9 Best Public Beaches in West Palm Beach Area of Florida

Are you planning a getaway trip to a warm, sunny location? If West Palm Beach, Florida is on your list of possible destinations, you’ll want to check out our favorite public beaches in Palm Beach county!

West Palm Beach is known to be a hotspot of entertainment and shopping, but did you know the city is also home to a plethora of crystalline coastlines with white sandy beaches? You won’t find a better vacation spot that offers it all, so read on to discover which of the city’s beaches you should visit during your stay.

9 Beaches You Don’t Want to Miss in West Palm Beach, Florida

With so many public beaches to choose from, it can be difficult to decide which ones to visit during your stay in sunny West Palm Beach. Below, we’ll give you a list of the hottest, most popular beaches you definitely won’t want to miss.


1. Delray Beach

Delray Beach public beach in palm beach county
photo source: lets be merry

Considered one of the nicest beaches in the area, Delray Municipal Beach is located near the Pineapple Grove neighborhood and Atlantic Avenue districts. Delray Beach’s pristine coastline span over 300 acres with golden sands and crystal blue waters.

There are tons of activities to do including swimming, boogie boarding, archery, biking, and camping. You may even spot a turtle or two on your adventures. Into collecting seashells? You’ll love the assortment of unique, shiny shells just waiting to be gathered on Delray Beach.

Suggestion:

If you’re visiting Delray Beach, be sure to check out the gift shops on Atlantic Avenue and then head over to Pineapple Grove for some fresh produce and art gallery viewing. Finish the day with some festive drinks and dining on the promenade, which comes to life as the sun goes down. This will quickly become your favorite spot!

Looking for a place to stay in the area? Here are the top 10 most charming Airbnb houses in Palm Beach Florida.


2. John D. MacArthur Beach

photo source: Expedia.com

John D. MacArthur Beach is actually a state park situated along the Atlantic Ocean’s front barrier island. This lone paradise is a true testament to Florida’s natural environmental heritage with a stunning, pristine coastline and nature trails. It’s almost like being in a lush tropical setting that you don’t have to leave the bustling metropolis to enjoy.

John D. MacArthur Beach extends almost two miles, and there’s plenty to do while there. Activities to do while here include kayaking, fishing, snorkeling, and canoeing. The state park also features miles of hiking trails. While visiting John D. MacArthur Beach and state park, don’t forget to notice the variety of birds along the way. From blue herons and sandpipers to brown pelicans and seagulls, birdwatching has never been so much fun.

Suggestion:

Before embarking on your trip to this beach, check out the state park’s online calendar to see what family-friendly events are taking place. The MacArthur Under Moonlight concerts and summer camps are lots of fun and worth the time.


3. Carlin Park

Carlin Park
photo source: trip.com

If you’re into fitness and exercise, Carlin Park’s beachfront is definitely worth a visit. With miles of sand, multiple sports facilities, and plenty of walking trails, you won’t need to wonder how you’ll spend your time here.

Carlin Park Beach is one of the prettiest beaches in West Palm Beach. With 120 acres of soft sand and clear waters, you will enjoy activities such as volleyball, tennis, bocce ball, and live local music at the Seabreeze Amphitheater, and if you time your vacay right, you may even get to enjoy the Shakespeare by the Sea Festival that takes place every January.

Suggestion:

If you swim in the waters of Carlin Park Beach, be cautious, as seashells carried along in the water can scrape your skin. Also, if you are into diving, be sure to check out the shipwreck located about 100 yards offshore. Loads of marine life make their homes there, and it’s truly a sight to see.


4. Lake Worth Beach

If you’re looking for a beach that isn’t too far from the center of the city, Lake Worth Beach is it. It’s easy to see why this is one of the most popular beaches in the area. It offers a wealth of activities including swimming, fishing, and surfing, and with lifeguards on duty most of the time, it’s a great spot for a family day at the beach.

Fun Fact: Lake Worth Beach is home to my first Airbnb – come check it out!

One of my favorite parts about the beaches in the Palm Beach area is turtle season. From March through November, you can spot momma sea turtles laying their eggs. If you’re lucky, you’ll see them hatch and crawl towards the ocean.

Turtle Nesting Lake Worth Beach Shawn D Moss
photo credit: Shawn Moss Photography

There’s a playground and picnic tables for the kiddos if they get tired of playing in the water, and since this beach isn’t overly touristy, you can enjoy some personal space and peaceful relaxation, even during the busy season. Finally, Lake Worth Beach is wheelchair accessible with large parking spaces for convenience.

Suggestion:

Arrive at the beach early to catch the spectacular sunrise and then head over to Benny’s for a delicious breakfast. Later, be sure to visit Kilwin’s Chocolate and Ice Cream for a sweet treat that’s sure to hit the spot on a warm day.

Don’t forget to check out the fishing pier, weather your bring your pole or not!


