Palm Beach Tourist Attractions
The fashionable bathing resort of Palm Beach lies on a long sand island on the Gold Coast, 75 mi. north of Miami. West Palm Beach was originally established to house the large staffs of the hotels and their families. It is now the administrative and business centre of a considerable surrounding area.History Palm Beach owes its name to a Spanish ship carrying coconuts that ran aground here in 1878. The few inhabitants of what was then an inhospitable stretch of coast planted the coconuts, and in course of time a grove of palms grew up. The real fathers of Palm Beach were the financier Henry Morrison Flagler and the architect Addison Mizner. From 1874 onwards Flagler spent the winter in Florida and got to know the palm-fringed beach; then in 1894 he extended his Florida East Coast Railroad to Lake Worth and built the legendary Royal Poinciana Hotel in Palm Beach. Thereafter this became a popular resort with the great ones of the world, and a tremendous land and building boom developed. In 1895 Flagler built the less formal Palm Beach Inn (in 1901 renamed the Breakers) directly on the Atlantic, hoping to appeal to a younger public. Among patrons of the hotel were the millionaire industrialist John D. Rockefeller and the newspaper magnate William Randolph Hearst. In 1918 the architect Addison Mizner came to Palm Beach and introduced the Spanish Mediterranean style that was to become characteristic of the resort. His best known buildings are the Boca Raton Hotel and Club and the Everglades Club.An affluent, residential and resort city located on the sandy, barrier island across the inter-coastal waterway from West Palm Beach. Today, it is as big a playground for the rich as it ever was, especially in the winter, the season of galas, functions and society balls held in one of the many multi-million dollar mansions.
The palatial Breakers Hotel is the third incarnation of original luxury resort Henry Flagler planned for Palm Beach. It was built in 1926 after his other two, the Royal Poinciana and the first "Breakers" burned down in 1903 and 1925, respectively. It reportedly cost $6 million, and took 1,200 workers, under the guidance of Italian craftsmen and noted architects, just under a year to complete. The result is an H-shaped building modeled after the Villa Medici in Rome featuring a 200-ft long lobby and 18ft vaulted ceilings.
Henry Morrison Flagler Museum
The Henry Morrison Flagler Museum is housed in the extravagant, Gilded-Age mansion built by railroad magnate Henry Flagler for his third bride Mary Lily Kenan. Henry Flagler was a founding partner in Standard Oil Co. with John D. Rockefeller.Whitehall, as it was formerly known, cost 2.5 million to build in 1902 and another 1.5 million to furnish. Whitehall operated as a hotel from 1925 to 1959 and would have fallen to the wrecker's ball if not for the efforts of Flagler's granddaughter, Jean Flagler Matthews. Highlights of the Henry M. Flagler Museum include period furnishings, Louis XV ball room, marble entranceway and other rotating historical exhibits.
Address: 1 Whitehall Way, Palm Beach, FL 33480-0969, United States
Opening hours: 10am-5pm; Sun: 12pm-5pm; Closed: Mon
Always closed on: New Year's Day (Jan 1), Thanksgiving - USA (4th Thursday, Nov), Christmas - Christian (Dec 25)
Entrance fee in USD: Adult $18.00, Child 18 & under $10.00, Child 12 & under $3.00, Child 5 & under FREE
Useful tips: There are guided tours daily, self guided audio tours, and self guided brochures available in English, French, Spanish, and German. NO reservations are required for the guided tours.
Disability Access: Full facilities for persons with disabilities.
Guides: Guided tour included with admission.
Facilities: Restaurant or food service
Typical Visit: 1 hour 30 minutes
Society of the Four Arts Cultural Center
Society of the Four Arts Cultural Center celebrates art, music, literature and drama. It features a library, lecture, film and concert theater, art gallery and sculpture garden. The center is housed in two separate buildings, the library is found in the older of them, designed by Swiss architect Maurice Fatio. Celebrated architect Addison Mizner, who designed many of the Mediterranean Revival buildings in Palm Beach, created the gallery, theater and auditorium. The Garden Club of Palm Beach maintains the Four Arts Gardens. Originally designed in 1938 as horticultural display gardens, the purpose is to display the diversity of tropical plants suitable for landscaping in the South Florida climate.
Boynton Beach - Schoolhouse Children's Museum
The Schoolhouse Children's Museum is housed in a restored 1913 schoolhouse. Exhibits tell the story of history in South Florida along with a film that gives an overview from the late 1800s to present. Interactive exhibits include a train depot, post office and a farm.
Bethesda-by-the-Sea is an Episcopal church with a modified design of 15th century Gothic. Next to the church are Cluett Memorial Gardens, these formally landscaped gardens are also open to the public.
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