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Discover Polo | Travel South Florida

Discover Polo | Travel South Florida

Image Courtesy International Polo Club; Palm Beach; FL; John Wash; © LILA PHOTO 2015
Image Courtesy of Peanut Island
Image Courtesy International Polo Club; Palm Beach; FL; John Wash; © LILA PHOTO 2015
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Image Courtesy of Peanut Island

Discover the Palm Beaches – Sandy Beaches, Enduring Culture and Glamorous Polo

Florida is known for a lot of things, not the least of which being sun, sand, and surf. But not everyone knows that Wellington, Florida, just southwest of Palm Beach, is the home of the International Polo Club Palm Beach (IPC) where the best players from around the world come to play every year from January through April. For these 16 amazing weeks out of the year, polo players and their polo ponies play in the “Winter Equestrian Capital of the World” with the balmy South Florida weather providing a picture-perfect backdrop.

Reserve Sunday for Polo

While the second season of the exciting GAUNTLET OF POLO™ was unfortunately cut short due to coronavirus restrictions (like all other sporting events in Florida), put polo on your radar now for 2021. Whether it’s a staycation in beautiful Palm Beach or a longer trip for those out of state, Polo Sundays are not to be missed.

GAUNTLET OF POLO™ combines the sport’s three preeminent tournaments into a high-stakes series that happens January through April. In addition to the three individual titles at stake (C.V. Whitney Cup, USPA Gold Cup, U.S. Open Polo Championship), any team that wins all three tournaments will be crowned GAUNTLET Champion. The Gauntlet of Polo is the richest purse in U.S. history with the potential of $1,000,000 paid out in prize money if one team can win all three tournaments. All three tournaments are played at IPC on the prestigious U.S. Polo Assn. Stadium Field.

While the polo match itself is the rightfully the center of attention, the glamorous social scene surrounding the sport is worth a mention. Matches are played throughout the week, but on Sunday’s IPC hosts a luxurious brunch featuring a vast array of tantalizing options, alongside free-flowing bottles of Veuve Clicquot champagne. It’s quite the spectacle – think men in pastels and ladies in fascinators and long flowy dresses sipping champagne and then strolling out on the field to participate in the divot stomp. Polo matches are open to the public, with a range of seating that includes grandstand viewing, field tailgating, lawn seating, and the aforementioned field-side Champagne brunch at The Pavilion. To see schedules and purchase tickets for the 2021 Season, visit InternationalPoloClub.com.

Getting Back to Sun, Sand, and Surf…

The Palm Beaches are home to nearly 30 tropical beach parks that span 47 miles along the Atlantic Ocean, from Jupiter Beach to Boca Raton – and there’s a beach to fit everyone!

Need to shake off that champagne hangover from Sunday polo? Relax on the remote, dog-friendly beaches of Ocean Cay Park in Jupiter, or at the elevated, park-like Atlantic Dunes Park in Delray Beach. Those looking for entertainment can stroll the promenade at Singer Island Municipal Beach or stand on the famous pier at Lake Worth Municipal Beach. For a day at the beach with a side of history, head to Peanut Island, where a former Cold War bunker for John F. Kennedy still exists.

If snorkeling is your passion, check out Coral Cove Park in Tequesta and the Underwater Snorkel Trail at Phil Foster Park in Riviera Beach, where you’re likely to spot stingrays, giant starfish and maybe a mermaid or two.

Where To Stay – New or Historic?

The Ben, Autograph Collection by Marriott – West Palm Beach

Just opened in Feb. 2020, the new 208-room Marriott Autograph Collection Hotel “The Ben” is named in honor of Byrd and Fred Dewey’s original Palm Beach County estate named Ben Trovato. The Deweys were pioneers of hospitality, opening their estate to the likes of the Vanderbilts, Woodrow Wilson, and more. The property blends elements of Florida’s fascinating history with today’s modern lifestyle. Guests will enjoy an inspiring library that feels like the Dewey’s own from 100 years ago, plus luxuries like an expanded, 24-hour state-of-the-art fitness center, rooftop pool with private cabanas and outdoor fire pit. The Ben also features downtown West Palm Beach’s only waterfront ballroom with spectacular Intracoastal views across to Palm Beach and the Atlantic Ocean from its top floor. This lovely new addition to the Palm Beaches also features two on-site restaurant options allowing for both fine dining and more casual outdoor dining.

The Breakers – Palm Beach

A grand space of enduring, historic beauty, the 200-foot-long lobby of The Breakers Palm Beach has embraced visitors worldwide for over a century, serving as the breathtaking first impression of this legendary oceanfront resort. Recently refreshed by celebrated designer Adam D. Tihany, it is as if the Italian Renaissance was seamlessly ushered into the 21st century. Meticulously preserving the lobby’s aesthetic and heritage — vaulted ceiling with intricately hand-painted details (circa 1926, the hotel’s last rebuild) — the allure now infused with a contemporary appeal. The centerpiece is a new, custom-designed, hand-tufted carpet inspired by the vivid paintings of French Symbolist, Odilon Redon. Conceived by Tihany Design (working as design consultant to Peacock + Lewis Architects), the carpet’s botanical motif evokes an enchanting garden; it is as if bouquets of lilies, amaranths, irises and other florals native to South Florida are blooming underfoot.

Cultural Experiences

Kravis Center for the Performing Arts – West Palm Beach

With a $50 million expansion well underway and slated for completion by summer 2020, the project will increase the size of the lobby by 6,000 square feet, create a new pedestrian-friendly plaza complete with expanded sidewalks, a bike path, and waterfall fountain, as well as a new valet parking garage. The theaters remained open through the renovation, and later this year will host some “don’t miss” scheduled performances include Beautiful, The Carol King Story; Bill Maher, Live Stand Up Tour; An Officer and a Gentleman; George Li on Piano and Escape to Margaritaville. Visit the calendar on www.kravis.org for dates, times, and theaters as some shows may change due to coronavirus and state restrictions.

Henry Morrison Flagler Museum – Palm Beach

Visit this National Historic Landmark to learn more about one of the most interesting periods in America’s history, the Gilded Age. Whitehall, Henry Flagler’s Gilded Age estate in Palm Beach, was called “more wonderful than any palace in Europe, grander and more magnificent than any other private dwelling in the world.” Today, Whitehall is a National Historic Landmark and is open year-round as the Flagler Museum, featuring tours, and changing exhibitions for visitors to admire this grandiose collection of art and elegance. Visit www.flaglermuseum.us for an updated daily schedule and pricing.

You’ll Be Back

There is just so much to see and do in the beautiful Palm Beaches; you will want to come back, and not just for the weather. For even more information on where to go and what to do in Palm Beach, visit discoverthepalmbeaches.com.

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