The Best of The Palm Beaches: Spas, Beaches, Restaurants and More
We’ve been polling Jupiter Magazine and The Palm Beacher readers since fall on everything from their favorite beaches to the best brunch spots. The tallies are in! Everyone knows Palm Beach County has a lot to offer. But now, we present the definitive guide to the best of the best.
John D. MacArthur Beach State Park
The Best Outdoor Park is about to get better. Plans are in the works to expand the John D. MacArthur Beach State Park’s Satinleaf Trail, a leafy path that winds through a hardwood hammock teeming with satinleaf trees and wild orchids. Bobcats and gopher tortoises can be spotted, and at times migrating songbirds. Palm Beach County’s only state park also offers the Dune Hammock Trail, surrounded by native plants, and everyone’s favorite stroll—the scenic boardwalk across the estuary.
John D. MacArthur Beach State Park, 10900 Jack Nicklaus Drive, North Palm Beach; 561.624.6950; macarthurbeach.org
The sweet, seaside town’s 2.4-mile strand won the Best Beach category for its family-friendly, surfer-friendly and dog-friendly vibe. Eleven entrances, many of them engulfed in seagrape trees, provide access to the beach, where the public can stroll and swim. Early risers can soak in the sunrise while watching pelicans skim across the surface of the ocean and sanderlings scatter about the sudsy shoreline. Anglers can fish the waves to catch tasty pompano, snapper and redfish.
Juno Beach, 340 Ocean Drive; 561.626.1122; juno-beach.fl.us
Lion Country Safari
The only drive-through safari in the state that allows visitors to steer their own vehicles through it, the African adventure has been recognized as one of the top three zoos in America by Fodor’s Travel’s USA Travel Guide. The attraction encompasses more than 300 acres, boasts nearly 1,000 animals and has educated and entertained nearly 25 million visitors since opening in 1967. A children’s amusement park and a KOA campground round out the outdoor activities.
Lion Country Safari, 2003 Lion Country Safari Road, Loxahatchee; 561.793.1084; lioncountrysafari.com
Studio E Gallery
Those who enter the PGA Commons storefront stocked with objets d’art will be surprised when they discover the space is bigger than it appears from the outside. The gallery represents 50-plus artists, each with several pieces on hand in an extensively accommodating rack display. Many of the artists—all of them living—have seen their careers flourish because of their relationships with members of the staff, who go by such names as The Idea Man and The Artist Whisperer.
Studio E Gallery, 4600 PGA Blvd., Ste. 101, Palm Beach Gardens; 561.799.3333; studioegallery.com
Nothing beats a show at the downtown performing arts center, whether it is a Broadway musical, a symphony orchestra or a rock concert. Before the curtain rises, or the tuning of the strings takes place, or the first strain of the electric guitar is heard, patrons can enjoy a pre-theater meal at Bistro Teatro on the mezzanine level. They can also pre-order beer, wine or cocktails at the lobby bar to avoid the lines during intermission.
Kravis Center, 701 Okeechobee Blvd., West Palm Beach; 561.832.7469; kravis.org
The competition is stiff. Nearly 900 artists apply for 270 spots at the three-day outdoor festival. Another 30 booths are reserved for ribbon winners from previous shows. Each application goes through four judges who must award it a high enough score for the artist to make the cut. The Youth Art Competition is also juried and open to kindergartners through 12th graders, featuring award money to winning students and their schools.
ArtiGras, Abacoa, Jupiter; 561.746.7111; artigras.org
Square Grouper Tiki Bar
The famed restaurant’s calendar says it all. Live music takes over the stage seven days a week, from local bands such as Steeltown Religion, Krazy Train and Axcents to national talents such as Andy Grammer, Alan Jackson and Joe Nichols. No shirt, no shoes, no problem, as there is no dress code, and the pub and grub is offered on a first-come, first-served basis. In between sets, guests can gaze at the Jupiter Inlet Lighthouse.
Square Grouper Tiki Bar, 1111 Love St., Jupiter; 561.406.6417; squaregrouper.net
Place To Take Out-Of-Town Guests & Best Waterfront Restaurant
Photos of the outdoor oasis cannot convey the feeling of what it is like to sit underneath a canopy of coconut palms while drinking a margarita and eating the catch of the day, with the Loxahatchee River steps away. The lushly landscaped restaurant has been compared to Disney World—the happiest place on earth. A best-kept secret is breakfast on the weekends, when the vibe is even more relaxing than lunch, dinner and happy hour at the bar.
Guanabanas, 960 N. A1A, Jupiter; 561.747.8878; guanabanas.com
View In Town
Jupiter Inlet Lighthouse
From 108 feet, the vista is vast. Visitors to the local landmark can see for miles as they make the 360-degree walk around the balcony, catching a breath of fresh air—and catching their breath after the trip up the spiral staircase. Back on the ground, a different view can be found at the Keeper’s Workshop, where a new permanent exhibit has been installed, showcasing the history of the beacon and those who maintained it.
