The Perfect Palm Beach Getaway- With Kids
After the year we all had, nearly everybody is ready for a vacation, but there are many who might not yet be ready to leave the USA.
That being said, we recently spent a four-day getaway in the South Florida Palm Beaches, and it was the perfect escape for all of us- with no shortage of activities for adults and kids alike.
Outlined below are the places where we stayed, played and dined, that we can wholeheartedly recommend, which will hopefully be helpful to anyone looking to take a similar trip. Everything we did was lovely and each one of us had a blast exploring and enjoying the area!
Here’s what our trip looked like:
WHERE WE STAYED:
The Hilton West Palm Beach
If you have kids (or even if you don’t), the Hilton in West Palm is a great base to use as your Palm Beach-area hub. The hotel was our first stop after leaving the airport and as soon as we arrived, just pulling up to the valet in front of the lobby enhanced all feelings of being in Florida. Between the sunshine, pretty palm trees and Bougainvillea flowers welcoming us- along with the extremely friendly staff- it was nice to instantly feel “at home” in this beautiful, tropical place. Naturally, the kids were instantly drawn to the pool, which is showcased nicely, front-and-center, the moment you enter the building. With large, nearly floor-to-ceiling windows in the back of the lobby, allowing guests an unobstructed view of the pool, outdoor bar and patio area.
Our room was phenomenal. Also overlooking the pool, we had a suite with ample space for the four of us, and everything felt nice and new. It was great to have a large desk setup to use when needed, and there was more than enough seating when our friends, local to the area, came by to visit.
WHERE WE ATE: GALLEY
at The Hilton West Palm Beach
I cannot rave about Galley enough. We were lucky enough to enjoy two dinners there during our time at the Hilton, and each time, it SHOCKINGLY good. Both evenings out, we opted for an almost “tapas”/family style way of eating, as there were just too many things on the menu that looked fantastic and we simply needed to try. So we ordered a smorgasbord, and with each bitel, I had the same reaction to literally every course that was presented to us: “This…is… so… good…” And I say this sincerely. Literally everything we ate- and drank- was above and beyond the majority of meals we’d enjoyed at a restaurant in a while. Galley truly made an impression on all of us, while satisfying the cravings of a vegetarian, omnivore and two little kids, all at once. To mention a few of the home runs we savored, the Baba Ghanoush, Roasted Zucchini, Beet Salad, the Mushroom & Truffle Pizza, the Margherita Pizza were all meatless fan-favorites of mine. Additionally, the carnivores in our group also loved the Prime Filet Mignon, Rack of Lamb, Picanha… and Chicken Nuggets + French Fries.
at The Ben Hotel, West Palm Beach
When it comes to first impressions, The Ben Hotel gives off a rather fantastic one. An Autograph Collection property- and the first waterfront hotel in downtown West Palm- the decor and ambiance, for me, led way to love at first sight. Inspired by the 1892-built Ben Trovato Estate which, by entertaining the likes of Woodrow Wilson and the Vanderbilts, helped to put West Palm Beach on the map, the interior of the property has the perfect blend of historical and modern aesthetic both. (I was so into the style that I took a number of photos solely for the purpose of having #inspo for our own house.)
We were seated on the (again, beautiful) outdoor patio, and the four of us put our drink orders in. Both the adult beverages and the carefully-crafted mini mocktails were visual delights, decorated with edible florals, herbs and fruit slices, and they tasted as great as they looked. This was another situation where too many items on the menu looked delicious so I personally opted for the Adult Grilled Cheese and Tomato Soup and the Kale and Brussels Salad both, which, might I add, went together delightfully. Ryan enjoyed the Wagu Beer Burger and the kids shared a Margherita Pizza (a family favorite) and a Kale Salad of their own.
After that, dessert rolled around and there was no way we weren’t going to order the Orange Whiskey Bread Pudding. I’m a sucker for bread pudding, in general, and Proper Grit’s tasty take on it caught my attention immediately. Once it arrived, all four of us jumped at the chance to try a bite- and we kept on trying until it was gone.
at Charlie & Joe’s Love Street, Jupiter
This hot new spot, Charlie & Joe’s Love Street draws quite the crowd as a trendy location with gorgeous coastal architecture, five restaurants and one of the prettiest views in South Florida. We chose to have lunch at Lucky Shuck, an upbeat and fun waterfront eatery that looks out at the Jupiter Lighthouse, with everything from Oysters to Fried Chicken, and Poke Bowls to Brisket Loaded Cornbread. Every table is served the most yummy Hush Puppies in place of the more-traditional bread, and even the vegetarians in the house have plenty of salad options. And for the kids? Though there is a children’s menu, ours opted to share the Cripsy Sweet n’ Sour Cauliflower (I stole a bunch for myself) and the Gem Lettuce Wedge with Grilled Chicken. They loved their lunch and were pleasantly surprised when they each were brought their own dish of Vanilla Soft Serve Ice Cream (with colored sprinkles)! The adults opted for liquid dessert and while my husband enjoyed a cold craft beer, I went for La Stéphanie- a cocktail concoction composed of Cachaça, strawberry, rhubarb, basil, lime, lavender bitters and of course, bubbles… and in the tropical Florida heat, it was just what the doctor ordered.
