Sitting huddled in my cold office, under gray skies for six months of the year, I often dream of the Florida sunshine and palm trees. While we escape to Florida a couple of times a year to visit family, the cheap and easy flights from the Northeast also make Florida a great girlfriend getaway destination. I’m usually lucky if I can manage one girl’s weekend per year, but I recently had a chance to enjoy a girls weekend in West Palm Beach, Florida with some blogger colleagues.
West Palm Beach offers great food, music, shopping, spas, and hopefully lots of sunshine, exactly what you need for a fun girlfriend getaway. I’ve noticed that many people find the name confusing so let me help clear things up. West Palm Beach is NOT located on the West coast of Florida. It is on the Southeast Coast of Florida, about 1.5 hours north of Miami and one hour north of Fort Lauderdale. The West comes in based on the fact that it is west of Palm Beach. So if you think of your geography, being west of Palm Beach means that it is NOT directly on the beach (despite the name). However, it is on the Intercoastal Waterway, which separates Palm Beach from the mainland of Florida. And, it is only 10-minute drive to the beach.
Palm Beach is known as an upscale town where the wealthy have their winter homes (e.g. Donald Trump – need I say more?) The shops in Palm Beach are the designer names you can find in Beverly Hills, Fifth Avenue, etc. However, West Palm Beach has a very different vibe. West Palm Beach is more about small boutiques, bars, and funky restaurants. Unlike the party scene in Miami or Fort Lauderdale, West Palm Beach is more laid back.
Where to Stay in West Palm Beach
We were hosted at the Hilton West Palm Beach, and by that time in our Visit Florida press trip, we were ready for some relaxation and fun – just like a typical girls getaway! The Hilton offers a fun pool (think flamingo floats and Sunday pool parties) and outdoor firepits by the bar, perfect for enjoying a drink under the stars and soaking up the warm weather. From here, it is an easy walk into the main shopping and eating district.
The hotel is relatively new so it has a very fresh design. I loved the restaurant design and the art work on the walls — very stylish and chic. Upstairs, the rooms were comfortable and not cookie cutter. They either over looked the pool or City Place. After a week of travel it was so nice to sink into the beds.
Where to Eat in West Palm Beach
- Grease Burger – Plan on skipping the salads and embracing the meat! If you have a big group, you may want to share the ginormous Grease Beast. The Grease Beast starts with a standard cheeseburger but is stacked high with two bacon & grilled cheese sandwiches, lettuce, tomato, french fries & onion rings, ranch dressing, and cheese sauce. Their extensive craft beer list of over 120 selections, and regular-sized burgers are pretty great too. 213 Clematis Street, West Palm Beach, FL 33401
- Sloan’s Ice Cream – Indulge your sweet tooth at Sloan’s Ice Cream in the City Place Shopping Center. The shop itself is as much a reason to come as the luxury ice cream, voted best ice cream in South Florida. 700 South Rosemary Avenue , West Palm Beach, FL 33401
- Copper Blues – If you are looking for good food, craft beers (and ciders) and live music, be sure to stop in to Copper Blues. 550 S Rosemary Ave West Palm Beach, FL 33401
- Rocco’s Tacos – For tableside fresh guacamole, check out Rocco’s Tacos and Tequila Bar. This funky restaurant with its cool décor is a great spot for people watching. 224 Clematis Street, Downtown West Palm Beach
- Getting to West Palm Beach airport is easy as many airlines offer direct flights (check flight options here)
- The Hilton West Palm Beach was in easy walking distance to the downtown and offers a fun pool and bar area (check rates and reviews)
- If you want to head to the beach, you may want to rent a car (check rates)
- Want other girlfriend getaway ideas? How about Orange Beach Alabama, Hudson Valley New York, or one of these ideas for Downton Abbey Fans?
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Note: My trip was hosted by Visit Florida as part of a media trip. All opinions are my own.