Now’s the perfect time to enjoy downtown like a tourist

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By AARON WORMUS
Palms West Monthly
Posted Sept. 3, 2019

The kids are back in school, but there’s still time for you and your family to squeeze in some fun summer adventures right here in downtown West Palm Beach before the snowbirds arrive and the lines everywhere get long. 

Here are some popular ideas to get you started.

Take a Segway Tour

Palm Beach Segway Tours start on Clematis Street and will roll you and your friends through downtown West Palm Beach, along the waterfront and over the bridge to Palm Beach. The 2-hour tour is an excellent way to see local landmarks while coasting along on the “Coolest Machine in the World.” 

No experience is necessary, and after a quick introduction you’ll ride a Segway like a pro.

I took this tour for the first time last year, and as a self-proclaimed expert in the area I will admit that there was still a thing or two that I learned from the expertly-trained guides who lead the tour.

There are plenty of tours both in and out of season but they do fill up quickly, so make sure you call well ahead and lock in your dates.

Cost is $75 per person. To book a tour, go online to palmbeachsegwaytours.com.

Enjoy downtown’s Historic Food Tour

Want a fun way to sample some of the locally-owned and family-owned restaurants, cafes, bakeries, teahouses and juice bars in the area? On the first Saturday of every month you can take advantage of the Historic Food Tour.

Guests on the tour visit three to four local eateries to experience tastes ranging from “Floribbean” to French and from seafood to Sicilian. Each tour is unique as eateries are visited on a rotating schedule.

There’s also trips to emerging art and craft shops, cultural sites and historic districts.

Cost is $53 per person. For more information, go online to tastehistoryculinarytours.org.

Hop on board a cycle party

Chances are you have seen this amazing “pedal powered party” rolling its way through our downtown. 

The 16-person cycle party is a great way to have fun with friends while enjoying an unforgettable adventure through the streets of downtown. You’ll need at least 6 people to book the entire bike, or make new friends and grab a seat on one of the social tours.

On the Popular Bar Crawl, you’ll ride around for two hours visiting local bars and restaurants. There are also specialty tours which include scavenger hunts, a foodie tour and a progressive dinner tour.

Cycling adventures start at $39 per person. To book your cycle party, visit westpalmbeach.cycleparty.com.

Take a jet ski out for a spin

Exploring the shoreline can also be done from the back of a jet ski. 

The folks at Visit Palm Beach offer a unique two-and-a-half hour guided tour that will take you to Peanut Island and the Palm Beach Inlet where you can see a variety of sea life including dolphins, turtles, manatees, birds and fish – and that’s before heading out to the ocean.

You can jump waves, speed down the coastline and even add a snorkeling option.

Tours are $269 per jet ski (they each hold up to three people). Or, rent a jet ski for $65 for half an hour or $99 for a full hour. No deposit is required. For more information, go online to visitpalmbeach.com/jet-skiing.

Take a cruise on the Hakuna Matata

The Hakuna Matata is a catamaran that’s also operated by Visit Palm Beach. It takes up to 49 passengers on guided cruises of the Intracoastal Waterway. 

I’ve done every cruise the Hakuna Matata offers and you can’t go wrong, though my favorite is the sunset cruise. Times change based on sunset. During the summer the cruise departs at 7 p.m. and returns at 8:30 p.m. 

There’s few things better than cruising past the homes of the rich and famous while watching the West Palm Beach skyline silhouetted by a beautiful sunset. The Happy Hour cruise from 5 to 6:30 p.m. is also popular. 

You’re even permitted to bring your own food and drink on any cruise, but you can also purchase beverages once on board.

Cost is $30 per person. For more information or to book a cruise, go online to visitpalmbeach.com/catamaran-adventures.

So many more options

While doing research for this column I chatted with Kami Kreaps, manager of the West Palm Beach Visitor Center. She says that every day the staff talks with dozens of people who come in looking for exciting things to do.

So, what does Kami recommend people do when they visit downtown?

“I love the popup events that happen downtown. I love Pairings and Sunday at the Waterfront because I feel it’s everything a Sunday should be. It’s relaxing, you bring out a blanket or some chairs, eat some food and listen to music,” says Kreaps.

“I always recommend biking around downtown, going to Rosemary Square, checking out all the murals, especially with a SkyBike. I also encourage people to go to the Norton Museum of Art, especially on a Friday when it’s free. There’s also the Surfing Florida Museum in the Warehouse District which is fun and you pay by donation only,” she adds.

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