West Palm Beach
Another fabulous meal! Grato, a new, “technology-driven” restaurant in West Palm, offers a hip, classic and cool culinary concept with a modern twist, with fantastic food and ordering ease. A large and eclectic menu, Grato offers everything from excellent pizzas and pastas to sushi, burgers and fajitas- and everything is done extremely well.
Delray residents- and visitors- are literally jumping for joy over the opening of Delray Marketplace, a cool concept, open food court, featuring dozens of different culinary options for diners to experience. There are oysters, there is pizza, there are tacos, samosas, hot dogs, donuts, burgers, salads, sushi and more, not to mention multiple bars with an extravagant assortment of beer, wine and cocktails to enjoy. Great for a quick meal, a more lengthy engagement or even just for pick-up, Delray Marketplace has already proven to be an amazing addition to this coastal community and we loved having the chance to try it early on!
SLOAN’S ICE CREAM
Rosemary Square, West Palm Beach
If you’ve been to South Florida, there’s a good chance you’ve been to Sloan’s. And if not- assuming you like ice cream/you’re a human being- then put it on your list of travel to-do’s, now! This was not the first time we’d been to Sloane’s, though we’d previously only been to the Mizner Park location in Boca Raton. It was, however, our first time to Rosemary Square, and sitting on a bench watching our kids enjoy their sweet treats while simultaneously trying to outsmart the water fountains in the splash park, made this visit particularly entertaining. Sloan’s ice cream, of course, is very good (perfectly rich, perfectly sweet, simply perfect) no matter where you enjoy it, and the shops themselves look like you have stepped into a colorful carnival candy store of children’s dreams. And that’s not all… As if they couldn’t make it any more exciting, Sloane’s also sells toys, books and other fun kid-friendly gadgets that your little ones will most certainly appreciate ogling as they pick out their favorite flavors.
WHERE WE PLAYED:
THE PALM BEACH ZOO
We had not been to a zoo in a while and had almost forgotten just how much we enjoyed them. The Palm Beach Zoo, in particular, has such an amazing variety of animals to observe and learn from, it was not only a fun family activity for us, but also a fantastic science class for the kids as well. With so many different species to admire, we spent well over 3 hours walking around and learning about the different animals. Being from the Northeast, we don’t often see Alligators- let alone White Alligators- so coming face-to-face (well, face-to-glass) with one was pretty incredible and terrifying. Our daughter loves Flamingos so she was in her glory as the zoo has both American and Chilean birds and both flocks, in their slightly different shades of pink, are beautiful. One of the most unforgettable moments of our day at the zoo was when we heard what sounded like a big fight over food, coming from the Lemer pen. Whatever was going on seemed straight out of National Geographic, but the zookeepers assured us it was under control. Very memorable, still! The Spider Monkeys and the Sloths may have been my favorite as far as cuteness goes, but I was equally amazed watching the Servals, Tigers and Bears (oh, my!!) do their thing(s). Palm Beach really has a great zoo and as a bonus, there is even a splash pad to cool down any kids (or parents!) that might need it on a hot Florida day.
SANDOWAY DISCOVERY CENTER
Always wanted to feed a shark? No, me neither. But the Sandoway Discovery Center provides a safe opportunity to do it and say you did, and it’s actually very cool! The Discovery Center offers not only shark feedings, but also stingray feedings and twice-a-week opportunities to feed Alligators, too! There is also a 300 gallon coral tank, as well as a beach front Children’s Activity Room, where kids can indulge in a room full of children’s books focusing on science and nature. Another cool room worth checking out is the center’s Nocturnal Room, focused on “creatures of the night.” Don’t miss the in-house opossum or screech owl!
THE JUPITER LIGHTHOUSE
Nearby Lucky Shuck/Charlie & Joe’s Love Street is the Jupiter Lighthouse. We actually had a great view of the lighthouse from our table at Lucky Shuck. After lunch, though, we wanted to see it up close and personal, and so we did! The Jupiter Lighthouse is open to the public and the views from both outside and inside are fantastic.