John Lennon had a home there, as did author William S. Burroughs, actor Burt Reynolds and fashion guru Vera Wang. The best-selling author James Patterson and rocker Bon Jovi still call it home. But The Palm Beaches are still one of Florida’s hidden gems.
Midway between Orlando and Miami, Palm Beach County is a patchwork of 39 cities and towns, ranging from quaint spots such as Delray Beach — with its art galleries and museums — and Tequesta, with its population of about 5,500, to the luxurious Boca Raton, with its two miles of beaches.
The Palm Beaches, stretching along 47 miles of coastline, are a great getaway spot for LGBTQ travellers. Lake Worth Beach and West Palm Beach, in particular, have large queer communities which is reflected in their nightlife.
Visit in March for Palm Beach Pride, one of South Florida’s largest festivals. Go in winter to see the International Gay Polo tournament in the inland village of Wellington.
But regardless of when you visit, you’re likely to enjoy wonderful weather. It is not uncommon for temperatures to reach 24C (75F) in winter, rising to 32C (90F) in summer.
Being on the Atlantic coast, the area is renowned for its seafood but you can also get a taste of Cuban, Mexican and Caribbean delicacies. In West Palm Beach, the Pistache French Bistro is a favourite as is the Avocado Grill.
The area also boasts huge shopping malls as well as smaller indie boutiques. But the main reason to visit is right there in the name: the beaches. Some 29 beach parks make The Palm Beaches the perfect aquatic playground for boating, paddling and surfing or you can go in search of turtles and tropical fish while snorkelling and diving.
Alternatively, you can just relax in a beach cabana among the palm trees.