Though West Palm Beach isn’t the first destination that comes to mind when you think of South Florida, travellers that opt to stay in this town will find a few surprises! Calmer than Miami and less touristy than the smaller Palm Beach resort to the east, West Palm Beach is perfect for soaking up the laid-back lifestyle of the region.
As a lesser visited region, there isn’t a lot of information about the city online aimed at tourists. If you want to visit the city, it’s important to get a good idea of the best neighborhoods not just for safety reasons, but also to ensure you have an enjoyable time in an area that suits your itinerary.
That’s where we come in! We’ve created this guide to the three best neighborhoods in West Palm Beach and categorised them based on who they are best for. Consulting local experts and travel bloggers, we have you sorted whether you want nightlife, family friendly fun or simply somewhere cheap to stay.
So let’s get started!
Quick Tips – Where to Stay in West Palm Beach
- Where to stay in West Palm Beach first time – Downtown
- Where to stay in West Palm Beach on a budget – Flamingo Parks
- Best neighborhood in West Palm Beach for families – Palm Beach Lakes
- The Kravis Centre is the main theatre in the area, housing live music and theatre performances from across the United States
- The South Cove Islands are a small unspoiled natural beauty, bar the long the boardwalk that stretches into the islands
- Rocco’s Tacos and Tequila Bar is a highly rated restaurant offering the finest Mexican cuisine in the city
Taking a trip to Florida? Looking for a specific place to stay? These are our highest recommendations for places to stay in West Palm Beach.
Best Airbnb in West Palm Beach: Poolside Palace
The Airbnb scene in Florida is booming. Airnnb Plus is a range of handpicked accommodation choices from the Airbnb team that showcase interesting design, great service and excellent facilities! This massive apartment is a great example of this ethos – and is well located in the heart of Flamingo Parks. It is a great choice for large groups and families.VIEW ON AIRBNB
Best Hotel for Backpackers in West Palm Beach: Casa Grandview
Whilst there aren’t any hostels in West Palm Beach, this dreamy bed and breakfast is well priced and even has a small communal area where you can mingle with other guests! Located in Flamingo Park, our recommended budget neighborhood, this is a great pick for those wanting to save some cash.VIEW ON BOOKING.COM
Best Hotel in West Palm Beach: The Ben
As the only five-star hotel in the city, it’s no wonder the Ben takes our top spot for West Palm Beach! It is obviously on the pricey side, but it is well worth it if you are looking to splurge on the ultimate comfort. As part of the Autograph Collection, it is known for its stylish décor and impeccable interiors.VIEW ON BOOKING.COM
Quick Summary: The Best Places to Stay in West Palm Beach
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Palm Beach Lakes
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West Palm Beach is a sprawling city that forms part of the wider South Florida metropolitan area! For this reason, it’s mostly considered a cheap place to stay for those wanting to visit Miami, Fort Lauderdale and Palm Beach. If you take the time to explore the city itself, however, there are some great attractions in their own right.
Downtown West Palm Beach is the main hub of the city, and a great place to get your bearings West Palm Beach! Once one of the more dangerous parts of the city in the evenings, the local authorities have significantly cleaned the area up resulting in a wide range of attractions to suit visitors, locals and even families all day and all night. The CityPlace area within this neighborhood is particularly popular in the evenings, and this region is the best connected to Palm Beach in the east.
Just south of Downtown is Flamingo Parks! This is one of the cheapest neighborhoods in the city – certainly if you want to stay centrally – and comes with some great attractions for those wanting an alternative experience. This is the area where you will find independent art galleries, modern coffee shops and popular dive bars. If you plan on heading to Miami or Fort Lauderdale during your trip, this is a good place to be based.
The sprawling area to the far west of the city is Palm Beach Lakes! This region is mostly known for its golf courses, but the easygoing suburban atmosphere makes the ideal spot for families wanting a laid-back break in the city. There are also some great attractions in the vicinity to keep the kids entertained, including a water park. It is also an excellent retail destination, with the largest shopping outlets in the city only a stone’s throw away from the residential neighborhood.
