A walk through Downtown West Palm Beach

A walk through Downtown West Palm Beach

“Thank you very much for riding the Brightline,” the voice says over the train loudspeakers, “have a carefree, car free day.”

West Palm Beach “Philosophers” Arriving at West Palm Beach Brightline Station

Welcome to Downtown West Palm Beach! I am sure that your trip was comfortable. I’ll be your guide this afternoon as we get you settled and ready for a long weekend in West Palm Beach.

I’ve got you a room at Hilton West Palm Beach. It’s an 11 minute walk from the train station which takes us through the brand new Rosemary Square, so let’s start walking.

As we turn onto Rosemary Ave, we marvel at the 24 story luxury “The Parkline” apartment building which is built directly adjacent to the Brightline station on the corner of Evernia Street and Rosemary Ave.

The Parkline is built for people who want to “Live on the Line” and leases come with complimentary one-year passes to the Brightline. Imaging living in West Palm Beach and having an 80 minute luxury train commute to downtown Miami. Imagine never to have to deal with traffic on I-95 again!

The amenities are second to none: Pool deck with grill area, fire tables and open air yoga area; fitness area, with separate yoga / spin room; for our furry friends there is the “Bark-line”, a covered dog park complete with washing stations.

The best views in town are from the top of the Parkline

I would take you up to look at the best views in town: the Atlantic Ocean to the East, and Clearlake to the West. But we’ve got to keep moving or we’ll never get you to your hotel.

Rosemary Ave goes through the heart of Rosemary Square, which was formerly known as CityPlace. the vibrant eat/work/play environment in the heart of Downtown West Palm Beach.

Annual Art Show on Rosemary Ave brings thousands of locals to stroll through Rosemary Square – Hilton West Palm Beach in the background

Along Rosemary Ave we pass national branded stores such as H&M, Francesca’s, Tommy Bahama, Anthropologie, Victoria’s Secret, Sephora, as well as various smaller boutiques.

The dining options include Brio Tuscan Grill, Brother Jimmy’s BBQ, City Cellar Wine Bar and Grill. There are many other restaurants and stores to choose from, including a regular mix of “pop-up” stores and restaurants.

Enjoying a drink at the Holiday Themed: Miracle on Rosemary popup bar

Pro tip: Try out The Regional Kitchen and Public House if you get a chance. It is a farm-to-table kitchen, bar and art gallery. The exquisite menu is prepared by Chef Lindsay Autry, a finalist on the ninth season of “Top Chef” as well as a James Beard Foundation nominee for “Best Chef: South”. A rotating collection of local art adorns the walls,so stop in during one of the opening receptions and you’ll be able to meet the artists while sipping your favorite hand-crafted cocktail.

Rosemary Square’s namesake is the expansive square which is the center of activity. Modeled after a European city square, you can get your dinner at the iconic IL Bellagio Italian Restaurant, then sit out on the square and enjoy events that take place in the square such as live music, yoga, and art shows. In the winter, snow will fall from the Palm trees and a train runs for the little ones to ride through the square. In the Summer you’ll find children cooling off while playing in the fountain. It is truly a magical place.

Live art in the Square – in the shadow of the historic Harriet Himmel Theatre

Note: Rosemary Square is currently under some heavy construction, so things may not be exactly as described in this article. Once the dust settles it’ll be better than ever.

For entertainment we find AMC Movie Theatres and Palm Beach Improv which hosts world class comedians each weekend.

As we’re leaving Rosemary Square I point out the Kravis Center, one of the premier performing arts centers in the Southeast. This cultural gem hosts world-class plays, musicals, and concerts in its 2,195-seat Alexander W. Dreyfoos, Jr. Concert Hall.

Cross over Okeechobee Blvd, you can’t miss noticing Restoration Hardware. This commanding four-level mansion sits in the median of one of West Palm Beach’s most highly trafficked streets. It provides an 80,000 sqft gallery showcasing Restoration Hardware interiors. Make sure you walk around the back as the entire backside of the building is covered in a hieroglyphic mural by L.A. artist RETNA.

Restoration Hardware

Restoration Hardware’s rooftop bar provides a stunning Westerly view of West Palm Beach. With a glass of wine, or a cup of coffee in you hand, you can enjoy one of the best places to watch a sunset in West Palm Beach.

Okay, here we are at the hotel. I’ll have a drink at the Galley while you guys check in. Whenever you’re ready we’ll make our way over to Clematis by Night.

West Palm Beach Hilton is one of the gems of West Palm Beach. Built to support the Palm Beach County Convention Center next door, In the three years since its opening it has grown into a gathering place for locals as well. The Galley is the hotel bar with craft cocktails and a full menu.

On Saturday morning the resort-style pool is the place to be. The party starts at 9am with Poolside Pilates, and Vinyasa Yoga starts at 10. From 11am to 2pm you can get bottomless sangria, mimosas and Bloody Marys for $25. Brunch is served at 11:30. There are no reservations needed, and no cover charge. Just come down from your hotel room, or stroll in from your home in Downtown West Palm Beach, and enjoy. It’s the best “staycation” in town.

Did I mention there was live music at the Hilton West Palm Beach poolside brunch?

Are you ready to head out to Clematis Street? I’ve called “The Circuit”, our free electric shuttle, which will drive us along the waterfront Flagler Drive, and drop us off at Clematis by Night. The ride is only 10 minutes, and it’s the easiest way to zip around downtown. The ride is free, but let’s not forget to tip the driver.

Celebrating its 25th anniversary, Clematis by Night is the “Weekly Happy Hour on the West Palm Beach Waterfront” and it’s the place to be every Thursday night. There are many bands that play Clematis by Night. We’ve got reggae, classic rock, soul, country, indie music, and many more. Whatever the music is tonight, you know that people are going to be be dancing

Band playing Clematis by Night
Locals enjoying the music at Clematis by Night

There is so much more to do in downtown West Palm Beach. We can explore Clematis Street, our main street, which is bustling with a hip mix of restaurants, bars, night clubs & street art. We can hit up our winter waterfront Green Market, where among the thousands of local regulars you are likely to find Dr. Oz and Martha Stewart wandering around looking for fresh produce. We can walk the “Ale Trail of the Palm Beaches”, the Downtown West Palm Beach component is a 3.5-mile walk that takes you through Antique Row and the Warehouse District to visit four different breweries.

A cool breeze is coming off the water, it’s the perfect evening. The breeze brings the smell of BBQ being cooked up by one of the many vendors catering the event. The City has a small bar set up, so let’s enjoy a beer or glass of wine as we sway to the music and make new friends.

We’ll continue exploring tomorrow.

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