Beach Florida received its first palm trees when the Providencia,
loaded with Cuban coconuts, shipwrecked off the coast in 1878. Only
14 miles long and 1/2 mile in width, with a population barely exceeding
10,000, glamorous Palm Beach has a century old reputation as one
of the world's most powerful magnets for the the rich and famous.
Henry Morrison Flagler put Palm Beach on the map when he opened
the Royal Poinciana Hotel in 1894 and promoted the island as the
country's premier winter resort. In 1901 he built the mansion Whitehall
(photo upper right), now the Henry Morrison Flagler Museum, for
his wife, Mary Lily Kenan.
Today, the town's unique Palm Beach hotels and restaurants rank
among the finest in the world. Worth Avenue shops are on par with
Beverly Hill's Rodeo Drive. Fabulous mansions continue to be built
adding to the charm and ambiance of the classic Fatio, Mizner, and
Wyeth designed structures. The Palm Beach legacy continues into
the 21st century as an immortal oasis of beauty and elegance.