Clear Blue Seas and Sparkling Sands Await Palm Beach Vacationers

By Kristopher Neild, Travel Expert

Florida is one of the top travel destinations in the country, especially for those who intend to soak up the rays and take a dip in the warm blue ocean. The Palm Beach/West Palm Beach area has beautiful public beaches that attract visitors and locals alike no matter the season. The following list is a mixture of the no frills beaches that rely on simply the sun the sand as well as the beach parks with running trails and playgrounds.

When it comes to a family day on the beach, nothing could be more important than children entertainment and safety. Lake Worth Beach is a great option for families thanks to the lifeguards on duty daily and the large playground right off the beach. There is also ample parking and restrooms, as well as several dining options all within a quick walk from the shoreline.

For those looking for more of a party, Peanut Island is a nice spot to getaway to for the day. With a walking trail around the island and lots of snorkeling spots, it’s easy to remain entertained. The list below has eight more public beaches, so there is sure to be one perfect for your next adventure under the sun. 

10. Lake Worth Beach
Photo courtesy of Lake Worth Beach

The public beach in Lake Worth has a lot to offer for the surfers, fisherman, and beach goers alike. The Municipal Pier stretches out into the Atlantic and is great for dropping a line in the water or catching views of the sunset. With cabana rentals available, napping to the sounds of the waves is as hassle free as ever. A few steps from the ocean and pier, the Lake Worth Casino Building and Beach Complex house several restaurants like the Mulligan's Beach House Bar and Grill and Kilwin's Chocolates and Ice Cream. There is also a large play area for children right off the beach as well as shaded pavilion areas and lots of parking.

9. Gulfstream Park
Photo courtesy of Wikimedia

Gulfstream Park in Delray Beach is a hidden gem of beachfront, perfect for the explorer that would rather stay away from the large crowds. The park's namesake comes from the nearby current, so snorkeling has the potential to bring in some exciting sea creatures and is a must do here. There is a lifeguard on duty and a shower to rinse off under. Free parking is pretty limited so it's best to arrive early in the day. Pack a nice lunch or dinner for a beach time break and make use of the bbq grills, picnic tables, and playground equipment on site.

8. Ocean Reef Park
Photo courtesy of StaticFlickr

Ocean Reef Park is a must stop for anyone interested in snorkeling or free diving in a lifeguarded area protected from passing boats. The reef is very close to the beach and can be seen even at high tide, making it great for beginners who may be a little wary of traveling too far out in the ocean. The park itself is well kept with restrooms and showers onsite, and ample free parking. There is a playground and picnic area as well as wide boardwalk leading down the beach. The nice hotels in the area really help to keep the beach clean and safe for a long morning or afternoon walk.

7. Oceanfront Park
Photo courtesy of Tanjila Ahmed

Located within walking distance of downtown Boynton Beach, the Boynton Beach Oceanfront Park is serene environment near some great amenities. The park itself boasts a spacious beach and boardwalk, as well as parking onsite and lots of shady areas. The beach also has beach chair and cabana rentals by the day or hour so enjoying the views while lounging after a day downtown has never been easier. While at the park, grab a bite at the Sand Dollar Grill to refuel for another round of riding the waves or running around the playground. The park offers free beach wheelchairs and handicap parking close to the boardwalk for convenient beach access.

6. Palm Beach
Photo courtesy of badheartbull

Palm Beach is known for its opulence and beauty and so it's great to find adventures on the island that can be enjoyed by everyone, regardless of the budget. It's no secret that the beaches here are beautiful and a great way to spend the day but even if you are coming to the area for the beach, why not take a little time before to enjoy everything else the island has to offer. Park at the Society of the Four Arts and wander through the serene gardens and then step inside to see the exhibits. Afterwards, take your bike or head off on foot to the 6-mile Lake Trail that runs along the Intracoastal Waterways and starts right near the gardens. Both options are a great way to see Palm Beach at a much more leisurely pace than driving around and the Lake Trail is pet-friendly, unlike the beach. Before heading to the beach, window shop and people watch on the famous Worth Avenue. Once you are relaxing in your beach chair with the water hitting your feet, you'll definitely feel like you've seen all the island has to offer.

5. Peanut Island
Photo courtesy of Peanut Island

Peanut Island is small man-made island in the Lake Worth inlet, close to the separation point between Signer Island and Palm Beach. The island houses a park for camping, fishing, snorkeling and other recreational activities. The 79 acre land mass has a storied history, as it is where former president John F. Kennedy built his nuclear bunker during the Cold War. The bunker is still maintained, and walking tours are offered through the facility. The area around Peanut Island is a boaters' paradise, with many shallow areas and sand bars to anchor on. Every weekend you can see a party going on around the island.

4. Juno Beach
Photo courtesy of Wikimedia

Juno Beach is in northern Palm Beach County and is the best dog-friendly beach in the area. With miles of beach access, it isn't hard to spread out a little and have an ideal beach day. With separate areas for fishing, swimming, and surfing, it's easy to safely enjoy every activity. This beach is great for families because it has a large parking area right off the beach entrance, as well as restrooms and picnic areas. The 990-foot pier is worth taking a stop at; grab the perfect vacation picture you're after or grab the fishing and attempt to catch dinner.

3. Carlin Park
Photo courtesy of Wikimedia

At Carlin Park in Jupiter, there is so much more going on than just relaxing by the shoreline. Known for its expanse and free parking by locals, the beach park comes with a walking course and several pavilions. Taking a stroll on the walking course can easily turn into a full workout by stopping at the 20 exercise stations along the way. It's a lot easier to work up a sweat when cooling off in the ocean is only a few steps away. For families, there is a playground area and pavilions that can be used to host birthday parties and picnics, with relief from the sun. Carlin Park is also home to the Seabreeze Amphitheater so it's worth checking out the events going on there throughout the year.

2. John D. MacArthur Beach State Park

Given Florida's rapid growth and tendency towards commercialization, it's unusual to catch glimpses of its undeveloped splendor. Thankfully, this park preserves a slice of the original, pristine beauty that first drew people to its shores. MacArthur Park features both upland and underwater acreage whose characteristics are detailed in the nature center's exhibits and videos. Trails through the landscape provide vistas of local flora and fauna, and beach frontage offers opportunities for swimming (no lifeguards on duty). Fishing is also available, and the area is ideal for quiet strolls along the water. The park is great for kids, so bring the whole family along.

1. Delray Beach
Photo courtesy of Delray Beach Downtown Development Authority

Visit Delray Beach once and you'll see that the area has so much to offer that it's already time to plan your next trip. The beaches are incredible as is the downtown, shopping and nightlife scene. Window shop on Atlantic Avenue and then head over to the Pineapple Grove art district and take in the murals, public art, and weekly fresh market. If you'd like to venture away from the downtown area and enjoy all nature has to offer, then West Delray Regional Park is your spot from sunrise to sundown. There are over 300 acres of open land and water along with bike trails, tent camping and an archery club (permit required). This park is unique because it has a runway and car track for radio-controlled planes and automobiles, as well as a boat lake if your hobby is in the water. Explore Delray and see for yourself why it was named the Most Fun Small Town in 2012 USA Today.