Ever since I was young, I’ve wanted to go to Florida. It just seemed like the perfect place for me. I’ve been to beaches before, of course, and I even grew up going to California — but I always wanted to go to Florida, and now I’m making it happen. I’ve planned a trip that hits a few hot spots, but I’ll be spending most of my time in West Palm Beach.
This has been a dream of mine for ages, obviously, so I really want to make it count. I want to spend time on the beach, of course, but I also really want to see the sights and do active things. I’d love to plan out some water sports activities, and I’d love to see and do things that I wouldn’t be able to see or do back home (I live in the Northwest, so Florida is very far away)! Experts, do you have any suggestions?
Congratulations! It makes perfect sense that you’ve wanted to go to Florida for so long. Each vacation destination has charms all its own, and every state in the United States has something to offer, but there’s no denying that Florida is a particularly legendary vacation spot. It’s known for its beautiful beaches, natural wonders, and cities overflowing with nightlife.
And West Palm Beach is a great place to focus on. The east coast of Florida faces the stunning and mighty Atlantic Ocean, and West Palm Beach is close enough to Miami to make a day trip (or to ease the planning of a longer, city-hopping Florida trip like yours) while still being far enough from it to feel a world away from the hustle, bustle, and stress of the big city. West Palm Beach is the perfect place for an idyllic day on the beach.
It’s also perfect for some of the other things that you mentioned. Tourists and locals alike love snorkeling in West Palm Beach, where barrier beaches and islands can create calm water conditions that are perfect for the activity. More advanced divers may want to try scuba diving, too. The West Palm Beach area is teeming with underwater wildlife: snorkelers can spot huge and beautiful saltwater fish like the sailfish. You could see sharks (don’t worry — your guide will keep you safe), including the massive and gently whale shark. And don’t be surprised if you catch a glimpse of a sea turtle or a school of dolphins, either. All of these animals are native to the area.
Snorkeling and diving aren’t your only options, of course. Other great water sports in the West Palm Beach area include fishing, paddle boarding, kayaking, and more.
There are plenty of cultural hotspots in West Palm Beach and the surrounding areas, too. You should be sure to check out the Ann Norton Sculpture Gardens, one of West Palm Beach’s most popular attractions. Meanwhile, downtown West Palm Beach is your destination for nightclubs, bars, and restaurants. And if you happen to be in the area at the right time, you could check out Major League Baseball’s Spring Training: teams work out and play preseason games in Florida and Arizona before each season, and some of Florida’s best ballparks and training grounds are right near West Palm Beach. The Houston Astros and Washington Nationals are right in town, and the Miami Marlins and St. Louis Cardinals are just up the road.
There’s so much to see beyond West Palm Beach, too, of course. You should be sure to check out Miami and Miami Beach — the former is a multicultural metropolis, and the latter an iconic vacation town full of beautiful art deco architecture and over-the-top nightlife options. Everglades National Park is a must-see for those interested in the natural world, and the west coast of Florida and the Florida Panhandle feature beautiful beaches and the opportunity to swim in the often temperate waters of the Gulf of Mexico.
Your trip is sure to be a fantastic one! Just pick the things that you care most about, and leave yourself plenty of free time to explore the area and relax on the beach. Florida is a vacation destination that just can’t be beat.