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50 of our favorite things in Palm Beach County


In honor of the 50th anniversary of “The Sound of Music,” we’ve put together a few of our favorite things — all local, all delightful.

The Breakers, the ultimate Palm Beach experience: Henry Flagler’s grand hotel is the finest place to experience true Palm Beach glamour. Stroll through the spectacular lobby, then head to the Seafood Bar and order a Flirtini (the pineapple-infused Cosmopolitan with Champagne floater is $15). It’s affordable to feel rich when you live in Palm Beach County.

The scent of Key West Aloe: The citrusy smell of Key West Aloe’s facial cleanser, which is 30 percent aloe vera, is a brisk, and welcome, wakeup call. We’re hooked on it. Key West Aloe products are sold at The Breakers, Lollie’s in Tequesta and Simple Pleasures Bath & Body in Stuart.

The Spicy Green Beans at The Spice: Don’t let its strip-center location across from Palm Beach Outlets keep you away. This is some of the very best Thai food in Palm Beach County. The Woonsen Pad Thai, made with cellophane noodles, is also lick-your-plate good.

Yoga at Mandel Public Library: With two sessions on Tuesday evenings and two on Saturday mornings, these by-donation classes are so popular that mats stretch from the third-floor auditorium into the hall. After you “namaste,” grab a bestseller to go.

OR … bend by the lighthouse: Mondays are no longer a thing to dread now that there’s lighthouse yoga. As the sun sets on the Jupiter inlet, yoga teacher Mary Veal leads the class through a 75-minute all-levels yoga practice that leaves students feeling relaxed, refreshed and ready to conquer the rest of the week. Starts at 6:55 p.m. at 500 Captain Armour’s Way, Jupiter.

Mini-cupcake Mondays at Cafe Sweets Bakery: Monday is the day to drop by the Clematis Street bakery. That’s when they sell their mini-cupcakes for $1 each. The only hitch? They come in so many flavors, it’s hard to choose just one. Or three.

Stretchy slim pants from Anthony’s: Who would think a women’s fashion store that opened in Palm Beach in 1895 would would sell such fabulous pants? The Kristin Crenshaw pants at Anthony’s (anthonysfla.com) are $89, and so versatile and comfortable, we buy three at a time.

The ambiance of Kaffee’s Garden Spa: We love the friendly atmosphere of this West Palm Beach spa — we could spend several happy hours just relaxing in their comfortable waiting area — and their gift shop is well-stocked with feel-good temptations.

The chicken burgers at Joseph’s Classic Market in Palm Beach Gardens and Boca Raton: These house-made burgers come in several flavors (a favorite is buffalo and blue cheese). Grill them or fry them, slap ‘em on a Joseph’s onion roll with some lettuce and tomato, and you’ve got yourself a burg’ that no gourmet joint can beat.

The stores inside OZO2 Eco Cleaners: Scented candles. High-end cleaning supplies. The kinds of products featured in “Oprah” magazine. The pleasingly displayed merchandise inside OZO2’s three Palm Beach County locations is, for us, one of the chief draws of this earth-friendly dry cleaner.

Moonrise at Juno Beach Pier: It’s easy to take the beach for granted when you live within a few miles of it. Here’s a delicious way to reconnect with your sandy neighbor, no sunscreen required (and parking is free): Pick up some takeout, spread a blanket on the beach, and watch the moon rise behind the pier.

Trivia night at Brewhouse Gallery: You’ll have to don your thinking cap to win the Wednesday night showdown of smarties at Lake Park’s artiest venue. The contest draws an all ages crowd to the living room-like setting.

The Polo Lounge at The Colony hotel in Palm Beach: Want to feel like Frank Sinatra and Ava Gardner might have felt at the glamorous Stork Club? The Polo vibe is close. We enjoyed shrimp cocktail there recently ($20).

The cinnamon honey at Bee Unique: This West Palm Beach store sells every flavor of honey you never knew you were addicted to, as well as honey-based soaps, sauces, scented lotions and beeswax candles. It’s one of our happy places in Palm Beach County.

Sunrise breakfast at Benny’s on the Beach: Perched on the Lake Worth Pier, this chef-run cafe has excellent food, rich coffee (essential when you arrive at dawn) and a spectacular ocean view. Open daily at 7 a.m.

A shady morning ride on the Palm Beach Bike Trail: Feel like a Palm Beacher on this paved path along the Intracoastal that borders manicured landscapes and behind high hedges, mansions.

