If you’re looking to soak up the sun and spend your days lazing on golden
sandy beaches, there’s no better place than South Florida. With a subtropical
climate and a relaxed culture, the Sunshine State is a popular year-round
vacation spot, hosting over 18.6 million tourists each year. While some come
for the world-class theme parks and buzzing nightlife, many are looking to
relax and enjoy the beautiful beaches along the Gulf and Atlantic coastline.
If you’re looking for crystal clear water and golden sand, one of the best
places to visit in South Florida is the picture-perfect West Palm Beach area.
However, with an abundance of gorgeous beaches for both visitors and locals,
it can be a tough choice deciding where to set your umbrella up for the day.
Luckily, we’ve put together a list of the top 10 best beaches in the West Palm
Beach area to make your decision a little easier.
1. John D. Macarthur Beach State Park (North Palm Beach)
John D. Macarthur State Park is a pristine and undeveloped landscape situated
approximately 10 miles north of downtown West Palm Beach. The secluded
parkland offers plenty in the way of activities including kayaking, fishing,
swimming, and even scuba diving. John D. Macarthur beach is two miles long and
the perfect place to take a leisurely stroll or swim to escape the heat
(although, there are no lifeguards on duty).
If you’re up for some exploring, there are three nature trails that you can
take to experience the diverse mix of flora and fauna that South Florida has
to offer. The park is also a prime nesting site for sea turtles from early May
through to late August. There are excellent amenities including two picnic
pavilion areas with grills, playgrounds, toilets/restrooms, and even a visitor
center. Parking is also available onsite for $5 per vehicle.
2. Gulfstream Park Beach (Delray Beach)
If crowds aren’t your thing, you can always opt for a quiet oasis at
Gulfstream Park Beach in Delray Beach. Hidden off the main road (A1A), this
beautiful beachfront park has a large children’s playground, BBQ grills, and
picnic tables to enjoy a relaxing lunch or dinner. Free parking is available
(although, we recommend getting there early as spaces are limited) and there a
few showers/bathrooms in the area. Lifeguards also patrol the beach, making it
safe for families with young children.
3. Oceanfront Park Beach (Boynton Beach)
Located south of the Boynton Beach Inlet,
Oceanfront Park Beach</a >
is a hidden gem. The beach is wide and offers plenty of space for activities
with designated surfing and skimboarding areas at the north and south ends.
You can rent lounge chairs and umbrellas (starting at $7/hour) or relax in a
cabana ($42/hour). There are food stands nearby and excellent facilities,
including BBQ grills, picnic tables, and restrooms. Parking is also available
on site, although it is expensive ($10) and guaranteed to fill up quickly.
However, if you plan your visit after 4 PM, you can get free parking after the
attendants have left for the day.
4. Palm Beach Island (Palm Beach)
With a relaxing atmosphere, soft golden sand, and warm water– no trip to South
Florida is complete without visiting the popular Palm Beach Island. A paradise
for the rich and famous, Palm Beach Island lives up to its reputation as the
third-wealthiest city in the US</a >, with an array of luxurious resorts, mansions, and lavish restaurants.
The good news is you don’t have to be driving a Rolls Royce to visit the
public beach. However, parking is limited and absurdly expensive ($5/hour)
along South Ocean Drive, and the beach can get quite crowded.
5. Ocean Reef Park (Riviera Beach)
If you’re keen on snorkelling, you won’t want to miss Ocean Reef Park. The
reef is situated close to the shoreline and has lifeguards on duty each day,
allowing you to explore the marine life without venturing out too far.
Ocean Reef Park is a popular spot (especially on weekends). Free parking is
available, although you will need to get there early as spaces fill up
quickly. Restroom facilities are within walking distance from the beach, and
outdoor showers are onsite. Ocean Reef Park also has a lovely boardwalk,
picnic areas with grills and a shaded pavilion.
