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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


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 384 reviews
Visitor rating
  • 176
  • 139
    Very good
  • 46
  • 17
  • 6

This is a must in West Palm restaurants pubs shopping great people watching theaters visit clematis street great buzz.

4 of 5 starsReviewed 1 week ago
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384 Reviews from our TripAdvisor Community

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English first
Teterboro, New Jersey
Level Contributor
141 reviews
21 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 37 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed 2 days ago NEW

So much to do here Shopping dining just a great vibe and so enjoyable Weekends get crazy but worth it lots of fun!

Thank Foodisfun77
Brooklyn, New York
Level Contributor
38 reviews
15 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed 6 days ago NEW

The shops are cute by day, but the action starts at night when everything is lit up and the dancing fountain in the sidewalk is on. I saw a play in the small theater there.

Thank BayRidgeGal
Level Contributor
20 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
4 of 5 stars Reviewed 1 week ago

This is a must in West Palm restaurants pubs shopping great people watching theaters visit clematis street great buzz.

Thank Waynekahn
Level Contributor
57 reviews
10 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 48 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed 1 week ago

lots of great bars and restaurants line this street and I recommend taking in a few different places at happy hour. Great drinks and nibbles at Wine Dive

Thank butterfly63
Level Contributor
11 reviews
3 attraction reviews
5 of 5 stars Reviewed 1 week ago

Always live music unless advertised otherwise and it is family friendly. It would be nice to have more food vendors.

Thank Luletha C
Cherry Hill, New Jersey
Level Contributor
103 reviews
11 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 33 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed 2 weeks ago

Great strret that leads to the waterfront. Many Resturants and bars to choose from. Each time I was there, the street had a good energy.

Thank SDL248
Wellington, Florida
Level Contributor
38 reviews
13 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed 2 weeks ago via mobile

I visit almost weekly their fresh market on Saturdays. The variety of fruits and veggies are great! They have hand made pasta and the same stand has awesome butter and buffalo mozzarella that will leave you wanting more! There's also a stand with fresh coconut juice... Yummy and thirst quenching. ;-). Worth the visit!!!

1 Thank Boat2dean
west palm beach
Level Contributor
51 reviews
4 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 16 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed 2 weeks ago via mobile

Plenty of good restaurants from pizza/burgers/ice cream/coffee etc...along with some shopping (need additional stores ). The new Amazing Feet Spa is a wonderful addition and is located across from the public library. Christmas lights are up across the strip what a better way to get into the holiday spirit.Don't miss the trolley which will take you around downtown and CItyPlace.... More 

Thank Ney1963
Lansing, Michigan
Level Contributor
11 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed 2 weeks ago

Every Thurs night at the end of Clematis street , the City holds a concert with a LIVE band. Each week it varies from top 40 to reggae to R & B to jazz and everything in between. I went two weeks ago and it was joy!!! Lots of people. lots of vendors. Everyone was very friendly. Its best to... More 

1 Thank Spartan300plus
Andorra la Vella, Andorra
Level Contributor
490 reviews
79 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 278 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed 3 weeks ago

WPB is very mixed with the some very run down areas next to some very upmarket areas. some gentrification is happening. Clematis along with the very artifcial, newly developed, city place are the two main entertainment areas. Personally i much prefer clematis which has an eclectic mix of bars and restaurant from the very expensive to the very reasonable. Can... More 

Thank barcaranger

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