ESSENTIAL PALM BEACH
Delve into the glamorous past. From November to May, James Ponce, official historian for the Chamber of Commerce, conducts free walking tours of historic Worth Avenue and its charming and architecturally significant ?vias? (659-6909; worth-avenue.com).
Come to the cabaret. Catch an act at the Colony hotel?s Royal Room. Scheduled performers include Ann Hampton Callaway and Christine Ebersole (655-5430; thecolonypalmbeach.com).
Go green. You may never get behind the ficus hedges surrounding the private estates, but don?t miss several public gardens and parks. Check out the revamped Philip Hulitar Sculpture Garden (655-7227; fourarts.org), the historic Cluett Memorial Garden (655-4554; bbts.org), and the Preservation Foundation?s Pan?s Garden of native Florida species (832-0731; palmbeachpreservation.org).
Head to the shore. The five-mile Lake Trail hugs the eastern shore of Lake Worth. Stroll, run, or bike it to catch a peek of lakefront homes, including the former digs of Bernie Madoff; the landmarked Duck?s Nest; and a few modernist gems, including one by Richard Meier.
Hang ten. The break at Reef Road on the island?s north end is a prime destination for surfers. Rick Wentley offers short- or longboard lessons (832-9335).
Unearth a treasure. Vintage aficionados head to the Consignment District, the area around the intersection of Sunset Avenue and N. County Road, which contains a plethora of shops carrying designer duds and handbags, fine linens, antiques, midcentury finds, and bibelots.
WHAT TO SEE
The Henry Morrison Flagler Museum, 1 Whitehall Way, 655-2833; flaglermuseum.us: This grand Gilded Age mansion with more than 75 rooms, a Carr?re & Hastings design, was built by Palm Beach?s founding father in 1902.
The Preservation Foundation of Palm Beach, 311 Peruvian Ave., 832-0731; palmbeachpreservation.org: At its handsome quarters, this private club sponsors lectures, screenings, concerts, and exhibitions that are open to the public.
Sea Gull Cottage at the Royal Poinciana Chapel, 60 Cocoanut Row, 655-4212; royalpoincianachapel.org: Palm Beach?s oldest house, recently restored, was built in 1886 by a Denver railroad and real estate developer.
The Society of the Four Arts, 2 Four Arts Plaza, 655-7227; fourarts.org: Founded in 1936, this is the cultural hub of the island, with a garden and library open year-round.
WHERE TO STAY
The Brazilian Court, 301 Australian Ave., 655-7740; thebraziliancourt.com: An intimate in-town hotel with a tropical vibe. In addition to the 70 rooms and suites, it has a Fr?d?ric Fekkai Salon & Spa and a Caf? Boulud.
The Breakers, 1 S. County Rd., 655-6611; thebreakers.com: The island?s grande dame oceanfront resort, located on 140 acres in the center of town, with golf, tennis, beach club, shopping arcade, and full-service spa.
The Chesterfield, 363 Cocoanut Row, 659-5800; chesterfieldpb.com: There?s a veddy British ambience, with a cigar room and high-tea service, at this mainstay with 52 rooms and suites.
The Colony, 155 Hammon Ave., 655-5430; thecolonypalmbeach.com: Just a block from Worth Avenue, it has a lively bar, poolside dining, and a top-floor suite that was the seasonal home of the late Duke and Duchess of Windsor.
Four Seasons Resort, 2800 S. Ocean Blvd., 582-2800; fourseasons.com/palmbeach: Located on the southern end of town, this standout has a delightfully low-key, discreet, and yet sumptuous atmosphere, a spacious new spa, and an excellent alfresco caf?.
The Omphoy Ocean Resort, 2842 S. Ocean Blvd., 540-6440; omphoy.com: This boutique hotel has a soothing aura and a restaurant overseen by award-winning Miami chef Michelle Bernstein.
WHERE TO EAT
Bistro Chez Jean Pierre, 132 N. County Rd., 833-1171: Chef Jean Pierre Leverrier?s long-running hit is a favorite of Social Register and Page Six types. But the food?Dover sole, cassoulet, and steak tartare?is also terrific.
Caf? L?Europe, 331 S. County Rd., 655-4020; cafeleurope.com: One of the best restaurants on the island, with a super-riche menu and a crowd that ranges from the flashy to the sedate.
Champs-?lys?es Bakery, 229 Sunrise Ave., 366-1313: Chef Patrick Leze, a veteran of Paris?s Ladur?e, offers freshly made breads and exquisite pastries.
Echo, 230A Sunrise Ave., 802-4222; echopalmbeach.com: Asian fusion, with a mix of dishes from China, Japan, Thailand, and Vietnam.
Green?s Pharmacy, 151 N. County Rd., 832-4443: This throwback to the Palm Beach of the ?60s serves up hearty breakfasts and lunches to society scions and construction workers alike.
Michael R. McCarty?s, 50 Cocoanut Row, 659-1899; michaelrmccartys.com: A preppy lunch palace, with Muffy-and-Biff faves such as iceberg wedges, chicken hash, and meatloaf. Try chef Ryan D. Chase?s special steak at dinner.
Nick & Johnnie?s Patio Bar & Grill, 207 Royal Poinciana Way, 655-3319; nick?andjohnniespb.com: Its all-American ?coastal? menu (fish and chips, juicy burgers, and lobster rolls) attracts a lunch crowd of both doyennes and hipsters.
Palm Beach Grill, 340 Royal Poinciana Way, 835-1077; hillstone.com: The most popular restaurant and toughest reservation in town, with exemplary seafood and American classics.
Renato?s, 87 Via Mizner, 655-9752; ?renatospalmbeach.com: Excellent pasta dishes in a lovely indoor-outdoor setting.
WHERE TO SHOP
Barzina, 66 Via Mizner, 833-5834: An international array of furniture, home goods, and fashions at a favored source for many of the island?s decorators.
Gypsy, 450 S. County Rd., 832-1333; gypsyusa.com: This boutique is the place where island fashion plates head for edgier and of-the-moment pieces by Isabel Marant, Rick Owens, Givenchy, Balmain, Thakoon, and others.
House of Lavande, 340 Royal Poinciana Way, Ste. #332, 802-3737; house?oflavande.com: A huge array of vintage costume jewelry.
Island Company, 311 Worth Ave., 655-3231; islandcompany.com: Local boy Spencer Antle has made good with his casually preppy swimwear, apparel, and accessories for men and women.
Island Home, 249 Royal Poinciana Way, 832-6244; islandhomepalmbeach.com: Tropically chic and simple home furnishings, as well as Anya Hindmarch handbags, beach totes, and vivid tunics.
Kassatly?s, 250 Worth Ave., 655-5655: A family-owned shop that has been catering to the island?s needs for linens, lingerie, and cashmere since 1923.
Kemble Interiors, 294 Hibiscus Ave., 659-5556; kembleinteriors.com: The showroom of decorators Mimi McMakin and Brooke Huttig, full of the colorful, somewhat eccentric pieces they favor.
Mary Mahoney, 336 Worth Ave., 655-8288; marymahoney.com: The island source for D. Porthault linens, decorator fabrics, Baccarat and William Yeoward crystal, and fine china.
C. Orrico, 336 S. County Rd., 659-1284; corrico.com: Where to find hometown gal Lilly Pulitzer?s iconic apparel, as well as items by Trina Turk.
Stubbs & Wootton, 4 Via Parigi, 655-6857; stubbsandwootton.com: The flagship store for the embroidered slippers that have become a PB signature.
Trillion, 315 Worth Ave., 832-3525; ?trillionpalmbeach.com: A mecca for casual and tailored Italian clothing.
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