Two Palm Beach County beaches are among the nation’s 10 most beautiful, at least by one bit of social media calculus conducted by Florida Rentals, which, to be transparent, is in the business of getting people to book rentals in the state with more than 800 miles of coastline.
The rankings, determined by the number of Instagram hashtags each beach received, placed West Palm Beach at No. 6 and Delray Beach at 10. The only other Florida beach in the top 10 was South Beach, at No. 2. The other contenders in that field were all from California and Hawaii, with La Jolla Cove, California earning top spot.
While many South Florida residents would agree to naming Delray Beach in the top 10, West Palm Beach earning any position on the list is cause for at least a bit of head scratching.
Oddly enough, West Palm Beach really doesn’t have a “beach”
Though the city has an amazing downtown, incredible restaurants, great brewpubs, festivals and plenty of artwork, both in local museums and on display, it really doesn’t have what one would call a beach.
West Palm Beach does have probably the best waterfront of all South Florida cities, with mostly unobscured views of the Lake Worth Lagoon and a pedestrian walkway along it that stretches for nearly 10 miles, but there’s really no beach.
Yes, there is water. And there is land. And they do meet. But there’s no white sand and nobody is setting up beach chairs and umbrellas or playing kadima. And the water? That’s not ocean.
Palm Beach County beaches guide:Attractions, fun facts on each from Tequesta to Boca Raton
Is it possible that those intrepid, adventurous Instagrammers might have had their faces buried so deep in their phones that they didn’t realize that they had ventured out of West Palm Beach? Absolutely. They could’ve traveled less than a mile over to Palm Beach or even stretched it out and been in Lake Worth Beach and not realized it.
It’s also possible that they may have been visiting family and/or friends who recently moved to the area and were confused.
No matter. If the world wants to think West Palm Beach has the sixth most beautiful beach in the United States that’s fine, it could always be worse. They could think the city has one of the best ski resorts or dude ranches. Talk about lost.
In our recent Palm Beach Post best beaches poll, actual locals decided that the beach at John D. MacArthur State Park is the best in Palm Beach County for 2023.
Using a bracket system similar to college basketball’s March Madness, the final four came down to Juno Beach Park, Jupiter Beach Park, John D. MacArthur State Park and Dubois Park.
In the end, Juno Beach bested Jupiter Beach Park, John D. MacArthur topped Dubois Park and you know the rest.
Eddie Ritz is a journalist at The Palm Beach Post, part of the USA TODAY Florida Network. He has lived in the West Palm Beach area for more than 30 years and, from mild to wild, will cover noteworthy community happenings. You can reach him at [email protected]. Help support our journalism. Subscribe today.