America’s First Resort Destination
After a quick hour-long flight or three-hour drive across the state from the Tampa Bay area, you can easily find yourself in Palm Beach, “America’s First Resort Destination” on Florida’s East Coast, for a quick getaway, just as vacationers have been doing for more than a century.
In the late-1800s, railroad magnate Henry Flagler continued his southward journey toward the Florida Keys, and built two resorts that quickly gained popularity amongst the travelers who arrived in Palm Beach via his railroad line. Building upon his first resort’s success, The Royal Poinciana, Flagler followed up with his second resort, the oceanfront Palm Beach Inn. Because of its proximity to the Atlantic Ocean and “the breakers” where waves crashed, guests began calling the resort “The Breakers” the nickname stuck.
After fires destroyed the hotel in 1903 and 1925, The Breakers was rebuilt in just over 11 months’ time at a cost of $7 million and reopened in 1926 in all of its lavish grandeur. Today, $30 million is reinvested annually into the 538-room resort, which is still owned and operated by decedents of Flagler.
Throughout The Breakers’ 140 oceanfront acres, during your stay you’ll find four pools with bungalows; a new, 20,000 square foot spa; and two 18-hole golf courses, including The Ocean Course, created in 1896 by Alexander H. Findley, making it Florida’s first and oldest golf course.
For a truly exclusive experience at The Breakers, make reservations in The Flagler Club, a 25-room boutique hotel within the hotel, which occupies the top two floors. Private entry into The Flagler Club provides access to the Club Lounge and panoramic terrace with views. A stay in The Flagler Club also affords you use of the chauffeured Tesla house car service.
The house car is a terrific way to explore Palm Beach and do a bit of shopping. One of the best places to do just that is Worth Avenue, often referred to as the Rodeo Drive of the East, yet established long before Beverly Hills’ Rodeo Drive.
As South Florida’s popularity grew in the early 20th century, architect Addison Mizner and his business associate Paris Singer saw an opportunity as visitors began spending more time in Palm Beach: they developed Worth Avenue, starting with the 300 block, closest to the exclusive Everglades Club, one of Mizner’s projects.
Shopping along Worth Avenue took off immediately, and in the 1920s the area was known along the eastern seaboard for its high-quality, exclusive merchandise. To that point, Saks Fifth Avenue opened its first store outside of New York on Worth Avenue in 1926.
Today, well-known designers and fashion houses are found along Worth Avenue, including Cartier, Chanel, Gucci, Hermes and Louis Vuitton, to name just a handful. That’s not to say, however, that shopping along Worth Avenue is all about designer brands. The avenue and its enchanting vista, or lush courtyards tucked into small alleyways, are filled with local businesses and even more places to shop. In fact, more than 60 per cent of all businesses found along Worth Avenue are local, and several are mainstays on the avenue, such as Kassatly’s, the first store to open on Worth Avenue in 1923 and whose doors remain open today.
Palm Beach has been a popular destination for more than 100 years. Why not plan a quick getaway from the Tampa Bay area to experience “America’s First Resort Destination” for yourself?
For more information visit:
The Breakers | thebreakers.com | One South County Road, Palm Beach | 877-724-3188
Worth Avenue of Palm Beach | worth-avenue.com | Palm Beach | 561-659-6909 (Worth Avenue Association)