living in west palm beach

West Palm Beach Fl Area Information

Area Information

West Palm Beach Arts and Culture

Palm Beach county has a rich cultural background and a tremendous amount of opportunities to enjoy Florida's finest offerings in the visual and performing arts, science and nature attractions, historical treasures, festivals and multicultural experiences
To give you an idea of the areas commitment to the Arts.There are currently

41 museums
40 performance halls
32 Theatrical venues
16 music and art festivals
a symphony orchestra
3 ballet companies
291 antique dealers
30 Art galleries.
*The art Council for Palm Beach county is at
If you love the Arts and like diversity, the Palm Beach area has something to please everyone.
List of Museums
Major museums

Boca Raton Museum of Art - Boca Raton - features a fine permanent collection, traveling exhibitions, and an art school.

Palm Beach Institute of Contemporary Art (PBICA) - Lake Worth - features new media exhibitions, contemporary art, lectures, and discussions.

Norton Museum of Art - West Palm Beach - permanent collection features European, American, and Chinese artwork, master's paintings, and more.

Palm Beach Photographic Centre
55 Northeast Second Avenue
Delray Beach, Florida 33444
561 276-9797
Performing Arts

Clematis by Night Fountainside Concert Series
Nancy M. Graham Centennial Square

Palm Beach Opera
415 South Olive Avenue
West Palm Beach, FL 33401

Ballet Florida, Inc.
Boca Ballet Theatre
Boca Raton

Demetrius Klein Dance Company
Lake Worth

Centre for the Arts at Mizner Park
Boca Raton

Kravis Center for the Performing Arts
701 Okeechobee Boulevard
West Palm Beach, FL 33401
Music and arts

