So far in our “Lilly’s Resort Town Guide” series we’ve covered Bermuda, Nantucket, and Islamorada, three of our favorite resort destinations. Our latest guide is a place that’s extra close to our hearts, the island of Palm Beach. In honor of our 60th anniversary as a brand born and rooted in Palm Beach, we are debuting the ultimate Lilly’s Resort Town Guide for the original, and most iconic, resort destination, Palm Beach.
As you may have heard from our brand history, our story started in Palm Beach. But let’s back up to the START of Palm Beach. There are many great books about this and we’re here to give you the Lilly abridged version. On January 9th, 1878, a cargo ship called the Providencia ran aground off the coast of what is now Palm Beach. The catch? The ship was carrying 20,000 coconuts and they washed ashore after the wreck. A decade later and the area was filled with gorgeous coconut palms. Thus, Palm Beach was born.
Enter Henry Morrison Flagler in 1892, an American industrialist and a founder of Standard Oil. He visited Palm Beach and fell in LOVE with the beautiful island. So he did what any millionaire would do (duh!)—he built the railroad along the east coast that would access Palm Beach, among other sunny locales. That sparked the start of Florida vacationing, creating a whole new world of “what to wear on vacation?” and in 1928 the New York Times dubbed the fifth season of the fashion calendar: The Palm Beach Season which we now known as “Resort.” At that time, resortwear was nautical-inspired and, well, a little plain… the world hadn’t met our Lilly yet. In the 1950s Lilly Pulitzer hit the Palm Beach scene and the rest is history…
Now that you know the origins of our favorite resort destination and home town, let’s get to our recommendations.
The Brazilian Court— If you’re looking for a luxury boutique hotel with exceptional accommodations and the best of the lush Palm Beach foliage, look no further. It provides the quintessential Palm Beach escape. Our top recommendation while you’re there? Get the White Cosmopolitan cocktail at Café Boulud and take our signature Lilly bike cruisers out for a spin on the town (hm… maybe not in that order).
The Breakers Palm Beach— Remember our millionaire friend Henry Flagler? He opened The Breakers in 1896, to accommodate the travelers that came to Palm Beach on his Florida East Coast Railway. Located on a half-mile of private beach, The Breakers Palm Beach is the epitome the luxurious Palm Beach resort lifestyle. It has a spectacular property of grand ballrooms, manicured lawns, two championship golf courses, four heated oceanfront pools, a signature spa… and our personal favorite part? The Lilly Pulitzer store that opens up to a gorgeous courtyard (with colorful touches of Lilly!) in the heart of the property.
The Colony— Another crowd favorite. If you dream in pink and green and love the charm, whimsy, and heritage that Palm Beach offers, The Colony is your spot. It’s a block to Worth Avenue, a block to the beach, and we love all of their recent updates. What more could you ask for?
Lilly Pulitzer touches in The Breakers Palm Beach courtyard
The palm tree-dotted courtyard of Pizza Al Fresco
Renato’s— Go back in time with the old-world Spanish architecture of this elegant Italian spot. It is located on our favorite via off of the avenue, Via Mizner, steps from where Lilly had her juice stand and first shop. We like to indulge in the bufala mozzarella caprese and their out-of-this-world selections of pasta and risotto.
Ta-boo— Located in a prime spot on Worth Avenue, Ta-boo is rooted in tall-tales and legends. Famous for the well-known people who dine there and adorned with black lacquer bamboo chairs, zebra stripe fabrics, and jungle scene wallpaper, it’s quite the wild spot and hosts one of our favorite happy hours. It’s also rumored to be the origin of the Bloody Mary…
Café Via Flora— If you’re looking for a fresh and tasty selection for an al fresco lunch in between shopping, try out this Tuscany-inspired spot. It’s located adjacent to our Worth Avenue flagship store, and you’ll find that printed Lilly tablecloths cover the tables for lunchtime.
Pizza Al Fresco— This is also located on Via Mizner, so it feels very close to Lilly herself. Enjoy fresh pizza, appetizers, and salads in their palm tree-dotted courtyard. We recommend the lobster salad and the Al Fresco pizza.
Seafood Bar—Also located within The Breakers, the Seafood Bar is a relaxed lunch and dinner spot, with the backdrop of the Atlantic Ocean and the largest aquarium bar in the country.
Worth Avenue— Quite possibly the most fabulous shopping destination in the world (we think so), Worth Avenue is a cannot-miss sight. It spans four fabulous blocks from the ocean to Cocoanut Row, with more than 200 world-famous boutiques, posh stores, historic restaurants, and prized art galleries. Bring your wallet or leave it at home—the window shopping and views are priceless. Check out the historic clock tower and take a tour with Rick Rose, one of our favorite local tour guides.
Via Mizner—Where it all began… this quaint via is located off the west end of Worth Avenue and is the heart and soul of our Lilly history. Lilly started her juice stand, and soon after that opened her first shop, on Via Mizner. Designed by one of Palm Beach’s most beloved architects, Addison Mizner, it is filled with hanging orchids and Spanish tile staircases– easy to see why Lilly loved it.
Lake Trail— Our favorite way to get exercise while on vacation is to go for a walk or bike ride along Lake Trail. It has dramatic views of both the Lake Worth Lagoon, West Palm Beach, and the Palm Beach lake-front mansions that sit just beyond the hedges that line the trail.
The Beach— Palm Beach has two pristine public beaches, that are the ideal spot to open up a beach chair and an umbrella and relax. The average temperature ranges from the high 70s to low 90s, so it’s the kind of place that’s beach-ready 365 days of the year.
The clock tower, located in between Worth Avenue and the ocean
A vintage shift pictured on a via off of Worth Avenue
The Shift Dress— What to wear in Palm Beach? Anything Lilly Pulitzer of course. But if we had to recommend one style in specific, it would be the Shift Dress. Lilly invented the Shift, which was quite literally a “shift” in culture and resort fashion, and it’s as iconic today as it was 60 years ago. Pop into our flagship store, located on 240 Worth Avenue, and customize your own personalized Shift Dress to celebrate and commemorate your trip to Palm Beach!