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Address: Clematis Street, West Palm Beach, FL 33401
Phone Number: +1 561-404-9787
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Description:

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 541 reviews
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Up and coming!

This area has new and exciting dining choices and has room to expand. Great way to spend an afternoon!

4 of 5 bubblesReviewed 1 week ago
gypsymermaid53
,
Ohio-Florida
via mobile
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541 Reviews from our TripAdvisor Community

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Showing 499: English reviews
Ohio-Florida
Level Contributor
28 reviews
12 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 1 week ago via mobile

This area has new and exciting dining choices and has room to expand. Great way to spend an afternoon!

Helpful?
Thank gypsymermaid53
Jupiter, Florida
Level Contributor
24 reviews
13 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 1 week ago

Good place for beers, and decent nightclubs for the area. A good pub crawl location, kinda sorta accessible to City Place by walk or trolly. People wander around late into the evening getting drunk on pretty expensive drinks. Some places aren't can't miss in here, but ask a local for their picks- bars seem to change but the standards like... More 

Helpful?
Thank Jon R
Palm Beach Gardens
Level Contributor
43 reviews
16 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 18 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 1 week ago via mobile

Reminded me of American pickers. Lots of cool things on waterfront and by good food. They also had sand castles.

Helpful?
Thank JenniferLachmund
Boca Raton, Florida
Level Contributor
115 reviews
27 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 1 week ago via mobile

Clematis is hobnob, it is quaint and it has enough nooks and crannies even fit an evening of bar hopping. I recently took a group of friends from out of town and was pleasantly surprised by the variety and diversity it has to offer.

Helpful?
Thank QCao009
South Miami, Florida
Level Contributor
3 reviews
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 2 weeks ago

Wow, first time, we were walking along the street, people would great us. It was a nice cool day, so we walk all the way to the beach. Wonderful view. We met some friends, and they said it was nice to be around the area. We felt safe.

Helpful?
Thank pmjohnson04
Kuwait City, Kuwait
Level Contributor
284 reviews
63 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 76 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 2 weeks ago via mobile

There seems to be something different going on every weekend at Clamatis Street. The area draws a crowd. It's a pleasant place for walking, shopping and dining. It's also a short distance from City Place.

Helpful?
Thank John52342
Level Contributor
24 reviews
10 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 3 weeks ago via mobile

Clematis Street is a nice entertainment district in a good location at West Palm Beach. Excellent choices of Pub, sports bars and dinning / entertainment. Parking is available at reasonable price. They open late and a lot of good options. Good environment for business or pleasure.

Helpful?
Thank Rtrujillo01
New Jersey
Level Contributor
10 reviews
4 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 3 weeks ago

My wife & I visited here for some dinner, drinks one evening. Typical center of town, lots of restaurants/bars to choose from. Wasn't that busy on the Thursday night we visited, so eating, finding a place to park wasn't an issue. A nice evening out!

Helpful?
Thank Paul R
Level Contributor
132 reviews
45 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 30 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 3 weeks ago via mobile

Cool free bus and obviously trying to figure out what it wants to be when it grows up Clematis Street is a nice change from the beach. Parking is not free or cheap!

Helpful?
Thank Sue K
Lake Worth, Florida
Level Contributor
95 reviews
26 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 3 weeks ago

Many restaurants and bars. Many food options. Well lit and safe. Waterfront park area to die for with nice free pier.

Helpful?
Thank baldeagle8502

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