A Weekend Guide to Palm Beach Gardens
Palm Beach Gardens, Florida, has much more to offer than just its sophisticated shopping scene. This vibrant destination is the perfect spot for a weekend getaway. Here is my weekend guide to Palm Beach Gardens as my friend Vicky (a Miami travel blogger), and I explored it. Check out a great hotel, excellent eateries, and fun things to do in Palm Beach Gardens.
Where to Stay in Palm Beach Gardens
The Hilton Garden Inn Palm Beach Gardens is a marvelous place to stay within walking distance to The Gardens Mall and Downtown at the Gardens. An attractive lobby with stylish furnishings and welcoming staff await you. Rooms are comfy and sophisticated, with features like free Wi-Fi, flat-screen TVs, and GSS Adjustable Sleep System beds. The Hilton Garden Inn boasts a great outdoor pool and fitness center overlooking Lake Victoria. Our in-room hospitality center offered a refrigerator, microwave, and coffee maker.
Breakfast is available for a nominal fee. Vicky and I ate at the hotel and were pleasantly surprised that it was a real breakfast, not a continental one. We enjoyed the buffet, which featured made-to-order omelets, a wide variety of breakfast bread, bacon, fresh fruit, and more. Kudos to the Hilton Garden Inn for allowing sodas to be offered instead of just coffee or juice. Did I mention that parking was free? That is a huge bonus!
What to Do and See in Palm Beach Gardens
The Palm Beach Gardens and West Palm Beach are pretty much interchangeable due to their proximity. While the shopping malls are the biggest attractions in Palm Beach Gardens, West Palm Beach and its many activities, such as tennis, golf, shopping, and food tours, are only a short drive away. The Hilton Garden Inn is only eight miles from the Jupiter Lighthouse, one of my favorites in all of Florida.
Harbourside Place, a complex featuring restaurants, shopping, and entertainment, is also in that direction, so why not stop for a meal or browse their shops while you are there? They feature live shows at their outdoor amphitheater, which is a friendly draw.
A Wonderful Conservation Effort
Loggerhead Marinelife Center is five miles from the hotel. This free attraction serves a hospital, sanctuary, and rehabilitation center for sea turtles. Opt to take the tour as guides will tell you about each of the turtles at the facility and what their plan is for healing and releasing them. A hands-on area and aquarium are also on the premises. The Loggerhead Marinelife Center’s commitment to ocean and sea turtle conservation is to be applauded.
The Roger Dean Chevrolet Stadium is around five miles away. This venue hosts the St. Louis Cardinals and Miami Marlins for spring baseball training. The rest of the year, the stadium is home to four minor league teams:
- Jupiter Hammerheads (Class A-Advanced Baseball Florida State League)
- Gulf Coast Cardinals (Rookie-level Gulf Coast League)
- Gulf Coast Marlins (Rookie-level Gulf Coast League)
- Palm Beach Cardinals (Class A-Advanced Baseball Florida State League)
Beaches and Outdoor Activities
If your weekend getaway to Palm Beach Gardens brings you here for the gorgeous beaches, no worries, they are six miles away. Enjoy the soft sandy beaches of the Palm Beaches or show off your outdoorsy, adventurous side by renting jet-skis or snorkeling.
A Sunset Sail to Remember
One of my favorite things to do in the area is taking a sunset cruise aboard a 50′ catamaran with Visit Palm Beach, aboard the Hakuna Matata. The price is $30 per ticket and $15 for children. A staff of three will drive, serve, and entertain you as you enjoy stellar views of the opulent mansions and mega yachts of Palm Beach Island and the gorgeous West Palm Beach skyline. It is even more beautiful at night!
Best of all, the cruise is BYOB, so bringing your own drinks and snacks are permitted or can be purchased onboard should you forget them. This tour, limited to forty guests, might be the best bang for your buck in all of the area of the Palm Beaches!
