"The Row attracts a range of shoppers, from well-known decorators, who fly in from New York and Los Angeles"
36 Hours West Palm Beach, Fla.
The New York Times
WEST PALM BEACH was long considered the negligible neighbor of the more glamorous Palm Beach, and indeed it was founded by Henry Flagler, the oil and railroad tycoon, for the workers who would build his seaside resort. In the 110 years since, West Palm Beach has had its ups and downs –and plenty of each – but lately it has come into its own. It has flourishing historic residential neighborhoods, many dating to the early 20th century, and its downtown, popularly referred to as Clematis Street, offers shops, restaurants, bars and clubs. A stone’s throw away is the new City Place, a complex of shops and restaurants that avoided the enclosed-mall cliché by straddling city streets. And south of downtown is Antiques Row, with a variety of restaurants. The Row attracts a range of shoppers, from well-known decorators, who fly in from New York and Los Angeles, to avid bargain scroungers. Downtown Lake Worth is just seven miles from Clematis Street, and the two make perfect bookends for a trip. Made famous in the 1981 movie “Body Heat,” Lake Worth still has a film noir feel, atmospheric and deceptively somnolent. BETH DUNLOP
Destination Shops Head back to West Palm Beach by driving north on Dixie Highway to Antique Row, a frequent stop for many top decorators, partly because the shops often have furniture and objects from Palm Beach estates and partly because prices (as in Lake Worth) can be much lower than those in the Northeast. The shops sprawl south of Belvedere Road to Southern Boulevard, with a notable concentration on South Dixie Highway south of Monroe Drive. James & Jeffrey Antiques (3713 South Dixie Highway, 561-832-1760) is a designers’ favorite, as is Elephant’s Foot Antiques (3800 South Dixie, 561-832-0170)...
A Converted 50’s Drugstore
For dinner, try the Rhythm Café, a popular place in a remade 1950’s drugstore (3800 South Dixie Highway, 561-833-3406). The owners kept the undulating soda fountain counter and added dinette tables with chrome and vinyl chairs. Crab cakes with a creamy Cajun sauce ($18.50) are a favorite. So is the duck breast with blackberry cabernet sauce ($19.50). The desserts, including Key lime pie and coconut quiche, are housemade ($5.75). West Palm Beach is a three-hour flight from New York.
The airport is south of town, just west of interstate 95. l A rental car is a must.
The hip Hotel Biba (320 Belvedere Road, 561-832-0094) has 43 rooms, a pool, gardens and a chic wine bar. It takes its name from Biba, the former London boutique of the Miami designer Barbara Hulanicki, who directed the hotel’s décor. Rates range from $79 to $229...
VISIT THE NEW YORK TIMES