Palm Beach Island Regional Guide (Self Guided), West Palm Beach

The city of Palm Beach was established by Henry Flager at the end of the 19th century and has since become a favorite holiday destination for the wealthy and powerful. The Poinciana Hotel, which Flager had built in 1894, was at that time the largest resort hotel in the world and it was a major attraction of the city, acting as a magnet for the country's elite. This guide will take you through the most beautiful and well-known venues of the city and will introduce you to its riches.
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Palm Beach Island Regional Guide Map

Guide Name: Palm Beach Island Regional Guide
Guide Location: USA » West Palm Beach (See other walking tours in West Palm Beach)
Guide Type: Self-guided Walking Tour (Sightseeing)
# of Attractions: 7
Tour Duration: 9 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 25.0 Km or 15.5 Miles
Author: Dan
Sight(s) Featured in This Guide:
  • Onessimo Fine Arts Gallery
  • Worth Avenue
  • Four Arts Botanical Gardens
  • Whitehall Flagler Museum
  • St Edward's Catholic Church
  • The Breakers Historic Hotel
  • Bethesda-By-The Sea Church
Onessimo Fine Arts Gallery

1) Onessimo Fine Arts Gallery

Onessimo Fine Arts Gallery specializes in 20th century and contemporary European and American fine art, including painting and sculpture. It exhibits the works of over thirty artists, including Mackenzie Thorpe, Pierre Henri Matisse, Alan Wolton, Salvador Dali, Alvar, Kim Starr, and Luis Amer. Here you can find sculptures by Kissmer, Borowski, Jean Claude Novaro, Alex Bernstein Dino Rosin and Josepha.
Worth Avenue

2) Worth Avenue (must see)

Worth Avenue is a four block shopping area that is home to over 200 upscale designer jewelry, clothing, shoe, art, and antique stores. The avenue’s origins date back to the 1900s when merchants began to move into in the area in response to high rent costs at the Beaux Arts Building. The avenue became famous after the opening of the Everglade Club in 1918.

Elizabeth Arden, Sarah Fredericks, Martha's, Bonwit Teller and Saks are some of the fashions displayed in the many of the early fashion shows. In addition, Valentino, Blass, Givenchy, Madam Greis and Pauline Trigere are just a few of the designers who got their start on Worth Avenue. To this day, fashion shows occur here on a daily basis.

Walking tours of the area are conducted each Wednesday and last an hour. Proceeds from the tours are donated to the Preservation Foundation of Palm Beach. Other events visitors will enjoy are the annual Pet Parade, the Halloween Costume Contest, the Palm Beach Food and Wine Festival, and the Holiday Promenade and Christmas Tree Lighting.

Local restaurants include Bice, Taboo, Cha-Cha's Fresh Latin Kitchen, and Renato's. The area is also home to a number of hotels such as the Colony, the Chesterfield, the Brazilian Court Hotel and Beach Club, the Breakers, the Four Seasons Resort, the Ritz Carlton, and the Omphoy Ocean Resort.
Four Arts Botanical Gardens

3) Four Arts Botanical Gardens

Located in the Four Arts Plaza, The Four Arts Botanical Gardens is a non-profit botanical garden that was established in 1938. A popular location for art exhibitions, concerts, films, lectures, and workshops, it is home to the Esther B. O’Keefe Gallery Building, the King Library, the Four Arts Children's Library, and the magnificent Philip Hulitar Sculpture Gardens. The Garden Club of Palm Beach maintains the gardens.

The Esther B. O’Keeffe Gallery Building is an art gallery that also has a 700 seat auditorium. The gallery features art exhibits, concerts lectures and films throughout the year. The building is open from 10 am to 5 pm Monday through Saturday and 2 pm to 5 pm on Sundays.

The Gioconda and Joseph King Library collection contains over 65,000 books, videotapes, DVDs, CDs, and periodicals. The library is open Monday through Friday from 10 am to 5 pm and Saturday from 10 am to 3 pm. They are closed on Sundays and holidays.

The Four Arts Children’s Library features art exhibitions and short story time programs specifically for children. The library is open Monday through Friday from 10 am to 4:45 pm and from 10 am to 12:45 pm on Saturdays. They are closed during the month of August.

The Philip Hulitar Sculpture Garden features beautifully maintained gardens and sculptures from artists Lawrence Holofcener, Luis Montoya, Leslie Ortiz, Felipe Castaneda, Diana Guest, Philip Jackson, Dan Ostermiller, Ira Bruce Reines, and Jose Antonio Villalobos. The sculpture garden is the perfect location to take a casual stroll or to read a good book. The Philip Hulitar Sculpture is open daily from 10 am to 5 pm.
Whitehall Flagler Museum

4) Whitehall Flagler Museum (must see)