Is there anywhere better to shop the than Palm Beach Gardens? The Gardens Mall is not your typical indoor shopping mall and features the anchor stores Bloomingdale’s, Macy’s, Sears, Saks Fifth Avenue, and my favorite, Nordstrom. Vicky and I had a blast shopping and exploring the beautifully decorated and designed shopping destination. Other noteworthy stores at The Gardens Mall include kate spade new york, Vera Bradley, Sephora, Aveda, Sam Edelman, Jo Malone, David Yurman, and Apple.
Where to Eat on your Weekend Trip
During our weekend in Palm Beach Gardens, Vicky and I enjoyed eating at three restaurants: Cooper’s Hawk Winery & Restaurant, Calaveras Cantina in Jupiter, and Avocado Grill in downtown West Palm Beach.
Cooper’s Hawk Winery & Restaurant
This new casual dining spot and wine tasting venue is located at The Gardens Mall. Vicky and I were intrigued by their many wine offerings, so we ordered a red and white wine flight to sample five different choices. A complimentary basket of pretzel bread and butter accompanied our Drunken Mexican Shrimp appetizer, which was nothing short of fabulous. The order had five delicious jumbo bacon-wrapped shrimp swimming in a tequila lime butter sauce.
For lunch, we chose Gnocchi Carbonara (Vicky highly endorses!) and the Napa Chicken Salad. Oh heavenly day, my salad was enormous and scattered with avocado, fresh corn, tomato, tart apples, and goat cheese. The dressing perfectly complemented the ingredients. Cooper’s Hawk Winery was no joke when it comes to stellar food and presentation. Vicky and I were both pleased with the flavorful wines, tasty eats, and attentive service.
Calaveras Cantina, a contemporary Mexican restaurant known for tacos and craft cocktails, margaritas, is at Harbourside Place in Jupiter. The restaurant has perfect guacamole and even more perfect Margaritas (I had strawberry!) in thick, heavy glasses with salt or sugared rim. Nom!
We chose Queso Fundido (Chihuahua cheese, roasted poblanos, and red chili sauce) and Fried Sweet Plantains (dusted with Cojita cheese) for appetizers. The Queso Dip, which we enjoyed with warm flour tortillas, was sublime. Our Carne Asada Quesadilla and Tres Amigos Fajitas (with a trio of grilled chicken, skirt steak, and chorizo) were excellent choices for dinner. My fragrant smelling fajitas were spot on; I loved them.
Vicky and I finished off our night with a basket of sugary churros with chocolate dipping sauce. Other things that I liked about Calaveras Cantina were the blue booths, funky light fixtures, and elaborate folk art. The atmosphere felt relaxed but swanky.
The Avocado Grill, located in the fashionable part of downtown West Palm Beach, makes a play on everything avocado, one of my favorite foods. The restaurant’s retro-inspired look was refreshing, while its avocado-colored booths, attractive light fixtures, and painted shutters made a welcoming decor. Avocado Grill features fresh sushi, raw bar, an outdoor patio, and seasonal tapas.
Vicky and I were not super hungry, so we shared some appetizers: Guacamole (what the Avocado Grill is known for) and the Grilled Zucchini dish. The creamy guacamole was enjoyable, but the zucchini appetizer was amazingly creative and tasted phenomenal. We could have eaten another order! The grilled and halved zucchini came topped with pickled red onions, tangy goat cheese, hazelnuts, and romesco sauce. What a superb combination!
A Fantastic Weekend in Palm Beach Gardens
I recommend a visit to Palm Beach Gardens for a weekend getaway for all of the fun things it has to offer. Vicky and I had a blast learning about the sea turtles, eating, taking pictures, as well as brushed up our fashion sense at the mall.
Palm Beach Gardens is also only minutes from West Palm Beach, Jupiter, and Palm Beach, which expand your range for adventure and opportunities. This area is often referred to as “the Palm Beaches”. I hope that you will have a great trip and take away some things to see and do from our weekend guide to Palm Beach Gardens.
Palm Beach Gardens Photo Gallery
Check out our other articles about The Palm Beaches and surrounding areas: