The skyline of West Palm Beach, Florida, during the day. The multi-colored high-rise buildings in the background are reflected on the water in the foreground.

All You Need to Know About Living in West Palm Beach


by Bridget Houlihan Posted on March 30, 2024
If you’ve dreamed of enjoying the Florida beach lifestyle and amenities without the high costs, then living in West Palm Beach could be right up your alley. It’s a popular location for all walks of life, including retirees, families, and young or experienced professionals looking to take advantage of the fantastic job market. And you won’t just get to revel in the beautiful white, sandy beaches the state is known for there; you’ll also get those fantastic ocean sunsets, cooling breezes, and all the sunshine you can handle in Florida’s Orchid City. But the best part? Some of the best areas to live in West Palm Beach also come at a fraction of the price of living in Miami. In other words, you could say that West Palm Beach is where it’s at.
Planning a move to West Palm Beach? Start by getting a quote from PODS.

West Palm Beach Living at a Glance

  • West Palm Beach has a population of around 121,000.
  • It’s located on Florida’s eastern shore of the Atlantic Ocean.
  • The city spans nearly 58 square miles.
  • West Palm Beach is the oldest incorporated South Florida municipality (incorporated November 1894).
  • It is only 13 feet above sea level.
  • The area has 24 golf courses.
  • The median age is 40.2.

A bird’s-eye view of a tan home in West Palm Beach, Florida. It sits between two homes in a nice, well-manicured neighborhood.

Living in West Palm Beach — FAQs

Q: Is West Palm Beach a good area to live?
Yes, West Palm Beach is a great area to live, with wonderful weather, jobs, and plenty to do.

Q: Is West Palm Beach expensive to live in? 
There are areas in West Palm Beach for all budgets, but some of the most expensive are El Cid and Pineapple Park.

Q: Why do people like West Palm Beach? 
People like living in West Palm Beach because of its year-round warm weather, fantastic restaurants, and great cultural scene — just to name a few reasons.

Q: What salary do you need to live in West Palm Beach?
The salary needed to live in West Palm Beach for a single person is around $50,000 before taxes, according to MIT’s Living Wage Calculator.

1. Cost of Living in West Palm Beach

The cost of living in West Palm Beach, FL, clocks in at 114.1, compared to the average U.S. cost of living of 100. While this is higher than both the national and state of Florida averages, it’s still lower than nearby South Florida cities like Miami, which has a score of 118.9. There’s also no state income tax in Florida, which means your dollar goes further when it comes to necessities like utilities, transportation, and groceries. 

To live comfortably in West Palm Beach, MIT’s Living Wage Calculator suggests making the following salaries before taxes:

  • Individual: $49,900
  • Family of four (with two working adults): $115,500

2. Living in West Palm Beach — Pros and Cons

Is West Palm Beach a good place to live? We think so! But like every other city, there are pros and cons to living in West Palm Beach. Here are a few of the biggies.

Pro: Beautiful Weather
It’s no secret: You’ll have plenty of sunny days to enjoy the beach, shop, or take a day trip to Lake Okeechobee. 

Pro: Healthy Job Market
The job market is thriving in West Palm Beach, and you’ll have access to all kinds of opportunities — especially in the hospitality, healthcare, retail, and tourism sectors. 

Pro: Plenty of Entertainment
You can catch the MLB teams (Houston Astros and Washington Nationals) play during spring training at CACTI Park, attend a festival like SunFest, dine at four-star restaurants, see the symphony, head to the Palm Beach Zoo, or even attend the Palm Beach International Boat Show. And that just scratches the surface!

Con: Lots of Tourists (and Traffic)
West Palm Beach is one of the hottest tourist spots (9.5 million tourists visited Palm Beach County in 2023 alone!), which means you’ll need to deal with surging numbers during the colder months up north. This translates to more traffic and additional people crowding the beaches, shops, and restaurants. 

Con: Hurricane Season
Unfortunately, Florida weather can be a bit extreme sometimes, and there’s always a chance of hurricanes or tropical storms inflicting a lot of damage. 

Con: Pesky Bugs
Because it has a tropical climate, there are a lot of bugs in South Florida, including in West Palm Beach. Annoying pests like mosquitoes can carry diseases, and while there are control programs put in place by the Palm Beach County Division of Mosquito Control, it can still be overwhelming at times.

