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Clematis Street

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Address: Clematis Street, West Palm Beach, FL 33401
Phone Number: +1 561-404-9787
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The History of Clematis Street & West Palm Beach

Henry Flagler

A history...

The History of Clematis Street & West Palm Beach

Henry Flagler

A history of the Clematis Street District or of West Palm Beach cannot be told without mentioning the name of Henry Flagler. Anyone who has been in Florida for even a short amount of time will recognize the name. It's all over Florida roads, bridges and beaches as well as countless other monuments and museums.

Flagler's Dream:

Palm Beach

Henry Flagler co-founded Standard Oil Company with John D. Rockefeller and also built the Florida railroad from Jacksonville to Key West. He came to the West Palm Beach area in 1893. After being impressed with the natural beauty of the area, he sought to create the most famous resort in the world, Palm Beach. The resort would be conveniently accessible by his own railroad. He built two major hotels, The Breakers and the Royal Poinciana Hotel (later destroyed by a hurricane). He also built what is now West Palm Beach directly across Lake Worth for the service people who worked on the island and as a commercial district.

Clematis Street

Not only is it one of the trendiest places to be today, it also boasts a long and important history. Clematis Street began as the main thoroughfare of West Palm Beach in the early 20th century. It connected the train station on the west with the ferry to Palm Beach Island on the east.

Early 20th Century:

Storefronts logically multiplied and lined each way, as Clematis became the "Main Street" of West Palm Beach. The commuters of the day would traverse Clematis Street and frequent these shops before and after work, much like we do today. It's many older buildings display a fascinating journey through South Florida history.

Automobiles Change Everything

Eventually automobiles, bridges and highways replaced the train, ferry and buggies as the main means of transportation. While once the train station was the link to the outside world, visitors could now arrive via various routes. Okeechobee Boulevard would eventually become the main connection from route 95 over to Palm Beach and Clematis Street would lose its steady flow of passers-by. As the area progressed, suburban sprawl contributed to the growth of metropolitan West Palm Beach, yet the downtown business area remained.

The Downtown Development Authority

In 1967 the Downtown Development Authority was created to impact Downtown's economic conditions, formulate long-range plans for improving the appeal and accessibility of Downtown facilities, promoting their use, providing remedy to any deterioration of Downtown property values, and most importantly, retaining and attracting businesses to Clematis Street.

In short, the DDA works to retain and attract business and to protect the investments of its constituents. Largely due to the Downtown Development Authority Clematis Street is still considered the Main Street of West Palm Beach.

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TripAdvisor Reviewer Highlights

Read all 428 reviews
Visitor rating
  • 197
  • 152
    Very good
  • 51
  • 21
  • 7
Fun to people watch

Great food stops, fun and funky bars, cool jewelry, antiques and like I said lots of people to gawk at ! Everything is close to parking and easy to get around.

4 of 5 starsReviewed 6 days ago
Mary F
Watertown, New York
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428 Reviews from our TripAdvisor Community

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Level Contributor
3 reviews
3 attraction reviews
5 of 5 stars Reviewed 3 days ago NEW via mobile

Nice place to stop we only saw it at night and ate at GREASE cant wait to go back so i can try more of their food.

Thank mike m
Daytona Beach, Florida
Level Contributor
64 reviews
17 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed 4 days ago NEW

This is a nice place to visit and enjoy a peaceful walk along the intercostal water way. This would be good for a couple or family. I walked it for my 4 miles. Very nice.

Thank Greg K
Watertown, New York
Level Contributor
8 reviews
4 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed 6 days ago NEW

Great food stops, fun and funky bars, cool jewelry, antiques and like I said lots of people to gawk at ! Everything is close to parking and easy to get around.

Thank Mary F
Little Egg Harbor
Level Contributor
71 reviews
17 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed 1 week ago

Walk and get lost. Walk and get food. Walk and drink. Walk and enjoy yourself because there are lots of options.

Thank StNu
Level Contributor
70 reviews
28 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 62 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed 1 week ago via mobile

Clematis Street is a sweet place where you can find just about anything to do or eat or buy. Quaint cafes, rockin'bars, boutiques, vegetarian, beef... It's all there, including a phenomenal public library! What's not to like about this?

Thank keddie43
Level Contributor
25 reviews
5 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed 1 week ago

Don't miss the fabulous fabric store. There are all kinds of restaurants here and Grease has especially good burgers.

Thank Pinkysenor
Larchmont, New York
Level Contributor
6 reviews
4 of 5 stars Reviewed 1 week ago

Nice place to walk around. Seemed to be geared, towards a young crowd. Lots of bars & such & great area, overlooking the water. But parking can be difficult & lots are expensive, for a short visit.

Thank tsc2016
Level Contributor
51 reviews
16 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed 1 week ago

Gets crowded and busy during the season and weekends and sometimes parking is an issue. There are parking ramps, but they get full also. Many nice pubs, restaurants and shops.

Thank Jholtzman
Charlotte, North Carolina
Level Contributor
338 reviews
42 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 138 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed 1 week ago

If you can't find a great restaurant and or a great bar to have a meal and drinks on Clematis, you have issues! Awesome location! Loved Tin Fish, World of Beer, and the Southern Railway Taphouse.

Thank JetBlueDriver
A TripAdvisor Member
4 of 5 stars Reviewed 1 week ago via mobile

Gees in the evening and better in the weekends when they have live music. The average age is pretty high. The Restarante are good and a wide variety.

Thank A TripAdvisor Member

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