Glorious Gardens: 5 best gardens in Palm Beach County

photo mounts botanical
The Mounts Botanical Garden in West Palm Beach. (Lannis Waters/The Palm Beach Post)

There’s more to Palm Beach County than beaches.

Part of our sub-tropical heritage is a climate in which almost anything grows. From orchids so voluptuous that staring seems an intrusion to the fierce oranges and reds of June’s blooming royal poincianas to the dark shade beneath giant banyan trees, plant life here is glorious, unique and sometimes, wonderfully odd.

From a location that includes six serene spots spread over 16 acres to an intimate garden that features brick and granite sculptures, we have found the perfect spots to practice your zen.

Get a taste of South Florida’s uniqueness with a visit to the five most serene spots in Palm Beach County: Glorious Gardens

Related: Best beaches of Palm Beach County

Related: Top 10 parks in Palm Beach County you must visit!

Two Florida locations among the best small cities in the country

Photo by Lannis Waters/ Palm Beach Post
Photo by Lannis Waters/ Palm Beach Post

Looking for a weekend getaway? These two Florida small cities were listed among the best in the country in a recent ranking.

Thrillist compiled a list of the 25 best small cities in the United States with St. Augustine (5) and Key West (7) making the top ten. The rest of the top ten included: Portland, Maine; Carmel, Calif.; Bozeman, Mont.; Traverse City, Mich.; South Lake Tahoe, Calif.; Burlington, Vt.; Bend, Ore.; and Charlottesville, Va.

According to the site, St. Augustine “might be the one coastal city in Florida that’s best enjoyed away from the beach” with historical visit highlights including the Castillo de San Marcos and Huguenot cemetery. They also applaud the 19th century buildings and say that the city is “cleaner (and) nicer” than Key West.

Speaking of that place, Key West was referred to as “Florida’s Las Vegas. But dirtier.” According to the site, “the bars along Duval Street are a factory of regret,” but the real fun of the city happens by walking down the streets filled with 100-year-old homes and seeing attractions such as the Mel Fisher buried-treasure museum and Hemingway House. One food item that they highly recommend is the Key Lime Pie at the Blond Giraffe.

The Seven Miles Bridge in the Keys was named one of the best all-American vacations last year and the Post created a list of some of the best dive bars in the area. As for St. Augustine, this handy guide helps plan out the perfect vacation.

Read more at Thrillist.

South Florida beer bar named one of the best in the U.S.

Photo by Mike Stocker/ Sun Sentinel
Photo by Mike Stocker/ Sun Sentinel

One Fort Lauderdale beer spot was named one of the best in the country in a recent list.

Thrillist compiled a listing of the best beer bars in the United States and Fort Lauderdale’s Riverside Market was the pick for Florida. The location was featured on the Esquire Network series, “Brew Dogs,” last year with Delray Beach’s Saltwater Brewery, Boynton Beach’s Due South Brewing, and Boca Raton/Oakland Park’s Funky Buddha Brewery.

Related: Check out our full craft beer scene – ‘Tapped’ 

According to the site, Riverside Market’s aesthetic “has stayed the same” and features more than 600 craft beers that are both massively well-known, but also hard to find. They also mention that the Fort Lauderdale location has taken over a nearby building and could eventually hit a point of expansion that would make them ineligible for this list in the future.

In Palm Beach County, the “Field of Beers” festival in Jupiter was a leading candidate for “Best Beer Festival” in a USA Today poll and ended up placing fourth nationally while the Funky Buddha’s Maple Bacon Coffee Porter was internationally recognized last year.

Read more at Thrillist.

Prince Harry “really fun to be around,” says polo star Nacho Figueras

Polo prince Nacho Figueras and Harry, Prince of Wales, wave to the crowd before a charity polo match to benefit Sentabale, the Prince's African children's charity.(Post photo/Allen Eyestone)
Polo prince Nacho Figueras and Harry, Prince of Wales, wave to the crowd before a May 4 Wellington charity polo match to benefit Sentabale, the Prince’s African children’s charity.(Post photo/Allen Eyestone)

Is this a polo “bromance”?

