About West Palm Beach FL
West Palm Beach is a city in Florida, which serves as the county seat of the Palm Beach County. At the moment, it is one of the major cities in the Southern region of this United States state. Historically speaking, it is one of the oldest municipalities in the Miami metropolitan area as it was incorporated in 1894. It is noteworthy to mention that this was 2 years before Miami itself was incorporated. Despite been situated around 68 miles on the northern side area of downtown Miami, West Palm Beach is regarded as one of the key cities in the Miami metropolitan region. This is simply because it forms one of the 2 cities with solid urbanization in this part of Florida.
The historic era of the Southern region of Florida commences when Juan Ponce de Leon’s first made contact with the native Amerindian population in 1513. At this epoch, the Europeans stumbled across a thriving native population. Ideally, when the Spanish explorers found their way, there were about 20,000 Amerindians in South Florida. Unfortunately, when the English gained control over this territory, the natives had almost being completely wiped out. This was thanks to unending wars, enslavement along with European diseases.
In the early part of the 18th century, other native Amerindian people moved to this region of the US. This included the Seminoles who fought fiercely with the early American settlers. After the eruption of 3 wars stretching from 1818- 1858, very few Seminoles still existed. The future site for the City of West Palm Beach, was settled in the late 19th century. These settlers formed a highly diversified community who originated from other parts of the nation and even other parts of the globe. Some of the most notable of these settlers were some founding families like the Potters and the Lainharts.
The very 1st white settlers in this region of Florida, preferred to live around Lake Worth. Moreover, they were involved in the growth of tropical fruits and vegetables. This produce was shipped up north through Lake Worth and the Indian River as well. In late 1894, the town of West Palm Beach was officially incorporated. This made it the very first town in Dade County and the entire south Florida region. The city’s growth was steady all through the late 1890s, and the first 2 decades of the 20th century. At this juncture, most of its residents were involved in the booming tourism business.
Ever since the 1990s, there has been a resurgence in downtown West Palm Beach, particularly its entertainment and shopping districts. This is thanks to the development of CityPlace together with the renovation of the architecture that characterized this area in the 1920s. The city authorities have made an emphasis on the development and revitalization of the historic regions of West Palm Beach too. This includes North Wood, El-Cid and even Flamingo Park. A high speed passenger rail service connecting the city to other major cities in the state of Florida is also in the pipeline. Work on the West Palm Beach station has been commenced as well.
The City of West Palm Beach is a noted cultural and artistic powerhouse in this part of Florida. To this end, it is home to a variety of attractions of these sorts, and receives its fair share of tourists who come to revel in the pleasure and amusements they offer.
Palm Beach Zoo
The Palm Beach Zoo is sprawled over 23 miles is definitely one of the top attractions in the city. It is set in fascinating tropical gardens, which are meant to mimic the natural habitats of many of the wildlife to be found here. The zoo is at the moment home to over 700 wildlife, and it comes complete with an aquarium and a replica of a swamp too. Some of the highlights of paying a visit to this West Palm Beach zoo include exploring the reptile house, tiger exhibits, Koala and wallaby exhibits. There also plenty of amusements for children such as the interactive play fountain, the ancient carousel along with the safari train. The zoo hosts curious shows, which showcase the various wildlife here including the ‘Wild Things Show,’ and the ‘Wings over Water’ bird show.
Norton Museum of Art
First opened to the public in 1941, the Norton Museum of Art is indeed one of the main cultural attractions in the entire state of Florida. This museum for the arts has achieved worldwide renown for its impressive collections of Chinese and European works of art. It focuses on showcasing the finest artwork the 19th and 20th century had to offer, and is home to paintings and sculptures from leading US artists like Pollock and Hopper. Not to mention works from past masters such as Matisse, Picasso and Monet. Besides the permanent collections on show here, there are also special rotating exhibitions, which are showcased all through the year as well. The Norton Museum of Art also holds lectures, guided tours and art programs on a regular basis.
This was the former residence of Henry Flagler and was constructed in 1902. Henry Flagler was the co-founder of the infamous Standard Oil. This opulent mansion consists of 2 floors, and spans an impressive 100,000 square feet, and is famous for its flamboyant décor. Here and there you will find Swiss Chalet influences to touches that originate from the era of Louis XIV; the French Sun King. The Flagler Museum also has paintings from some of the most skillful artists in this Florida city, and is now a National Historic Landmark.
Mounts Botanic Gardens
The Mount Botanic Gardens are highly acclaimed for being the oldest and biggest botanical garden in West Palm Beach. Currently, it is home to more than 2,000 plant species, which originate from 6 different continents on the globe. The gardens feature series of unique areas that are in accordance with the various plant life on show. As such, there are herb gardens, fruit gardens, citrus gardens, palm gardens and the list goes on and on. With that said, there over 20 different gardens together with other curious features including butterfly gardens.
Downtown West Palm Beach
Without question, this is the top attraction when it comes to shopping and dining opportunities in the City of West Palm Beach. So, you can always rest assured of accessing fantastic retail therapy, before sampling the finest cuisine this city has to offer. It is important to note that some West Palm Beach’s very best restaurants are located in the downtown area. Not to mention bars, clubs and live music venues too. Depending on the time of year, downtown hosts music festivals and outdoor movie nights as well.
Grassy Waters Nature Preserve
This magnificent nature preserve is characterized by lush wetlands, and stretches more than 30 miles. A visit to West Palm Beach is never complete without exploring the Grassy Water Nature Preserve. It offers handy guided tours that are designed to enlighten visitors of this marvelous ecosystem. There are also hiking trails that cut across the wetlands, and offer superb views of the plants and wildlife to found here.
Ann Norton Sculpture Gardens
The Ann Norton Sculpture Gardens are situated in the home of the famous artist; Ann Weaver Norton and showcase more than 100 of her works. She created these works of art from 1905 - 1982, and they are now showcased all around the property. This includes the picturesque gardens, in the house she lived and in her studio. All through the property, you find educational signage on each and every sculpture. There are also art programs held here for both adults and children.