If you linger in the Palm Beach and Boca Raton area

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla .– Across the dark Intracoastal Waterway in Palm Beach, a string of lights traced the Twin Towers of the Breakers H...


WEST PALM BEACH, Fla .– Across the dark Intracoastal Waterway in Palm Beach, a string of lights traced the Twin Towers of the Breakers Hotel. The white marble and stone walls of the Henry Morrison Flagler mansion – now a museum of life in the Golden Age – shone in a flood of spotlight.

At the belvedere, the rooftop bar and the swimming pool of the Ben hotel, the voices of nicely dressed men and women struggled against muffled and festive rhythms. The margaritas and sauvignon blanc were flowing freely.

It was the start of another enjoyable evening in the sister cities of the fabulously wealthy Palm Beaches palm beach and the dynamic business city of Palme West Beach.

Them and nearby Boca Raton – another place with more than its share of Bentleys, Aston Martin and Maserati – often see a surge in visitor numbers in early December when their art museums – the Norton Art Museum and the Boca Raton Art Museum – attracting an overflowing audience of tens of thousands of art lovers who flock to Art Basel Miami Beach. This year, the museums present strong Latin American exhibitions, contrasting with the predominantly contemporary work of Art Basel.

A few days in Palm Beaches and Boca Raton give you plenty of time to go see the exhibits and take a peek.

In Palm Beach, Ta-Boo and Bilboquet are popular restaurants on Worth Avenue, a promenade of upscale resort clothing, jewelry, and art galleries. Renato’s is another popular spot just off Worth on Via Mizner. The Breakers, opened at the dawn of the 20th century, is the hotel par excellence. Beachfront rooms start at $ 2,500 a night with tax.

The Ben, the Canopy and the Hilton West Palm Beach are close to the Norton. Clematis Street, near the museum, looks like a party almost every night. It’s lined with bustling restaurants and anchored waterfront by the expansive ER Bradley’s Saloon – crab cakes, burgers, and shrimp dishes. Norton’s spacious and sunny restaurant is excellent for lunch.

Palm Beach itself is a kind of museum with acres of Mediterranean renewal Stylish mansions with reddish barrel-tiled roofs, sculpted stone arches and balconies, and precisely trimmed hedges and lawns. There are a few fine examples of the British Colonial style popular in Bermuda and the Bahamas, mid-century Art Deco and Modern homes, and a few very modern white concrete and glass boxes. One of the largest estates, Mar-a-Lago, is owned by former President Donald J. Trump.

Mr. Flagler, the Standard Oil and Railroad magnate, built palace-like hotels and a grand palace for himself, the 75-room Whitehall, adorned with gold leaf, velvet and silk, which is now the Henry Morrison Flagler Museum and a national historic monument.

Fauna and flora are part of the decor. A short drive north of downtown West Palm Beach, manatees, curious and heavy marine mammals, congregate during the colder months in hot water spilled from a power plant on the Intracoastal Waterway . It is a shrine called Manatee Lagoon. There’s an observation deck, shaded walkways, and a gift shop with stuffed manatees.

A charming way to get to Boca Raton, about 30 miles south of Palm Beach, is to drive along Florida State Road A1A, another museum of heavenly mansions and landscaping dotted with expensive pastel condos.

With a stop at Gumbo Limbo Nature Center across from Boca Raton Beach, you can take – at no cost – a short stroll on a well-maintained boardwalk through acres of mangroves, cabbage palms, and deciduous trees that show what Florida was like before the arrival of the developers and paving teams. The center has a sea turtle hospital and a breeding laboratory.

The Boca Raton Art Museum is located at the north end of Mizner Park, a long, narrow. windy expanse of palm trees, hedges and benches. Upscale restaurants and shops overlook the park.

Irvin Lippman, Executive Director of the Boca Raton Museum of Art, takes his friends to Max’s Grille, Loch Bar and Kapow! Noodle house. Other people in the art world recommend the nearby Trattoria Romano and Casa D’Angelo.

The closest hotel to the museum is the Hyatt Place Boca Raton / Downtown. Not far away is the Boca Raton, an upscale hotel formerly known as the Boca Raton Resort & Club.

“You can spend a few relaxing days in these cities,” Mr. Lippman said, “and have some very pleasant and meaningful experiences.”

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Newsrust - US Top News: If you linger in the Palm Beach and Boca Raton area
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