A long walk on the beach at MacArthur State Park: This North Palm Beach stretch of sand is wide, wild and at its north end, usually deserted.

A canoe or kayak trip along the Loxahatchee River: Paddlethrough the Eden-like cypress canopy of this federally designated Wild and Scenic River. Rentals are $30 to $45 from Canoe Outfitters in Riverbend Park, Jupiter.

A barre workout at Pop Physique: Book a workout at this Abacoa gym in Jupiter and prepare for your thighs, bottom and abs to thank you, eventually. Single class, $20.

Stroll the avenues: We mean Lake Avenue in Lake Worth and Atlantic Avenue in Delray Beach. They’re both boho, funky and fun.

Squid ink orecchiette at Buccan in Palm Beach: Whatever else you order at this small plates restaurant, make sure this is on your list. Bonus: the people-watching is almost as delectable as the food. Half-portion $15, but to share, you’ll want a whole one, $30.

End-of-the-season markdowns at Palm Beach consignment and vintage shops: You can snag a reduced-price ballgown, along with outfits, shoes, bags and jewelry with labels from the fancy shops on Worth Avenue. Check out Déjà vu, Razzmatazz, Classic Collections, Attitudes, Church Mouse, Fiore Fine Men’s Wear and the Palm Beach Goodwill store.

Yellowtail from J & J Seafood: This West Palm Beach Greenmarket staple frequently has Florida natives including stone crab, hogfish and that Floridian favorite, yellowtail.

Guava-and-cheese turnovers from Tulipan Cuban Bakery: Crusty, warm and luscious, it’s the most indulgent way to start the morning, especially when paired with a high-test coradito (half Cuban coffee, half milk); in West Palm Beach and North Palm Beach.

Coffee at Subculture Coffee: The hipster vibe of this West Palm Beach (and now in Delray Beach, too) coffeehouse comes with a friendly staff, on-site artisanally roasted beans, fresh juices and an array of sweet treats.

The tuna salad sandwich at Nature’s Way Café in Juno Beach: A smooth, old-school spread of solid white albacore stuffed between your choice of bread and jazzed up with sweet carrot shavings, lettuce, tomato, cukes and alfalfa sprouts ($5.75).

The Tuna & Basil Roll at Food Shack ($12): This is fresh, sushi-grade tuna rolled in a light crust that’s fried crispy. The outside is golden and crunchy, the inside still gorgeously raw. For the dipping, there’s a kicky wasabi sauce. Beware of imitations – the best renditions are served at Little Moir’s Food Shack and Leftover eateries in Jupiter.

The view of the Jupiter Inlet Lighthouse from the sand at U-Tiki Beach bar and eatery in Jupiter. Just before dusk, grab a beer and plastic chair and enjoy the view in its segues of pink.

Cruise under the canopy in Gulf Stream: The drive along State Road A1A is beautiful the whole way — and particularly breathtaking in Gulf Stream, between Woolbright Road and Atlantic Avenue in Delray Beach. There’s a historic marker noting the road’s last remaining canopy of Australian pine trees, which show the “original character and beauty of the 1920s-era S.R. A1A.”

Thursday night sancocho at Don Café in West Palm Beach: This is a Dominican stew ($8.99 small, $10.99 large) that’s rich in meats, plantains and root veggies. Have it with a side of Puerto Rican-style mofongo ($5.99), fried and mashed green plantain with garlic and chicharrón.

The house-made croquetas at Papa’s Tapas in Delray Beach: This family-owned, small plates eatery serves these crispy-outside, creamy-inside croquetas ($7) stuffed with ham, cheese or chicken filling. Bonus: They’re served with Dominican-Spanish love.

Hummus and baba ganoush at the Middle East Bakery & Grocery in West Palm Beach. This family-owned market is a take-out gem, dispensing super-fresh hummus, parsley-rich tabbouleh, crispy kibbe and homemade pita.

Spot the “John Lennon House”: A drive down South Ocean Boulevard in Palm Beach is a must for mansion-spotters. El Salano, at 720 S. Ocean, was supposed to be Addison Mizner’s own home, but it’s best-known as the “John Lennon House,” since Lennon and Yoko Ono briefly owned the 1919 beauty in the early 1980s.