Jupiter Inlet Lighthouse, 500 Captain Armour’s Way, Jupiter; 561.747.8380; jupiterlighthouse.org
Jupiter Medical Center
The sprawling campus of doctors, nurses and other highly trained providers is the only medical center in Palm Beach and Martin counties that has an “A” grade for safety from The Leapfrog Group, a national non-profit whose flagship survey collects and reports hospital performance. The medical center also is the first of its kind in the country to adopt IBM’s Watson for Oncology technology, equipping the cancer team with the tools to make personalized decisions about patient treatment options.
Jupiter Medical Center, 1210 S. Old Dixie Highway, Jupiter; 561.263.2234; jupitermed.com
The Woodhouse Day Spa
Since opening last summer, the scent-filled and serene spa has been recognized as the hidden gem of Legacy Place. It offers much more than body, hair, nail and skin treatments, including organic products imported from Ireland, a private VIP room, catered lunches from The Capital Grille and party packages. Whether receiving a four-handed massage or a stem-cell facial, clients experience a luxurious pampering session with top-notch amenities and a staff of spa specialists.
The Woodhouse Day Spa, 11300 Legacy Ave., Ste. 140, Palm Beach Gardens; 561.385.4772; palmbeachgardens.woodhousespas.com
Place To Get Married
The oceanfront resort’s team of seasoned wedding experts guide couples through the entire planning process. Every type of affair, from an intimate ceremony for family and friends, to exchanging vows on the beach, to a grand fête for 500, is tailored to the desires and dreams of the bride and groom. The design studio offers unrivaled décor, and the chefs and master sommeliers prepare and serve show-stopping food and wine. Every wedding cake tells a story.
The Breakers, 1 S. County Road, Palm Beach; 877.724.3188; thebreakers.com
Ceci Palm Beach
This women’s clothing store at Downtown at the Gardens prides itself on keeping the couture current by constantly bringing in new and exciting items. It serves as a place where customers can find affordable, fashion-forward dresses, sandals, shorts, skirt sets, tops and tunics. Personal shopping is offered and is no more than a phone call or a text message away. The store also prides itself on contributing to the community by donating items to local charities for fundraising events.
Ceci Palm Beach, 11701 Lake Victoria Gardens Ave., Palm Beach Gardens; 561.626.8500; facebook.com/cecipalmbeach
The gems shimmer in their glass cases. So does the gold, platinum and silver. Outshining it all, though, is the team of jewelers at the standout store. Associates are considerate, dedicated and thorough, and they understand their customers’ budgets, time and wishes. Services include buying and repairing jewelry and inspecting personal pieces, and operations revolve around the motto: “Come as a customer, leave as a friend.”
Multiple locations; providentjewelry.com
A tasty treasure in a strip mall on the corner of Military Trail and PGA Boulevard, the 30-year-old restaurant is the oldest fine-dining establishment in the northern Palm Beach County area. It was created by chef Frank Eucalitto, the owner, with the goal of making every night a special occasion. A stellar staff, many of whom have been there since the beginning, serves made-to-order, locally sourced meals, some of which include heirloom tomatoes picked daily from Eucalitto’s garden.
Café Chardonnay, 4533 PGA Blvd., Palm Beach Gardens; 561.627.2662; cafechardonnay.com
Berry Fresh Café
Eating fresh is easy at this clean and healthy breakfast hot spot. The O.M.G. Strawberry-Stuffed French Toast includes egg-dipped challah bread, cream cheese and strawberry jam tossed in corn ﬂakes and topped with warm syrup. It is a Berry Fresh Café signature dish, as is the equally enticing Bananas & Blueberries Foster French Toast, which consists of more challah bread and more cream cheese and the two fruits sautéed in a sauce of brown sugar, butter, cinnamon and rum.
Berry Fresh Café, 3755 Military Trail, Jupiter; 561.401.5693; berryfresh.cafe
Diners have been saying “ciao” to the flavors of Italy at Lynora’s, an area mainstay known for its delicious, homemade comfort food served in a relaxed setting by an energetic staff. Chef Mario Mette’s menu makes mouths water with descriptions of Gnocchi al Forno and Signature Meatballs, as well as artisanal pizzas and imported pastas.
Lynora’s, 1548 N. U.S. Highway 1, Jupiter; 561.203.2702 / 207 Clematis St., West Palm Beach; 561.899.3117; lynoras.com/jupiter
Hogsnappers Shack and Sushi
“I use a lot of spices from South America, so it’s not your traditional Japanese sushi,” says Arthur Rivaldo, Hogsnappers Shack and Sushi executive chef, who hails from Colombia. “I think our success has been the unexpected.” Rivaldo describes the place as “fine dining in a shack” and its clientele is everybody from “the landscaper to the billionaire.” He’s also a wine connoisseur and personally tastes each label to make sure it pairs well with every hand roll.
