Blake Walsh

15 Best Things to Do in West Palm Beach, FL

  • Published 2022/11/03

West Palm Beach is a city in Palm Beach County in southeastern Florida.

Lake Worth is located on its western shore, a part of the Intracoastal Waterway.

The city was developed in 1894 upon the arrival of Henry M. Flagler’s Florida East Coast Railway.

Flagler created a winter resort across Palm Beach using the city’s manpower and resources.

Because of the city’s beautiful location and vast commercial and economic growth, it has become one of the top tourist destinations not just in the country but also worldwide.

The tourism industry remains the bread and butter of West Palm Beach’s economy.

Here are the best things to do in West Palm Beach, Florida:

Travel Back in Time at Norton Museum of Art

Exterior of Norton Museum of Art /

Norton Museum of Art is located on South Dixie Hwy.

Ralph Hubbard Norton and his wife Elizabeth Calhoun founded it in 1941.

Here, you can find a collection of over 8,200 works from five curatorial departments consisting of European, American, Chinese, Contemporary, and Photography.

Sculpture on the grounds of Norton Museum of Art

Jillian Cain Photography /

You may also participate in Norton Museum of Art’s lecture and conversation programs which will surely widen and renew your understanding of different art forms.

After hours of art viewing, you may dine at their 165-seater restaurant with indoor and outdoor dining rooms.

From there, you can enjoy the relaxing view of Pamela and Robert B. Goergen Garden.

Sea life ceiling in Norton Museum of Art

Leonard Zhukovsky /

Beat the Heat at Rapids Water Park

Colorful waterslide at Rapids Water Park

Ana Delys Barroso Martin /

Rapids Water Park is a 30-acre water adventure park located on North Military Trail.

Take a break from the typical lap and swimming pools and spend the day on their fun and exciting water slides.

You and your friends will love its 42 water slides, wave pools, quarter-mile lazy river, and seven-story speed slides.

Your little ones will also be thrilled with Rapids Water Park’s kid-friendly and colorful water slides and floaties.

Cabana rentals fit for up to six persons are also available here.

These include privacy curtains, fans, television, lounge chairs, lockers, bottled water, and personal food and beverages service.

Once you get hungry from trying out all the water slides and rides, why not order some snacks at Rapids Water Park’s Big Surf Café and Pelican Bay Café?

They sell savory cheeseburgers, hot dogs, pizzas, chicken, sandwiches, and desserts.

See Amazing Wildlife at Palm Beach Zoo & Conservation Society

Palm Beach Zoo & Conservation Society is a popular attraction on Summit Boulevard.

It started as a humble and small red barn in 1957 but is now home to more than 500 animal species.

This 23 acres of lush tropical land is the shelter and refuge of animals, both endangered and not.

At Palm Beach Zoo & Conservation Society, you can get the once-in-a-lifetime chance to see Goeldi’s monkeys, Bengal tigers, and Texas cougars.

You can also see the George and Harriett Cornell Tropics of the Americas exhibit featuring giant anteaters, capybaras, and a variety of tropical birds.

Birthdays, weddings, and other special occasions are also hosted here.

The knowledgeable guides at Palm Beach Zoo & Conservation Society also provide interesting information about the life and importance of each animal inside the zoo.

Breath Fresh Air at Mounts Botanical Garden

Pond surrounded with flora at Mounts Botanical Garden

Jillian Cain Photography /

Mounts Botanical Garden on North Military Trail is the county’s largest and oldest public garden.

This is where you can find more than 6,000 tropical and subtropical plant species from around the globe.

Mounts Botanical Garden also features a variety of native Florida plants.

Handkerchief tree at Mounts Botanical Garden

KATHERINE WAGNER-REISS, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Aside from plants, you’ll also be amazed by the huge selection of herbs, palms, and citrus and tropical fruits.

You’ll need to allot hours or even a day of touring here to explore all of their unique gardens.

They have rose and fragrance gardens, tranquility gardens, herb gardens of well-being, and more.

A tree at Mounts Botanical Garden

KATHERINE WAGNER-REISS, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Be Amazed by Science at Cox Science Center and Aquarium

Exterior of Cox Science Center and Aquarium

Joe, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Cox Science Center and Aquarium, founded in 1959, is situated on Dreher Trail North.

It was previously known as the South Florida Science Center and Aquarium.

Cox Science Center and Aquarium offers over 100 educational exhibits that both kids and adults will love.

There is also a 10,000-gallon aquarium where you can find native fishes like Queen Angels, Moray Eels, Spadefish, and more.

This place is also famous for its Dekelboum Planetarium, the county’s first and only public planetarium.

It boasts the state-of-the-art “Digital Sky Skan” featuring various science topics.

You may also try using Cox Science Center and Aquarium’s large F/11 refractor inside the newly renovated observatory.

Expose Your Kids to Wildlife at McCarthys Wildlife Sanctuary

McCarthy’s Wildlife Sanctuary can be easily located at St. North.

Its owner, Mark McCarthy, has cared for and treated injured animals professionally since 1972.

His vast experience and interest in wildlife led to the establishment of McCarthy’s Wildlife Sanctuary in 1990.

Today, this five-acre pine and palmetto forest serves as a sanctuary for more than 700 animals you can visit and interact with.

You need to book a guided tour to be able to roam around this kid-friendly zoo.

You’ll surely be fascinated with McCarthys Wildlife Sanctuary’s reptile room which houses tarantulas, a 12-foot albino python, rattlesnakes, and more.

Spot Some Manatees at Manatee Lagoon

Exterior and observation deck of Manatee Lagoon

Thomas Barrat /

Manatee Lagoon is an educational center on North Flagler Drive.

This 16,000-square-foot center is the best spot to view some manatees up close.