A young couple walks in a park in West Palm Beach, setting up for a picnic. The woman is holding a sunflower, and the man is carrying the blanket and picnic basket.

3. Demographics

West Palm Beach is considered one of the nicest places to live in South Florida, and while you’ll find large, expensive mansions, there are also lots of affordable places to live. There are retirement communities that cater to those 65 and older, as well as great schools for those folks with kids. And the strong job market pays professionals well, which is a big reason why so many decide to make the move to West Palm Beach. No matter what kind of space you’re looking for, you’ll find that it’s also almost evenly split between renters and those who own their homes.

4. West Palm Beach Housing Market 

Because it’s a beachfront community with easy access to lots of golf courses and fine dining, you may think that West Palm Beach living is out of your price range. But you also may be pleasantly surprised. Although the cost of living is higher than the Florida average, you’ll find that the housing market is considered stable, and there are homes available — Mediterranean, Mission and Spanish Revival, and Georgian styles, to name a few — that are affordable for lots of people. In fact, the average home value in West Palm Beach is around $394,500, which is very affordable, considering the average cost of a home in Miami is around $558,900.

5. Apartments/Renting in West Palm Beach

If you’re more interested in renting a space in West Palm Beach, you’ll be relieved to know that there are a variety of rentals available, including single- and multiple-bedroom apartments, as well as single-family houses. The median monthly rent for a one-bedroom apartment is around $1,800, compared to Miami’s median rent of around $2,650 for a one-bedroom apartment. 

6. Best Places To Live in West Palm Beach 

Sold on living in West Palm Beach? Then you’ll need to check out some of the city’s top places. Here are some of our picks for the best areas to live in West Palm Beach.

Flamingo Park

If you’re a working professional or a young adult looking to be at the center of all the action, then you definitely want to consider moving to one of Niche’s top-ranked West Palm Beach neighborhoods, Flamingo Park. Since it’s just blocks away from the ocean, when you’re not at work, you can enjoy sunbathing, swimming, boating, or checking out the beautiful Ann Norton Sculpture Gardens. And regardless of where you work in the city (and even if you work mostly from home), you can hop on the accessible I-95 or Route 1 and be anywhere you need to be in no time.

Single residents of this neighborhood love the proximity of Howard Park, grabbing coffee at the Pumphouse Pouratorium, and getting authentic Dominican grub at El Ideal.

Grandview Heights

Want to know the best place to live in West Palm Beach if you have a family? That would be the neighborhood of Grandview Heights. This area of West Palm Beach has a variety of top-notch schools serving it, such as Suncoast Community High School, Morikami Park Elementary, and Bak Middle School of the Arts. Your children won’t just receive a great education here, though. They’ll grow up in a safe, tight-knit community. 

Looking for some family fun in the sun? The South Cove Natural Area is a great place off the coast of the nearby beach that offers a lovely waterfront park — complete with a boardwalk — and is filled with families on the weekends. The neighborhood kids also enjoy getting outside and walking or biking the Clear Lake Trail or spending the day in Gateway Park.

Palm Club Village

If you want to spend your golden years in a beautiful area of West Palm Beach, consider retiring to Palm Club Village. This walkable community encourages residents to get out and enjoy the beautiful Florida weather. And in Palm Club Village, you’re close to lots of nice amenities, including Bear Lakes Country Club, Cypress Lakes Golf Course, and Old Trail Park. You’re also close to shopping on Okeechobee Blvd. and can even catch the baseball pros at spring training at nearby CACTI Park. 

Senior living in West Palm Beach is also made easier with fantastic medical care close by at the Good Samaritan Medical Center and St. Mary’s Medical Center.

Two red trolleys pass each other on the streets of West Palm Beach. One of the trolleys has a sign in the window that reads “green line.”

7. Getting Around West Palm Beach 

When you live right by the ocean, you’re going to want to visit the beaches of West Palm Beach often. Most residents rely on their cars to get them around, but if you’re in the downtown area (or choose to live near it), you can take advantage of the West Palm Beach Trolley for free. These trolleys loop around the major entertainment district of the city, but they also stop at the Amtrak Station, the Brightline Station, and the Mandel Public Library. Another great way to get around West Palm Beach is the Palm Tran Station that stops at all the local colleges, the Palm Beach Publix, and the Town Center Mall.

