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West Palm Beach

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The natural beauty of West Palm Beach is the number one reason people return year after year. Whether you are in the mood to shop, dine, soak in the sun or visit historic neighborhoods, the city of West Palm Beach has been accommodating tourists from around the world for decades. It is no wonder this city is beloved by the more than 82,000 residents currently living in West Palm Beach.

History of West Palm Beach
In the late 1800s, West Palm Beach, as we know it today, was quite different. Even though for hundreds of years the beautiful blue waters and swaying palm trees painted a tropical backdrop, hotels and transportation systems have come a very long way since the city's early days. A pioneer by the name of Henry Morrison Flagler came to Palm Beach with a vision that would later change Palm Beach forever.

Flagler, a real estate promoter and railroad developer, arrived in Palm Beach in 1893 with a vision to create a railway system and to turn Palm Beach into the world's most famous resort. His work with Standard Oil and his business partner, John D. Rockefeller, were soon secondary to his interests in the development of Palm Beach. There was no denying Flagler's desire for greatness.

The Development Stages
From the advice of his doctor, Flagler visited Florida for the winter with his ailing wife. He saw great potential for the area, but the poor hotel facilities and transportation systems needed significant improvements. Within a year, Flagler built several magnificent hotels, one of which was the Royal Poinciana Hotel on the Lake Worth Shores, which had 1,500 rooms and was the largest wooden structure in the world.

There was one underlying problem Flagler faced with his hotel ventures that called for immediate attention. There was a strong need for a transportation system to his hotels. He soon purchased a Florida Atlantic coast railroad, which was first called the "Flagler System" and then later changed to Florida East Coast Railroad. This railroad and development achievement would later be extended even further to Key West. Travelers would now be able to experience the vision Flagler had for a place he considered "a veritable paradise".

Flagler clearly made significant contributions to the development of West Palm Beach and the citizens have paid much homage to him. Flagler College was named after him, as well as Flagler County, Florida and Flagler Beach, Florida. The Henry Morrison Flagler museum has also been dedicated to him. If you are interested in visiting the museum, you might be interested in the fact that Flagler's personal railroad car sits comfortably on the lawn for everyone to see.

The Undeniable Beauty
Flagler, as well as people from all around the world, agree that West Palm Beach sells itself due to the exquisite year round temperature and breathtaking Atlantic beaches. What was once a village for fisherman and animal trappers in the 1870s is today a place of stimulating cultural events and attractions suited for most every taste and style. The possibility of having nothing to do in West Palm Beach is slim.

The ideal day in West Palm Beach depends entirely on what you enjoy. If you like the Arts and Entertainment, the monthly events calendar is packed full of concerts, theater, and any number of other events, everyday. The city is also host to any number of outdoor activities, fine dining, and of course, relaxing on the beautiful beaches. West Palm Beach is the ideal place for exquisite beaches, luxurious lodging and relaxation.

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