24 Hours in Artsy West Palm Beach
We already know what Miami is good for (party, party, party!) and tourists flock south to the city in hoards. Just an hour and a half north, though, West Palm Beach is thriving. Maybe it’s time we pay a little more attention.
Hop aboard the Brightline from Miami—which expands its route from WPB to Orlando in 2019—for an adventure you probably haven’t had yet.
Just a little over an hour away on the train, West Palm Beach is a hub for arts and culture. Home to the world’s largest street tattoo, everyone seems to know each other in this walkable town and the next mural is just around the corner.
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Check into the Hilton West Palm Beach—you can walk there from the train station or hail a $6 Lyft. The lifestyle hotel in Downtown WPB is filled with over 1,000 art pieces, has spacious, comfortable rooms and a poolside DJ. The hotel’s pool and hot tub are both open until 11 pm.
Galley, its mid-century modern farm-to-table restaurant, serves everything from crab cakes and oven-roasted cauliflower to pizza and wood-fired tomahawk for two. Order the cookie-brownie with ice cream from the new secret menu and the Smoked Old Fashioned is pretty great, too. I celebrated National Rum Day here with a special menu featuring lobster empanadas, avocado salad, churrasco and rum pairings.
Open until midnight daily and 2 am on the weekends, Subculture Coffee is so much more than just, well, coffee. The family-owned shop and event space sources and roasts its own coffee, but also serves beer, wine, green juice and a major food selection in its annex. The menu, made up of fruit smoothies, scrambled eggs, cheese boards, salads and sandwiches, also includes gelato, acai bowls and handmade granola.
Join local art enthusiast Ashley Capps for a walking tour of CityPlace and Downtown WPB. A knowledgeable guide, Ashley will take you to Culture Lab, an old Macy’s turned public art space, and will weave through town with you pointing out murals, sculptures and more by artists from all over the world over the course of 90 minutes.
Don’t be surprised if your tour runs a little longer than expected; the best part about Ashley is that she’s willing to veer off schedule a bit to show you the things you want to see (for me, it was restaurants, bars and coffee shops in addition to the art). An early morning tour is recommended as the later it gets, the hotter it gets.
Enjoy lunch, some champagne and a view of the city at Restoration Hardware. Yup, you read that right. The four-story, 80,000 square foot luxe furniture store and showroom has an indoor/outdoor rooftop restaurant with black-and-white checkered floors, lush greenery, chic chandeliers and lots of bubbly.
You can also enjoy the hieroglyphics mural on the outside walls by the infamous RETNA, a graffiti artist who was reportedly paid $700,000 for the piece that took him just three days to complete. RH Rooftop Restaurant is a little pricey, but why not treat yourself, and stay for a while, at the most beautifully-designed space in the city?
Still hungry? A cute European-style restaurant and bar with a vintage Airstream camper out back, Hullabaloo is a neighborhood hangout. Sit at the bar and sip a craft beer while your fire-grilled pizza is prepared. Or have a chat with local patrons who are bound to give you a few more tips and tricks for enjoying the city.
Oh, you’re a wine fan, are you? We’ve got you, with not one but two spots for vino and a good time. There’s Wine Scene, a wine bar with a great patio and lots of art. Opening at 5 pm daily, the bar hosts events like Plant Nite and Ladies Night and brings in live music acts on the weekends.
There’s also the Blind Monk. Just across from the Brightline station, head out a couple hours earlier than your train is set to depart and settle in at the Monk for a glass of sommelier’s choice (4-7pm starting at $7), cheese and snacks. Get as tipsy as you’d like—the train is in sight and you can sleep off the alcohol on your hour-long ride back to Miami.