Located in sunny South Florida, West Palm Beach (WPB) embodies everything there is to love about the Florida coast. With an unfettered view of the Atlantic and the Intracoastal Waterway, a thriving job market, and year-round outdoor activities, living in West Palm Beach (or WPB, as the locals say) is a no-brainer.

If you’re curious about what it would be like to buy a home in West Palm Beach, let this article be your guide. We’ll break down the pros, the cons, and everything in between!

A Quick History of West Palm Beach

A major city in Palm Beach County in Southern Florida, West Palm Beach was founded in 1893 by Henry Flagler as a residential area for the workers supporting his Palm Beach resorts. What was originally swampland became a bustling community that grew year after year, and today, it’s the largest city in Palm Beach County.

The city of WPB encompasses over 57 square miles and currently has a population of nearly 121,000, though that number continues rising as the real estate market is booming. What were once tourists who returned to call this sunny corner of the country their home?

Nicknamed “Florida’s Orchid City,” WPB is admired for its delicate use of green spaces, which carefully offset the bustling cityscape. The heart of downtown WPB starts with Clematis Street, where you’ll find a majority of nightlife, bars, restaurants, and shops.

The West Palm Beach Lifestyle

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West Palm Beach is heaven for families, entrepreneurs, and retirees alike. From downtown, you’re a stone’s throw away from countless cafes, luxury shops, and waterfront restaurants.

WPB residents can expect to enjoy days filled with outdoor fun, be it lounging on the beach, boating, fishing, golfing, or exploring parks and nature reserves. Come evening, you’ll be rewarded with countless entertainment options, live music, and outdoor events.

West Palm Beach Climate and Weather

West Palm Beach enjoys a typical humid subtropical climate. The weather is sunny and warm, with temperatures in the 70s and 80s. Summers are certainly warmer, averaging high 70s to mid 90s, with more humidity.

Winters are cool, with temperatures occasionally dipping into the 50s and 60s Fahrenheit. With the exception of hurricane season, the weather remains enjoyable year-round.

Cost of Living in West Palm Beach

The cost of living in West Palm Beach is ranked 14% higher than the national average. Housing costs are higher, around 17% above the national average. On the plus side, Florida’s lack of local and state income tax makes it easier to stretch your dollar.

How Safe is West Palm Beach?

West Palm Beach usually scores around the 12% percentile in crime, which sounds less than ideal, but the city has made significant strides over the years to enhance the safety of its visitors and residents. Crime has steadily decreased, is generally more prevalent in specific neighborhoods, and is most commonly theft-related.

West Palm Beach Schools

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West Palm Beach boasts amazing schools, both public and private. Whether you’re planning on educating them at Alexander W. Dreyfood, Jr. School of the Arts or FAU High School, you can rest easy knowing that they’ll receive stellar teachers and a stimulating curriculum.

As for higher education, WPB has several colleges and universities, including Palm Beach Atlantic University and Palm Beach State College.

The West Palm Beach Job Market

The job market in West Palm Beach is one of its most notable features. With unemployment at a mere 3%, there are a variety of jobs across many sectors. Healthcare and hospitality are the two most predominant markets, swiftly followed by government, construction, and education.

Arts and Culture in West Palm Beach

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West Palm Beach has a thriving art scene, as evident by the vibrant murals lining the town. Some of the most popular art and cultural centers include the Ann Norton Sculpture Gardens, the Henry Morrison Flagler Museum, the Kravis Center for Performing Arts, and the Norton Museum of Art.

Things to Do in West Palm Beach

As you can imagine, a city as big as West Palm Beach has plenty of can’t-miss things to do. From water sports to shopping, nightlife, and exploring the local art scene—there’s something for everyone in this vibrant town.

Experience Downtown

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The restaurant and nightlife scene in downtown West Palm Beach is alive and well, and it all starts with the main drag, Clematis Street. This is where you’ll find a majority of restaurants, bars, shops, and galleries housed in historic buildings overlooking the water.

As for food, there is a good mix of different cuisines, whether you’re craving authentic Italian from Il Bellagio, street tacos from Rivales Taqueria, or perhaps you’d rather end on a sweet note with scratch-made ice cream from Sloan’s Creamery.

In addition to the great restaurants, there are a number of pubs, breweries, and cocktail bars offering live music and spectacular waterfront views.

Visit the Beaches

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When you live in South Florida, you’ll have access to dozens of white sandy beaches. With year-round perfect weather, you’d be crazy not to take advantage!

The city has miles of beautiful beaches where you can work on your tan, go for a jog, or ride the waves. You can go kayaking from Riviera Beach all the way to Peanut Island, spend the day at Delray Beach, or go jet skiing along the Intracoastal Waterway.

Take a Day Trip

Another plus of living in West Palm Beach is that you can spend your weekends exploring the surrounding areas. After all, the Palm Beach International Airport is right in your backyard!

But don’t think you have to take a plane to experience the neighboring cities. WPB is conveniently located in many famous Florida cities, like Miami, Fort Lauderdale, Tampa, and Boca Raton. Alternatively, you can pack up the kids and check out Orlando’s countless theme parks.

Have Some Family-Friendly Fun

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Southern Florida is remarkably kid-friendly, with tons of activities that adults and kids alike are guaranteed to love. Between the Palm Beach Zoo, Ann Norton’s Sculpture Gardens, and the Manatee Lagoon, you’ll have your weekends booked for years to come.

Embark on Outdoor Activities

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Sunshine and warm weather make being outdoors feel like a vacation in and of itself. West Palm Beach makes it even easier, with over 200 miles of walking and biking trails connecting communities to green spaces.

Alternatively, you can head out on the water and go birding or fishing along Lake Okeechobee. Or, perhaps, play a few rounds of golf at one of WPB’s many golf courses.

If you’re into festivals, WPB hosts SunFest annually in the first week of May. It’s the state’s longest waterfront music and art festival and attracts more than 100,000 visitors.

Get to Know the Locals at Seasonal Events

With more people relocating to West Palm Beach every year, this means you’re rarely the new kid on the block for long. The residents of WPB are welcoming and friendly, and the city hosts numerous community events throughout the year.

The Pros and Cons of Living in West Palm Beach

Deciding where you’re going to live is no small matter, especially if you’re coming in from out of state. We’ve narrowed down some pros and cons of living in West Palm Beach to take into consideration.


  • Warm, sunny weather year-round
  • Family-friendly
  • Good job market
  • Excellent public transportation
  • Easy access to a number of fun Florida cities
  • Small town feel but with big city amenities


  • Hot summers
  • Slightly higher cost of living than other Florida cities

While every city has its pros and cons, West Palm Beach is widely considered a great place to live and one of the nicest cities in Florida.

Ready to Call West Palm Beach Home?

There’s no denying that West Palm Beach, Florida, is truly a special place. With warm, sunny days, cool evenings, beaches, nightlife, and a host of family-friendly activities, there really is something for everyone.

Ready to make the big move? NV Realty is here to find your next dream home. Our WPB realtors simplify the process and hone in on what matters most to you. Let us do the legwork of finding your next home so you can kick back and relax in beautiful West Palm Beach.

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