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Palm Beach is an upscale incorporated town in Palm Beach County, Florida.
The Intracoastal Waterway separates it from the neighboring cities of West Palm Beach and Lake Worth.
As of 2000, Palm Beach had a year-round population of 10,468, with an estimated seasonal population of 30,000.
As of 2004, the year-round population recorded by the U.S. Census Bureau is 9,860.
A small island town of palatial homes and gardens, and streets so clean you could eat your dinner off them,
PALM BEACH has been synonymous for nearly a century with the kind of lifestyle only limitless loot can buy. The nation's
nobs began wintering here in the 1890s, after Henry Flagler brought his East Coast railroad south from St Augustine and
built two luxury hotels on this then-secluded, palm-filled island. Since then, tycoons, sports aces, aristocrats, rock stars and
CIA directors have flocked here, eager to become part of the Palm Beach elite and enjoy its aloofness from mainland, and
mainstream, life. Joe Kennedy - father of John, Robert and Edward - bought the so-called Kennedy Compound here in 1933.
Summer in Palm Beach is very quiet, and the least costly time to stay. The winter months, from November to May, see a whirl
of elegant balls, fundraising dinners and charity galas, as well as the polo season - watching a chukka or two is the only time
Palm Beach denizens show themselves in the less particular environs of West Palm Beach (on the mainland).
Worth Avenue , close to the southern tip of the island, is filled with designer stores, high-class art galleries and ultraformal
restaurants, and cruised by Rolls Royces, Mercedes and Jaguars. Its most appealing aspect is its architecture : stucco walls,
Romanesque facades, and passageways leading to small courtyards where miniature bridges cross nonexistent canals and
spiral staircases climb to the upper levels.
Where Cocoanut Row and Whitehall Way meet, the white Doric columns fronting Whitehall are those of the Flagler Museum
(Tues-Sat 10am-5pm, Sun noon-5pm), the most overtly ostentatious home on the island - a $4 million wedding present
from Henry Flagler to his third wife, Mary Lily Kenan. As in many of Florida's first luxury homes, the interior design was lifted
from the great buildings of Europe: among the 55 rooms are an Italian library, a French salon, a Swiss billiard room, a hallway
modeled on St Peter's, and a Louis XV ballroom. All are stuffed with ornamentation, but they lack aesthetic cohesion.
Informative 45-minute guided tours depart frequently from the 110ft hallway and provide a background for Flagler's fascinating
rise to success and a glimpse of the Gilded Age in which he flourished.
Built in 1926 in the style of an Italianate palace, The Breakers hotel, on South County Road off the main strip (tel 561/655-6611
or 1-888/273-2537), operates as the last of Palm Beach's swanky resorts. Its design includes elaborate painted
ceilings and huge tapestries. Take the free guided tour on Wednesday at 3pm (call 561/655-6611 ext 7560 for information).
read full wikipedia reference about Palm Beach, Florida
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