6. Peanut Island (Palm Beach)
Floating in the turquoise waters of Lake Worth Lagoon,
Peanut Island</a >
is the ideal destination for those looking to get in touch with nature. The
man-made island is covered in dense vegetation and fringed by beautiful
white-sand beaches with rocky inlets and shallow water. It’s a popular
destination for snorkelling due to the abundance of marine life, including
loggerhead turtles. You may find a peaceful inlet during the week but beware
of large parties on the weekend.
Entertainment isn’t just limited to water activities. You’ll also find a
walking trail around the perimeter of the island, overnight camping areas, and
the famous J.F Kennedy bunker (used during the Cold War, although currently
closed until further notice</a >). Facilities are plentiful, including picnic pavilions, grills, and
restrooms. Access to Peanut Island is only available by boat, with water taxis
departing from Riviera Beach Marina.
7. Juno Beach (Juno Beach)
Have you got a furry friend who loves to get off the leash and enjoy a swim?
You’re in luck! Juno Beach is one of the best dog-friendly beaches in South
Florida. Along with welcoming pets, Juno Beach is popular for swimming,
surfing, and fishing. Due to the vast beach, it doesn’t get too crowded, and
there are excellent facilities available including clean bathrooms (located in
Juno Beach Park), outdoor showers, and an abundance of free parking off Juno
Situated near the northern end of Palm Beach County, you can also take a short
stroll down Juno Beach Pier and watch fishermen score their catch of the day
(entry costs $1). You’ll also find a bait shop near the pier if you want to
test out your fishing skills too.
8. Carlin Park (Jupiter)
A favorite spot among locals,
Carlin Park Beach</a >
is one of the best-kept stretches along the Florida coastline. This patrolled
beach is half a mile long, in the town of Jupiter, and is backed by a large
beachfront park, where you can play volleyball, tennis, bocce or softball.
Families will love the designated picnic area, which boasts three playgrounds
and various exercise stations.
You can also take a walk along the coastal paths, which meander throughout the
beachfront park offering beautiful views of the Atlantic, before heading for a
meal at the Lazy Loggerhead Cafe, located right on the foreshore beneath the
palm trees. If you love spending balmy nights by the ocean, there are also
summer concerts and special events held at the park’s Seabreeze Amphitheatre.
9. Lake Worth Beach (Lake Worth)
Next on our list is Lake Worth Beach, a top choice for families and casual
beachgoers. While there’s plenty of room on this vast stretch of sand, the
beach can get quite busy during peak periods. Lake Worth Beach has plenty of
amenities including restrooms and showers (situated at both the north and
south end), a large children’s playground, picnic pavilion, and BBQ grills.
Although, if you prefer not to cook, you can always dine at one of the
oceanfront eateries in the Lake Worth Casino Building and Beach Complex. Ample
metered parking is available off South Ocean Boulevard. Lake Worth Beach is
also a popular spot for fishing with the
Municipal Pier stretching out nearly 1000 feet</a >
into the Atlantic.
10. Delray Beach (Delray Beach)
Located in Palm Beach County, Delray Beach is a laid-back seaside village with
charming boutiques, seafood eateries, and art galleries. Consistently named
one of the top 10 beaches in Florida, its two-mile long sandy shoreline is a
family favorite for sunbathing, swimming and relaxing on the many beachside
cabanas. Metered parking is available at the Municipal Beach for $1.50/hour
and parallel parking along Ocean Blvd.
This charming seaside village has much more to offer beyond the beach. Take a
stroll along the raised boardwalk at the Wakodahatchee Wetland park to see
birds, turtles, and alligators. When the sun goes down, head to Atlantic
Avenue to experience the thriving nightlife or check out the galleries along
the Pineapple Grove Arts District. If you’re craving fresh local lobster, tuna
carpaccio or fish tacos, head to City Oyster, which also does a great mimosa!
There you have it! Our list of the top 10 beaches near West Palm Beach County.
There are plenty of fantastic spots to relax and escape the heat. Which
beaches are you planning to visit?