West Palm Beach Introduction Walking Tour, West Palm Beach

West Palm Beach Introduction Walking Tour (Self Guided), West Palm Beach

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 for the Performing Arts – a major venue for concerts, plays, dance and opera. These and other notable attractions of West Palm Beach make up this orientation walk.
How it works: Download the app "GPSmyCity: Walks in 1K+ Cities" from Apple App Store or Google Play Store to your mobile phone or tablet. The app turns your mobile device into a personal tour guide and its built-in GPS navigation functions guide you from one tour stop to next. The app works offline, so no data plan is needed when traveling abroad.

Download The GPSmyCity App

West Palm Beach Introduction Walking Tour Map

Guide Name: West Palm Beach Introduction Walking Tour
Guide Location: USA » West Palm Beach (See other walking tours in West Palm Beach)
Guide Type: Self-guided Walking Tour (Sightseeing)
# of Attractions: 13
Tour Duration: 3 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 5.1 Km or 3.2 Miles
Author: Dan
Sight(s) Featured in This Guide:
  • CityPlace
  • Harriet Himmel Theater
  • Kravis Center For The Performing Arts
  • Palm Beach County Convention Center
  • Norton Museum of Art
  • The Royal Park Bridge
  • South Cove Natural Area
  • Centennial Square Fountains
  • Clematis Street
  • St Ann Catholic Church
  • Palm Beach Dramaworks
  • Palm Beach Photographic Center
  • West Palm Beach City Center

1) CityPlace (must see)

The City Place is a mixed-used commercial development shopping center that caters to upscale clients. The 600,000 square foot facility consists of retail businesses, restaurants, a 20-screen theater, an open-air plaza, a cultural arts theater, and 570 private residences. Opened in 2000, the complex was architected by Elkus/Manfredi Architects, Ltd.

The design of the shopping center resembles a European theater. Macy’s, Banana Republic, Bath and Body Works, Imax, Publix, and Barnes and Nobles are just some of the 100 stores that visitors will enjoy here. The Harriet Himmel Theater, one of the most significant buildings in the center, hosts performing arts, receptions, exhibitions, fashion shows, seminars, and community meetings. The theater can host 275 people for dinner, 400 for a theater performance, or 600 for a reception.

One event to not miss is the dancing water fountain that performs each hour. In addition, there is the famous B.B. King’s Blues Club located in the shopping complex. The center is open Monday through Saturday from 10 am to 10 pm and from Noon to 6 pm on Sunday.

One should also visit the nearby CityPlace Tower, located at the south entrance of City Place on Okeechobee Boulevard. CityPlace Tower is an 18-story building that offers office space in a variety of configurations. Each floor has 26,000 square feet of available space. Current tenants include Barry and Company, Cleveland Clinic Florida, INTECH, and the Comvest Group.
Harriet Himmel Theater

2) Harriet Himmel Theater (must see)

The Harriet Himmel Theater is an 11,000 square foot cultural arts center that is the centerpiece of City Place, an upscale lifestyle center located in West Palm Beach. Located on Rosemary Avenue, it was built in 1926 and was originally a Methodist church. The building was converted into an event venue and theater in 2000. The building reflects a Spanish Colonial influence.

The state-of-the-art facility frequently hosts plays, concerts, dance receptions, banquets, exhibitions, weddings, and other events. The facility can accommodate 275 for a seated dinner, 400 for theater, and 600 for receptions. Catering is provided by Ovations Catering.

From Happy Hour at McCormick & Schmick's to the Piano Bar at Lucille’s, or shopping at Macy’s, there are many shopping and entertainment venues one can appreciate when taking a break from the Himmel Theater. The facility is also near the CityPlace Towers, an 18-story skyscraper that offers office space to corporate clients.

Visitors should make sure to visit the nearby CityPlace Fountains to see a choreographed show that features lights and music every half hour.
Kravis Center For The Performing Arts

3) Kravis Center For The Performing Arts (must see)

The Kravis Center for the Performing Arts is a locally and internationally recognized performing arts institution in downtown West Palm Beach. The facility hosts annually over 800 events with more than 400,000 people visiting every year.

