Palm Beach Vs. Miami Beach (All You Need To Know)

You might consider moving to Palm Beach or Miami Beach or scout for a holiday destination spot. Palm Beach and Miami Beach are two towns in the sunny Florida state. With so many attractions, history, and culture in both towns, it indeed is a difficult task to compare the two.

Palm Beach and Miami Beach are extraordinary in their offerings. Both offer great sites to see, a deep history, and fantastic art and culture communities. The only difference would be the population size, where Palm Beach is 9251 against Miami Beach’s 80671.

With each of these towns having a wide variety of things to do, places to see, and its community, it would be best to explore all the towns’ aspects to draw a comparison.

Palm Beach Vs. Miami Beach: History

A city’s history shapes how it can move forward and exist in the present. The history of Palm Beach and Miami Beach tells a lot about the heritage and why anyone would love to stay there and be a part of it.

The History Of Palm Beach

The existence of Palm Beach dates back to 1872, when pioneers arrived during the Second Seminole War, led by Major General Jenkins Worth (hence the first name for Palm Beach – Lake Worth). In 1878 the area got its name from a shipwreck named the “Providencia,” full of coconuts that they scavenged and planted to start a coconut industry.

Coconut Grove House was only the beginning of the tourist industry. The first hotel, Coconut Grove House, lured visitors from 1880 to see the beauty of Palm Beach. The hotel burned down twice; today, it is a stone structure landmark in Palm Beach.

The town was officially registered in 1911 when 35 men voted for a council to set up the town, and Palm Beach town was born. Today it is known for its beauty, is a great holiday destination, and has 9000 all-year-round residents.

The History Of Miami Beach

Pioneers found Miami around about the same time as Palm Beach. After the Second Seminole War, in 1891, pioneers scouted for areas to make new homes with their families after the devastation. The Flagler and Rockefeller railway extended to Miami Beach, opening work opportunities and inviting settlers into the area.

Miami soon became a popular destination, especially for those who wanted holiday homes. The all-year-round perfect weather was a magnet for those with money. Mansions popped up on Brickell Avenue, later called “Millionaire’s Row.” 1914 brought even more people when James Deering built his palace, Villa Vizcaya, which gave work to about 10% of Miami’s population.

However, a counsel incorporated Miami Beach in 1915, making it a town on its own and not part of the city of Miami. It is a separate island with artificial barriers, and Biscayne Bay divides it from Miami.

Palm Beach Vs. Miami Beach: Population And Community

The size and population of Palm Beach and Miami Beach are very different, and comparing them might give a broader view of what to expect from each town/city.

Census Test SubjectsPalm BeachMiami Beach
Population9 25180 671
Persons 65 years and over62.1%16.7%
The highest race percentage recorded was white only95.6%68.5%
Median gross rent$1724$1432
Median Household Income$169003$57,211
Persons in Poverty3.9%13.7%

Miami Beach has a much larger population than Palm Beach, and the people there are younger than the gross of Palm Beach. The age difference might explain the difference in household incomes or better opportunities available in Palm Beach.

With technology taking over the world, who knows, maybe half of Palm Beach residents work from their computers for a living (96.6% of the residents have a laptop or computer).

This high income might be due to all the millionaires having beach houses next to the Atlantic Ocean at Palm Beach (about 44 of them). Bill Gates, the wealthiest man on earth, bought his Palm Beach mansion for $8.7 million.

Palm Beach Vs. Miami Beach: Culture

People relate with cultures, and finding information about a town or city’s history makes you feel connected. How do the cultures of Palm Beach and Miami beach match or differ? Looking into religion and cultural activities, you might be able to make a comparison.

Palm Beach Culture

Palm beach has a rich culture that you will find amusing but mostly amazing. With the endless cultural things to see and do, you won’t have time to lay on the beach all day.

The Colony Hotel’s Royal Room

You will find a cabaret show at the Royal Room you surely don’t want to miss. They take you back to the 50s regarding music, clothing, décor, and performance. Guests can sip on long cocktails while enjoying the show at round tables.

The Society Of The Four Arts

Are you looking for anything artsy? Then you indeed have to visit the Society of the Four Arts. Here you can find anything from a library for children, art galleries, a theatre, music, and all type of performances.

Ann Norton Sculptures

Ann Norton was a world-famous sculptor that lived in Palm Beach. The cultural community renovated her house into a tourist site where eager visitors can view her sculptures inside the home and tour the garden. The sculpture tour tells a story of her life, and people interested in sculpting can sign up for lessons.

Kravis Performing Arts Center

Many things are happening at this center that will make a cultural lover very excited. Orchestras are performing from around the world, ballet performances, broadway bringing you a combination of singing and dance, and camps with arts and crafts for children.

Museums In Palm Beach

The Norton Museum of Art focuses primarily on European and Chinese art from the 19th and 20th centuries. Famous American artists’ work can also be seen here, including Monet, Picasso, and Hopper. There are exhibitions throughout the year that will take your breath away.

The Henry Morrison Flagler Museum, based at his original, refurbished home, will lead you through the oil founder’s house, his art, and stories about his life and business history. A separate exhibition goes into the Flagler railway and the original rail car he used himself.

Miami Beach Culture

Not knowing the area, you might think Miami Beach is all about parties, beach life, and no culture. Those thoughts will be way-off. Miami beach has excellent cultural sites and festivals to see and explore.

