(image via Christina)
As I’m getting back into the swing of things (trying!), I am fiiiinally sitting down to write a few travel guides from over the summer for you guys, and am so excited to share some of these destinations. I have to say that Palm Beach was one of my most favorite spots I’ve ever visited. From where we stayed, to where we ate, and the site seeing in between – it was a little piece of international vibes heaven here in the US. I kept saying to Christina our entire trip that it reminded me so much of Italy in certain aspects, with the little alleys full of plush bougainvillea, Italian style eateries, gelato, and gorgeous buildings.
Palm Beach is a quick ride over the bridge from West Palm Beach in Florida and a quick hour drive from the Fort Lauderdale airport. Christina and I flew into Ft. Lauderdale then rented a car to drive to our destination. Our flight was in the wee hours of the morning but just under 3 hours so we were in Florida before noon. I love taking early flights like that to my east coast destinations so I have the whole day when I get where I’m going! We thought we might use the rental car a bit more than we did to site see around Palm Beach, but we stayed at the Brazilian Court which is perfectly located right from all the happenings that we honestly walked more than anything (and good thing, because we sure did eat our way through PB!)
I had heard amazing things about Palm Beach but didn’t realize how beautiful it actually is – it completely blew me away with the lush greenery and palm everywhere, gorgeous flowers streaming down walls and gates, and the beautifully designed homes and shopping areas. It truly is so picturesque (every single corner) and I understand why so many northerners flock to this little oasis every winter and spring!
WHERE WE STAYED
The gorgeous Brazilian Court.
I had stalked this hotel on instagram for a good year or so and knew it was a spot I wanted to visit. It completely blew away my expectations! The Brazilian Court is located just 3 blocks away from famous Worth Avenue in Palm Beach, making it the ideal hotel to stay at. It’s truly a hidden oasis, tucked right in between large homes in Palm Beach but hidden thanks to all of the greenery (which you can see in my first photo!). The hotel is only a few floors, so rather than being a tall skyscraper type thing, it blends right into it’s residential surroundings. I also loved this concept because it felt so much more spread out – Christina and I would walk around the grounds and barely see anyone else, though we were told the hotel was near capacity while we were there. Never once did it feel too ‘busy’ or populated, making it the perfect spot to unwind and really relax.
The Brazilian Court was built back in the 1920’s and has been an iconic spot in Palm Beach since. Celebrities and famous figures have traveled near and far to stay here, sometimes making the Brazilian Court their home for weeks and even months at a time (a fun fact we learned during our tour of the property!) Sofia Vergara even hosted her rehearsal dinner at their gorgeous event space, that walks straight out to the plush gardened courtyard in the middle of the hotel! Speaking of courtyards, the hotel has two of them, right smack in the middle of all the guest rooms. Our room overlooked the first courtyard – it was the perfect location from the front desk, cafe, and courtyard!
Christina and I both absolutely loved the pool – tucked away on the back of the property (behind the courtyards) in a quiet little oasis. Again, even thought the property was full of guests, we were always able to find a seat at the pool.. chairs complete with large umbrellas and plush cushions making for a luxurious poolside experience. We ordered lunch out there on our first day, and it was the perfect way to unwind after a morning of traveling! Thanks to the sweet pool boy for snapping our pic too – when a hotel has a staff that can take photos, you know I am all about it!
A few other hotel points to note:
+ they have bikes you can take out – such a great afternoon activity to explore!
+ their iced coffee was amazing, Christina and I were both so impressed!
+ the BC has a beach club any guests are able to use, with car service to + from! We did this one afternoon and loved it.
+ the staff was absolutely wonderful. so helpful and readily available for anything we needed!
WHERE WE ATE
Cafe Boulud – This is the restaurant right on property, and we ate here several times! The breakfast was delicious and an easy one minute walk from our room, so we opted to eat here each morning. I was surprised to learn there aren’t many breakfast options in the area, so was glad that the Brazilian Court had a delicious and large breakfast option for us! Another bonus, since the Cafe is right in the middle courtyard, it has wifi – we were able to get some morning work done too before we headed out to explore for the afternoons! Cafe Boulud also hosted us for dinner one night and we had a 3 course meal with wine pairings – everything was amazing! We were stuffed by the second course and had to squeeze in room for the dessert (that we couldn’t pass up!)
Renato’s Palm Beach – We ate dinner here on our first night and this was by far my most favorite spot. It was 100% like we were transported to Italy and I absolutely loved it! We got here right at dusk, and sat outside in their back courtyard area that was aptly decorated with florals and tea lights for a beautiful ambiance. We ordered pasta + rose (naturally) and ate and drank way too much, for sure! The portions were generous – we couldn’t even finish. I highly recommend this spot as a must go while in Palm Beach! You won’t be disappointed.
