Thinking of moving to West Palm Beach? The Orchid City is a great place to live in Florida, thanks to its amazing weather, great job market, incredible restaurants, and more. Check out these 21 things to know about living in West Palm Beach!
Living in West Palm Beach Is Affordable
Want to live in paradise but without the high price tag? West Palm Beach is the place for you! Compared to neighboring Palm Beach, WPB is the more affordable option for Florida coastal living. Palm Beach’s cost of living is 96% higher than the Florida average, and median home prices in the area are $955,600. Meanwhile, West Palm Beach’s cost of living is only 6% higher than the Florida average, and the median home price is $198,100.
Find a Job in WPB
Looking for jobs in West Palm Beach? This Florida city has the employment opportunities you’ve been searching for! Find healthcare work with top employers like Cancer Center of South Florida, JFK Medical Center-North Campus, and St. Mary’s Medical Center. Work at the WPB headquarters of companies like Ocwen Financial Corporation, American Sugar Refining Group, and Oasis Outsourcing. Or if you’re interested in the financial sector, major financial companies like Elliott Management Corp are working to develop the Miami-to-West Palm Beach corridor into the southern hub for financing.
The Tourism Industry Is Huge
Not only do healthcare, finance, and manufacturing industries offer great jobs in West Palm Beach, but the city is also strongly supported by the tourism industry. And how could it not be? With tons of golf courses, breathtaking beaches, and an underrated foodie scene, it makes sense that tourism in West Palm Beach is a multi-billion-dollar industry that creates hundreds of thousands of jobs for local residents. In fact, PGA National Resort & Spa and Island Hospitality Management are the largest tourism employers in the West Palm Beach area.
Get a Degree at Top Universities
West Palm Beach is home to several highly-rated institutions! Enroll at South University, where you can work toward a degree in paralegal studies or earn your PhD in pharmacy while engaging in real-world experiences. Study accounting, communication, journalism, or pre-law at Palm Atlantic Beach University. Enroll at Palm Beach State College, where you can pick from over 100 programs to earn career certificates, as well as associate and bachelor degrees. If you’re seeking your undergraduate degree or diploma in medicine or IT, Southeastern College is another great school to consider. Or if you’re an aspiring healthcare professional, consider the Academy for Nursing & Health Occupations!
Utilize the Public Transportation
Public transportation in West Palm Beach makes it easy for residents to travel around the city. You can ride for free within the city on the West Palm Beach Trolley or Water Taxi. There’s also the Palm Tran, which provides an easy way for residents to commute between West Palm Beach and other South Florida cities. If you’re planning on traveling farther, you can book travel through Tri-Rail Service, Amtrak, or Palm Beach International Airport!
Close to Major Florida Cities
Locals living in West Palm Beach can take advantage of quick weekend getaways in other nearby Florida cities, thanks to WPB’s convenient location. Spend the day fishing and bird-watching at Lake Okeechobee, which is the largest lake in Southeastern U.S. and less than an hour from WPB. Drive about 40 minutes south to the Heart of Florida’s Gold Coast, Pompano Beach, where you can attend the Annual Brazilian Festival, Pompano Beach Fine Food & Wine Celebration, and more. Head about an hour south to spend a weekend in Fort Lauderdale, where you can visit Dolphin World or stroll through Las Olas Boulevard. Or go past Fort Lauderdale to spend a weekend in Miami, where you can attend the largest contemporary art fair in North America or shop at the Miami Design District.
A Great Place to Retire
Thinking about retirement? Consider living in West Palm Beach! Residents 65+ are a significant demographic in WPB, thanks to the city’s great year-round weather, small-town feeling, and retirement communities. Not to mention, Palm Beach County offers limited income exceptions for senior citizens, and the state of Florida has no personal income tax. And if you’re looking for things to do in retirement, West Palm Beach won’t disappoint. You can go saltwater and freshwater fishing, play 18 holes on a number of local golf courses, explore unique museums, and more!
Live in a Small Gay-Friendly City
Despite being a smaller city than well-known gay hubs like NYC and San Francisco, West Palm Beach is an LGBTQ-friendly city! Orchid City has been named one of the top cities for LGBTQ retirement because of the significant strides WPB has made for the LGBTQ community. In fact, WPB was the first public employer in Florida to prohibit discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation (which was later amended to gender identity or expression), as well as the first to provide domestic partnership benefits. And with several LGBTQ events like Palm Beach Pride—one of South Florida’s largest pride events—and the International Gay Polo Tournament, it’s easy to see why West Palm Beach is an LGBTQ hot spot!
