The Southeast of Florida has always appealed to us Northerners. Whether you’re seeking beautiful year round beaches, some of the best diving in the country or just a relaxing tropical getaway, Southeast Florida has something for everyone. We ventured down this past March to swap the colder Northern weather for a blissful 75 degrees and sunshine.
GETTING INTO WEST PALM BEACH
Our team touched down in West Palm Beach to check out what the snowbirds are after, and we weren’t disappointed. After a quick two and half hour flight from New York, we swiftly transitioned from blustery Winter weather to a tropical paradise. Palm Beach International Airport is quaint, but efficient and located within minutes of prime beach town locations up and down the coast.
Home to legendary athletes like Arnold Palmer, Jack Nicklaus, Tiger Woods, Kelly Slater, … it’s no secret that Florida’s east coast climate is ideal for outdoor activities, some strong vitamin D and R&R. From crystal blue beaches teeming with wildlife to some of the best golf courses in the country, the Florida coast is lush, but manicured, laid back but refined and overall has as much adventure and luxury for every traveler seeking a getaway.
STAY AT THE ICONIC BREAKERS HOTEL
The original icon of West Palm Beach is the historic Breakers Hotel. Founded on the sands of Palm Beach in 1896, their resort’s history is storied one. In the late 1890s, just before the turn of the century, industry tycoons and elegant socialites began flocking to the pristine shores of a new destination—a long strip of an island called Palm Beach.
The Breakers Hotel is known for its iconic name, pristine grounds and exclusive luxury.
The Breakers’ story is one of endurance and evolution. Considered an architectural triumph, the oceanfront resort originally debuted in 1896, then reopened twice after major fires in 1903 and 1925. Decade by decade, it played host to the glitterati and cemented the seaside glamour that is now so central to Palm Beach culture.
Today, that same sensibility remains, modernized to meet the needs of our contemporary guest. With a minimum of $30 million invested annually to preserve the landmark property, amenities like four pools, nine restaurants, an indoor-outdoor fitness facility and a stunning, newly unveiled spa attract guests the world over—proof that The Breakers is the ultimate leisure destination.
HANG OUT ON CLEMATIS STREET & EAT GOOD
We began our trip on Clematis street in downtown West Palm beach. Lined with palm trees and filled with signature and well known shops and restaurants, this is a great spot to just take it all in. We grabbed a quick taco and signature margarita at Rocco’s Tacos while we planned our next move.
Delray beach had been on our radar and we jumped at the chance to cruise a quick 20 minute drive down to this fun beach town. Delray transitions from a chill beach town to a bustling downtown scene when the sun sets. We loved walking through pathways lined in the authentic florida mangroves before hitting the beach. We explored Red Reef Park during the weekend, where for a $20 fee, you have access to the full park. Complete with extensive parking, grills, playgrounds and of course, more mangroves leading to some the most beautiful florida beaches. We tested our snorkeling gear on the artificial reef where we spotted various fish, crabs, and coral.
GRAB BRUNCH AT UNDER THE BRIDGE CAFE
For a fun brunch spot we chose a local favorite, Under the Bridge Cafe. Dining outside, surrounded by palms and stringed lights, we enjoyed their extensive mimosa menu and breakfast dishes. For a night out, we chose to return to our fun beach town to discover Atlantic avenue and the fun spots ahead. Downtown Delray has it all. Live music, Outdoor bars, shopping and great dining.
We recommend exploring Atlantic street, home to latin fusion restaurant Cabana el Rey, City Oyster, Park Tavern, and our team’s favorite, Dada. Named after the great 1920’s art period, Dada is a unique twist on american cuisine, subtly inspired by florida flavors and surrealism. Dada offers indoor and outdoor seating. Dine under the large historic trees of Southern Florida laced with bistro lights and other fun decor. Try one of their signature cocktails, named after the great artists of course- like Dali, Man Ray and Ernst. We recommend the Hoch: tequila, grapefruit juice, infused rosemary, and lightly sweetened with agave. Plus you have to try their signature mojitos. Instead of entrees, we opted for a bunch of shared plates like the mezze platter and short ribs which we loved.
DIVE BLUE HERON BRIDGE WITH PURA VIDA DIVERS
For the adventure seekers, our staff teamed up with Pura Vida Divers to experience one of the best dive spots in the US. Our destination was Blue Heron Bridge, near Rivera beach on Singer Island. From sunken artifacts and colorful fish, Blue Heron Bridge offers something for everyone. The dive site features a combination of excellent conditions, easy accessibility and a vast variety of marine life for divers, snorkelers and underwater photographers.
Located in Phil Foster Park on the Intracoastal Waterway (ICW), Blue Heron is just inside Palm Beach County’s largest estuary, the Lake Worth Inlet. The dive depths at Blue Heron Bridge range from 5-20 feet, making it great for both beginners and experienced divers. Diving enthusiasts can expect to see a wide assortment of sea life in a fairly small area. It is not uncommon to see pipefish, crabs, lobsters, frog fish, schooling grunts, batfish, and seahorses. If you are really lucky, you just might spot an octopus, angelfish, school of rays, or even a manatee!
After our dive adventure was complete, we drove up to Jupiter Beach and Juno, where we saw more mangroves and sprawling preserved wetlands. Florida makes every effort to preserve its natural wildlife and their sustainability efforts are well documented.
Needless to say, Florida is dotted with gems up and down the coast. Adventure, luxury and relaxation are three words we would use to describe our experience. The snowbirds might be onto something, but for now, we will say Florida is a perfect destination for a warmer getaway.