The center, which opened in 1992, comprises three buildings. The Alexander W. Dreyfoos Jr. Concert Hall, the Marshall E. Rinker Sr. Playhouse, and the Michael and Andrew Gosman Amphitheater. It also holds the Weiner Banquet Center and the Picower Foundation Arts Education Center.

One of the objectives of the center is to encourage creativity through professional development activities, an arts camp, workshops, and special events. One of the best events is the Writer’s Gallery held in the Cohen Center. The workshop allows aspiring writers to hone their craft, interact with other writers and actors, and receive critiques of their work. The center also has an Art Scholar program that allows students to attend lectures conducted by professional artists.

The Ballet Florida, Miami City Ballett, Palm Beach Broadway Series, Palm Beach Opera, and the Palm Beach Pops all call the Kravis Center home.
Palm Beach County Convention Center

4) Palm Beach County Convention Center (must see)

The Palm Beach County Convention Center is a 35,000 square foot multipurpose facility that is located on Okeechobee Boulevard. The building was designed by Atlanta architectural firm of Thompson, Ventulett, Stainback and Associates. It opened in 2004.

With a 100,000 square-foot exhibit hall, a 22,000 square-foot ballroom, and additional 21,000 square feet of flexible breakout space, the building is ideal for corporate and social events. The facility offers catering services as well as marketing and public relations assistance, audio visual support, and exhibitor service assistance.

The ballroom can comfortably handle 2,000 people and the first level of the complex can be divided into two 50,000 square foot areas. Additionally, 23,000 square feet of meeting room spaces can be converted into 23 rooms.

Ballet recitals, horse racing, musical concerts, fairs, ballroom dances, banquets, and concerts are just a few of the events that residents and visitors enjoy. The center is also host to the Palm Beach America’s International Fine Art and Antique Fair.

The convention center is located near City Place, the Raymond F. Kravis Center for the Performing Arts, Worth Avenue, and several beaches. It is one mile away from the Palm Beach International Airport and two miles away from Interstate 95.
Norton Museum of Art

5) Norton Museum of Art (must see)

Located on South Olive Avenue, the Norton Museum of Art was created in 1941 by businessman Ralph H. Norton to house his art collection. The mission of the exhibition hall is “to preserve for the future the beautiful things of the past." Marion Sims Wyeth designed the neoclassical style building.

The museum’s collection contains European and Chinese art from the 19th and 20th century to the present, and contemporary art and photography. Visitors will enjoy works from greats such as Picasso, Matisse, Chagall, Monet, and Pollack. Current and past exhibits have displayed the works of Van Gogh, Jenny Saville, George O’Keefe, Mary Cassatt, and Andrew Wyeth.

The exhibition hall contains 14 galleries and an enclosed courtyard for special exhibitions. Outdoor sculptures, bronze vessels, and carved jade, are just a few of the items you will see when you visit. Chinese artifacts, such as the ritual wine pouring vessel, are simple yet beautiful.

In addition, the museum presents lectures, concerts, and programs that children and adults will enjoy. The onsite Café 1451 offers tasty meals and the museum shop sells a variety of gifts.
The Royal Park Bridge

6) The Royal Park Bridge (must see)

The Royal Park Bridge the second of the three bridges that connect Palm Beach with West Palm Beach over the Intracoastal Waterway. It was recently renovated after it was discovered that the timber piling in the arch bridge had been severely damaged by marine borers. The bridge is now 89 years old and is the oldest bridge in West Palm Beach.
South Cove Natural Area

7) South Cove Natural Area

South Cove is one of three natural areas on Lake Worth built by Palm Beach County with the help of other agencies aimed at restoring some of the estuary's natural features and habitats lost through decades of development. The area covers six acres and includes three small man-made islands on Lake Worth just north of the Royal Palm Bridge along North Flagler.
Centennial Square Fountains

8) Centennial Square Fountains (must see)

If you are looking for a place to cool down after a day of shopping and other activities, the Centennial Square Fountain is the place to be. Located at the end of Clematis Street, the fountain, features spouts that spray water at different levels. Part of the fun is trying to figure out where the water will come from next.

