West Palm Beach is located in Palm Beach County, one of the largest counties in Florida. The mild tropical weather encourages outdoor recreation all year long. Palm Beach County—the "Golfing Capital of Florida"—offers more than 150 world-class courses and is a popular destination for dedicated golfers. West Palm Beach offers its own 18-hole course, rated by Golf Digest as one of the top public courses in the country. Tennis players are happy in West Palm Beach as well, with more than 30 courses located throughout the city. Boating, fishing, water skiing, swimming, scuba diving and shell collecting are just a few of the activities enjoyed at the shore and in the water. City parks provide a variety of amenities and facilities, such as fishing piers, walking paths, playgrounds and picnic areas.
Shopping and Dining
West Palm Beach provides ample unique shopping opportunities and an exciting nightlife. The historic downtown Clematis Street District features major retail outlets as well as an arts center, a library and an amphitheatre. Major shopping malls in and around West Palm Beach include the Palm Beach Outlets, Boynton Beach Mall, the Gardens of the Palm Beaches, the Mall at Wellington Green, and Town Center at Boca Raton. Shopping districts such as CityPlace and Mizner Park include areas to shop and dine in the open air. There are also plenty of restaurants, ranging from casual to elegant. Beachside cafes, snack bars, bistros, nightclubs and formal dining spots abound.
Cultural and educational attractions in West Palm Beach are many and varied. The South Florida Fair is held each January and SunFest—featuring concerts, art, music and food—is staged on the waterfront. The Palm Beach Zoo features more than 400 species and is located in Dreher Park. Also found in West Palm Beach is the South Florida Science Museum with a science center, aquarium, planetarium, observatory and laser concerts. The Norton Museum is internationally known for its collections of 19th and 20th century art.
Public school students in West Palm Beach are served by the Palm Beach County School District. Other area students attend private, parochial or alternative schools in the city. West Palm Beach is located near numerous colleges offering a broad spectrum of higher education. Florida Atlantic University offers undergraduate, graduate and continuing education programs. Palm Beach Atlantic University is a four-year Christian liberal arts college, while Northwood University specializes in business and management degrees. Other colleges in the area include Barry University, Lynn University and Nova University.