Still need help deciding? Check out our more extensive guides below!
Let’s take a look, in more detail, at the five best neighbourhoods in West Palm Beach. Each caters to different interests, so be sure to pick the neighbourhood that’s right for you.
Downtown West Palm Beach is the modern heart of the city, hosting most of the best known attractions! This neighborhood used to have a shady reputation, but is now one of the safer parts of the city. There are some great cultural attractions throughout the day, as well as a vibrant nightlife scene in the evenings.
Downtown is already a popular area with tourists thanks to its quick connections to Palm Beach itself! This is a great area for those wanting to avoid the high prices of the city’s eastern neighbour. There are also some great boat tours departing from the urban heart of the region.
Things to See and Do in Downtown
-The Kravis Centre is the main theatre in the area, housing live music and theatre performances from across the United States
-Florida enjoys sun year-round, and the Meyer Amphitheatre is a great option for enjoying a show in the great outdoors with views towards Palm Beach
-Speaking of Palm Beach, there is a boat to the city from Palm Harbor Marina – as well as some interesting boat tours of the coastline
-The South Cove Islands are a small unspoiled natural beauty, bar the long the boardwalk that stretches into the islands
– Head into CityPlace in the evenings – they have everything from family friendly entertainment in the early evenings to club nights into the small hours
-Rocco’s Tacos and Tequila Bar is a highly rated restaurant offering the finest Mexican cuisine in the city
Best Airbnb in Downtown: One Bedroom Condo
Though it is a fairly basic apartment, its location in the heart of CityPlace makes it a good option for those wanting to experience the city’s nightlife! Parking access is included, and the rooms are spacious. The kitchen area is equipped with basic amenities, and WiFi is available in every room.VIEW ON AIRBNB
Best Hotel for Backpackers Downtown: Palm Beach Hibiscus Downtown
This quaint bed and breakfast is located right in the heart of Downtown, and offers some of the best prices on rooms! Rooms come with basic amenities, as well as some luxury toiletries. An American style breakfast is provided every morning, and there is a peaceful garden where you can mingle with other guests.VIEW ON BOOKING.COM
Best Hotel in Downtown: The Ben
This five-star hotel is truly the definition of luxury in West Palm Beach! They offer an American style breakfast, as well as á la carte options if you want something a little fancier. It comes with an outdoor swimming pool, as well as a spacious gym and high-speed WiFi access throughout.VIEW ON BOOKING.COM
Often considered part of the Downtown Area, Flamingo Parks has a unique atmosphere that is perfect for young visitors as well as creatives! Whilst West Palm Beach is already one of the cheapest cities in the region, Flamingo Parks offers some good options for those on a strict budget.
Known as one of the most creative districts in the area, Flamingo Parks is packed with art galleries and independent coffee shops! The main street through the area is lined with great restaurants and vibrant bars. It is also a bit more laid back than Downtown, making it a good place to get away from the hustle and bustle of the main entertainment strips.