Leading up to Wednesday’s charity polo match in Wellington, the Prince of England and the Prince of Polo engaged in a week of texting banter about whose team would take home the trophy from the Prince’s Sentabale Royal Salute Polo Cup, said Nacho Figueras, Argentinean polo god and Ralph Lauren model.

Figueras, a Sentabale Ambassador for the Prince’s African children’s charity, paused to speak to the media before the match, which was held May 4 under rain-swollen skies on a sodden private polo field south of Lake Worth Rd.

“He’s really fun,” said Figueras of his royal pal. “We’ve been joking about who’s going to win.  He’s really fun to be around.”

Nacho, who has four children, said he strongly supports Sentabale’s mission of helping children living with HIV and AIDS. He and Prince Harry, who’s on the cover of new People talking about how his life mission is to “make my mother incredibly proud,” visited the the charity’s operation together in the southern African country of Lesotho.

“It’s important to get over the stigma of HIV,” Figueras, 39, said, “and to get behind these kids.  They’re the future of Africa.”

A casually-dressed Harry, wearing a scruffy red beard, showed up a few minutes later escorting Figueras’ wife, photographer Delfina Blaquier.

“Welcome to the Sunshine State,” the ginger-haired Prince, 31,  said, laughing, indicating the gray skies overhead.

Prince Harry and Delfina Blaquier, wife of polo player Nacho Figueras, arrive at the private Valiente Polo Farm in Wellington May 4. (Post photo/Allen Eyestone)
Prince Harry and Delfina Blaquier, wife of polo player Nacho Figueras, arrive at the private Valiente Polo Farm in Wellington May 4. (Post photo/Allen Eyestone)

The Prince, fifth in line to the English throne, seemed to have some royal power over the weather.

As soon as he arrived at the Valiente Polo Farm, where the event was held,  the afternoon torrent trickled to a drizzle, then stopped for the duration of the match. It started up again at the end of the games, as trophies were awarded.

After the Prince’s Sentabale team won the trophy against Figueras’ Royal Salute squad, it was obvious the two men are good friends.

With some good-natured trash talk on the trophy stand, Figueras swiped the gold horse-and-rider out of the Prince’s hands, who grabbed it back.

Nacho Figueras tries to swipe the winner's trophy from Prince Harry. (Post photo/Rich Graulich)
Nacho Figueras tries to swipe the winner’s trophy from Prince Harry. (Post photo/Rich Graulich)

 

Prince Harry and Nacho Figueras shake hands after a polo match as Figueras' wife, Delfina Blanquier, looks on. (Post photo/Rich Graulich)
Prince Harry and Nacho Figueras shake hands after a polo match as Figueras’ wife, Delfina Blanquier, looks on. (Post photo/Rich Graulich)

A Sentabale spokeswoman said the Prince’s charity hoped to raise more than a million dollars from the match, which will go toward sending 1,500 children to the Mamohato Children’s Center, where they are educated about the virus in hopes of ending Africa’s AIDS epidemic.

Speaking to donors afterward, Prince Harry said later this year Sentabale expects to expand its work into Botswana.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Which Florida beaches made Southern Living’s best beaches list?

beach

Southern Living magazine combed 2,000 miles of coastline to find the Best Beaches in the South.

None in Palm Beach County made the list but six spots along the Florida coast did, including Bahia Honda State Park in the Keys, Caladesi Island north of Clearwater on the Gulf of Mexico, Naples, Shell Island near Panama City in the Panhandle, South Walton Beach and St. Augustine.

Related: Best beaches in Palm Beach County

 

20 best concerts at Perfect Vodka Amphitheatre

Kid Rock, 2015
Kid Rock, 2015

April 26 marks the 20th anniversary of Perfect Vodka Amphitheatre, or if we’re getting technical about it:

The Coral Sky-Mars Music-Sound Advice-Cruzan-Coral Sky again-Perfect Vodka Amphitheatre.

SEE PHOTOS OF 20 GREAT ACTS FROM 20 YEARS AT THE AMPHITHEATER.

