story, enclosed shopping mall.

More than 160 high-end specialty stores line the 1.4 million square feet of this opulent regional shopping mall, home to Nordstrom, Bloomingdales, Saks Fifth Avenue, Macy’s, and Sears.

On PGA Boulevard, the shopping mall is easily accessible.

When The Gardens Mall opened in 1988, it quickly became one of the world’s best shopping destinations.

There’s no better place to shop in Palm Beach County than The Gardens Mall, with its eclectic mix of award-winning architecture and fine art, lush landscaping, and fun trademark events.

Buy a Boat at MarineMax

A newcomer to the region, MarineMax is thrilled to provide Palm Beach residents and visitors with an unmatched level of individualized attention.

MarineMax is here to assist you in pursuing your love of boating to the fullest.

There’s no better place to buy a boat in Palm Beach County than MarineMax Palm Beach at PGA Marina.

It is located at the Intracoastal Waterway, close to Beach Inlet and Peanut Island.

This location is ideal for everyone who lives anywhere in the vicinity to discover their dreamboat.

Buy Fresh Goods at The Gardens GreenMarket

City-produced farmer’s market and public event, the Gardens GreenMarket features art, entertainment, and cuisine.

It sells products sourced from nearby farms.

Marketgoers may expect both eco-friendly shopping and a cultural experience at the market.

Rain or shine, the Gardens GreenMarket features the freshest-of-the-fresh fruits, veggies, aromatic herbs, honey, and much more every Sunday year-round.

It also provides informal, social meeting space in an open-air environment that fosters a feeling of community and fosters contact among neighbors in the Northern Palm Beach County region.

The Gardens GreenMarket is sponsored by Palm Beach Gardens Medical Center.

Dine and Chill at Salute Market

Napa Valley and Palm Beach converge at Salute Market in a posh yet casual atmosphere.

It is a restaurant, bar, and wine and liquor store in Palm Beach Gardens.

New concepts like Salute are built on the premise that one should “enjoy life” and have several aspects that work together.

Snack options include a wide range of gourmet sandwiches and small plates and a variety of soup and salad choices for lunch.

Menu items like antipasto and entrees are complemented by a wide selection of fine wines, cocktails, and beer.

There are 20 wines by the glass, more than 200 wine bottles for sale, and you may pay a small corkage fee and enjoy the bottle with your meal!

Other Things to Do Nearby

Bring the Whole Family to See Animals at Loggerhead Marinelife Center

Exterior of Loggerhead Marinelife Center

Leonard Zhukovsky /

The loggerhead sea turtle inspired the naming of this facility.

If you’d want to help support the Loggerhead Marinelife Center’s critical work, you can do so by donating.

Known as the “turtle hospital” by locals, this is a rehabilitation clinic and a popular location for families visiting with animal-loving kids.

Sea turtle hospital at Loggerhead Marinelife Center

Leonard Zhukovsky /

Volunteers can walk visitors through and explain the animals’ stories at the center, with several permanent displays.

Palm Beach Gardens is just a short drive away, around 12 minutes, yet it’s a unique institution that shouldn’t be overlooked.

Gaze at Local Works at Norton Museum of Art – 15 mins

A sculpture in the entrance of Norton Museum of Art

Jillian Cain Photography /

If you haven’t gotten enough of the area’s art scene, visit the Norton Museum of Art.

The museum is just a 15-minute drive from Palm Beach Gardens.

The Norton Museum of Art was created about eight decades ago and has since evolved into one of the country’s most renowned museums, with thousands of art pieces from the Americas, Europe, and China.

Interior view of the ceiling at Norton Museum of Art

Leonard Zhukovsky /

Most of what you’ll see is modern, but there are also some earlier pieces.

One of the state’s most prominent museums, it’s best renowned for its permanent collection and offers a wide range of community-oriented programming.

Exterior of the Norton Museum of Art

Leonard Zhukovsky /

Tour the Jupiter Inlet Lighthouse & Museum

Tall red building of Jupiter Inlet Lighthouse & Museum

Sanseven /

Historic lighthouses are a significant draw for visitors and residents alike in Florida, which boasts the second-longest coastline in the United States, only to Alaska.

This lighthouse which you can reach 19 minutes from Palm Beach Gardens, was established in 1860, and since, it has served as a beacon for the waters around it.

After being conserved as a museum and historic site, it now serves as a tourist attraction.

Far view of Jupiter Inlet Lighthouse & Museum

Thomas Barrat /

Tours are offered every day and are guided by qualified and passionate historical society guides, providing tourists with a unique historical perspective they wouldn’t otherwise have.

For further information on the Jupiter Inlet Lighthouse & Museum or to make donations, please contact the Loxahatchee River Historical Society, Inc.

The Society has been the Lighthouse Operations Manager since 1994, thanks to a long-term leasing agreement with the Coast Guard.

Admire the Architecture of Henry Morrison Flagler Museum

Name board of Henry Morrison Flagler Museum

Wangkun Jia /

Once a residence of Henry Flagler and his third wife, Mary Lily Kenan, the house that now houses the Flagler Museum was erected in 1902.

It is easily accessible within 19 minutes from Palm Beach Gardens.

John Carrere and Thomas Hastings designed Whitehall in the Beaux-Arts style of architecture to compete with Newport’s mansions.

Exterior view of Henry Morrison Flagler Museum

Jillian Cain Photography /

Artist Louis Comfort Tiffany, well renowned for his work in stained glass, is one of the artists highlighted in the museum’s exhibition.

A granddaughter of Henry Flagler, Jean Matthews, saved the property in 1959 from destruction.

It was bought by the Henry Morrison Flagler Museum non-profit company and opened as a museum in 1960 after she founded it.

Palm trees lined up in the entrance of Henry Morrison Flagler Museum

Leonard Zhukovsky /

During the museum’s construction, the top 10 stories of the hotel extension were destroyed.

In its current incarnation as the Flagler Museum, Whitehall has been designated a National Historic Landmark and is available to the public for guided tours, rotating exhibitions, and special events.

Palm Beach galas and balls are held there year-round.

Final Thoughts

Palm Beach Gardens is just inland from the shore, yet close enough to catch a whiff of the ocean air, so you can play some of the top courses in the world.

Experience Palm Beach Garden, a vacationer’s paradise near luxury shopping and restaurants and the Atlantic Ocean.

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