An early look around Palm Beach County for fun during the National’s Spring Training*
*Check the Web Sites listed for location, hours of operation and contact information. \
We are locals living in Palm Beach County, and Steve M. asked if we could put together a visitor’s guide and help people to avoid the tourist traps as they travel to spring training at The Ballpark of the Palm Beaches (formerly FITTEAM Ballpark). Much has changed since 2016 when we first did this as COVID shut down many restaurants and movie theaters especially.
The baseball season will start shortly. We polled over 20 locals to get their thoughts on where they like to dine, shop, or visit in Palm Beach County year around to convey to you where to go and what to do for fun in Palm Beach County while you are here for the Washington National’s spring training. Like any list of things to do, there should be disclaimers.
We elected not to identify separate price points since these are local recommendations and not everyone has the same level of spending in mind for their vacations. Not everyone’s tastes the same so we didn’t try to include an entry for every restaurant category. Instead we tried to concentrate on fun and entertaining choices of local flavor regardless price, taste or location. Palm Beach County is full of all of the usual players when it comes to restaurants, we tried to forego the national chains like Panera, Outback, Olive Garden and even Waffle House, figuring you could find those on your own, but a couple of known names did find their way into our poll.
We tried to list everything from North Palm Beach County to South Palm Beach County order to correspond to the map (below). If you go by the towns on the map you can get a rough idea of the distance from the Nationals Spring training Park represented on the map by the red star.
Everything here is fairly easy to get to or find. In general if you learn a few of the North-South roads listed East to West, A1A, Federal Highway, I95, Military Trail and Haverhill, are intersected by Indiantown Rd in Jupiter, PGA in Palm Beach Gardens, 45th St to the Stadium, Palm Beach Lakes to the outlet Mall, Okeechobee to downtown West Palm Beach and Palm Beach Island, Belvedere/Airport exit to Palm Beach International, Boynton Beach Boulevard to beaches and restaurants, Atlantic Avenue to downtown Delray Beach and Glades Road for Boca Raton, your GPS could fail and you will pretty much know where you are and how to get back to your hotel.
As to your next question, Yes, you will need a car. There is not much of interest, except for the Rapids Water Park, located near the new Nationals /Astros park. When getting around, public transportation is not an option. And yes, parking may be difficult to find that time of year but the good news is a lot of the destinations have valet parking that is fairly cheap or free and recommended just for the convenience of saving time.
However, keep in mind all the individual Restaurants or things to do were recommended by locals living in Palm Beach County specifically for this article and they don’t always venture into these places during tourist season when demand is at its peak. Experiences with service or wait time may be very different for you.
And finally, as should be required, please cross check this list with any of the following apps like Yelp, Trip Advisor, Groupon, Opentable or Chowhound who will certainly provide more depth information in regard to the listings.
The Ballpark of the Palm Beaches
Home to the Washington Nationals and the Houston Astros.
Practices are open at 10am each day if the weather permits.
On game days, the stadium gates open an hour and a half before game.
- Seeking autographs are not regulated by the stadium, and it is up to the teams. Many players try to sign autographs.
- Watching practice and minor league games on the back fields are not always accessible except from the street and parking lot area to watch from beyond the outfield
- There are great points all over the facility to take photos
Destinations (Dining, Shopping, Entertainment)
The first four listing are all-inclusive listings we will refer to as destination locations. These sites have enough choices to entertain you for hours. Plenty of great restaurants, bars, movie theaters and more are at each location. Scour the web sites cited for more details than what’s listed. Specific listings under the area heading have been recommended by locals and include their web sites.
Abacoa – Jupiter http://www.downtownabacoa.com/
Shopping, restaurants, bars, and home to the Cardinals/Marlins spring training stadium. Tip on traveling there to watch games, any home Cardinal game will be a difficult ticket but there are always seats at the Marlins games. If tickets are hard to come by for the Nationals or you want to add some games when visiting for spring training, check out tickets to the Marlins games in Jupiter. It’s close to the Nationals spring training stadium, the area is great to visit. The only drawback to the stadium may be too much sun. The stadium is looking to add some shade but come prepared.
City Place – Downtown West Palm Beach http://www.cityplace.com/
Shopping, restaurants, bars, and clubs located in downtown West Palm Beach near the intracoastal and a short, convenient distance from the National’s spring training park.
Brio – https://locations.brioitalian.com/us/fl/west-palm/550-s–rosemary-ave
City Cellar – http://www.citycellarwpb.com/
Bellaggio – http://ilbellagiocityplace.com/
Rocco’s Taco’s – https://www.roccostacos.com/west-palm-beach/
ER Bradleys – http://www.erbradleys.com/
Atlantic Avenue – Downtown Delray Beach http://downtowndelraybeach.com/
Shopping, restaurants, bars, and clubs located in downtown Delray Beach. The whole area is teeming with great restaurants and spots to people watch as well as plenty of entertainment. The area is easy to get to, down I95 to Alantic and then east to the water. The Avenue starts just past the tennis center.
Tramontis – http://www.tramontidelray.com/
Rocco’s Tacos on Atlantic Avenue – http://www.roccostacos.com/delraybeach
Delray Beach Market Place – Western Delray Beach http://www.delraybeachmarket.com/
Shopping, restaurants, bars, and Bowling Alley/Movie theater located in Western Delray Beach.
*Some of these restaurants may reside in the areas listed above.
