Palm Beach, Florida

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Palm Beach, Florida
Town of Palm Beach
Aerial photograph of Palm Beach proper
Aerial photograph of Palm Beach proper
Official seal of Palm Beach, Florida
The Island
Location of Palm Beach, Florida
Location of Palm Beach, Florida
U.S. Census Bureau map showing town boundaries
U.S. Census Bureau map showing town boundaries
Coordinates: 26°42′54″N 80°2′22″W / 26.71500°N 80.03944°W / 26.71500; -80.03944Coordinates: 26°42′54″N 80°2′22″W / 26.71500°N 80.03944°W / 26.71500; -80.03944
Country United States
State Florida
County Palm Beach
Incorporated (Town of Palm Beach)April 17, 1911
 • Total8.12 sq mi (21.03 km2)
 • Land4.20 sq mi (10.89 km2)
 • Water3.92 sq mi (10.14 km2)
7 ft (2 m)
 • Total8,348
 • Estimate 
 • Density2,067.08/sq mi (798.14/km2)
Time zoneUTC-5 (Eastern (EST))
 • Summer (DST)UTC-4 (EDT)
ZIP code
Area code(s)561
FIPS code12-54025[3]
GNIS feature ID0288390[4]
Palm Beach, 1916
The Lake Trail along the Lake Worth Lagoon
Worth Avenue
Worth Avenue

The Town of Palm Beach is an incorporated town in Palm Beach County, Florida, United States. The Intracoastal Waterway separates it from the neighboring cities of West Palm Beach and Lake Worth. In 2000, Palm Beach had a year-round population of 10,468, with an estimated seasonal population of 30,000. In 2018, Bloomberg ranked Palm Beach as the 27th-wealthiest place in the United States.[5]


Prior to being established as a resort by Henry Morrison Flagler,[6] who made the Atlantic coast barrier island accessible via his Florida East Coast Railway, Palm Beach was a sparsely populated part of Lake Worth. The nucleus of the community was established by Flagler's two luxury resort hotels, the Royal Poinciana Hotel and The Breakers Hotel. West Palm Beach was built across Lake Worth as a service town and has become a major city in its own right.

Flagler's house lots were bought by the beneficiaries of the Gilded Age, and in 1902 Flagler himself built a Beaux-Arts mansion, Whitehall, designed by the New York-based firm Carrère and Hastings and helped establish the Palm Beach winter "season" by constantly entertaining. The town was incorporated on 17 April 1911.

An area known as the Styx housed the people who built up the island. Workers rented small houses from the landowners. In the early 1900s the landowners agreed to evict all of the residents of the Styx (who moved to West Palm Beach, Florida) and Edward R. Bradley bought up much of this land.[7] The houses were razed, according to the Palm Beach Daily News.


The wreck of the Providencia is credited with giving Palm Beach its famous name. The Providencia was traveling from Havana to Cádiz, Spain with a cargo of coconuts harvested on the Caribbean island of Trinidad, when the ship wrecked near Palm Beach. Many of the coconut naturalized or were planted along the Palm Beach coast.[8][9][10] A lush grove of palm trees soon grew on what would later be named Palm Beach. Today the tallest coconut palms in the United States can be found along the Palm Beach coast.[11]


Palm Beach is the easternmost town in Florida, located on a 18-mile (29 km) long barrier island between Lake Worth Lagoon on the west and the Atlantic Ocean on the east. At no point is the island wider than three-quarters of a mile (1.2 km), and in places it is only 500 feet (150 m) wide.[12]

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the town has a total area of 10.4 square miles (27 square kilometres). 3.9 square miles (10 square kilometres) of it is land and 6.5 square miles (17 square kilometres) of it is water. The total area is 62.45% water.


According to the Köppen climate classification Palm Beach has a tropical savanna climate with hot, humid summers and warm, dry winters. [13][14]

The wet season is from May to October, when convective thunderstorms and tropical downpours are common, and weak tropical lows pass nearby. Average high temperatures in Palm Beach are 87 to 93 °F (31 to 34 °C) with lows of 76 to 82 ºF (25 to 28 ºC). During this period, more than half of the summer days bring occasional afternoon thunderstorms and seabreezes that somewhat cool the rest of the day.[15]

The winter brings dry, sunny, and much less humid weather. Average high temperatures of 76 to 83 °F (24 to 28 °C) and lows of 67 to 73 °F (19 to 23 °C), and is considered the main tourist season in the Palm Beach area. Occasionally highs drop below 70 ºF while at other times high temperatures occasionally reach 90 ºF in mid winter. In some years, the dry season can become quite dry, and water restrictions are imposed.

