Friday, October 03, 2014
GREAT PLACES IN AMERICA NAMES WEST PALM BEACH'S HISTORIC CLEMATIS STREET AMONG TOP TEN BEST STREETS IN AMERICA
Since the 1890’s, Clematis Street has been the commercial district for Palm Beach County. Initial surveyors and engineers for Henry Flagler’s East Coast Railroad (1893) planned the area’s configuration. Since 1990 it has been a two-way street. The 500 block is listed in the National Register of Historic Places since 1996. A waterfront park and pavilion connects the waterfront to Clematis Street. From the park you can walk the waterfront and admire the really big boats docked there. Since 2009, there is a new library and city hall complex.
Locals and visitors are drawn to the street with festivals, annual events and concerts. Catch the trolley that connects CityPlace, train and bus stations, Palm Beach Atlantic University and downtown West Palm Beach. Some call it, “Main Street,” and “the entertainment center of West Palm Beach”, a living room, where people relax, have fun, shop, dine and do business. There are antique shops to browse, colorful boutiques to find that one-of-a-kind item, nightclubs, a movie plex and some upscale stores and restaurants nearby. Have a drink and dine at Bradleys across from the Intracoastal Waterway and enjoy crowd watching. Architecture is authentic and eclectic, evolving over the last century, including every era and style.
Historic buildings abound with shops and restaurants on the ground floors of historic buildings. On higher floors you can find startups, small tech companies, and artists. Residents’ non –traditional work schedules activate and energize the street, often in the later hours. Some retailers have been there for 100 years. Drop in to Segway Tours, “the best way to see the area”, and voted # 1 by Trip Advisor of 24 West Palm Beach Activities. Rent a self-balancing “Personal Transporter,” a motorized “scooter” that changes direction by leaning that way. Modern dance clubs and health food emporiums are included. “Clematis by Night” offers a fountain-side concert series, food art and children’s activities. . After browsing an art gallery, sit outside and have coffee or wine and cheese. “SunFest,” the annual boat show and “Corvettes on Clematis” are well attended events with the area drawing about 80,000 visitors a week.
Nearby places to enjoy are The Kravis Center where top stars perform, the Convention Center with art, antiques and jewelry shows, and lots of interesting street browsing. The area encompasses 5 blocks from Flagler Drive to Rosemary Avenue.
Next time you are looking to have fun, head over to Clematis Street!