With the relentless amount of snow and extremely cold temperatures plaguing Connecticut this winter, I have found myself reminiscing about my vacation last summer. I escaped New England weather for a week, something I desperately wish I could do now, to travel to Singer Island, part of West Palm Beach, Florida. Contrary to the name, West Palm Beach is on the eastern coast of Florida, with its beaches along the Atlantic Ocean.
Singer Island is the ideal location to experience the beaches of Florida but without hordes of children (Orlando) or crowds preventing you from finding a clear patch of sand to lay down your towel (Miami). The touristy atmosphere that exudes from many places in Florida is absent from Singer Island. Beaches are populated but you will be able to find plenty of space for your beach chairs and even more to build sandcastles. It’s an overall more pleasant and calm environment. I traveled with my boyfriend and the resort we stayed at greatly enjoyed happy hour. So much so, that there were two happy hours a day, in case you missed the first one. Nothing was more relaxing than lying in a lounge chair on the beach with a book in one hand and a piña colada in the other, listening to the sound of the waves break on the shore.
We traveled in May, when the average temperature was 84 degrees in the day and high 60’s at night. The heat is there but not the extreme heat that the latter summer months endure. However, after the weather in Storrs lately, I would take a 90-degree day in a heartbeat. With the nighttime temperatures still remaining quite warm, all you need is a light sweater to be comfortable enough to enjoy the evening. The beaches are open at night but you will find them nearly deserted. This makes a nighttime walk by the ocean, beneath the stars, very romantic.
Singer Island has more than just beaches. A 15-minute drive into downtown West Palm Beach will bring you to City Place. Weaving down streets, you will find a hub of shopping, restaurants and theaters. Architecturally, City Place reminded me of a European town. Shop roofs were red and there was an outdoor plaza complete with fountains. There is a broad range of clothing stores, from H&M to Anthropologie to Armani Exchange. It was here that I found my new favorite store: Charming Charlie, an accessory store that reminded me of a Claire’s for adults. For a snack during your shopping expedition, I highly recommend stopping by one of the specialty food stores called Sloan’s. My boyfriend bought a gigantic apple, hand-dipped in caramel, chocolate and whole Oreo pieces. We left City Place a few pounds heavier from all of our shopping and desserts.
Singer Island is home to fantastic restaurants as well. On our last night, we ate at Guanabanas. They pride themselves on using seafood that was caught only in Florida. For those who enjoy fish, take advantage of Florida’s delicacies. It simply tastes fresher. Guanabanas’ entire seating area is outside, overlooking a waterway where small boats would occasionally pass. Tropical plants, tiki huts, and palm trees decorate the restaurant. It was a unique dining experience, complete with tiny lizards scurrying by our feet: only in Florida.
An incredible vacation destination in so many different ways, Singer Island is ideal for those who want a beach vacation without crowds. The weather is guaranteed to be beautiful. Gone are the fears of cold rain ruining your beach vacation. The ocean water is as blue as the clouds. Dive into life at Singer Island this year. You’ll never want to leave this little piece of paradise.