8. The West Palm Beach Airport

Palm Beach International Airport is conveniently located close to the city, so you don’t have to travel far to board a plane. Although it’s a smaller airport, you can still take national and international flights out of the city. And since golf is so popular in the area, you can even practice your swing before you depart at The Drive Shack!

9. Schools and Higher Education

When it comes to living in West Palm Beach with kids, you’ll be happy to know that the area offers a variety of great schools. Whether they attend the Alexander W. Dreyfoos, Jr., School of the Arts; the A.D. Henderson University School and FAU High School; or the Suncoast Community High School — to name a few — there’s no shortage of great teachers and stimulating curriculum.

Higher-education options are also available in the Orchid City at colleges and universities such as Palm Beach Atlantic University and Palm Beach State College. 

10. Sports Teams in West Palm Beach

Watching sports is one of the most popular things to do in West Palm Beach, besides hanging out at the beach, of course! And two major league baseball teams — the Houston Astros and the Washington Nationals — engage in spring training sessions at CACTI Park in West Palm Beach. Residents love coming out and seeing the major leaguers play in the sunshine.

You can also catch the minor league basketball team, the Palm Beach Knights, or cheer on the professional teams, like the Heat, the Dolphins, or the Marlins, in Miami.


An image of the clocktower in West Palm Beach, Florida, with the ocean in the background. The breeze whips through the palm trees in the image.

11. West Palm Beach Weather

The pleasant West Palm Beach weather is one of the city’s major draws. Because it’s warm year round, you’ll always be able to get outside on the golf course, spend a day swimming at the beach, or just go for a walk or jog in a local park. 

The winters are mild, with highs in the 70s and lows in the high 50s. As a result, the cooler season is when you’ll see an influx of tourists and residents who only stay for part of the year. 

The summers, however, are hot and wet, and most days, you’ll see a short-lived shower of rain. The highs from June-September are around 89 degrees, and the lows are in the high 70s. Most tourists actually avoid South Florida in the summer, due to the high temperatures and humidity.

12. West Palm Beach Crime 

West Palm Beach has a crime index of 8, which may sound rough (100 is the safest), but it’s actually better than both the Florida and national indices. The chances of becoming a victim of violent or property crime is 1 in 30. There are plenty of safe areas, though, such as Downtown, Sunshine Park, Grandview Heights, or El Cid, that would make great areas to settle down. Just be sure to do your research to determine what neighborhood works for your budget, commute, and personal preferences. 

13. The Job Market in West Palm Beach

There are a lot of folks who end up living in West Palm Beach, FL, because they’re intrigued by the job market. In fact, there is only a 3.00 percent unemployment rate, and there are all kinds of jobs in a variety of sectors. Healthcare is one of the top industries in the area, and the St. Mary’s Medical Center and Good Samaritan Medical Center, in particular, provide a lot of jobs for residents. Because it’s such a popular tourist destination, West Palm Beach also has all kinds of hospitality-related jobs at restaurants, hotels, resorts, country clubs, beaches, and golf courses. Other popular industries include local government, construction, and education.

14. Easy Day Trips From West Palm Beach

West Palm Beach is in close proximity to several popular Florida cities. You can head to the big city of Miami, for example, in under 2 hours, check out beautiful Boca Raton in about 30 minutes, drive to Lake Okeechobee in a little over an hour, or visit the other side of the state and check out Fort Myers in under 3 hours. There are so many areas both rural and urban to explore, and West Palm Beach is a great starting point. 

15. West Palm Beach’s Food Scene

When you live in West Palm Beach, not only do you get sunny days and access to the beach, but you also get to enjoy cuisine from all around the world. Clematis Street is at the heart of downtown, and it has some amazing must-try local restaurants, including:

  • Mexican at Rivales Taqueria
  • Italian from Lynora’s
  • Pistache French Bistro

However, Clematis Street isn’t the only place to find amazing cuisine. There are hot spots all around the city that can meet every budget, too. For instance, locals love the Cuban from Havana, Asian fusion at Echo, and burgers from Dixie Grill & Bar. 

