How do you envision the perfect weekend getaway? Do you see yourself drinking cocktails and eating delicious food? Or do you see yourself relaxing poolside after a calming and soothing massage? Maybe you’d rather enjoy a sunset while you dance the night away on a catamaran? Well, what if we told you that you can do all of these things and more during a weekend in Palm Beach County, Florida?
We think weekend getaways are a wonderful way to indulge and a way to spoil yourself and your loved ones. The Palm Beaches make having a fun weekend look easy, but if you’d like some suggestions, we’ve laid out a list of things to do and places to eat. Our weekend started on a Friday evening and ended on a Sunday afternoon; it was the perfect amount of time to explore and get to know this beautiful area of South Florida.
Start off your perfect weekend with a sunset cruise! This was an excellent way to unwind after a tough week and it set the tone for all of the fun we were about to have over the next couple of days. We took our sunset cruise with Visit Palm Beach and set sale on the Hakuna Matata, a 50-foot catamaran. It is BYOB, so you can bring your own drinks and snacks, but they also have a bar on board which we ordered a few drinks from.
This cruise was seriously so much fun!! The crew was really interactive and had everyone laughing and dancing. They had great music playing and the crew encouraged everyone to get out of their seats and mingle. There were families, couples, and even a wedding party and everyone had big smiles on their face the whole time.
As we partied, we passed elaborate mansions and huge yachts. But of course, the highlight of the evening was seeing the gorgeous sunset and then the skyline of Downtown West Palm Beach as we pulled back up to the dock.
While you’re in Palm Beach County, make sure to spend time at one of the most beautiful malls we’ve ever been to. The Gardens Mall offers visitors a truly exceptional shopping experience! It is wonderfully decorated with award-winning architecture and fine art sculptures and has gardens and formal landscaping. As you walk under vaulted skylines and pass cascading fountains, you’ll also notice that there are no kiosks or people harassing you to try products. The Gardens Mall is all about creating a setting that is aesthetically pleasing and elegant.
Visitors will also enjoy a variety of shopping opportunities. The Gardens Mall has over 150 world-class retail specialty shops and restaurants, many of which are unique to Palm Beach County. Our favorite store in the mall, hands down, was Jo Malone. We were able to sit down and try different scents of perfume and lotions and were even given samples of chocolate! We also really enjoyed Kate Spade, Aveda, and Sam Edelman. So if you’re wanting to shop during your weekend getaway in The Palm Beaches, we definitely recommend The Gardens Mall.
After all of that shopping, we suggest an afternoon indulging and pampering yourself at the PGA National Resort & Spa. This 40,000-square-foot European-style full-service spa and salon recently underwent a $125 million in renovation and has the usual treatments you’d expect at a high-end luxury spa, plus other treatments that will blow you away!
Upon arrival, visitors are given robes and slippers which they change into in the sleek and state of the art locker rooms. Then, depending on your treatment, you’ll be taken to different areas of the spa. Our first treatment was The HydraFacial, which left our faces feeling clean, smooth, and moisturized. The second treatment is what we were really excited about though… The Bamboo Massage! In this treatment, the masseuse uses warmed hollow bamboo canes instead of their hands. This allows for a deeper and firmer massage that not only eases knots, but also stimulates blood flow.
After our two treatments (and feeling slightly dazed because of how relaxed we were), we decided to go poolside. Everyone at the spa has access to the resort’s Waters of the World pools. These outdoor mineral pools were inspired by two very famous bodies of water: the Dead Sea in Israel and the Salies de Béarn in France. Both pools are believed to be healing and therapeutic.
Did you know the area of Juno Beach is one of the most active sea turtle nesting beaches in the word? While you’re in The Palm Beaches, stop by the Loggerhead Marinelife Center, where visitors can see and learn about a few of the different species of sea turtles in the area. We thought this was a great way to get to know more about the local beach and how we can protect it and its residents.
The center is free to visit (although they appreciate donations) and has an on-site hospital, research laboratory, educational exhibits, and 15 viewing tanks. Turtles that have been rescued or brought over to the center for various reasons can be seen in the tanks as they are rehabilitating and visitors can speak with any of the volunteers to get to know the story behind each turtle. It’s easy to see why the center hosts more than 300,000 visitors each year!
Speaking of Juno Beach, we recommend ending your perfect weekend with your toes in the sand. This stretch of sand is yet another way to relax in the Palm Beaches, all while working on your tan! And if you get hungry, the pier has a snack bar. 😉
Palm Beach County has some of the best food in Florida. No matter what area you’re in or what activities you may be doing, you’ll be sure to find mouthwatering bites nearby. So for your perfect weekend getaway, we recommend the following…
This is a delectable option for you while you’re shopping at The Gardens Mall. Cooper’s Hawk is both a winery and restaurant, with an extensive and savory menu. It took us awhile to decide what to get because everything on the menu sounded incredible. And it didn’t help that as other people’s food came out, each plate looked better than the last.
After much deliberation, we finally decided on a flight of white wine, the Mexican Drunken Shrimp, and the Gnocchi Carbonara. The shrimp was wrapped in bacon and came with a tequila lime butter sauce and fresh guacamole and the gnocchi came with pancetta, chicken, sage, and peas in a parmesan garlic cream sauce. My mouth is watering right now as I write this, just from remembering how delicious it all was!
This trendy Mexican restaurant, located in Harbourside Place, has been voted one of the best tequila bars in Palm Beach County and prides itself in creating unique and sexy Mexican dishes. We loved that all of their margaritas are hand-crafted with fresh fruit and that they source all of their produce locally whenever possible. Their guacamole, which they’re also famous for, is made with avocados that are imported directly from Mexico.
During our visit to Calaveras Cantina, we enjoyed a Strawberry Basil Margarita, Fried Sweet Plantains, a Carne Asada Quesadilla, and the Calaveras Churros. All of the food was really delicious and we really enjoyed the fun vibe that the restaurant had.
The Avocado Grill is a cozy restaurant right next to West Palm Beach’s Intracoastal Waterway. If you’re wanting a snack after your sunset cruise, this is where we recommend you go. The food was fresh and the menu had some very creative dishes. Of course, we had to try their guacamole. But what we really enjoyed was the Grilled Zucchini with pickled red onions, hazelnuts, crumbled goat cheese, and romesco sauce. Yummy!!
By far, our favorite ice cream shop in South Florida! Sloan’s Ice Cream has a few locations (we’ve visited their Delray Beach location and the one in West Palm Beach). What we love about them is how creative their flavors are, everything from Carrot Cake (carrot cake ice cream with chunks of carrot cake, cream cheese frosting and walnuts) to Scout’s Honor (mint ice cream with tons of girl scout thin mint cookies and chocolate chunks). Our favorite is the Chunky Peanut Butter Cup (with Reese’s peanut butter cups and lots of peanut butter swirls).
Pro Tip: For more dining options, click here to read about our West Palm Beach Food Tour.
The perfect place to stay for your perfect weekend in Palm Beach County is the Hilton Garden Inn Palm Beach Gardens. It’s in a prime location; close to many food and dining options. The hotel offers complimentary parking and WiFi, and has a fitness center, pool, and amazing lakefront views. Another important feature? Breakfast!! We woke up every morning ready to start our day with their fresh and cooked-to-order breakfast!
So next time you’re in South Florida, consider a weekend getaway to The Palm Beaches. You’ll love all there is to see and do! 🙂
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**A big thank you to Discover The Palm Beaches for providing us with such a fun itinerary. Although we were their guests, as always, all opinions are our own.**