August 3, 2015
Singer Island may be Palm Beach County’s best-kept secret – or, if you’re tuned into gossipy society folks who occupy the bars and restaurants on Worth Avenue, its only secret. This barrier island is situated just off the coast, connected to the mainland by the four-lane Blue Heron Bridge. Still, many visitors don’t know, or aren’t told, about the luxury resorts, spas, restaurants and municipal parks and beaches that exist here. Just a few minutes’ drive from Palm Beach and West Palm Beach, these are the best things to do on Singer Island.
Founded by Paris Singer (of the famous Singer sewing machines), Singer Island is home to two lavishly styled resorts, the Hilton Singer Island Oceanfront/Palm Beaches Resorts and the Palm Beach Marriott Singer Island Beach Resort & Spa. In addition, several privately owned boutique lodging options include Palm Beach Shores Resort & Vacation Villas, Sailfish Marina Resort and Singer Island Resort Cottages (formerly known as Patio Island Resort and Cottages).
Each property has its amenities to recommend it, but those looking for body rubs, scrubs and wraps might opt for the Palm Beach Marriott, which operates the elegant Si Spa. Keen fishermen might instead opt for the tropically oriented Sailfish Marina Resort, built next to the historic dock that ushered in the fishing charter fleets of the 1940s. The Sailfish Marina continues to offer unparalleled access to skilled captains and their crews, as well as offering dockage to boats on a long and short-term basis.
Naturally, thinking about fish usually leads to some discussion of lunch or dinner, and on Singer Island, there’s no lack of options. The Sailfish Marina Restaurant puts local seafood first, serving fresh catches straight off the boats. Both the Hilton and the Marriott are renowned for their respective fine dining options, Ketch and 3800 Ocean, as well as their casual ocean- and poolside ones: Coconuts on the Beach at the Hilton, and Reef Tiki Bar and Lagoon Cantina at the Marriott. For Mexican food, Guakamole’s Mexican Grille & Café is organic and gluten-free, while Two Drunken Goats is a laid-back cantina. And you can even get a taste of New York-style bagels at the New York Bagel Café & Deli when breakfast calls for a change of pace from all those luscious mangoes and papayas served at the hotels.
But when it comes to things to do on Singer Island, the most popular pastime involves golden grains and warm waters. With seven miles of beaches (most are open to the public), including Singer Island Municipal Beach, there’s plenty of opportunity to top up your tan. Easy access to ten more nearby beaches, including Ocean Reef Park, ensures you can have a different kind of beach for every day of your trip – these County-run facilities provide everything from picnic pavilions to bocce courts. Most also allow surf fishing.
For some more strenuous activity, check out John D. MacArthur State Beach Park, named for the financier who donated the land (out of the 100,000 acres that he owned in Palm Beach County). Located on the northern end of the island, the park provides many natural biking and hiking trails, snorkelling and SCUBA diving. It lies in the urban estuary of Lake Worth Lagoon, and is also ideal for kayaking and canoeing.
Kayaking is also one of the best things to do on Singer Island, offering superb views of Singer from the water. Visit Palm Beach has an oceanfront Singer Island location where you can rent sit-on-top single or double kayaks. You can also rent stand-up paddle (SUP) boards and take lessons, classes (including SUP yoga!) and eco-tours with Visit Palm Beach from their Singer Island location.
If you desire complete immersion Ã la free diving or SCUBA diving, however, opt for Phil Foster Park, named one of the best dive sites on the planet by Sport Diver Magazine. Phil Foster Park includes an 800-foot-long Artificial Reef and Snorkel Trail, which is terrific for family groups and beginner divers. Here, the Singer Island Outdoor Center can outfit you with kayaks and SUPs, and take you on SCUBA and snorkelling tours (with or without lessons). More experienced divers can call on Pure Vida Divers to book diving charters, and you can also book a catamaran and snorkelling tour from Singer Island’s Sailfish Marina.
Finally, although it’s difficult to tear yourself away from Singer Island’s paradise of comforts and conveniences, there’s the Palm Beach Water Taxi to shuttle guests around the island and to the mainland for meals, shows and shopping. Departing from and returning to Sailfish Marina, the Water Taxi also provides sightseeing cruises, which allow visitors to learn about the illustrious residents that dominate the region, and peek at the newly renovated Peanut Island, President John F. Kennedy’s underground bunker, and into the backyards of socialites and celebrities – which is, after all, what Palm Beach is famous for.
Virgin Atlantic operates direct flights to Miami from London Heathrow, making it easy to discover Palm Beach and Singer Island on your next trip to Florida.
What are your favourite things to do on Singer Island? Let us know in the comments section below.
Written by Jen Karetnick