16. Culture in West Palm Beach

Ready to take in the culture of West Palm Beach? You won’t be disappointed, as this spot is known for its passion for the arts. The Norton Museum of Art is a must-visit, along with the Ann Norton Sculpture Gardens. The Cox Science Center and Aquarium is also a great place to spend the day, with interactive exhibits and events that cater to all ages. There are also art galleries of all sizes throughout the city showcasing local artists, and you’ll find art for sale in many local shops.

Likewise, you can see Broadway shows, stand-up comedians, the Palm Beach Opera, and the Palm Beach Symphony perform at the Kravis Center. Or check out smaller venues like the Don & Ann Brown Theatre or the Lake Worth Playhouse. 

And the first week in May is when West Palm Beach celebrates SunFest, an art and music festival that attracts over 80,000 people each year!

A view of Clematis Street in downtown West Palm Beach. Bikes are the main focus of the image, with string lights above them. On the other side of the street, people are drinking at a bar.

17. Nightlife in West Palm Beach 

Looking to see what life is like when the sun goes down in West Palm Beach? Whether you want to dance the night away, take in a show, people watch, or enjoy late-night bites, you can do it all here.

Locals recommend checking out Clematis Street, since it’s considered the hub of the bustling downtown area. There, you can enjoy great drinks and arcade games at Lost Weekend, or head over to the cozy and relaxing 215 speakeasy and order a custom drink from the talented bar staff. And you certainly can’t pass up the line dancing and bull-riding at the famous Renegades.

18. Top Things To Do in West Palm Beach

Sure, you can always visit the beaches and museums in West Palm Beach, but there’s a lot more to do in Orchid City! A few of our favorites include:

  • Taking a jet snorkeling tour
  • Going on a scenic sunset cruise
  • Visiting the Mounts Botanical Garden
  • Seeing the manatees at the Manatee Lagoon
  • Golfing at the Palm Beach Country Club right on the ocean
  • Going on a shark tour
  • Shopping and people watching on Clematis Street
  • Hiking at the Winding Waters natural area

19. Free Things To Do in West Palm Beach

Sometimes you just want to have some fun without breaking the bank, right? So what’s the top free thing to do in West Palm Beach? Check out one of the pristine beaches, of course! Swim and sunbathe ‘til your heart’s content. Then consider checking out some of these other options:

  • Shop or walk around and enjoy the sights and sounds at The Square
  • Shop or walk around and enjoy the sights and sounds at The Square
  • Check out the West Palm Beach GreenMarket, an amazing farmer’s market
  • Walk at the Grassy Waters Preserve
  • Peruse through West Palm Beach’s Antique Row
  • Tour the beautiful Church of Bethesda-by-the-Sea

20. Sites To See in West Palm Beach With the Kids

If you’re looking for fun stuff to do with the kids, West Palm Beach has you covered there, too (surprise, surprise). Some of our top picks include:

  • Seeing the animals at the Palm Beach Zoo
  • Getting up close and personal with exotic animals at McCarthy’s Wildlife Sanctuary
  • Going swimming at Peanut Island
  • Catching a game at CACTI Park
  • Visiting a living history park at Yesteryear Village
  • Spending the day at Cox Science Center and Aquarium

Let PODS Help You Move to West Palm Beach

If you’re ready to make the move to West Palm Beach, PODS can help you get there. They’ll deliver a portable moving container directly to your home, so you can pack it up on your schedule. If you need help with the heavy items, PODS can connect you to local packing and moving companies. And when you’re ready, PODS will pick up your container and drive your belongings safely and securely either to your new West Palm Beach home or to a secure PODS Storage Center (or both, depending on your specific needs). 

Editor’s note: For ease of reading, monthly rental prices were rounded to the nearest $25 and home values were rounded to the nearest $100.

Get a Quote

Choose the service you need


Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Comment * Comments are required.
Name * Name is required.Name can't be more than 50 character.
Email * Valid Email address is required.

Reply to

X Cancel Reply
Comment * Comments are required.
Name * Name is required.Name can't be more than 50 character.
Email * Valid Email address is required.
An error has occurred please try again later