Palm Beach Symphony
Palm Beach - 561 655-2657.
Youth Orchestra of Palm Beach County
West Palm Beach - 561 281-8600
Discover the numerous cultural attractions offered to tourists by many a Palm Beach museum. The Palm Beach museum listings below offer cultural and historical experiences for all tastes and ages. Browse the list to find the destination that’s right for you.
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Ann Norton Sculpture Gardens
253 Barcelona Road
West Palm Beach, FL 33401
Located in the historic EL Cid Neighborhood is the home, intact artist studio and gardens of Ann Weaver Norton (1905 - 1982) featuring 9 monolithic sculptures. Gardens featuring over 300 varieties of rare palms.
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Armory Art Center
1700 Parker Avenue
West Palm Beach, FL 33401
The Palm Beaches’ leading visual arts education and exhibition center offering year-round art classes for adults and youth art workshops, lecture series, special events and rotating gallery exhibitions.
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Boca Raton Historical Society & Museum
71 North Federal Highway
Boca Raton, FL 33432
On the National Register of Historic Places, Town Hall houses archival information, exhibitions on Boca’s history and a gift shop. Free admission - open Monday-Friday 10:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m. Also available for touring are two 1947 streamline rail cars located at the historic FEC Railway Depot - call for hours.
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Boca Raton Museum of Art
501 Plaza Real
Boca Raton, FL 33432
Contemporary art museum with more than 4,000 works in its permanent collection, ranging from modern masters, sculpture, pre-Columbian, African, photography and world-class traveling exhibitions. Films, lectures, tours, family programming and a year-round art school.
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Cornell Museum of Art & American Culture
Old School Square
51 North Swinton Avenue
Delray Beach, FL 33444
Housed in the restored 1913 Delray Elementary School building at Old School Square. Presenting rotating regional, national and international fine art, craft and American culture exhibits, artist showcases and demonstrations.
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Flagler Museum
Cocoanut Row
Palm Beach, FL 33480
Completed in 1902, Whitehall (a National Historic Landmark), Henry Flagler's Gilded Age estate, was hailed as "more magnificent than any other private dwelling in the world." Museum highlights include tours, exhibits and Flagler's railcar.
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Jupiter Inlet Lighthouse & Museum
Lighthouse Park
500 Captain Armour's Way
Jupiter, FL 33469
Jupiter Inlet Lighthouse & Museum offers climbing tours of the landmark 1860 Lighthouse, History Museum, gift shop, snack shop, programs, sunset tours and weddings. Open Tuesday - Sunday, 10:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m. Last Lighthouse tour at 4:00 p.m. Call or see website for climbing restrictions.
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The Morikami Museum and Japanese Gardens
4000 Morikami Park Road
Delray Beach, FL 33446
Experience the essence of Japan in Florida, featuring a 16-acre park of renowned Japanese gardens, world-class bonsai display, galleries of historical and contemporary Asian art, family activities, signature Japanese festivals, museum store and lakeside Asian café.
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Museum of the City of Lake Worth
414 Lake Avenue
Lake Worth, FL 33460
Displays and tours assure a tangible history of the city will remain to be shared with future generations. Contributions of ethnic groups who developed the City are highlighted.
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Norton Museum of Art
1451 South Olive Avenue
West Palm Beach, FL 33401
The Norton Museum of Art is internationally distinguished for its world-renowned collection featuring 19th and 20th century European, American, Chinese and Contemporary art, photography and works on paper. View special exhibitions, attend lectures and educational programs for children and adults. Shop in the Museum Store and have lunch in Café 1451 at the Norton.
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Palm Beach Photographic Centre
55 NE Second Avenue
Delray Beach, FL 33444
A non profit photographic and digital imaging cultural, art and education center. Museum, gallery, computer labs and retail shop. Rotating exhibitions, workshops, lectures, family and children's events. Traditional and digital photography. In the spring of 2009, the Centre will relocate to the new City Centre complex in downtown West Palm Beach.
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Richard and Pat Johnson Palm Beach County History Museum
300 North Dixie
West Palm Beach, FL 33401
The Richard and Pat Johnson Palm Beach County History Museum is located in the historic 1916 Courthouse in downtown West Palm Beach. The museum is operated by the Historical Society of Palm Beach County and contains permanent and temporary exhibit spaces, each reflecting the influence of many cultures of Palm Beach County's diverse history.
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Society of the Four Arts
2 Four Arts Plaza
Palm Beach, FL 33480
The Society of the Four Arts presents notable speakers, concerts, films, educational seminars and art exhibitions for the public. Horticultural and sculpture gardens grace the lakeside campus.
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South Florida Science Museum
4801 Dreher Trail North
West Palm Beach, FL 33405
Hands-on science center, aquarium, planetarium, museum store, special weekend programs, observatory, laser concerts, science trail, Egypt Gallery and miniature galaxy golf. Permanent and traveling exhibits. Family-oriented activities for all ages including adult lecture series throughout the year. Open 363 days a year.
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Children's Museum
Boca Raton - 561.368.6875
Hibel Museum of Art
Jupiter - 561.622.5560
For complete listings go to

In conclusion, the Palm Beach area offers cultural and artistic opportunities on par with anywhere in the country. If you're an actor, artist-regardlessof the medium, photographer or writer and enjoy the relaxed atmosphere of the beaches and a natural environment, Palm Beach county could be the place. The beautiful weather and lots of sun definitely create an ambience that is attractive to creative pursuits.


Cost of Living

The cost of living index is based on the composite price of groceries, housing, utilities, transportation, health care, clothing and entertainment.

Cost of living indexes will generally be higher in areas that offer access to beaches, culture, arts and recreation. In addition areas, that offer a wider variety of services such as health and education will run higher due to higher wages, and increased quality of living.

