Palm Beach Beckons

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A sunny day by the pool at the Breakers Hotel in Palm Beach, Florida. | Tim Riethmiller

As winter’s wrath continues here in D.C., places like Palm Beach, Fla. – with its warm breezes, bright sunshine and lush greenery – have never looked better. For a last-minute escape, this idyllic, palm-filled destination is a good option. Flights to Palm Beach are as low as $400, and once you arrive you can rest assured that there will be no shortage of glamour and grandeur.

This week alone, the Honda Classic is at the PGA National Resort and Spa in Palm Beach Gardens and the 58th annual International Red Cross Ball, Feb. 28 at the Mar-a-Lago Club, will welcome ambassadors, dignitaries and philanthropic leaders from around the globe.

There is always something to do and someone to see in the Town of Palm Beach, not to mention glorious weather to be enjoyed. This roundup of ideas will help you plan a memorable getaway.

On arrival, drop your bags at one of the town’s premier hotels. The legendary and historic Breakers Hotel sprawls beautifully on the Atlantic oceanfront and features a classic Italian-Renaissance style with numerous pools, restaurants, a spa and countless other amenities. If you’re looking for more of a boutique property, try The Colony Hotel, which has been home to notable visitors for more than 60 years and just last summer completed an $18-million renovation. This cozy hotel, with its British Colonial architecture, doesn’t skimp on style. Guests enjoy pillow top mattresses, 350-thread-count Egyptian cotton sheets, European duvets, great food and entertainment. The Brazilian Court Hotel, with its lush courtyards, its delightful Café Boulud restaurant and its soothing Frédéric Fekkai Salon and Spa, is another option for undisputed luxury. For budget-friendly lodging, consider The Palm Beach Historic Inn.

The Town of Palm Beach is a magnet for the lover of sports and the outdoors. Whether you’re playing golf or tennis at one of the many clubs, or spending the day shopping, the town will shine for you. The Palm Beach Par 3, on 39 acres between the Atlantic Ocean and the Intracoastal Waterway, is open to the public. It’s a popular and picturesque place to work on your golf game.

Worth Avenue is one of the nation’s greatest and most iconic shopping streets, its familiar archways boasting upscale retailers such as Ferragamo and Cartier. Tucked amidst these famed shops are quiet “vias” blossoming with flora, fauna and boutiques. Enjoy an afternoon of window-shopping and get lost in the maze of antiques dealers and art galleries.

Palm Beach is also home to many memorable restaurants, several the creations of true gastronomic visionaries. James Beard-nominated chef Clay Conley opened Buccan in 2011 along with partners and friends Sam Slattery and Oliver “Piper” Quinn. Today, it continues to be one of Palm Beach’s year-round hot spots, with its small plates, big flavors and great ambiance. For classic French cuisine and glamorous dining, head to Café L’Europe, a staple since 1980. For decadent Northern Italian food, stop at the consistently delicious Bice and sit on the back patio for an unforgettable al fresco dinner. Michael McCarty’s on Cocoanut Row is another gem, serving everything from soufflés to seafood since it opened in 2002. McCarty’s is renowned for its socializing prowess as well as for its food and drink. After dinner, it becomes a popular watering hole for late-night cocktails.

The Town of Palm Beach is beloved for its Old World charm and glamour, its quiet streets, its beautiful architecture and its ritzy scene. Escape the winter slush and retreat to Florida for a short respite. The warm winter sunshine, the soft clatter of palm fronds in the breeze and the fresh, salty smell of ocean air await you.

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