Things to See and Do in Flamingo Parks
-The Norton Museum of Art is the largest gallery in the city and contains both classic and contemporary pieces
-Head to Howard Park for a relaxing stroll through the gorgeous gardens, as well as the odd street food truck on occasion
-The Ookapow Brewing Company is a hugely popular craft brewery with regular tours of their facilities and a great bar
-Head to the Grandview Public Market to enjoy some street food, fresh ingredients and handmade souvenirs from local artisans
-The Box Gallery is a smaller independent gallery featuring works from artists from across the South Florida area
-Flamingo Parks is becoming the place to be for international cuisine, especially along Belvedere Road – we recommend Souvlaki Grill
Best Airbnb in Flamingo Parks: Poolside Palace
This massive apartment sleeps up to six people, and even comes with its own private saltwater pool for a relaxing dip after a long day of exploring! Part of the Airbnb Plus range, this uber-stylish apartment comes with fantastic reviews. It also has a small porch area at the front of the property.VIEW ON AIRBNB
Best Hotel for Backpackers Flamingo Parks: Casa Grandview
Right in the heart of Flamingo Parks, this bed and breakfast is only a short walk away from the art galleries! A complimentary American style breakfast is included, as well as access to the high-speed WiFi. There’s also a spacious garden area where you can unwind after a day of exploring.VIEW ON BOOKING.COM
Best Hotel in Flamingo Parks: Hilton West Palm Beach
This four-star Hilton Resort is located on the boundary between Downtown and Flamingo Parks – giving you easy access to both neighborhoods! They have some great facilities, including a large outdoor pool and a gift shop. A complimentary shuttle bus is also available to all guests.VIEW ON BOOKING.COM
Whilst Palm Beach Lakes is mostly a residential area, there are some great hotels in the southern half of the area! This serene neighborhood is perfect for families looking for a relaxing stay close to the city centre. It is surrounded by great attractions that will keep the entire family happy.
Most notably, Palm Beach Lakes is home to the largest golf courses in the city! It is also a major shopping destination, with a large outlet mall and regular shopping court. It is well connected to Downtown by both public transport and highway, giving you easy access to other parts of the city and beyond.
Things to See and Do in Palm Beach Lakes
-Bear Lakes Country Club is a huge golf course stretching across the entire neighborhood, with one of the best clubhouses in the state!
-Head to Palm Beach Outlets where you can grab national and international designer brands at heavily discounted prices
-Need something to tire the kids out? Rapids Water Park is a great attraction that is popular with local families and visitors alike
-Lincoln Park is a small greenspace close to the area with sports grounds, running tracks and good facilities
-Indus Indian and Herbal Cuisine have a great selection of South Asian dishes, with a kids menu to satisfy those with smaller appetites
-If you are more interested in some great Thai cuisine, you have to stop over at Pho 16 right next to the university
Best Airbnb in Palm Beach Lakes: City Townhouse
For a little bit of an upgrade, this luxury townhouse is only a short walk away from the golf courses – and is well connected to the city centre by public transport! Should you arrive by car, there is a private garage where you can store your vehicle. The host has superhost status, ensuring high levels of service.VIEW ON AIRBNB
Best Holiday Home Palm Beach Lakes: Tiki Getaway
Palm Beach Lakes might not have many backpacker options, but this family-friendly neighborhood has some excellent holiday home options! This colossal townhouse sleeps up to eight people, and has its own private pool – making it a fantastic choice for larger families in the area.VIEW ON BOOKING.COM
Best Hotel in Palm Beach Lakes: Hilton Garden Inn West Palm Beach
Another great Hilton hotel in the city, this three-star resort is a little more basic – perfect if you want a more budget-friendly option! Despite the lower rating, it still comes with the Hilton levels of service – with a huge outdoor pool area, small fitness centre and 24-hour room service and luggage storage services.VIEW ON BOOKING.COM
Final Thoughts on Where to Stay in West Palm Beach
Whilst West Palm Beach is kept off most itineraries in South Florida, it should absolutely be on your radar if you want a unique experience with great connections to all the other areas within the region. With a vibrant nightlife scene and a flourishing creative sector, it’s not long before this becomes a major destination in its own right.
In terms of best area, we’re going to go with Flamingo Parks! Only a short trip from Downtown, this up and coming neighborhood has some great modern attractions that brilliantly showcase the city’s recent growth.
That being said, all three neighborhoods have their own benefits and are well connected. We hope this guide has helped you narrow down your options.
Did we miss anything? Let us know in the comments!
While USA can be very safe, it’s super important to make sure you get travel insurance! We’ve put together a roundup of the best travel insurance for backpackers – check it out here, or if you’re low on time, get a quote from World Nomads now, our favourite travel insurance provider.
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