For those who wish to enjoy this beautiful backdrop without getting wet, the nearby benches will allow you to stay dry. The lunchtime and nighttime concerts in the courtyard are popular with the locals as are the free concerts at the nearby library. The fountains are the perfect way to relax after a long day of shopping. In addition to being very beautiful, the fountains are a favorite of local children.

After enjoying the fountains, you can visit Cabana, Sloan’s, Maison Carlos, E.R. Bradley’s Saloon, Umo Fashion, Blind Monk, the Meyer Amphitheater, the Kravis Center for Performing Arts, several historical churches, or one of other many nearby venues. Nearby hotels include the Hyatt Place West Palm Beach, Bradley Park Hotel, Chesterfield Hotel, and the Brazilian Court. The square is within walking distance of the West Palm Beach Waterfront and is open 24 hours a day.
Clematis Street

9) Clematis Street (must see)

Clematis Street, located in the downtown area of West Palm Beach, is the heart of the city. Walk along this street, spanning 8 blocks from the Flager Drive to the Intercoastal Waterway, to discover some of the best and classiest shops, restaurants and nightclubs in town.
St Ann Catholic Church

10) St Ann Catholic Church

Located on North Olive Avenue, Saint Ann’s Catholic Church is the oldest Catholic Church in the Diocese of Palm Beach. It was established in 1896 by the Fathers of the Society of Jesus and moved to its current location, from the southeast corner of Rosemary and Datura Streets, to North Olive Avenue in 1902. The church is home to the Saint Ann’s Catholic School that opened in 1923.

Saint Ann’s has several programs that serve the community. The church has an outreach center that helps homeless men and women by giving them breakfast and lunch, housing assistance, healthcare services, and job support assistance. They also have a food pantry, a substance abuse ministry, and a hospital ministry.

The place of worship offers many interesting events for its parishioners. Fish fries, book readings, Soup and the Sunday Scriptures, and retreats are a frequent occurrence. A family mass, which is targeted to the younger generation, is celebrated on the first Sunday of each month.
Palm Beach Dramaworks

11) Palm Beach Dramaworks (must see)

The Palm Beach Dramaworks is one of the most famous and appreciated theaters in West Palm Beach, selling annually, an average of 90 percent of its tickets. It is a professional, not-for-profit theatre company, staging thought provoking, well known productions by both modern and contemporary artists.

Throughout its thirteen years of activity it has put on stage works by George Bernard Shaw, Mark Saint Germain, Donald Margulies, Martin McDonagh and others. It is revered both for its beautiful sets as well as costumes. If you are looking to book a seat you should do so well in advance since its seat capacity is limited to 84 seats.
Palm Beach Photographic Center

12) Palm Beach Photographic Center

The Palm Beach Photographic Center is a visual arts organization, founded by Fatima Nejame. The center hosts free-of-charge workshops and is involved in a number of other projects. It seeks to actively promote the art of photography, particularly among the new generation.

It also houses a year-round museum and regularly organizes exhibitions. The center moved to the new library center in West Palm Beach in 2009, where they opened in a modern facility with more than 30,000 square feet. In the 1990s, the Center developed the annual FotoFusion photography festival, which has hosted international photographers such as Gordon Parks.
Sight description based on Wikipedia.
West Palm Beach City Center

13) West Palm Beach City Center

The West Palm Beach City Center is a 270,000 square foot five-story facility that houses City Hall, the West Palm Beach Library, and the Palm Beach Photographic Center. It is located on Clematis Street and is bordered by the North Banyan Boulevard. The cultural, civic, and artistic center opened in 2009. The hub is designed to be a one-stop facility for West Palm Beach residents.

The origins of the center began in 1995 when city officials realized that the previous City Hall was inadequate. In 1997, consultants determined that the existing City Hall was too small and did not meet hurricane code requirements. The City Hall building also had major issues with heating, air conditioning, ventilation, and the elevators.

The benefit of the West Palm Beach City Center is that it saves money by consolidating city employees and functions. There is also the added advantage of the revenue that the library and photographic center generate. Also, the library moving into the center has given the street waterfront access. The city also plans to create a City Commons and waterfront park in the location of the former library. In addition, the Palm Beach Photographic Center is host to the annual FotoFusion Festival.