Cost of living indexing explanation
A figure of 100 points is used as an average both for the USA and Florida. For example:
Boise Idaho is ranked at a 99
Boston Mass is rated at 240
San Francisco at 217
Statewide, Florida cities come in from a low of 90 and up.
One way to compare Florida areas to salary requirements

For example-If you were relocating from Portland Oregon (whose rate 1s 94.0) to Orlando, and you currently make $50,000 per year, the formula is as follows
Take the destination index, in this case Orlando-94.0 and divide by Portland’s index-120, then multiply by a salary of $50,000. This will give you a figure of $39,166 which would be required to make in Orlando to have the same quality of life.
See comparable Florida statewide
* Re cost of living--in some areas Real Estate has went up dramatically however costs that factor in such as food, transportation, rents etc have not increased at the same rate-so in some areas, even though housing is expensive, the overall rating may still be low
2007 stats per Sperlings best Places

Boca Raton-154.74
Cape Coral-Ft Myers-108.0
Ft Lauderdale-132.0
Fort Walton-Destin-120
Jacksonville metro-94.0
Big Pine Key fl-132.46
Key Largo-146.0
Key West-168.0
Marathon fl-162.06
Miami metro-138.0
Naples Fl-250.59
Orlando metro-94.0
Palm Bay-84.56
Palm Coast-Flagler-125.01
Panama City-86.35
Pensacola metro-82.0
Tampa 94.60
Stuart 146.63
St Pete-Clearwater-91.58
Vero-Beach Indian River-122.87
West Palm Beach metro-112.05
(Population Weighted-State Average=100
See national comparisons
Cost of living (100 = nationwide average)

* New York, NY -164.50
* Long Beach, CA -135.71
* Palo Alto, CA -234.42
* Boston, MA -127.60
* Malibu, CA -492.80
* San Francisco, -187.23
* Greenwich, CT 215
* Chicago, IL -126.45
* Dallas Tx -92,94
* Atlanta Ga -112.21
For more information about cost of living go to either
Sperlings best Places
or Accra's site at

The cost of living in the Palm Beach area averaged 112.5. The majority of the CGI index higher rating is due to housing costs. However if you consider the amenities the area has to offer and the quality of life (especially compared to the big cities) Palm Beach county is still a bargain. * see tables below for comparisons across the USA.

Palm Beach County

Ad Valorem Millage Rates (2004):
Government 4.7677
Schools 8.4320
Special 13.2788
Total 26.4785
Ad Valorem Tax Exemption: Yes
Retail Sales Tax (Local Option) 0.5
Local Communications Service Tax 5.7
Federal Enterprise Zone No
As of 2005, the total Cost of living index went from 102.9 to 106.19
Total 106.19
Above stats from
Housing. Minimum two bedroom (1500 sq ft) single family homes in Palm Beach County.
As of August 2005, the median sold price is $411,400.
For insurance rates in the area, ask your REALTOR or contact an insurance company from the business directory on the site.

For water and sewer go to
County municipal systems 561-641-3429. Customer Service: 561-740- 4600.

Garbage Call the Solid Waste Authority billing and collection department at 561-697-2700.

For electric go to
Florida Power and Light
Call FPL at 561-697-8000.

Gas Companies:
Florida Public utilities Call 561-832-2461.

Telephone Companies
Call 561-780-2355 for residential, or 561-780-2800 for businesses..
In conclusion, given Florida’s climate and Job opportunities and the outdoor recreation prospects, Miami can really make sense.
Why not live in a vacation spot?


A pollution free environment, mild climate and outdoors recreational opportunities, plus the areas natural beauty help you stay healthy.
All of this combined is what makes Palm Beach County's medical facilities and physicians among the highest rated in America
Sunshine makes people feel healthier and improves your outlook on everything. After living in Florida for 10 years, I can tell you that it’s great to wake up to a warm climate and sunshine almost year round. It makes for a positive outlook on life. What’s your mood when it’s cold, drizzling and cloudy out?
Statistics for Palm Beach County. As of 2004, there are:

101 assisted living facilities
17 major hospitals
17 adult day care centers
136 health care clinics
53 skilled nursing facilities
Two Facilities really stand out

Palms West Hospital
13001 Southern Boulevard, Loxahatchee, Florida
Main Number: 561-798-3300
Physician Referral: 561-548-DOCS (3627)
Wellington Regional Medical Center
10101 Forest Hill Boulevard
Wellington, Florida
Main Number: 798-8500
Physician Referral: 798-9880
For specific information and address/phone number of health facilities, please go to

Palm Beach County Health Department message

The Health Department is a service organization responsible for the health of over a million residents in Palm Beach County.