The annual average precipitation is 65 in (1,700 mm), most of which occurs during the summer season from May through October. In the wet summer season, short-lived heavy afternoon thunderstorms are common. Palm Beach reports more than 2,900 hours of sunshine annually. Although rare, tropical cyclones can impact Palm Beach, with the last direct hit in 1928.[15][16]

Climate data for Palm Beach
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Record high °F (°C) 92
Average high °F (°C) 79.3
Average low °F (°C) 70.4
Record low °F (°C) 36
Average precipitation inches (mm) 2.36
Source: National Weather Service[17]


Historical population
Census Pop.
Est. 20168,690[2]4.1%
U.S. Decennial Census[18]

Palm Beach has a median household income of $124,562 and a median family income of $137,867. The town's affluence and its "abundance of pleasures" and "strong community-oriented sensibility" were cited when it was selected in June 2003 as America's "Best Place to Live" by Robb Report magazine.

As of the 2000 census, over half the population (52.7%) are 65 years of age or older, with a median age of 67 years. 9.4% are under the age of 18, 1.5% are from 18 to 24, 11.5% are from 25 to 44, and 25.0% from 45 to 64. For every 100 females, there are 79.3 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there are 77.0 males.

The household income for the town is $109,219. Males have a median income of $71,685 versus $42,875 for females. 5.3% of the population and 2.4% of families are below the poverty line. 4.6% of those under the age of 18 and 2.9% of those 65 and older are living below the poverty line.

The racial makeup of the town is 96% White (93.8% were non-Hispanic White),[19] 2.57% Black, 0.53% Asian, 0.04% Native American, 0.02% Pacific Islander, 0.21% from other races, and 0.63% from two or more races. 2.56% of the population are Hispanic or Latino of any race.

The 10,468 people in the town are organized into 5,789 households and 3,021 families. The population density is 2,669.2 inhabitants per square mile (1,031.1/km2). There are 9,948 housing units at an average density of 1,006.5 per square mile (387.7/km2). 7.7% of the households have children under the age of 18 living with them, 48.1% are married couples living together, 3.3% have a female householder with no husband present, and 47.8% are non-families. 42.6% of all households are made up of individuals and 27.6% have someone living alone who is 65 years of age or older. The average household size is 1.81 and the average family size is 2.38.

In 2000, English was the first language of 87.81% of all residents, while French comprised 4.48%, Spanish consisted of 3.65%, German made up 2.16%, Italian speakers made up 0.45%, Yiddish made up 0.36%, Russian was at 0.30%, Arabic and Swedish at 0.25%, and Polish was the mother tongue of 0.24% of the population.[20]

In 2000, Palm Beach had the 40th highest percentage of Russian residents in the U.S., with 10.30% of the populace (tied with Pomona, New York, and the township of Lower Merion, Pennsylvania).[21] It also had the 26th highest percentage of Austrian residents in the US, at 2.10% of the town's population (which tied with 19 other US areas).[22]

Palm Beach
Palm Beach


Worth Avenue

The city is served by Amtrak[23] and Tri-Rail, which connect Palm Beach with Miami, as well as Palm Beach International Airport, all located in West Palm Beach. The higher speed Brightline has a stop in West Palm Beach as well. Public transportation is available through Palm Tran, and connects with the rest of the county.

The northern portion of Palm Beach is served by the Route 41 bus which travels from the northernmost portion of Palm Beach at the inlet and then down to Royal Palm Way, across the Royal Park Bridge (State Road 704) into West Palm Beach and up to the government center, and then follows the same route in reverse.[24]

Private vehicles and taxis are the predominant means of transport in Palm Beach. Profiling of lower-cost cars and minorities has resulted in tense relations between visitors and the Town.[25]

Bicycles are a popular mode of transportation on the island, although most areas have no bicycle trails, so safe and comfortable travel is not always assured. The Lake Trail, exclusively for pedestrian and bike traffic, extends from Royal Palm Way (State Road 704) in the south up to the north end of the island. The trail follows the edge of the Lake Worth Lagoon (part of the intercoastal waterway) except for a section between the Flagler Museum and the Biltmore Condominiums, where the trail follows the streets. Another break occurs to pass around the Sailfish Yacht Club in the north end of the island. The Lake Trail is filled daily with bikers, rollerbladers, runners, and dog-walkers.

Traveling by bike along the ocean can be hazardous. Only a short section in the downtown area has sidewalks. The roads along the ocean are narrow and have small or nonexistent shoulders, making biking a potentially dangerous activity in those areas.

In the southern end of the island, south of Sloan's Curve, through South Palm Beach to East Ocean Avenue (linking to Lantana) is a two-mile (3200 m) long, relatively wide pedestrian path that is popular with walkers, runners, and bikers alike.