Bask in the Florida Sun
Even though residents living in West Palm Beach do have a lot of sunny days and warm temperatures, this Florida city actually receives a significant amount of rain. WPB is actually one of the rainiest cities in the U.S. Because of the tropical climate, West Palm Beach receives about 63 inches of rain a year. Nevertheless, residents can still expect 238 sunny days and average annual temperatures between 57 and 90 degrees. Rain or shine, West Palm Beach provides residents plenty of time to soak up the Florida sun!
Spend the Day Outside
There are nearly 50 miles of coastline in Palm Beach County, so you’ll never run out of sand and sea! If you want to check out some of Palm Beach County’s best beaches, head to Delray Beach, Juno Beach, or Lake Worth Beach, all of which are within a short drive of West Palm Beach. Located in Port of Palm Beach, spend the day snorkeling, go camping, or go canoeing at Peanut Island. Looking for something to do besides the beach? You can try your hand deep sea fishing with Reel Lucky or even take airboat rides through West Palm Beach’s Everglades and see all kinds of local animal species from birds to alligators!
Marvel at World-Class Preserves
While it’s easy to spend all of your free time at WPB beaches, there are other outdoor recreation spots that attract local and tourist attention alike. Go kayaking, learn more about the local ecosystem, or try hiking one of the many trails at the Grassy Waters Everglades Preserve. Take in the natural beauty of Big Cypress National Preserve, where you can go canoeing, off-roading, or bird watching. Hike along the canals, go hunting, or try your hand at fishing at Holey Land Wildlife Management Area. Encounter different types of wildlife while walking nearly three miles of trails at Okeeheelee Nature Center. Or take a walk along the Apoxee Trail while admiring the wetlands and flatwoods of West Palm Beach.
There’s Plenty of Family-Friendly Entertainment
Searching for things to do in West Palm Beach with kids? This Florida city is full of fun things for families to do! Stop by the South Florida Science Center & Aquarium, where you can check out the aquarium, planetarium, and various exhibits on conservation, space, and technology. Head over to Palm Beach Zoo, which has more than 550 animals on display. Take a walk through the immaculate grounds of Mounts Botanical Garden of Palm Beach County, which features 5,000 different types of plants, a butterfly pavilion, and children’s maze. Spend the day learning about and watching manatees from the observation deck, sign the kids up for summer camp, or attend Manatee Tales & Puzzle Time at Manatee Lagoon. Or enjoy a family picnic, play a game of tennis, or watch the kiddos run through the splash pad at Gains Park & Community Center.
Support the Local Performing Arts
Love the fine arts? West Palm Beach has you covered! Residing just outside of Downtown West Palm Beach, Kravis Center for the Performing Arts is home to Dreyfoos Hall, Rinker Playhouse, and Persson Hall. One of the premier performing arts centers in the Southeast, the Kravis Center hosts about 550 performances each year, including symphonies, performances by The Miami City Ballet, and even popular Broadway shows like Dear Evan Hansen or My Fair Lady. Kids can also learn more about the fine arts in workshops and masterclasses and summer programming like The Broadway Artists Intensive for young adults and Artscamp for tweens.
Explore Clematis Street
Located in the heart of Downtown West Palm Beach is Clematis Street, a hot spot for shopping, dining, and community events. Attend story time with the kids or check out books at Mandel Public Library of West Palm Beach. Grab your lawn chair and head over to Clematis By Night for live music every Thursday. Order brunch at Pistache, where you can try French-inspired dishes like Pain au Chocolat, Croque Madame, or a Croissant Sandwich. Visit Hullaballo, a gastropub with everything from mouthwatering small bites to fresh-made pizza like the Spinach & Roasted Garlic Pizza. Join friends for weekly karaoke while trying different types of Tequila and Tex-Mex favorites like Al Carbon Tacos at Banko Cantina. Or dance the night away at Respectable Street.
West Palm Beach Knows Festivals
Whether you want to try amazing cuisine from around the world, jam out with friends at a concert, or discover new art, West Palm Beach has the perfect fairs and festivals for you! Celebrate the 4th of July by watching fireworks during 4th on Flagler. See contemporary artists from around the world transform public spaces and landscapes into amazing art installations during the CANVAS Outdoor Museum Show. Enjoy carnival rides, delicious fair food, and concerts at South Florida Fair. Get in the holiday spirit by watching the world’s only 35-foot-tall sand tree light up the night during Holiday in Paradise. Or revel in the grandeur of the Palm Beach International Boat Show, an annual spring event showcasing more than $1.2 billion worth of boats.
