Do you want to learn more about West Palm Beach? If so, the first thing you should know is that it’s a city in sunny South Florida. The second thing you should know is that West Palm Beach is not the same as Palm Beach, which is its own city. The two are neighbors but separated physically by the Lake Worth Lagoon. It’s not all beachfront property here either, as numerous clubs, shops, bars, and restaurants are spread throughout town, but they are also clustered densely in the CityPlace and Clematis Street districts. Visitors to West Palm Beach can enjoy fine dining, Broadway-caliber entertainment, and exquisite shopping. Northwood Village and Antique Row are two other downtown districts full of entertainment, shopping, and amenities, including boutiques. Palm Beach Outlets is an excellent place to visit if you want to shop for higher-end retail items at costs that you prefer.
Norton Museum of Art Area
West Palm Beach is notable for being the home of the Norton Museum of Art. This is Florida’s largest art museum across the state, and it organizes traveling exhibits. The museum’s permanent collection houses American and European art from the 19th and 20th centuries, as well as contemporary art and photography as well, including Chinese art pieces.
The beaches here are made of smooth sand, surrounded by some of the country’s most inviting waterways, some of which are easily seen from area music events. SunFest is the largest waterfront festival of music anywhere in this state, and the four theaters of the Kravis Center for the Performing Arts host operas, dances, plays, and concerts throughout the year.
Area of Palm Beach County
West Palm Beach is actually the county seat of its area of Palm Beach County. It sits on a large barrier island west of the actual city of Palm Beach. Despite the limited space, local attractions join the waterways and beaches in drawing a growing number of people to this exciting place. While the 2010 census officially counted just over a hundred thousand citizens here, the population has grown almost eight percent in the following years.
The city of West Palm Beach is actually considered a part of the Miami metropolitan area, despite being nearly 70 miles north of the downtown area of Miami. Having said this, most of that stretch in between is heavily urbanized, with Fort Lauderdale and parts of other cities sitting in between. Visitors going down the freeway are unlikely to know where one city ends, and another begins given all the development. West Palm Beach is notable for having to cross a lagoon to get to it. It also holds the distinction of being the oldest of the incorporated municipalities in this area, going back to November of 1894, two years before even Miami. Still, its hundred thousand residents pale in comparison to the six million plus that call Miami home.
European contact with this area is often thought to have started in 1513 when Juan Ponce de Leon first made contact with some of the estimated twenty thousand Native Americans then living in the southern half of Florida. The Mayaimi tribe lived in the Lake Okeechobee basin, while the Ais and Jaega people lived on the coast and in the East Okeechobee area. Unfortunately, slavery, war, and overseas diseases introduced to the area wiped out most natives by the time England gained control of the peninsula in 1763.
Despite the native locals being wiped out, some natives actually moved into the area, coming from what is now Georgia and Alabama. Their ancestries varied, but European settlers called all of them “creeks.” They were also known as Miccosukee and Seminole Indians. Clashes happened between Seminoles and settlers. Some were over land, but other disagreements included escaped slaves that had taken refuge among the Native Americans. The government tried moving Native Americans to designated Indian Territory that was west of the Mississippi River, but this idea encountered severe resistance. Three wars ensued between 1818 and 1858, although by the end of the last one, not many Seminoles physically remained in Florida.
With the area now ripe for settlement, West Palm Beach was among the first places occupied. Several hundred settlers initially called it Lake Worth Country, including families such as the Lainharts and Potters, who would go on to become prominent business leaders in the young city. At the time, Lake Worth was an enclosed freshwater lake rather than a lagoon. It was named after Colonel William Jenkins Worth, who’d fought in the 1842 Second Seminole War. Agriculture was a prominent economic activity early on, as settlers could grow tropical vegetables and fruits that they’d later ship north using Lake Worth and then the Indian River. A hotel, post office, and church were constructed to serve the settlers, and the Florida East Coast railroad arrived in nearby Palm Beach in 1893, establishing commercial connections to the growing nation.
The neo-classical courthouse opened in 1916 is still around, having been thoroughly restored to its original condition. If you’d like to visit it, it’s now the home of the local history museum.
The Great Depression and a 1928 hurricane hurt the area, but revitalization happened with the hostilities of World War II. The Palm Beach Air Force Base was constructed as a premier training facility. Its geographic location made it unrivaled in access to the region of North Africa, as compared to any other place on the continent of North America. Despite the usefulness leading to construction and an increase in population, the Palm Beach area had to undergo black-out conditions nearly every night to make visibility hard for German U-boats, which sunk dozens of oil tankers and merchant ships right off the coast.
Many of those stationed here during the war returned after, leading a new population boom in this city, one of the few in the United States to have a tropical rainforest climate, meaning that every month of the year has mean temperatures around 65°F or higher. Many species of tropical vegetation can thrive here, leading to much different landscaping than many other parts of the country. 90°F temperatures happen from late April through early October, and yet temperatures have only been recorded over 100°F just four times since weather records started being kept in 1888. Sea breezes and afternoon storms cool the local area most of the day.
The rest of the year is usually 80°F weather, although occasional cold fronts dip the temperatures to nighttime lows of 45°F. Only one occasion of snow flurries has ever been reported, with no accumulation. Hurricane season officially runs through all of June until the first day of December, but August, September, and October see the most activity.
Here are the directions from West Palm Beach to Decypher Technologies IT Services!