Palm Beach Public Elementary is located on the island and has kindergarten through fifth grade. It has a school grade of A and 477 students attend the school. Palm Beach Day Academy is a private school in the area. It was formed in 2005 from a merger between Palm Beach Day School and the Academy of the Palm Beaches.[26]

Points of interest[edit]

Night view of the Big Kapok tree near Flagler Museum

Notable people[edit]


  1. ^ "2016 U.S. Gazetteer Files". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 7 July 2017.
  2. ^ a b "Population and Housing Unit Estimates". Retrieved 9 June 2017.
  3. ^ "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 31 January 2008.
  4. ^ "US Board on Geographic Names". United States Geological Survey. 25 October 2007. Retrieved 31 January 2008.
  5. ^ "Bloomberg - America's 100 Richest Places". Retrieved 5 March 2018.
  6. ^ a b c d Loney, Jim (19 December 2008). "Madoff scandal stuns Palm Beach Jewish community". Reuters. Retrieved 2 December 2013.
  7. ^ "The Styx: Removal". Palm Beach County History Online. 2009. Retrieved 2 December 2013.
  8. ^ Oyer III, Harvey (4 November 2001). "The Wreck of the Providencia in 1878 and the Naming of Palm Beach County". South Florida History. 29.
  9. ^ "History of Palm Beach". Retrieved 4 December 2018.
  10. ^ "1860 - 1879". Retrieved 5 October 2018.
  11. ^ "Story of the Town's Founding". Retrieved 5 October 2018.
  12. ^ Federal Writers' Project (1939). Florida. A Guide to the Southernmost State. Oxford University Press. p. 227.
  13. ^ "West Palm Beach, Florida". Weatherbase. Retrieved 4 May 2014.
  14. ^ "Climate of West Palm Beach". Retrieved 5 June 2014.
  15. ^ a b "Historical Weather for West Palm Beach, Florida, United States of America". Weatherbase. Retrieved 2 December 2013.
  16. ^ Sterghos Brochu, Nicole (14 September 2003). "Florida's forgotten storm: The Hurricane of 1928". Retrieved 3 September 2018.
  17. ^ "National Weather Service Climate". Retrieved 5 October 2018.
  18. ^ "Census of Population and Housing". Retrieved 4 June 2015.
  19. ^ "Demographics of Palm Beach, Florida". Retrieved 2 December 2013.
  20. ^ "MLA Data Center Results of Palm Beach, FL". Modern Language Association. Retrieved 2 December 2013.
  21. ^ "Ancestry Map of Russian Communities". Retrieved 2 December 2013.
  22. ^ "Ancestry Map of Austrian Communities". Retrieved 2 December 2013.
  23. ^ "Stations: West Palm Beach, FL (WPB)". Amtrak. Retrieved 2 December 2013.
  24. ^ "West Palm Beach to Palm Beach Inlet - Route 41". Palm Beach County. 12 March 2013. Archived from the original on 3 December 2013. Retrieved 2 December 2013.
  25. ^ Maillard, Kevin Noble (23 July 2013). "Racially Profiled in Palm Beach". Retrieved 5 October 2018.
  26. ^ "Palm Beach Public Elementary". Retrieved 2 December 2013.
  27. ^ Slater, Robert (1 November 2000). "Great Jews in sports". J. David Publishers. Retrieved 5 October 2018 – via Google Books.
  28. ^ [1][dead link]
  29. ^ a b Clemence, Sara (12 September 2005). "Palm Beach Peach". Forbes. Retrieved 2 December 2013.
  30. ^ Friedman, Brad (4 November 2006). "Ann Coulter's Felonious Florida Voter Registration Application". Retrieved 2 December 2013.
  31. ^ Hyde, Charles K. (2005). The Dodge brothers: the men, the motor cars, and the legacy. Wayne State University Press. p. 139. ISBN 978-0-8143-3246-7. Retrieved 2 December 2013.
  32. ^ Stephanie Murphy, Shannon Donnelly (31 May 2007). "He Certainly Put his Stamp on the Island". Palm Beach Daily News.
  33. ^ Janjigian, Robert (January 2006). "High Style Impact". Palm Beach Life: 108–111. Retrieved 4 December 2018.
  34. ^ Martin, Douglas (26 September 2009). "Joseph Gurwin, Textile Manufacturer and Philanthropist, Dies at 89". The New York Times. Retrieved 2 December 2013.
  35. ^ Davis, Christine (26 April 2012). "On the Market: George Hamilton, engaged, is selling Waterview Towers bachelor pad for $895,000". Palm Beach Daily News. Retrieved 23 March 2018.
  36. ^ Dargan, Michele; Donnelly, Shannon (13 November 2011). "Service to be Monday for Evelyn Lauder, beauty exec and pink ribbon co-creator". Palm Beach Daily News. Archived from the original on 13 May 2012. Retrieved 2 December 2013.
  37. ^ "El Solano Review - Palm Beach and the Treasure Coast". Fodor's Travel Guides. 1 October 2010. Archived from the original on 11 August 2014. Retrieved 2 December 2013.
  38. ^ "Rush Limbaugh's House, and Other Egomaniacal Estates". New York Magazine. 7 July 2008. Retrieved 2 December 2013.
  39. ^ Hofheinz, Darrell (15 September 2016). "North End home with Vedic principles wins board approval". The Shiny Sheet. Retrieved 6 June 2017.
  40. ^ Ostrowski, Jeff (4 September 2016). "Dr. Oz just bought a Palm Beach mansion. See how much he paid". Palm Beach Post. Retrieved 4 December 2018.

External links[edit]