The Town of Palm Beach, often referred to as Palm Beach Island or the Island of Palm Beach, was first established by Henry Morrison Flagler, one of the founders of Standard Oil, as a resort area in 1894. He was responsible for making the coast barrier island accessible using his Florida East Coast Railway. Flagler’s two luxury resort hotels, the Royal Poinciana Hotel and The Breakers Hotel were the center of the community. In fact, West Palm Beach, now a city in its own right, was established across Lake Worth to serve as the service town for the resorts. After building his own mansion in Palm Beach, known as Whitehall, Flagler helped establish the area as winter destination for northerners by constantly entertaining. The town was incorporated in April of 1911 and has a year-round population of of around 10,500, but Flagler’s vision still exists as the winter population soars to over 30,000.
Today, the community of Palm Beach is known for their legendary resorts, impressive mansions, and historic landmarks, including Flagler’s Whitehall, now the Flagler Museum. The 10 square mile, long barrier island is also internationally known for the shopping oasis, Worth Avenue. The 4 block open-air shopping area stretches between Lake Worth and the Atlantic Ocean and was voted as one of the top three “most iconic” streets in America. With approximately 250 high-end shops, boutiques, restaurants, and art galleries, it’s no wonder the Island of Palm Beach attracts people from around the world. In addition to the iconic Worth Avenue, other local attractions include breathtaking golf courses, three miles of beaches, and a winter hightlight, the Palm Beach Food & Wine Festival. Complimenting the stellar amenities is the stunning Gilded Age architecture, framed by lush landscaping, giving every resident and visitor the feeling of luxury and aristocracy.
While the Island of Palm Beach is quite small (only three blocks wide and 14 miles long), the real estate opportunities are plentiful. The community is connected to the mainland by three main bridges, and is broken down into several identifiable areas. The North End has a family-oriented feel with predominantly single-family homes along quiet streets and sandy beaches. The area surrounding Main St. is often compared to NYC’s Greenwich Village, being a very pedestrian neighborhood with easy access to small shops, grocers, restaurants, and entertainment. Here, you’ll find a mix of new and old houses, apartments, and condominiums. The center of town is where you’ll find more historic homes and buildings, dating back to the housing boom of the 20’s and 30’s. The estate area of town is where you’ll see palatial homes with spectacular views, new and old both displaying architecture that is reflective of the original settlements. Yet another unique neighborhood is located just south of Sloan’s Curve. Here you’ll find a more casual feel with several condos surrounding a local par 3 golf course, tennis courts, and easy access to Lake Worth. The small community of Palm Beach has a little bit of everything and a whole lot of class. There’s something for everyone in this charming, island town.