And here are some that didn’t make the cut:

Velvet Revolver, 2007
Velvet Revolver, 2007
Rush, 2007
Rush, 2007
Lee Ann Womack, 2007
Lee Ann Womack, 2007
Paul Simon, 1997
Paul Simon, 1997
Foo Fighters, 2000
Foo Fighters, 2000
Santana, 2000
Santana, 2000

Which Palm Beach County festival is among state’s best for food lovers?

Garlic heads rejoice every February when Garlic Fest returns to Delray Beach (Bill Ingram/Post photo)
Garlic heads rejoice every February when Garlic Fest returns to Delray Beach (Bill Ingram/Post photo)

Garlic Fest, the February weekend devoted to the stinking rose, is the 9th best food festival in Florida, declares the website onlyinyourstate.com.

The list includes 14 festivals devoted to an only-in-the Sunshine-State mix of fare that includes Fellesmere’s Frog Leg Festival, Niceville’s Boggy Bayou Mullet Festival, the Kumquat Fest in Dade City and Labelle’s Swamp Cabbage Festival.

Most are held in the winter, but there’s still time to take in two this spring and summer:  The Isle of Eight Flags Shrimp Festival will be held April 29-May 1 in Fernandina Beach near Jacksonville and Key West’s Lobsterfest is August 11 – 14.

 

RIP, Prince: Remembering his glorious 2004 South Florida concert

prince-singing-getty-2
From Larry Aydlette: This is the review former Palm Beach Post writer Charles Passy did of Prince‘s April 25, 2004 concert at the now B B & T Center in Sunrise. It was a joyous evening that ended with a stream of purple confetti falling from the rafters as Prince wailed on his guitar in that way only the the greatest can do. For years, I had my piece of purple relic hanging on my office wall. I wish I still did. RIP, Prince. 

Photos, remembrances, coverage: Prince dead at 57

  BY CHARLES PASSY  
    What a difference a decade makes.
When Prince played South Florida sometime in the mid-’90s, he was an artist searching for an identity. It wasn’t just that he had temporarily changed his name to an unpronounceable symbol. It’s that his performance was little more than an evening of unchecked egotism packaged with a few funky songs.
The Prince who played the Office Depot Center Sunday night still had no shortage of swagger, but this time, his personality was fully wedded with his music, a joyous mix of R&B, rock, pop, soul and just about anything he could pull out of his hat – in this case, a red fedora – including snippets of Elvis and Outkast. The result was a heady evening, equal parts concert, worship service and dance party.
Yes, Prince is back. And he’s rediscovered his inner, well, Prince.
Indeed, the first 50 minutes of the near sold-out concert were about the most combustible bit of music-making this reviewer has ever heard, next to a Springsteen show. Prince opened with the lively title cut of his new album, Musicology, but it became immediately apparent that he wasn’t interested in delivering the songs, so much as delivering an improvisational experience.
Dressed in a sharply cut white suit, Prince worked with his band – the aptly titled New Power Generation – so that grooves became virtual rhythm fests. At times, he sang; at other times, he played electric guitar. But oddly enough, he was at his most powerful when he simply occupied the stage, moving his diminutive self to the kinetic pulse of the music. For Prince, the beat will set you free.
And so it continued as he played some of his older, familiar material, including a version of Let’s Go Crazy that had the makings of a wicked global jam. In nearly ever song, an always smiling Prince shared the spotlight withy a member of his group: Saxophonist Candy Dulfer was a special standout, but there wasn’t a bad apple in this bunch.
Then, as the show reached its fever pitch, Prince went the “unplugged” route, brandishing an acoustic guitar and singing – often in a marvelous, unadorned falsetto – revealing versions of songs better known in beefed-up renditions. Little Red Corvette, in particular, took on the crushing texture of a confessional folk tune.
Before the night was over, Prince was back in his full-glory mode. But these days, full glory is fully merited. At one point, Prince teased the ecstatic crowd about being “high on life.” But the stimulant in this case was Prince himself.