The BoGo wine deals at Publix GreenWise market in Palm Beach Gardens. Every week, wines priced anywhere from 10 to 30 bucks are buy-one, get-one. Plus, you get to taste them before you buy. Can’t beat that.

Mineral pools at PGA National Spa: There’s something so luxurious about soaking in the mineral pools at PGA National. The mineral-rich water of the Dead Sea pool is said to soothe skin and calm anxious minds, and the salt water in the Salies de Bearn pool helps moderate fluid retention, body temperature changes and mood swings. Talk about a full-body spa day!

Christopher’s Kitchen’s vanilla “ice cream” with caramel sauce ($12.50 as a sundae). Owner/chef Chris Slawson, master of plant-based delights, whips up this frozen dessert using nut cream instead of dairy. Not only will you not miss the dairy, you’ll forever crave dairy-free ice cream.

Signature martini at Table 26 in West Palm Beach: It’s got grapefruit juice and St. Germain elderflower liqueur. Fabulous.

The Kalicious smoothie at Whole Foods Market. We venture to say this is the best green smoothie on the planet: a secret recipe that contains kale, bananas, apple juice, lemon and who-knows-what else. It’s smooth, balanced and only slightly sweet.

The lobster bisque at Cod & Capers seafood market and café in North Palm Beach: a delicious bisque ($7.99) that’s swimming with fresh Maine lobster chunks.

Cozy dining at The Kitchen: It’s hard to be both cozy and hip, but this restaurant — at Belvedere and Dixie in West Palm Beach — makes us feel instantly cool.

Macarons from Le Macaron on Atlantic Avenue: These melt-in-your-mouth treats are so delicious they’re worth a drive to Delray. We love all the different flavors from the traditional Belgian chocolate and coconut crème to the more adventurous basil white chocolate, rose petal and candied ginger chocolate. Yum!

Riverbend Park at dusk: This 665-acre park is one of the most underrated spots in Palm Beach County. With nearly 10 miles of walking and biking trails and 5 miles of waterways, Riverbend (9060 Indiantown Road, Jupiter) offers a sweet escape from overdeveloped South Florida. Our favorite time to go is dusk when we can often spot a deer or two.

“The Chronic” acai bowl from 3 Natives: The new coffee and juice bar 3 Natives in Tequesta already has a cult-like following (expect to wait in line, especially on the weekends). Try The Chronic acai bowl: pureed acai berry topped with pineapple, banana, strawberry, kiwi, shaved coconut, local honey and granola.

Local band Uproot Hootenanny: While we have a ton of talented local bands, Uproot Hootenanny is one you can’t miss. Their sound is best described as Irish bluegrass. (www.uproothootenanny.com)

Cold Brew Rabbit Coffee: Make no mistake: this isn’t your average iced coffee. Using the method of cold brew produces a concentrated coffee that’s smoother and less acidic. (Find Rabbit Coffee at a variety of local coffee and retail shops, at the West Palm Beach GreenMarket or online: www.rabbitcoffeeroasting.com)

Rewined candles: This Charleston-based company makes candles out of recycled wine bottles. Each candle’s scent is inspired by a different type of wine. For example, the Merlot features bold aromas of violet, rose, ripe pomegranate and plum followed by a vanilla finish. (Find Rewined at Carmine’s Gourmet Market and online www.rewinedcandles.com)

Specialty Beer Cellar: Tucked away in Abacoa Plaza in Jupiter, just a few doors down from Bagel Boyz, is this 2-year-old beer bar. With exposed brick walls and an industrial-meets-rustic atmosphere, you’ll feel like you’re sitting in bar in Brooklyn. You may not recognize many (or any!) of the beers, so try one highlighted on the chalkboard or ask the bartender for a recommendation.

Worship like a Kennedy: St. Edward Church at 144 N. County Road is where the Kennedys worshiped, and the magnificent stained glass windows depicting the life of the Blessed Mother — the so-called “Marian windows” — are stunning.

Seaglass jewelry from BentoBox: This beachy jewelry is more elegant than the Puka shell necklaces from the ’70s, but still reminiscent of South Florida’s island-inspired lifestyle. There are plenty of other fun gifts and trinkets at the bohemian chic boutique at 312 Center St., Jupiter.

See the birds! The baby birds are flying out of their nests this time of year. Spot them at Wakodahatchee Wetlands are in suburban Delray Beach on the east side of Jog Road between Woolbright Road and Atlantic Avenue.



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