DESTINATION: BROWSING PALM BEACH

"The pickings are rich, in and around the storied Florida retreat."

BY TERRY WARD | ENDLESS VACATION MAGAZINE

Palm Beach, a sun-drenched stretch along Florida’s Gold Coast, is where oil tycoon Henry Flagler set his sights in the 19th century, enticing vacationing Northeasterners of the Vanderbilt and Rockefeller variety. Today, the tony town is known for its Mediterranean Revival mansions and for Worth Avenue—the storied shopping street where nearly every major fashion designer caters to the moneyed residents. “Addison Mizner built those wonderful vias [interior courtyards off Worth Avenue] that put shops on the lower level and living areas overhead,” says Jim Ponce, resident historian of the Breakers hotel. “The Avenue grew from there.” While Worth Avenue remains Mizner’s—and Palm Beach’s—prime retail legacy, the surrounding areas also yield rare finds, like stone fountains from Provence and mid-century-modern furniture at prices below the going rate at New York auction houses.

ANTIQUE ROW AND BEYOND

...Next, head for Antique Row along the South Dixie Highway, where you’ll find more than 40 antique and home decor shops in an eight-block radius. Big-name designers like Kelly Wearstler jet in from L.A. for one-stop shopping that spans the eras. Objects in the Loft (3611 S. Dixie Hwy.; 561-659-0403; objectsintheloft.com) specializes in 20th-century furnishings, selling designs by Jay Spectre, Vladimir Kagan and Edward Wormley. “People don’t necessarily want their grandma’s antiques anymore; they want stuff from the 40s, 50s, 60s, 70s,” says co-owner Wade Terwilliger. Be sure to climb the stairs for vintage rattan pieces as well as couches, canopy beds and end tables.

Across the street, James & Jeffrey Antiques (3619 S. Dixie Hwy.; 561-832-1760; jamesandjeffrey.com), in business for more than two decades, has unusual Italian chandeliers from the 1920s through 1940s, sparkling with crystals and gilded iron. Peek into the small pavilion outside for fun finds like cast-concrete pelican sculptures.

Break for quiche and gazpacho at Belle & Maxwell’s (3700 S. Dixie Hwy.; 561-832-4449; lunch for two, $50), where you can also shop for glass mosaics.

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