New Life in West Palm Beach

West Palm Beach began as a community for servants who worked at two grand hotels in neighboring Palm Beach. From this less than stellar beginning, through its boom and bust periods, West Palm Beach as been reborn once again. It is now one of the most popular travel destinations in Florida. Mild weather for most of the year, an exciting nightlife, wonderful hotels and resorts, enriching and interesting cultural, sporting, shopping, and recreational activities make this city a great place to visit.
Henry Flagler established West Palm Beach, Florida in 1894 as a community to house the servants who worked in the two grand hotels that were located on the neighboring island of Palm Beach. West Palm Beach was originally spelled "Westpalmbeach," but the community was failing, and the thirteen-letter word was considered a foreboding omen for its future. During the 1920s, the city prospered and it was one of Miami's rivals. This period of prosperity produced many now historic structures and neighborhoods. However, due to hurricanes, the Great Depression, and rampant suburbanization, the city quickly declined.

In the 1960s Palm Beach County's first enclosed shopping mall and indoor arena were completed. These projects brought another wave of prosperity to the city. However, it declined once again in the 1970s. The crime that resulted from racism and vacancy rates was a contributing factor. West Palm Beach's third resurrection took place from the 1980s through the start of the new millennium. A tremendous growth spurt fueled by newcomers rediscovering the city's historic areas, construction of elegant new high-rises including Trump Plaza, a renewal of downtown entertainment, and the development of a shopping district called CityPlace have given this fallen city new life.

From a small town that housed servants in the 1800s to a thriving city, today West Palm Beach is one of Florida's most popular travel destinations. It is the center of and largest municipality in Palm Beach County, which is one of the United States fastest growing areas. In fact, the Milken Institute Best Performing 296 U.S. Cities index ranks West Palm Beach's economy as number four in the country.

West Palm Beach is a wonderful place to visit, in part, because of its subtropical weather. However, the winters (December to March) are cooler than the humid, tropical summers. Temperatures can drop into the 30s and below freezing on rare occasions. April through November can be great times to visit this city that offers so much to do. The city has sunny palm-lined streets, beautiful waterfront views, quaint shopping areas, historic neighborhoods, and year-round festivals.

West Palm Beach's downtown is transformed into a delightful and exciting place during the evening. For instance, every Thursday the award-winning Clematis by Night free fountainside concert series delights locals and visitors alike. Nighttime hotspots such as cozy pubs, exciting dance clubs, concert halls and movie theaters give revelers an interesting array of options in which to enjoy their evening.

During the day families, groups, or individuals enjoy the Palm Beach Zoo at Dreher Park, the South Florida Science Museum, nearby phenomenal beaches, and spectacular fishing. There is a wide range of shopping, dining, sporting, and cultural institutions to enjoy as well.

Visitors will find many wonderful lodging accommodations in West Palm Beach. There are numerous West Palm Beach hotels and resorts that fit any need or budget. Hotels like the Hampton Inn West Palm Beach, Knight's Inn West Palm Beach, and Crowne Plaza West Palm Beach are some of the top rated West Palm Beach hotels.

West Palm Beach's colorful history, downfalls and uprisings, and recent renaissance make it an interesting and fun place to explore.
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