Cafe Via Flora – Christina went here on her first visit to Palm Beach and said we absolutely had to go back. We opted for lunch here one afternoon – it’s the perfect spot if you want a quiet, leisurely lunch, tucked right in the middle of retail shops on Worth Ave. Christina and I laughed nearly the entire lunch that we felt like the quintessential Ladies Who Lunch – eating mid afternoon amidst high end shops with Lily Pulitzer tablecloths and glasses of rose.
Imoto Palm Beach – if you know Christina and I then you know two of our favorites are mexican + sushi. We of course had to get at least one of those on our trip, and sushi was the winner this go around! Each of the dishes here we absolutely exquisite! They’re famous for their duck taco appetizer so I of course had to try those – 100% worth it and so delicious. Maybe the second best thing to my first night pasta indulge while on the trip. I got the spicy tuna roll for my main + Christina got some basic rolls and pieces of sushi. All amazing!
Buccan Palm Beach – we debated going here a few times and finally decided we had to. Christina went on her first visit to Palm Beach and said it was delicious, along with the covetable ambiance and decor. I knew we had to stop in, even if for a quick late night meal which is exactly what we did! Buccan is a sister restaurant to Imoto (they’re located right next to each other!) and after a delicious meal at Imoto, I knew Buccan would be just as good too. This was our last meal in Palm Beach and at this point, I felt fuller than full before we even sat down, but just had to try something! I opted for the mushroom flatbread – and if you’re a mushroom lover, then you will LOVE this dish.
Chickpea – We grabbed lunch here on our way from the airport.. Chickpea is right in downtown West Palm Beach right before you cross the bridge into Palm Beach and was the perfect little healthy spot for us. Christina and I both have pretty much the same palate, so it’s fun to travel together since we’re always in the mood for the same things. We both got quinoa bowls loaded with yummy, delicious toppings and it was the perfect grab n go type lunch on our way to check in to the Brazilian Court!
Piccolo Gelato – I spotted this little gem on our first night at dinner and knew we would have to come back at some point during our visit. They ended up having vegan + dairy free gelato, which was perfect for the two of us + our food sensitivities (which we demolished during the rest of our meals.. ha!)
A few tips for restaurants + eating out:
+ make reservations ahead of time, it’s nearly impossible to walk in anywhere! we used open table and we able to secure dinner each night with no problem.
+ if you stay at the Brazilian Court, each of the places mentioned above (except Chickpea) are walkable. We walked to dinner and back each night, which was probably a good thing considering we over indulged!
+ if you’re sensitive to bugs or get bitten a lot, then bring bug spray. We sat outside for quite a few meals, and Christina gets eaten alive! She was getting bitten left and right, while I was totally fine – but if you’re the type to get bitten, then spray up to be able to enjoy your meal!
+ Dress Code: nearly everyone ‘dresses up’ for dinner, as you can see from a lot of my photos below. For example, heading to dinner from the pool or wearing cutoffs and a tank aren’t really acceptable. Throw on a sundress + sandals and you’ll fit right in!
WHAT TO DO
Shop on Worth Avenue – this is really a no brainer. With everything from local boutiques to high end designers like Chanel + Jimmy Choo to second hand designer consignment, Worth has it all. You could easily spend 2-3 days shopping here! It’s also super picturesque, so if you’re looking for some good photo op spots, Worth is your go to!
Bike around the island – As I mentioned before, the Brazilian Court has bikes you can take out whenever you want. This is such a fun way to see the island in a quick little tour – stop for gelato on your way back too!
Head to the Beach Club – if you missed my hotel tip above, then here it is again! The Brazilian Court has car service to and from their own little area of the beach in Palm Beach. We utilized this one afternoon! They gave us beach towels, chairs, and even an umbrella, that they set up for us right when we got there.
Take instagram worthy photos – if you’re looking for the perfect photo opp spots, then check out Christina’s travel guide. She rounded up some of the best spots (many which we shot at!) in Palm Beach to get those drool worthy photos for the ‘gram.
Wander around – yes, literally. Christina and I headed out a few times from the hotel just to wander in and out all the residential streets surrounding the area. I love walking by homes, seeing the architecture, and imagining who stays there, what’s going on inside, and maybe even someday owning one. Exploring with no plan in place while traveling is one of my favorite ways to take in a new area + one of the best ways to find hidden gems!
Thank you so much to the Brazilian Court for such an incredible stay – we will definitely be back!