The many and varied core programs include, disease prevention and control, environmental health and engineering, school health and health education. In addition, the department shares responsibility for primary care of the medically indigent population of the county with the private sector by providing millions of services annually through its six health centers.

The Palm Beach County Health Department has served as the model agency for the State of Florida and many other States throughout the country. For over 50 years it has led the way with innovative programs that include:

Free immunizations for children
* Parental education in child care from pregnancy to birth and beyond
* Monitoring the land, air and water
* Monitoring and testing for potential epidemics.

For major hospitals names and locations, go to

For more specific information see the Website listed above.


Palm Beach County is the 4th largest school district in Florida and has some of the best schools in the country.
There are more than 170,000 students, 7800 teachers and over 151 elementary and secondary schools in Palm Beach County.
For a comparison of schools and school districts on a variety of criteria, view Florida School Indicators Reports at the Florida Department of Education's Web site.

Palm Beach County school specifics:

100 Elementary Schools
51 secondary schools
12 High Schools
10 College-Universities
3 Magnet schools
1 Community colleges
80 Vocational-technical schools
4 Charter schools
169 private and parochial schools
4 Alternative Schools
15 adult education
259 pre schools
Palm Beach County Colleges and Universities:

BARRY UNIVERSITY – Private, fully-accredited institution offering bachelor's degrees in business, human resource management, legal studies, social welfare and public administration. Master's available in social work and human resource development and administration. Enrollment – 8,469

FLORIDA ATLANTIC UNIVERSITY – Urban regional university organized into nine colleges, offering undergraduate programs in 61 fields, master's degree programs in 44 fields, Ph.D. programs in 14 fields and doctor of education degrees in three fields. Enrollment – 25,018

KAPLAN UNIVERSITY – is part of Kaplan Higher Education, a system of more than 65 campus-based schools nationwide. An accredited university providing educational services since 1937, Kaplan University offers master's, bachelor's, and associate's degrees, as well as certificate programs. Our degree programs feature various emphasis areas and a comprehensive curriculum geared toward you career goals.

LYNN UNIVERSITY – Private, fully-accredited institution offering master's, baccalaureate and associate degrees. Master of professional studies, 27 undergraduate majors including business administration, hospitality, education, art and design. Enrollment – 2,037

NEW ENGLAND TECH AND FLORIDA CULINARY INSTITUTE - New England Tech offers 18-24 month Associate Degree programs, a variety of continuing education certifications for business professionals, and new 9 and 12-month diploma programs for those on the career fast track. New England Tech's programs are tailored to meet the specific needs of the local employer market. By meeting with local businesses, programs are kept up to date with the rapidly changing demands of employers. New England Tech ranks as one of the nation’s finest career training institutions. Enrollment—1,500

NORTHWOOD UNIVERSITY – Four-year bachelor of business administration degree in seven fields including accounting, management, automotive marketing, and computer science. Enrollment – 736

PALM BEACH ATLANTIC UNIVERSITY – Four-year Christian liberal arts. Twenty-six undergraduate majors including business administration, computer science, mathematics, education, music, and theatre arts. Master's in business administration, elementary education and human resource development, and new PhD in Pharmacy. Enrollment – 3,069

PALM BEACH COMMUNITY COLLEGE – More than 100 Associate of arts and associate of science degrees and certificate programs. Academic programs include health education, medical technology, physical therapy, nursing, dental, radiological technology, and criminal justice. Enrollment – 20,410

SOUTH UNIVERSITY – Two and four-year university programs. Associate of science degree in six fields including accounting, business administration, information technology, physical therapy assistant, medical assistant and paralegal studies. Four bachelor programs in nursing, legal, business administration and information technology. Enrollment – 369
For specific locations and more information-check with either the Palm Beach County school district at


The Atlantic Gulf Stream approaches the Palm Beach County coast closer than anywhere in the nation, bringing warm waters from the south. Palm Beach County's sub-tropical climate and soft breezes enable sports and outdoor activities year round.

