Animal and nature lovers, here are 6 amazing things to see in western Palm Beach County

From seeing clouded leopard cubs to going on a safari, this day trip is worth the drive out west to Wellington and Loxahatchee


I know. It’s still sweltering in Palm Beach County. But try to ignore the shirt-soaking, face-greasing conditions and take in one of the most beautiful areas in Palm Beach County. Those of you who love animals and nature will enjoy this day trip. Because many of the things you’ll experience, you’ve probably only seen on TV shows like ‘Discovery’ or ‘Animal Planet.’ 

📹 Enjoy these: Our video playlist of beautiful nature preserves in Palm Beach County

Before heading out west, here are tips to prepare for this day trip.

  • 1. Dress for extreme heat: Wear sunblock, sunglasses and a hat. It’ll get hot. 
  • 2. Bring plenty of water and snacks with you and leave some in a cooler in the car. You’ll do long walks before any access to it. 
  • 3. Leave a towel in the car and bring an extra shirt. Yes, you’ll be soaked in sweat and a clean dry shirt will be nice for your drive home. 
  • Bring your cameras, of course.

Keep the day trips going: Sign up for “Day Trippin’,” a weekly travel and adventure newsletter delivered to your inbox every week


Here are 6 things you’ll love in western Palm Beach county:

Plan your trip wisely and be aware of your schedule. There’s a tour that takes place only once a day. So, decide your itinerary before you head out. 

Get breakfast

When it comes to breakfast, my go-to cravings are usually American classics like eggs, bacon and pancakes, Venezuelan arepas or Colombian empanadas. There are several places out west that I enjoy. For an American breakfast, I like Keke’s in Wellington or The Gun Club. As for Venezuelan arepas or Colombian empanadas, I like Chikita’s and Delicias de la Abuela in West Palm. You can find these two restaurants in this list.


Try downward dog with goats

There’s yoga, and then there’s yoga with goats standing on you. I swear. It’s a thing. Sign up in advance for a yoga class online and head out to Krazy Hearts Farm in Loxahatchee. Classes are Saturdays from 9 to 10 a.m. Click here to read all about it, and find out why so many people love it. 

Downward Goat at Krazy Hearts Farm: 16747 Fox Trail Ln, Loxahatchee; 561-329-2293

Follow Downward Goat on Facebook to sign up or follow their Instagram to see what it’s like. 


Go on a safari

Lion Country Safari is one of the largest attractions in Palm Beach County and the only drive-through safari in Florida. The park has more than 1,000 animals including lions, giraffes, rhinos and monkeys. There are also rides for the family, camping and a water park on location. 

This year, the park welcomed a new member: a male Asiatic water buffalo, and was nominated for “Best Wildlife Park” in the country by USA Today

📹 See this video: Extinct Oryx thrive at Lion Country Safari 

Hurry! Lion Country Safari is offering $6 off each person in a vehicle through September 25. For all other discounts in September, visit the park’s website. 

Lion Country Safari: 2003 Lion Country Safari Rd, Loxahatchee; 561-793-1084; Hours: 9:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. 


Visit horse country

Start heading to Wellington, a suburban area known as the “Winter Equestrian Capital of the World.” This place is home to so many animal lovers, like the Arellano family who work, live and breathe horses and polo. And Danny Robertshaw and Ron Danta who have adopted so many dogs they inspired a filmmaker to make a movie about it: “Life In The Doghouse” which debuts Sept. 13 in Royal Palm Beach. 

Lunch at a local horse-lovers spot 

Wellington has so many tasty options for lunch and dinner. To make your dining plans easier, here are some of the restaurants we’ve reviewed or written about in no particular order. You can also check out our food editor’s top recommendations in Wellington and Royal Palm Beach


See clouded leopard cubs!

Panther Ridge Conservation Center is a small rescue center in Wellington offering up-close interactions with some of the biggest cats in the world. A one-hour tour is led by a head-keeper and the animal caretakers. You’ll walk through the conservation center and see where the big cats live and play. And also learn facts about each animal in this intimate learning experience.

Get ready to see a cheetah, cougars, panthers and other exotic cats.

👓 Read this Q&A with owner, Judy Berens: “Exotic cats are not for everyone”


Oh, and recently, two clouded leopards cubs were born in 2018: Lura is 6 months old and Malee is 3 months old. For an additional donation, experience a 15-minute encounter with the cubs.

🐾 See these: 8 exotic wild cats at Panther Ridge Conservation Center

The tour must be booked in advance and is offered daily at 1 p.m. Arrive 15 minutes before the tour begins. 

Panther Ridge Conservation Center14755 Palm Beach Point Blvd, Wellington; 561-795-8914


Take in a scenic sunset

“This story contains embedded social media content. If you don’t see that content please click here.” 

Wellington Environmental Preserve at the Marjory Stoneman Douglas Everglades Habitat has beautiful scenery for pictures, especially during sunrise or sunset. They also have nature programs and an observation tower. Enjoy trails through the 365-acre rainwater storage area and the perimeter Equestrian Trail. 

This place doesn’t need any Instagram filters.

Wellington Environmental Preserve3491 Flying Cow Ranch Road, Wellington

561-791-4005


Reader Comments ...


Next Up in Travel

Hurricane Florence: Trucker driving school bus rescues 64 dogs, cats from South Carolina
Hurricane Florence: Trucker driving school bus rescues 64 dogs, cats from South Carolina

A Tennessee truck driver is being hailed as a hero after he rescued 64 shelter dogs and cats ahead of Hurricane Florence. According to the Greenvale News, Tony Alsup, 51, from Greenback, Tennessee, drove a school bus to South Carolina last week as the deadly storm strengthened in the Atlantic. Once there, he stopped in Orangeburg, Georgetown, Dillon...
Hurricane Florence aftermath: 1-year-old dies after vehicle flooded by rising waters
Hurricane Florence aftermath: 1-year-old dies after vehicle flooded by rising waters

Officials on Monday morning recovered the body of a 1-year-old boy who was swept away by floodwaters during the aftermath of Hurricane Florence. >> Read more trending news  Update 10:30 a.m. EDT Sept. 17: Sheriff’s deputies in Union County confirmed in a Facebook post Monday morning that searchers had found the body...
Hurricane Florence aftermath: Journalists rescue woman from car stuck in floodwaters
Hurricane Florence aftermath: Journalists rescue woman from car stuck in floodwaters

They were in the right place at the right time.  Reporter Chris Jose and photojournalist Brandon Bryant with Atlanta's WSB-TV, which is owned by Cox Media Group, have been in South Carolina covering what is now tropical depression Florence. The two are making their way to Fayetteville, North Carolina, to cover the flooding...
Hurricane Florence aftermath: 6 scary, infectious illnesses you can catch from floodwater
Hurricane Florence aftermath: 6 scary, infectious illnesses you can catch from floodwater

Hurricanes can leave behind tons of damage, including flooding. But did you know that treading through the wrong kind of water can cause illnesses or even death? Floodwaters and standing water are often contaminated, posing several risks, such as infectious diseases, chemical hazards and injuries. Here are six sicknesses you should...
Umbrella Sky is coming down: Time to get those photos while you still can
Umbrella Sky is coming down: Time to get those photos while you still can

Update: The Umbrella Sky project comes down at 11:30 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 16. Surely you’ve seen them on Instagram, the joyous raft of umbrellas floating above a cobblestone street in Coral Gables. As handy as they might seem during the afternoon downpours, they’re actually just for show, a summer-long art installation called Umbrella...
More Stories