Miami - West Palm Beach
Last week was a very busy one, and we only managed to get on the road after midnight, starting from Miami at 03.00 am.
First thing we did was fuel our iron horses, so that we would not have to worry about that on the road. Originally we planned to go north, but the weather made us change our plans. An annoying drizzling rain started to fall, and we could see it was not going to end soon. Florida’s weather is, alas, quite unpredictable. It might be all bright and sunny, and suddenly there’s a storming wind or pouring rain coming down on you. Another five minutes, and it’s all gone… So we had to shelter for some time to wait out the rain. We realized that going north was not the best option in the circumstances, and decided to ride along the eastern oceanfront instead. Having celebrated the new plan with a warming cup of coffee in a Starbucks café, we hit the road again. Riding through several small beach towns we made it to the city of West Palm Beach, which we’d especially wanted to visit.
Colloquially, the city is dubbed “a city of millionaires”. West Palm Beach is one of the three largest cities in South Florida and the oldest South-Florida municipality, incorporated in Dade County and in South Florida in 1984, two years before Miami.
The city is a seaport and a winter resort with a vast range of attractions apart from its beautiful beaches with breathtaking waterfront views and sunny palm-lined streets. There are quaint shopping districts, historic and scenic neighborhoods, and exciting year-round outdoor festivals; Ann Norton Sculpture Gardens; the Armory Art Center; the Norton Museum of Art (housing a world-renowned collection of European, American, Chinese and contemporary art); Richard and Pat Johnson Palm Beach County History Museum (showcasing the cultural diversity and historic legacy of the municipality); Yesteryear Village (a 10-acre history park showcasing buildings and artifacts from bygone times); and much more.
One of the musts for us was visiting the splendid historic Breakers Hotel. The hotel is located on the sandy beach neighboring a vast landscape park and boasts a rich and picturesque history, which began in 1896. Over the years it has hosted such notable guests as Andrew Carnegie, the Rockefellers, the Vanderbilts, the Astors and many others. The facility, originally named the Palm Beach Inn, has suffered two fires, in 1903 and 1925. After the second fire it was rebuilt to resemble the Villa Medici in Rome. Today the hotel is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. It offers deluxe accommodation, exquisite cuisine and modern conference facilities. One of its features is the famous Sunday Brunch, which has been a special tradition for more than 25 years. An elaborate brunch is served every Sunday from 11:00 a.m. until 2:30 p.m. in The Circle restaurant with beautiful interiors and splendid ocean views. For a fixed sum you can have as many goes as you dare at the most exquisite food and deserts, and the waiters will refill your glass with champagne again and again. Everyone who has tried it has agreed it is a splendid gastronomic and aesthetic experience.
All in all, our ride lasted some four or five hours. We ended up quite satisfied with the time spent. West Palm Beach is definitely a place worth visiting!