Palm Beach

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Thanks to Palm Beach’s mild climate, outdoor activities reign supreme. Even museums and shopping districts are designed to incorporate open-air experiences. On a budget? Just take a stroll around elegant, historic Palm Beach and then hit the sea-oat lined sands. Wildlife parks and nature centers provide kid-friendly breaks from the beach.

Things to do in Palm Beach

John D. MacArthur Beach State Park

The 325-acre park's prime barrier island position translates into nearly two miles of beaches, prime kayaking through mangrove forests, and snorkeling just off shore. Visit a loggerhead turtle in the nature center or stroll a pair of woodsy trails. In June and July rangers lead nighttime turtle walks to observe nesting rituals. Park open daily, 8am to sundown; Nature Center open daily, 9am-5pm.

10900 Jack Nicklaus Dr., FL, 561-624-6952, www.macarthurbeach.org
Tags: beach | family | kayaking | editor pick | eco-friendly | things to do

Norton Museum of Art

Founded in 1941 and now expanded to 122,500 square feet, the Norton's first-rate permanent collection puts an emphasis on Europe, America, China, contemporary art, and photography. Big names like Monet, Degas, Matisse, Pollock, Warhol, and O'Keeffe are definitely in the house. Rotating exhibitions are equally noteworthy. Mon-Sat 10am-5pm; Sun 1-5pm.

1451 S. Olive Ave., FL, 561-832-5196, www.norton.org
Tags: editor pick | art | things to do | culture | museum | gallery

Palm Beach Zoo

A charming, if small, zoo set amid 23 tropical acres; it's like taking a walk in a park with wildlife added to the mix. More than 1,500 animals, including Florida panthers and black bears, which are rarely seen in the wild, call the zoo home. An interactive fountain and old-fashioned carousel up the kid appeal. Daily 9am-5pm.

1301 Summit Blvd., FL, 561-547-9453, www.palmbeachzoo.org
Tags: family | things to do | wildlife | zoo

Peanut Island

Created in 1918 during the excavation for Lake Worth Inlet, the 80-acre isle is now a tropical public park with good swimming beaches, a snorkeling lagoon, fishing pier, and 20-site tent campground. It's also home to JFK's fallout shelter, built during the Cuban Missile Crisis. Pack a picnic; food isn't sold on the island.

6500 Peanut Island Rd., FL, 561-845-4445, www.pbcgov/parks/peanutisland
Tags: beach | snorkeling | island | things to do

The Morikami Museum and Japanese Gardens

Tranquil and unexpected, the Morikami brings Japanese garden designs from the eighth to 20th centuries together with a permanent exhibit highlighting the Yamato Colony, a Japanese farming community based in South Florida a century ago. The garden-side, pan-Asian Cornell Café is an excellent lunch spot. Check the website for special cultural festivals and monthly tea ceremonies. Tues-Sun 10am-5pm.

4000 Morikami Park Rd., FL, 561-495-0233, www.morikami.org
Tags: editor pick | off the path | art | things to do | history | museum

Whitehall Flagler Museum

The opulence of Palm Beach's Gilded Age still radiates at Whitehall, the 55-room, 60,000-square-foot former residence of Florida railroad magnate Henry Flagler. Tour the marble-columned 1902 estate-turned-museum and a Beaux Arts pavilion containing Flagler's private railcar. During high season, historical exhibitions are featured and the onsite café serves afternoon tea. Tues-Sat 10am-5pm; Sun 12-5pm.

One Whitehall Way, FL, 561-655-2833, www.flaglermuseum.us
Tags: things to do | architecture | history | museum

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