INSIDER: Guide to Explore the Presidential History of the Palm Beaches

INSIDER: Guide to Explore the Presidential History of the Palm Beaches
Posted on April 7, 2017

Everyone knows that when the world’s elite need to unwind and decompress, the Palm Beach are the place they retreat too. Especially Presidents. The areas rich history of Presidential entertainment has been in the spotlight more of late, but few know that for decades the Palm Beaches have been the place to go for those who occupy the Oval Office. The great weather, golf courses and perfect beaches have convinced no less than three commander in chiefs to relax in this tropical getaway. Here is a look at how you can enjoy the Palm Beaches, just like our Presidents.

• Drive by Mar-A-Lago, the new Winter White House.
The breathtaking beauty of Mar-a-Lago as America’s Winter White House is showcased every time the president comes to Palm Beach.   Originally built by heiress Marjorie Merriweather Post in the mid-1920s, the home was an instant icon of Palm Beach’s splendor.  While the property is kept secured, a drive along beautiful South Ocean Boulevard will offer a glimpse of Mar-a-Lago’s gates and a slow drive across the Southern Boulevard Bridge will reveal the majestic view of the property as seen on the news.
 
• Cruise North Ocean Boulevard,
North Ocean Boulevard on Palm Beach is a drive that hosted not one but two presidents.  The Kennedy Family Compound  at 1095 North Ocean is where President Kennedy and his family came to recharge and recover.  Drive just a few houses south and find another residence often visited by Richard M. Nixon.  Prior to becoming president in 1969, Nixon visited 1055 North Ocean so often the owner built a special “Nixon wing” onto the house.   A drive along North Ocean Boulevard will show you both locations as well as a peek at some of the most exclusive neighborhoods in the world.

• Charter a Presidential Yacht
John F. Kennedy’s legend can be found in many places in Palm Beach County.  The Honey-Fitz, the motor yacht that served Presidents Truman through Nixon, is still based in West Palm Beach.  Named “Honey-Fitz” by Kennedy to commemorate his maternal grandfather, the boat left official service during the Carter administration and went into private ownership.  The Honey-Fitz has been carefully maintained and while public tours are not available the yacht can be chartered for special occasions.

• Return to Camelot and Raise a Glass to Jack.
Nestled in the heart of West Palm Beach is a lounge known as “Camelot.”  Memories of Kennedy’s love for the sea and surf are honored there, with a special nod to an older and more deliberate Palm Beach lifestyle.  While the establishment is semi-private, a huge, memorable mural of Kennedy in sunglasses is just outside.  Camelot is located at 114 South Narcissus Avenue in West Palm Beach.

• Climb into a Secret Part of the Cold War
The threat of nuclear conflict was a very real concern during Kennedy’s years in office.  Every effort was taken to protect the First Family in case of nuclear attack.  Just a few minutes north of Palm Beach, on Peanut Island, a monument to those days still exists.  Buried under the palm trees and white sand is a self-contained fallout shelter, built in secrecy and stocked with enough provisions to support 30 people for 30 days.  While there is no record of Kennedy ever visiting the bunker, it has been noted that the presidential yacht could often be seen navigating the waters near the island.  The bunker has been returned to its original state and is open to tours nearly 60 years after its creation.  Just hop on a water taxi and experience a presidential place kept secret for many years!

Lucky for residents of Peninsula on the Intracoastal, all of these historic landmarks are just minutes from your front door. Of course living on the wide water in South Florida you can get spoiled by just walking out onto your balcony, but it’s great to explore new things in the area too. Peninsula’s Designer Model Homes are open daily and new homeowners are moving in. To see what the Peninsula lifestyle is all about, click here.

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