GuanaBana’s – great tropical atmosphere https://www.guanabanas.com/
Square Grouper – Near Guanabana’s, http://squaregrouper.net/
Leftovers – http://www.littlemoirsjupiter.com/leftovers/#leftovers-1
Palm Beach Gardens
Capital Grille – http://www.thecapitalgrille.com/locations/fl/palm-beach-gardens/palm-beach-gardens/8035
J Alexanders – http://jalexandersholdings.com/JAlexanders
Rocco’s Tacos – https://www.roccostacos.com/location/roccos-tacos-palm-beach-gardens/
Vic and Angelo’s – http://vicandangelos.com/
West Palm Beach
Avocado Grill – http://www.avocadogrillwpb.com/#about
Stonewood Grill – http://www.stonewoodgrill.com/
Downtown Lake Worth
The Olde Key Lime House – great local hang out http://oldkeylimehouse.com/
Banana Boat – Located on the intercostal in Boynton Beach right next to Two George’s. Dock your boat! Watch the draw bridge go up every few minutes – http://www.bananaboatboynton.com/
Two George’s – Also located on the intercostal in Boynton Beach – http://www.twogeorgesrestaurant.com/
Sweetwater – Young and funky – http://www.sweetwater33.com/
Flakowitz – Visited by Guy Fieri http://www.flakowitzofboynton.com/
The Ale House – Local Chain, locations from Jupiter to Boca Raton – https://millersalehouse.com/
Sundy House – http://www.sundyhouse.com/
Vic and Angelo’s – http://vicandangelos.com/
Golf Courses (We asked for courses that are open to the public but please verify with each course before arriving):
Abacoa – http://www.abacoagolfclub.com/
PGA National – http://www.pgaresort.com/index
North Palm Beach Country Club – http://www.village-npb.org/453/Country-Club
Atlantis Country Club- http://www.atlantiscountryclub.com/
Winston Trails – http://winstontrailsgolfclub.com/
Things to do in PBC
Kravis Center for Performing Arts – http://www.kravis.org/
Norton Museum of Art – http://www.norton.org/
Flagler Museum – http://www.flaglermuseum.us/
Walk or Bike North Lake Trail on Palm Beach Island
Dreher Park Zoo – http://www.palmbeachzoo.org/
Lion Country Safari – http://www.lioncountrysafari.com/
Lake Worth Pier Camera and Surf Report – http://www.surfline.com/surf-report/lake-worth-pier-florida_5604/
Hoffman’s Chocolates – 2 locations in Lake Worth http://www.hoffmans.com/
Morikami – http://morikami.org/
Juno Beach – http://discover.pbcgov.org/parks/Locations/Juno-Beach.aspx
John D MacAurther Beach State Park – https://www.floridastateparks.org/park/MacArthur-Beach
Lake Worth Beach – http://lakeworthbeach.org/
Gulfstream park – http://discover.pbcgov.org/parks/Locations/Gulfstream.aspx
Johnathan Dickson State Park – http://www.jdstatepark.com/
Canoe Outfitters – http://www.canoeoutfittersofflorida.com
Rapids Water Park – https://www.rapidswaterpark.com/index.cfm?
Okeeheelee Park – http://wpbparks.com/wpb-parks/okeeheelee-park-boat-rental/
Johnathan Dickinson State Park – http://www.jdstatepark.com/
Okeeheelee Park – http://wpbparks.com/west-palm-beach-parks/okeeheelee-park-and-nature-trail/
Civil Society Brewing – Jupiter (https://civilsocietybrewing.com/)
Twisted Trunk Brewing – Palm Beach Gardens (http://www.twistedtrunkbrewing.com/)
The Brewhouse Gallery – Mix of local art and craft beer – Lake Park – http://www.brewhousegallery.com/
Nobo Brewery– Boynton Beach (https://www.nobobrewing.com/)
Copperpoint Brewery –Boynton Beach (http://copperpointbrewingcompany.com/?age-verified=91da83aac8)
Saltwater Brewery – Delray Beach (http://www.saltwaterbrewery.com/home)
Barrel of Monks – Boca Raton (http://www.barrelofmonks.com/?age-verified=9b68d5fffd)
Palm Beach Gardens Mall – http://www.thegardensmall.com/
Palm Beach Outlet Mall – Rawlings Outlet Store in here if you need baseballs. http://www.palmbeachoutlets.com/
Worth Ave on Palm Beach Island – Not that Werth but for the truly Rich and Famous or just the curious.
Wellington Mall – https://www.shopwellingtongreen.com/
Delray Marketplace – http://www.delraymarket.com/
Boca Town Center Mall – http://www.simon.com/mall/town-center-at-boca-raton
Palm Beach – Regal Palm Beach
City Place – AMC West Palm Beach
Paragon Theater – https://www.paragontheaters.com/location/29923/Delray—IMAX-and-Penny-Lanes-Showtimes
Other Spring Training Locations
Everyone’s idea of a great hotel is different. Price, location or amenities so check out Hotels.com or your favorite site. Besides none of us stay in hotels here!
The Nationals picked a third-party tour operator for Spring Training who are offering these hotels:
Remember, West Palm Beach has their own airport which is called Palm Beach International Airport (PBI), but depending on how you like to travel Ft. Lauderdale and Miami are not far if you are renting a car or using Uber for transportation. Southwest Airlines, JetBlue, and Frontier generally are non-stop to PBI from the DC area. United, Delta, and American also fly into PBI but not always direct.
We ran travel on February 15th on Southwest from BWI to PBI direct and it was $146 non-stop with a travel time of 2 hours 40 minutes, and a return flight a week later was $126 non-stop to return.
The mailing address of the Ballpark of the Palm Beaches is: 5444 Haverhill Rd, West Palm Beach, FL 33407 That gives you a reference point for places to stay.