Miami Art Week Events

One of the top events in all art lovers’ diaries is the art week in Miami Beach each year. This event that Miami Beach hosts during the first week of December each year is packed with art activities for young and old. Enjoy seeing famous artists and their work, and participate in activities while spending time with fellow art lovers.

Miami Beach Public Art

An excellent idea for the family or friends alike is to go to South Pointe Park in Miami Beach. You can enjoy the extensive lawns with a picnic while kids enjoy the splash park. Enjoy the views of Tobias Rehberger’s sculptures for all to see and enjoy. The 55-foot lighthouse and the speech bubble sculpture are his talented designs.

The convention center in Miami Beach is covered in artwork, waiting for you to discover. Sarah Morris and Joseph Kosuth are just some artists whose art is up for display.

Museums In Miami Beach

The Wolfsonian-FIU is a fantastic museum to visit. Over 200,000 artifacts show many world evolution objects from the 1850s to the 1950s, including industrial development, household items, books, and even toys. The building also speaks the language portrayed inside a classic 1927 Revival building.

The Jewish Museum of Florida-FIU is something precious. A yellow statement building invites you into a world of the first Jewish congregations in Miami Beach. Here you will find all the history and every little detail there is to know about the Jewish community.

Miami Beach Outside Performances

The perfect night out – movies under the stars. These are possible between October and May each year at the New World Center in Miami Beach.

You can enjoy many free performances throughout the city in the parks and public arenas. From dancing to visual art exhibits, you can indeed find something you can enjoy.

Miami Beach Culture Crawl

This iconic event taking place all over Miami Beach monthly on Thursdays is something unique to Miami Beach. All the art institutions open their doors to enjoy a night of culture. Performances and workshops are also on the to-do list during the culture crawl.

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Palm Beach Vs. Miami Beach: Attractions

The attractions are never ending in both Palm Beach and Miami Beach. Both have exciting and unique attractions that will give you a lot to do whichever place you choose.

Palm Beach Attractions

Palm beach might have a smaller population but doesn’t lack attractions and things to do. Many outdoor activities, fine dining, and famous shopping areas will encourage you to extend your stay.

  • Lion Country Safari – go on a safari to see thousands of animals and make new memories.
  • Palm Beach Zoo – is another excellent way to see animals, including tropical animals.
  • Rapids Water Park – Get your adrenaline rush with all the exciting rides available.
  • Blue Heron Bridge – is one of the best scuba diving areas in Palm Beach
  • Spruzzo – a great rooftop bar to enjoy cocktails and time with friends
  • Worth Avenue – one of the world-famous shopping streets
  • Royal Poinciana Plaza – a relatively new addition to the shopping and restaurant community in Palm Beach

Miami Beach Attractions

Miami beach is packed with things to do, night and day, and you won’t have time to sit still, except if you are sipping on a coffee or cocktail in-between your endeavors.

  • Lincoln Road Mall – is a mile-long shopping destination in Miami Beach
  • Ancient Spanish Monastery – is a beautiful historic building dating back to the 1830s when monks inhabited it. Today it is a church congregation you can visit and enjoy the architecture and gardens.
  • Botanical Gardens – take in the breath-taking gardens and ponds
  • Children’s Museum – exhibits that will make any child’s day. From a castle to a giant piggy bank makes for a fun and educational visit.
  • Holocaust Memorial – beautiful statues, a meditation area, and a wall of remembrance
  • 90-minute skyline and millionaire homes cruise – enjoy the breath-taking views from the waters
  • Art Deco tour – bypassers cannot miss the bold, geometric, and bright-colored structure cannot be missed. Go in and enjoy all things art.

Palm Beach Vs. Miami Beach: Beaches

The best for last. We all know these two places for their beaches, but do they differ? Are there more beaches available in one town than the other, and are they safe?

Beaches Of Palm Beach

Palm beach has many family-friendly beaches, is safe to swim in, and has extra activities for kids. Lake Worth Beach is the first one on the list and has a playground for kids next to the beach, and there are lifeguards on duty, so safe swimming is a given. There are many dining options next to the beach, and with outstretched beaches, you can enjoy a relaxing sunset walk on the beach.

Juno Beach is a beach for all the dog-lovers. With miles of stretched sand, your four-legged friend can enjoy this beach without disturbing other beachgoers. There is an area for swimming, surfing, and fishing.

The beachfront at Palm Beach is something else to see. Beautiful, luxurious resorts with private beach access and swimming pools. You might want to book in at a resort to experience everything the beach has to offer and more.

Beaches Of Miami Beach

Miami beach can be divided into four sections to compare the beaches and what they offer. These include South Pointe Beach, South Beach, Mid Beach, and North Beach.

Name Of BeachRestaurantsTop ActivitiesUnique AspectParking
North BeachTaquiza for tacosResidential area, fewer touristsBark beach (dog friendly)Public parking $1 /hour
Mid BeachCecconi’sFamily-friendly (swimming, enjoying the beach)Millionaire’s RowPublic parking ranging from $1 to $3 /hour
South BeachLas Olas CaféOcean Drive; swimming; Art DecoLummus ParkPublic parking ranging from $2 to $4/hour
South Pointe BeachSmith & WollenskyCruise; swimming; waterparkSculpture LighthousePublic parking is $2 per hour

Miami Beach is also famous for its nightlife, and young adults love to party the night away next to the ocean at one of the rooftop dance venues or restaurants.


Palm Beach and Miami Beach each have traits that make them lovable. It is challenging to choose one or the other. The best way to get the best of both worlds would be to incorporate the 71 miles between them and make a road trip.