Find New Sounds at SunFest
Attend SunFest, the largest waterfront music festival in Florida, which attracts more than 100,000 visitors every year! A five-day event held at the beginning of May, this music festival takes place in the Arts & Entertainment District along the Intracoastal Waterway. With more than 40 bands performing across three stages, SunFest mixes rock, funk, hip-hop and country, drawing musicians from all corners of the industry. Notable artists who’ve appeared in the past include Blink-182, Rachel Platten, Steve Aoki, and Flo Rida.
Visit West Palm Beach’s Museums
If you love museums, you’re going to enjoy living in WPB! View the expansive collection of American, European, and Chinese art at Norton Museum of Art. Learn about the surfing community and view photographs and memorabilia from local surfers at Surfing Florida Museum. See artwork and sign up for a variety of workshops from pottery to sewing at Armory Art Center. Spend the day learning about the history of West Palm Beach at Richard & Pat Johnson Palm Beach County History Museum. Or sign up for workshops with master photographers and have fun looking at photos in the world-class museum of Palm Beach Photographic Centre.
Watch MLB Spring Training
Are you a big MLB fan? West Palm Beach hosts four baseball teams every February and March during MLB Spring Training! Not only can baseball fans watch these professional teams, but they also have the chance to get photos and autographs from the players. Watch the Houston Astros and the Washington Nationals at The Ballpark Of The Palm Beaches. Or gather at the Roger Dean Chevrolet Stadium as the St. Louis Cardinals and Miami Marlins get ready for baseball season!
Fill Up on Seafood
West Palm Beach offers residents incredible fresh seafood! Build your own seafood combo or order the Low Country Bowl or Crawfish Special at Red Crab. Chow down on Bangin’ Bimini Shrimp or White Clam Risotto with Shrimp at Bimini Twist. Enjoy views of the Atlantic Ocean while eating a Swordfish Sandwich, Snapper, or Coconut Shrimp at the Seafood Bar in The Breakers. Get some Snow Crab Legs, Fish Tacos, or USA Catfish at Crab Tale. Or head to PB Catch to enjoy a bottle of Rose paired with fresh seafood options like Fish & Chips, Chilean Seabass, or Blackened Mahi Sandwich.
Dine at Unique Restaurants
Looking for good restaurants in West Palm Beach? Try Avocado Grill, which boasts locally-sourced ingredients in flavorful dishes like Broiled Oyster Scampi or Rock Shrimp Bang Bang. Savor Irish favorites like a bowl of Potato Soup or Corned Beef & Cabbage at O’Shea’s Irish Pub. Visit Il Bellagio for favorite Italian dishes like Fettuccine Alfredo, Pollo Milanese, or Spaghetti Carbonara. Devour Greek entrees like Pork Souvlaki or Grilled Half Chicken at Souvlaki Grill. Check out Darbster for vegetarian dishes like Barley Risotto, Eggplant Scallops, or Garden Lasagna. Or splurge at La Sirena Casa Fondata, an Italian restaurant that offers multiple courses and an extensive wine list.
Have a Night Out on the Town
Searching for fun things to do once the sun goes down? West Palm Beach has no shortage of nightlife options! For comedy shows and strong drinks, hit up Palm Beach Improv. Have fun line dancing and riding the mechanical bull at Renegades. Sample some of the many drinks in the tasting room of Accomplice Brewery & Ciderworks, one of West Palm Beach’s best-kept secrets! Enjoy live music with a glass of wine or handcrafted cocktail at Copper Blues Rock Pub & Kitchen. Or for late-night dancing and a great selection of craft brews, visit Roxy’s Pub.
Frequently Asked Questions About West Palm Beach
Where is West Palm Beach located?
West Palm Beach is located in mainland Florida just west of Palm Beach. It’s bordered on the east by Lake Worth Lagoon.
How far is West Palm Beach from Miami?
West Palm Beach is about an hour and a half (or 65 miles) outside of Miami.
What’s it like living in West Palm Beach?
Living in West Palm Beach is ideal for anyone who wants a fun culture and great year-round weather. In addition, the cost of living in West Palm Beach is only 6% higher than the Florida average, which is more affordable than Miami’s cost of living, which is 11% higher than the Florida average.
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