The Whitehall Museum, often referred to as the "Taj Mahal of North America," is standing proof to the opulence and grandiosity of the Gilded Age. Built in 1902 by Henry Flagler as a gift for his third wife, Mary Lily Kenan, it was described by the New York Herald as "more wonderful than any palace in Europe, grander and more magnificent than any other private dwelling in the world." Spanning more than 55,000 square feet and having no fewer than 55 rooms it is not surprising that it is characterized today by the National Geographic Traveler as "an absolute must-see for visitors to Palm Beach.” Its main attractions, besides its beautiful architecture mirroring Spanish and French castles, are the Louis XV-style ballroom, the Louis-XIV style music room and the art gallery. Visitors will also appreciate the chance to board Flager's restored private Railcar #91. The hours of operation of the museum are noon to 5 pm. on Sundays, and 10 am. to 5 pm. Tuesdays through Saturdays.
St Edward's Catholic Church

5) St Edward's Catholic Church

As Palm Beach was becoming an increasingly attractive tourist destination in the 1920s, the need for a Catholic Church became apparent. Therefore Father Felix Clarkson, a visionary Jesuit priest, with the help of 291 donors laid the foundation of St Edward's Catholic Church in 1926. The church was completed in less than nine months at a total cost of $500,000. The church was recently renovated due to the tireless efforts of the current pastor Father Francis J. Lechiara who managed to raise over $1.2 million for this project. The church was built in the Spanish Renaissance style, marks of which are the two towers and the Spanish tile roof. The imposing Altar of the Sacred Heart built from Carrara marble occupies a niche over 12 meters in height that is painted with a fresco of the twelve apostles, and a depiction of the crucifixion is placed above.

The church also takes particular pride in its hand-painted ceiling and frescoes.
The Breakers Historic Hotel

6) The Breakers Historic Hotel (must see)

The Breakers Historic Hotel, originally known as the Palm Beach Inn, was opened in 1896 by Henry Morrison Flagler. It features Italian Renaissance style and is located on South County Road. Eugene O’Neill, Andrew Carnegie, the Vanderbilts, and the Statesburys are just a few of the famous residents who stayed at the Breakers. The hotel was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1973.

The lodge was given its current name in 1901 due to guests always asking for rooms “down by the breakers.” The original hotel burned to the ground in 1903 and was rebuilt in 1904. In 1925, another fire damaged the building. The structure was rebuilt by the architectural firm of Schultze and Weaver in 1926.

With its arched ceilings, shaded terraces, magnificent ballrooms, impressive boardrooms, and large Florentine Dining Room, the 540 room hotel is a popular location for weddings, events, and business meetings. Yoga classes, spa services, championship golf, and bicycle tours are some of the many things you can do if you stay at the Breakers. Several onsite stores offer fashions from top European and American designers. The top two floors of the hotel offer concierge service. Check-in time is 4 pm and check-out time is 12 pm.
Bethesda-By-The Sea Church

7) Bethesda-By-The Sea Church

The Bethesda-By-The Sea Church is a Spanish Gothic place of worship that features stunning stained glass windows, impressive works of art, a 6,000 pipe organ, and an altar carved from limestone. The beauty of the stained glass work that depicts apostles, bishops, and patron saints can only truly be appreciated in person. At the time of its construction, it was the first protestant church in Southeast Florida.

The works of Louis Comfort Tiffany, James Powell and Sons’, Heinigke and Smith, and G. Owen Bonawit are just a few of the beautiful glass designs that visitors will enjoy. Other works of art include a Renaissance altarpiece and a mosaic in the Chapel of Christ the King.

The first church on the site was built in 1889 and the second in 1894. Construction on the current building began in 1925 and was completed in 1927. Bethesda was the location of the 2005 wedding of Donald Trump and Melania Knauss.

This historically important church is located on South County Road at Barton Avenue. Guided tours are available of the church and the nearby Cluett Memorial Garden on the 2nd and 4th Sunday of each month after the 11 am services. Sunday Services are at 8 am, 9 am, and 11 am.

Walking Tours in West Palm Beach, Florida

Create Your Own Walk in West Palm Beach

Create Your Own Walk in West Palm Beach

Creating your own self-guided walk in West Palm Beach is easy and fun. Choose the city attractions that you want to see and a walk route map will be created just for you. You can even set your hotel as the start point of the walk.
West Palm Beach Introduction Walking Tour

West Palm Beach Introduction Walking Tour

West Palm Beach city in South Florida has no shortage of attractions, especially when it comes to the downtown areas, such as Clematis Street and CityPlace, packed with restaurants, shops, bars and clubs. Culture-wise, the city is just as rich. The Norton Museum of Art showcases American, European and Chinese art, including Impressionist paintings. Not far from it is the 4-theater Kravis Center...  view more

Tour Duration: 3 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 4.9 Km or 3 Miles
Top Religious Buildings

Top Religious Buildings

Most churches in West Palm Beach were constructed in the 19th century and are magnificent embodiments of the variety of architectural styles of that epoch. Take this tour to discover those places of worship that are valued not only for their contribution to the community but also for their intrinsic architectural value.

Tour Duration: 3 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 6.6 Km or 4.1 Miles
Museums and Art Galleries

Museums and Art Galleries

Many located within walking distance from one another, West Palm Beach's museums offer you an excellent opportunity to acquaint yourself with the history of the place as well as to discover some of its eccentricities.

Tour Duration: 2 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 4.6 Km or 2.9 Miles