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What’s New in Palm Beach

Thanks to Worth Avenue’s stunning makeover and a spate of hip shops and restaurants, the island is in the midst of a mini renaissance.

From high to low, Palm Beach and its environs have the shopping spectrum covered. Here, from the island to West Palm to Palm Beach Gardens, are the key destinations to hit for a complete beauty retail scout of the area.


Begin on a high note with Worth Avenue’s east end, where the coiffed cream of the crop goes for its luxury fix. Located across from each other, Neiman Marcus and Saks Fifth Avenue supply the Jackie O sunglasses set with high-end brands galore. See if yours are up to snuff. (Neiman Marcus, 151 Worth Avenue; Saks Fifth Avenue, 172 Worth Avenue)


For a dose of reality, drive across the Royal Park Bridge to CityPlace, West Palm Beach’s struggling attempt to gentrify its crime-ridden downtown. Sandwiched between Okeechobee Boulevard to its south and Hibiscus Street to its north, this outdoor mall is chock-full of national retailers with a handful of independent boutiques. Students from nearby Palm Beach Atlantic University and pioneers of up-and-coming nabes such as El Cid and Northwood shop at Sephora, Macy’s and Publix, Florida’s main grocery store chain. In season, the center’s flooded with tourists from Middle America snapping photos around roaring fountains and waiting for tables at Cheesecake Factory, too. (Sephora, 550 South Rosemary Avenue; Macy’s, 575 Rosemary Avenue; Publix, 375 South Rosemary Avenue)


Continue west on Okeechobee and take I-95N for a string of big-box retailers and drugstores all on the same drag. Exit at West Blue Heron Boulevard and turn right, heading east. Go left at North Congress Avenue until you reach your first stop, Wal-Mart, on the left side. Palm Beachers wouldn’t be caught dead here. (That’s what servants are for!) The deal-scoping scene caters to soccer moms and retirees from gated communities, young service-industry workers and urban inhabitants of low-income housing. Back on Congress, heading north, are Kohl’s and Target on your right side. Lastly, at the intersection of Congress and Northlake Boulevard, CVS and Walgreens sit kitty- corner from each other. Congrats. You’re officially a local now. (Wal-Mart, 101 North Congress Avenue; Kohl’s, 400 North Congress Avenue; Target, 500 North Congress Avenue; CVS, 3168 Northlake Boulevard; Walgreens, 3063 Northlake Boulevard)


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Florida boasts more golf courses than any other state, and you’re about to enter one of the game’s ultimate hubs. Stay west on Northlake and follow I-95N to the PGA Boulevard exit, where you’ll turn right, heading east. When they aren’t on the links, any sensible Palm Beach Gardens resident can be found hanging around The Gardens Mall, with Starbucks in hand. Thanks to an influx of affluent young families, teens carrying mummy and daddy’s credit cards and bored bankers’ wives who can practice yoga only so many hours a day, the spotless center has evolved with world-class designers, cool brands such as H&M and diverse dining. Located on your left, a short ride down PGA, enter its epic parking lot for five department stores including Saks, Nordstrom, Bloomingdale’s, Macy’s and Sears, and a wide range of specialty stores such as MAC, L’Occitane, Sephora and Bath & Body Works. (The Gardens Mall, 3101 PGA Boulevard)

Where to…

Hash out a secret deal over breakfast: Hamburger Heaven
With its unassuming, lettuce green booths, this circa-1945 diner is more like a hamburger hideaway for out-of-towners (locals don’t have that luxury) when it comes to clandestine meetings. Ask beloved waitress Stefania for a glass of fresh-squeezed OJ before tucking into fluffy omelets and Texas toast à la française. Breakfast served Monday to Saturday, 7:30 to 10:45 a.m. (Hamburger Heaven, 314 South County Road; 561.655.5277)

Leisurely lunch like the locals: Café L’Europe
Dahling, how was Gstaad? Put on your best continental airs for this white- tablecloth throwback to the grand tour. Sumptuous interiors of wood, mirrors and bursts of hot-hued azaleas have been dazzling high society for 30 years. While nibbling on meticulously presented Cobb salads and crispy veal sweetbreads, by all means, bring on the Bellini! Lunch served Tuesday to Friday, noon to 2:30 p.m. (Café L’Europe, 331 South County Road; 561.655.4020)

Celebrate a done deal: Caffe Milano
Celebrity chefs are so aught. Fresh, seasonal ingredients star at this Northern Italian newcomer from a veteran of Harry’s Bar and Cipriani. Wall Street tycoons and sugar barons crowd its patio for hand-cut carpaccio and porcini risotto, and oenophiles claim its wine list is short but sweet. Book the chef’s table for large parties. Dinner served daily. (Caffe Milano, 375 South County Road; 561.653.9111)

See and be seen: Buccan
Palm Beach foodies are rejoicing over the arrival of Clay Conley, lately of the Mandarin Oriental in Miami. The dangerously cute chef takes a stab at the town’s antiquated dining scene with loads of savory pinchos and small plates heavy on wood grilling, a laid-back vibe and eclectic seating, from a communal table to two chef’s tables overlooking his open kitchen. Dinner served daily. (Buccan, 350 South County Road; 561.833.3450)

Wile the night away: The Club Palm Beach
A members-only lounge seems redundant in a circle known for high hedges and keep-out signs, but this late-night flame attracts glamorous moths such as Cameron Diaz and Jane Holzer. On any given occasion, they’ll be popping corks and shimmying around banquettes to live music and a rotating roster of DJs. Tapas, backgammon and a wine room brighten its glow. Open Tuesday to Saturday, 6 p.m. to 2 a.m. (The Club Palm Beach, 251 Sunrise Avenue; 561.659.7840)

Catch a glimpse of the good life: Palm Beach Lake Trail
Simply referred to as the “bike path” by locals, this 4.3-mile secret stretch between the Intracoastal and mansions draws fit dowagers and pram-pushing parents. It follows the west side from Peruvian Avenue at Lakeside Park to just north of Reef Road. Bike rentals are available through The Breakers and Palm Beach Bicycle Trail Shop. (Palm Beach Bicycle Trail Shop, 223 Sunrise Avenue; 561.659.4583)