Manatee Lagoon also has engaging and hands-on activities that will enable you to learn more about the importance of caring for these unique creatures.

Manatee sculpture on the grounds of Manatee Lagoon

EWY Media /

You may spend your time at their observation deck during winter; from there, you can still see the playful manatee basking in the warm Florida waters.

If your kids are interested in marine life forms, then you may enroll them in Manatee Lagoon’s 10-week educational series.

School group visits, virtual field trips, and summer camps are also conducted here.

Watch Live Sports at the Ballpark of the Palm Beaches

Field of the Ballpark of the Palm Beaches

Porsche997SBS, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

The Ballpark of the Palm Beaches is located on Haverhill Road.

It’s a stadium with a 7,500 seating capacity.

The Ballpark of the Palm Beaches is where you can watch the Houston Astros and Washington Nationals Major League Baseball train during spring.

This 160-acre complex also has six practice fields.

The Ballpark of the Palm Beaches is a popular venue for tournaments, corporate functions, festivals, and community walks.

It also serves as a home for Lincoln Park, where you and your family may use the basketball courts, a 1.8-mile walking trail, splash park, and playground.

Play Sports at Okeeheelee Park

Okeeheelee Park on Forest Hill Blvd is managed by the Palm Beach County Parks and Recreation Department.

Measuring 1,700 acres, this is one of the biggest parks in South Florida.

There are two entrances, one on the northern section and the other on the southern end.

On the northern part, you will see large water skiing lakes, a 27-hole Okeeheelee Golf Course, and BMX tracks.

Meanwhile, the southern part features Okeeheelee Park’s Palm Beach County Jim Brandon Equestrian Center, hiking and biking trails, and a multipurpose trail.

Other amenities you may use here are its nine ballfields, mile-long fitness trail, and four soccer fields.

Watch World-Class Performances at Kravis Center for the Performing Arts

Exterior of Kravis Center for the Performing Arts

Felix Mizioznikov /

Kravis Center for the Performing Arts is a not-for-profit performing center on Okeechobee Boulevard.

It is Southeast United States’ premiere community center.

If you’re looking for relaxing and stress-free entertainment, this is the place for you.

You’ll enjoy world-class performances and artistically executed high-profile acts.

Aerial view of Kravis Center for the Performing Arts

Felix Mizioznikov /

Kravis Center for the Performing Arts’ calendar of events is always full of exciting shows, so you can come here any day of the year.

You’re also welcome to rent out their Cohen Pavilion for any upcoming events.

It comes with catering services and a 10,500-square-foot Weiner Banquet Center and Gimelstob Ballroom with a 700-seating capacity.

Be One with Nature at Grassy Waters Preserve

Daytime view of Grassy Waters Preserve

Thomas Barrat /

Grassy Waters Preserve is a large wetlands ecosystem on Northlake Boulevard.

Here, picture-perfect landscapes and native wildlife welcome you.

This preserve expands 30 miles over the West Palm Beach area.

Boardwalk trail at Grassy Waters Preserve

Thomas Barrat /

You may book guided tours here for a deeper exploration of the preserve.

Aside from touring, it’s also open for hiking, running, and paddling activities.

Nature view from Grassy Waters Preserve's boardwalk

Thomas Barrat /

Shop Fresh Produce at West Palm Beach Greenmarket

West Palm Beach GreenMarket is situated at South Clematis Street.

This market offers only the freshest fruits, vegetables, and meat.

Tropical and native plants and baked goods are also available.

You can also find homemade decorations, art displays, and souvenirs.

When you shop at West Palm Beach GreenMarket, you also support local vendors, as most are from the Southern Florida region.

Parking is free here, making your visit more convenient.

Shop ‘Til You Drop at The Square

Night scene at The Square

Sean Pavone /

The Square is a 72-acre mall located in South Rosemary Avenue Suite.

This mall has both indoor and outdoor shopping centers designed with Mission Revival architecture and lined with towering palm trees for a cooler and refreshing vibe.

This one-stop shop is home to a wide selection of retail shops and world-class restaurants.

Shops at The Square

Sean Pavone /

The Square’s over 50 shops and restaurants are perfect for your planned retail therapy and a day of splurging.

If you need a break from all the shopping, you may explore its relaxing walkways for fresh air.

Outdoor dining setup along The Square

Jordi_Cor /

Explore Nature at Winding Waters Natural Area

Boardwalk at Winding Waters Natural Area

Thomas Barrat /

Winding Waters Natural Area is a 548-acre nature preserve on Haverhill Road.

This place is perfect for bird watching or some quiet time.

Eagles, anhinga, and green herons are some bird species commonly spotted here.

Wooden bridge at Winding Waters Natural Area

Thomas Barrat /

It also has hiking trails of different lengths and difficulties.

Winding Waters Natural Area also offers 3.3. mile of canoeing and kayaking loop trail.

Don’t forget to bring water and refreshment as there are no available shops here.

Marsh at Winding Waters Natural Area

Thomas Barrat /

Play a Game at the National Croquet Center

The National Croquet Center in Florida Mango Road is the home of the world’s largest croquet facility.

It was built in 2002.

Here, you’ll see 12 full-sized championship lawns and a 19,000-square-foot clubhouse.

This place is a popular venue for different events, whether big or small, because of its 600-people capacity.

You may use the facility’s kitchen, dining rooms, large and medium-sized ballrooms, and lounge with a full bar.

Of course, aside from partying, you can rent out the National Croquet Center for an exciting croquet game with friends and family.

Reservations are required; all equipment is already included in the rental fee.

Final Thoughts

The popular city of West Palm Beach is packed with fun attractions.

You’ll have a grand time exploring all the notable places the city offers.

Don’t miss out on the fun by using this guide on the best things to do in West Palm Beach, Florida!

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