Hogsnappers Shack and Sushi, 713 US Highway 1, North Palm Beach; 561.444.2481 / 279 US Highway 1, Tequesta; 561.401.9309; hogsnappersshackandsushi.com
Sundays at The Breakers’ renowned restaurant showcase a spread of impeccably prepared items unparalleled by other brunches in the area. A fan favorite, The Circle has been voted by OpenTable diners as one of the Top 100 brunches in the United States. Highlights include imported cheeses and pâtés, sautéed lamb and specially prepared sushi, a raw bar with Alaskan king crab legs and other seafood delights and a decadent dessert station.
The Circle, The Breakers, 1 S. County Road, Palm Beach; 877.724.3188; thebreakers.com/dining/the-circle
Known for its hot dogs, which are billed as “Love at First Bite,” the open-air restaurant won the Best Burger category. Diners can choose from cheeseburgers, bacon cheeseburgers, half-pounders and The Big Kahuna, flipped and grilled to perfection by a crack crew that aims to leave everyone happier (and fuller) than when they arrived. Familiar faces, shade from the old oak trees growing out back and the smell of good food add to the ambience.
Dune Dog, 775 N. Alternate A1A, Jupiter; 561.744.6667; dunedog.com
Little Moir’s Food Shack
Check those preconceived notions at the door, because the name and décor of the eatery belie the fact that it serves the freshest fish (diners do not realize it was just swimming) and other five-star quality seafood dishes that originate with local fishermen. The restaurant’s two best-selling items are the Sweet Potato-Crusted Fish and the Fried Tuna & Basil Roll, pleasing the palates of Jupiter residents during its 15 years
Little Moir’s Food Shack, 103 S. U.S. Highway 1, Ste. D3, Jupiter; 561.741.3626; littlemoirsjupiter.com/food-shack
“You can’t buy happiness, but you can buy donuts. That’s kind of the same thing,” reads Chrystal Jones’ email signature. She is the owner of the sweet shop that won the Best Bakery category. Smells of chocolate, cinnamon, sugar and spices swirl around the room, thanks to bakers who toil through the wee hours of the morning to produce artfully colored, circular goodies with names such as Blueberry Birthday Cake, Strawberry Bark and Tutti Frutti.
Jupiter Donuts, 420 US Highway 1, North Palm Beach; 561.557.5291 / 1115 Royal Palm Beach Blvd., Royal Palm Beach; 561.792.5001 /141 Center St., Jupiter; 561.741.5290; jupiterdonuts.com
If another name could be given to 3 Natives, it would be Scratch Kitchen. The juice bar’s homemade recipes—served fresh daily—are clean of additives and preservatives, as well as sugar and water. Using the cold-pressed method, fruits and vegetables maintain their nutrient levels, giving customers a healthy alternative to store-bought juices. All of its flavors, from Black Lemonade to Wheat Grass, are bottled in environmentally friendly containers and should be consumed within three days.
3 Natives, 12216 US Highway 1, North Palm Beach; 561.223.3469 / 4601 Military Trail, Ste. 107, Jupiter; 561.328.8361 / 251 S. US Highway 1, Tequesta; 561.203.7980; 3natives.com
Place For Cocktails
The Cooper Cooler is one of several craft cocktails served at this PGA Commons restaurant, mixing honey, lemon and orange with St. Augustine-brand vodka. Another is the Name Dropper, with grapefruit, St. Germain and Plymouth Gin. The Walking Dead is a blend of absinthe, Don’s Mix, grenadine, rum and Velvet Falernum—a fresh take on the Zombie cocktail. A variety of single-cask cocktails are on the menu, and the wine list is robust.
The Cooper, 4610 PGA Blvd., Ste. 100, Palm Beach Gardens; 561.622.0032; thecooperrestaurant.com
Pineapples, Palms, Etc.
Many customers who come in to shop for their favorite accessories, furniture, gifts and pieces of décor might not realize the retail store has a full interior design department. Those who purchase items from its website might not know that the merchandise changes weekly, and the showroom is constantly refreshed. Homeowners whose abodes have received the Pineapples, Palms, Etc. touch—including television journalist and Jupiter resident Bryant Gumbel—are filled with beachy and beautiful pieces inspired by nature.
Pineapples, Palms, Etc., 287 E. Indiantown Road, Jupiter; 561.748.8303; pineapplespalms.com
Old Palm Golf Course
The No. 1 rule for the golf staff? Figure out ways to accommodate any request. The No. 1 goal of the golf staff? Customize the member experience. The Raymond Floyd-designed course is challenging yet enjoyable, with forgiving fairways leading to greens that become more difficult with each hole. The Golf Studio provides a place for members to work on their games at a professional level, as it is equipped with a TrackMan ball and club radar system.
Old Palm Golf Course, 11089 Old Palm Drive, Palm Beach Gardens; 561.472.5120; oldpalmgolfclub.com/golf