Winter, spring and fall are filled with lots of sunshine and temperatures in the mid 70’s and 80’s.

Some statistics:

The hottest month is August, with an average high of about 91° F and an average low of 75° F. In January the average high temperature is 75° F and the average low is 56° F.
The year round average temperature is 82.9
Rainy days-134
Normal annual precipitation is 60 plus inches, with the largest monthly totals accumulating from July through September.
Palm Beach county’s annual high average temperature

Month Air
January 74.5
February 75.3
March 79.3
April 82.5
May 85.7
June 88.1
July 89.7
August 90.1
September 88.4
October 84.4
November 79.6
December 75.7
Water temperatures go from 70 in January to 85 in July and August.

*To compare Palm beach weather with other major USA cities go here

Other Weather Indicators

Average Wind Speed 9.6
Avg. Relative Humidity 71.5
Although it looks like we have lots of cloudy days, the sun is out almost year round and the clouds are partial-not like in the Northwest (where I’m from) and it will stay overcast and dark for weeks on end.

*Although we do get rain here-it is a tropical rain and comes and goes quickly and acts as a refresher to the hot days.

To see average January temperatures across the United States go to
Compare where you live or want to live in Florida. For more specific info, look at the area you are interested in and go to the weather page.

So what about Hurricanes, the rainy season and humidity?
We are a tropical climate, so our rainy season comes in the summer. Generally it will rain hard for a half hour then subside. It does get humid then. Although not as bad as you’d think. Our water breezes really help cool us off.
Despite four devastating hurricanes in 2004, the number of Florida visitors rose 7% to an all-time high of 79.8 million last year and is on target to hit 80 million this year.
To think on:
If you live on the coast you stand the greatest chance of having one affect you. Some areas of Florida have gone fifty years plus without one but you never know.
As a resident having lived in the Keys and now in central Florida I’ve been through them.

In my opinion, the best thing you can do is buy a home that was built after Andrew-August 92 that was built to stricter building codes. Have window protection and a backup generator and make sure your insurance is up to date. If they ask you to leave, do it!

Realize-If you live in an older home that was not built up to the stricter building codes (After Hurricane Andrew-August 1992) or you live in a mobile home you stand the best chance of having major structural damage.

Living on the beach in a mobile home is asking for it. Although, you may never have a problem, you’re still definitely taking your chances. Barrier islands and open-water Ocean or Gulf front are the most prone to damage.
Having lived in California, I prefer the threat of a hurricane however as opposed to an earthquake. At least you have a warning.

For current information about hurricanes go to
For 2005 climate info by areas go to
For current weather forecasts by cities go to
*Living in a waterfront home typically means that you will pay a higher Insurance premium. The insurance is higher due to flood and wind concerns.
Part of this is also because the pricing on these homes is higher so there is more value to insure against.

Having said all this, I can’t imagine living elsewhere. It is really great to wake up and it’s sunny out.
We spend over half our lives indoors…so when you do go outside, wouldn’t it be nice if it was warm and sunny?

What if you went on vacation and never went back? Sound crazy? We spend half our lives indoors—why not spend the rest of the time in the sun? You can live in Paradise.



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About the areas
The site has the state divided up into 19 major areas and 80 plus sub-areas. We chose these areas as they are the ones most referred to in guides about Florida and also because most people are familiar with them as the names evoke something. Additionally on each area dropdown there is information relevant to florida real estate and relocating to florida. We have provided lists of Florida Real Estate agents-Mortgage brokers and more.