5. Gulfstream Park

Gulfstream Park
photo source: Beachcatcher.com

For tourists looking for a typical Florida day on the beach, you can’t go wrong with Gulfstream Park. Featuring spectacular marine flora and fauna, this beach is a gem just waiting to be discovered.

Named for the current that travels nearby, this coastline has pristine waters, underwater reefs, and calm waves. If snorkeling is your thing, you won’t want to miss the underwater attractions here.

Suggestion:

If you’re looking for a tranquil trip to the beach, try to arrive early in the day as this beach gets crowded as the day goes on. Keep in mind that you’ll need to hike a bit to get to the seaboard, so pack light, and be sure to use the picnic area to enjoy a family barbeque while there.


6. Ocean Reef Park

ocean reef park beach
photo source: https://discover.pbcgov.org/parks/Locations/Ocean-Reef.aspx

Ocean Reef Park is one of the more popular beaches in West Palm Beach, and for good reason. This is the place to be if you want to do some free diving or snorkeling because there are over 700 yards of explorable reefs. Beginners and snorkeling enthusiasts alike will enjoy the beauty and life that exists just under the water’s surface here.

Lifeguards are on duty 24/7 to protect beachgoers but be aware that some areas are quite a distance out into the ocean, so dive or snorkel with caution.

Suggestion:

The reefs are visible during both high and low tides, so if you’re leery of swimming too far out into the ocean, you’ll be more comfortable here.

If you get tired of the water activities, take your shoes off and stroll along the beach’s soft sands and take in a fabulous sunset to end your day.


7. Juno Beach

Juno Beach
photo source: Trip.com

Located in Northern Palm Beach, Juno Beach park is a dog-friendly destination. It’s also a great place to take in the beautiful sunsets here on its pier.

Juno Beach’s cerulean waters are inviting, and there are many outdoor activities to choose from. If you’re into fishing, you’ll love the 990-foot pier that serves as a marker for the saltwater fishing area where anglers can catch a wide variety of fish.

Suggestion:

Juno Beach is home to a wide variety of seashells, making this a great spot for shell collecting. While enjoying all this beach has to offer, be sure to take advantage of the many food and drink delicacies along the pier.


8. Peanut Island

Another destination along the Lake Worth Lagoon waterway, Peanut Island is considered one of the best beaches in West Palm Beach. Situated in the intracoastal waterway, this is a popular spot for boaters and beach goers alike.

Peanut Island, named for the peanut oil once shipped from the area, is situated on 80 acres of sand and blue waters. The area is quickly becoming a popular hotspot for locals and tourists alike.

Hightide is a perfect time here as the influx of blue water is warm and inviting. Hightide is a great time for water sports such as fishing, swimming, kayaking, snorkeling, and other water sports. You may even see the occasional manatee or manta rays while enjoying the water.

Peanut Island West Palm Beach Florida Sandbar Beach Boat

Suggestion:

If the water in the lagoon or bay outlet is a bit cloudy, stick to swimming/snorkeling near the reefs for a clearer view of the marine life below the water’s surface.

If you get tired of the many water activities offered at Peanut Island, you can check out the Kennedy Bunker, a nuclear fall-out shelter commissioned by the late President John F. Kennedy. Or, visit the mangrove boardwalk observation deck for awesome views of the area.


9. Palm Beach

Palm Beach ariel shot
photo source: VisittheUSA.com

What would a list of best West Palm Beaches be without Palm Beach itself? With pristine waters and picture-perfect views, Palm Beach offers travelers a spectacular experience.

Palm Beach offers all the things a traditional beach vacation calls for: refreshing waters, glistening, soft sand, and peaceful tranquility. Swimming and biking are the main attractions here, with a short stroll to the six-mile Lake Trail that allows you to see the Intracoastal Waterways and the Palm Beach Gardens.

Suggestion:

Palm Beach is an exercise in fun and education as a short distance away you’ll find The Society of the Four Arts where you can view numerous sculptures by Philip Hulitar, and there are two huge libraries: the Gioconda and Joseph King Library. If you have kids along, you’ll definitely want to visit the Joseph King Library as their children’s library features a whopping 80,000 books!

If you’re looking for high end shopping, don’t miss Worth Avenue which is walkable from the public beach.


Recap Of Public Beach Locations In Palm Beach!

Public beaches are all over in the West Palm Beach area so come lay in the sand and watch the palm trees sway in the breeze. South Florida is a prime destination for a beach vacation. Enjoy the crystal clear blue shallow water, a local waterfront restaurant, and plenty of free parking.

The sunshine state has so much to offer and the easy access to the beach is at the top of the list!

Just a few other beaches not mentioned on this list:

  • Boca Raton – a bit harder to find a public section
  • Riviera Beach (also known as Singer Island)- has one of those great beach parks with volleyball courts and play set behind the Wings surf shop
  • North Palm Beach

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