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Where to Go in Palm Beach to Get the “Palm Royale” Experience

Obsessed with the 1969 society portrayed in the show, from the colorful clothes to the exclusive settings? Here's where to visit in the famed resort destination that inspired it

<p>Courtesy of The Palm Beaches PR</p> The Colony, Palm Beach

Courtesy of The Palm Beaches PR

The Colony, Palm Beach

Palm Royale premieres on Apple TV+ on March 20, and if you're anything like us, the first thing you're going to do after watching it is to plan a trip to the show's iconic setting: Palm Beach, Florida in 1969.

And though there's a little TV magic at play (the show was actually filmed in L.A., as Palm Beach is famously restrictive to film shoots), the extravagant and inimitable world of Palm Beach in the 1960s is immediately recognizable, thanks to the colorful, high-end fashion, the pinks and greens of the interiors and the exclusivity of the club scene that Kristin Wiig's character longs to join.

Rick Rose, author of Palm Beach: The Essential Guide to America's Legendary Resort Town and a local historian who gives guided tours of the island's most noteworthy destinations, says that so much of what makes Palm Beach in the 1960s not only so recognizable, but also so desirable, still exists today. The top clubs (of which the Palm Royale is an amalgamation) are still the Everglades, Bath & Tennis and the Beach Club; there is still a tremendous amount of money on the island (59 billionaires and 10,000 millionaires, he says, at last estimation); and due to the area's "strong preservation community, it's like Paris, in that many aspects don't change at all."

Want a Palm Royale experience of your own? (Hopefully one that doesn't involve a catfight with Allison Janney?) Here are the top sights to see, places to stay and locations to stake out if you want to catch a glimpse of a celebrity.

The Breakers

<p>Courtesy of The Palm Beaches PR</p> The Breakers, Palm Beach Florida

Courtesy of The Palm Beaches PR

The Breakers, Palm Beach Florida

Perhaps one of the most instantly recognizable landmarks in all of Palm Beach is the Breakers, which can be seen in aerial shots in Palm Royale, per the Palm Beach Daily News.

It has a storied history (having been founded in 1896 by Gilded Age baron Henry Morrison Flagler) that remains as much of a destination for the elite as it was in its early days. The Breakers has hosted the weddings of celebrities including Joanna Garcia and Nick Swisher, Sofia Vergara and Joe Manganiello, and Alan Jackson's daughter Mattie, as well as star-studded charity events (Martha Stewart recently attended one).

<p>Courtesy of The Palm Beaches PR</p> The Breakers, Palm Beach, Florida

Courtesy of The Palm Beaches PR

The Breakers, Palm Beach, Florida

So what makes the Breakers such a must-visit destination, more than a century after it was built? The magnificent architecture, countless opulent touches throughout (the enormous arrangements of fresh flowers in the lobby are legendary) and the many ways that guests can receive A-list treatment, even if they don't have their own Wikipedia page.

From VIP poolside bungalows "designed to be a beachfront extension of one’s guest room," according to Sara Flight, director of communications, to memorable custom experiences (did you see Grant Troutt's proposal to Madison Prewett?), any amenity you dream up can be available for guests — particularly if you stay in one of the Imperial Suites, where, Flight says, "the staff dedicated to these accommodations elevate hospitality to a level that one can only find at our resort."

And visitors hoping to get a taste of the property's rarefied ambiance without staying on-site can access it through one of their restaurants, the spa or the shopping corridors. "There are visitors who fly to Palm Beach solely to enjoy the crabcakes at the Seafood Bar," Flight shares.

Related: Palm Royale Review: Carol Burnett Brings Her Signature Slapstick Comedy to Palm Beach

The Colony

<p>Courtesy of The Palm Beaches PR</p> The Colony, Palm Beach

Courtesy of The Palm Beaches PR

The Colony, Palm Beach

The Colony perfectly embodies that bold 1960s aesthetic so vividly captured in Palm Royale — while at the same time being oh-so-current thanks to its Instagram-friendly backdrops everywhere you look.

"It is hot, hot, hot there," Rose tells PEOPLE. "The folks who own that hotel are classical Palm Beach folks going back generations, but they have done a phenomenal job bringing back the whole vibe."

Among those who agree? Celebrities including Jenna Bush Hager and Savannah Guthrie (recently seen vacationing there), the Hilton family, and Gwyneth Paltrow, who recently helped launch a Goop-designed villa on the property.

You don't have to be a long-standing member of Palm Beach society to feel like one — just walking through the doors transports you to that ultra-glam '60s jet-set feeling.

"The Colony Hotel offers guests door to door service anywhere on Palm Beach Island in either the house Volvo, Seagrape Beach Buggy, or the new pink Beach Runner Defender," says president and CEO Sarah Wetenhall. "The hotel can also snag bookings at Palm Beach’s chicest restaurants, make tennis or golf reservations, arrange surf lessons, and even source local camps for the littles. My favorite luxe amenity is a beach picnic, where our staff packs a pink Yeti cooler with snacks and beverages."

Wetenhall recommends those who want to see, be seen and capture some killer content book a table or grab a cocktail at Swifty's, "the Upper East Side boîte now located at The Colony Hotel, originally made famous by patrons such as Jackie Onassis and Michael Kors."

Worth Avenue

<p>Getty</p> Worth Avenue, Palm Beach

Getty

Worth Avenue, Palm Beach

When you think about Palm Beach, Rose says, what instantly comes to mind is "Mediterranean revival architecture, fabulous fashion — because obviously Palm Beach has played a very important role in resort fashion — and certainly private clubs."

Worth Avenue, then, is the epicenter of all things that make Palm Beach, Palm Beach, from the distinctive buildings to the and icon-status stores that give the town its style (often imitated, never duplicated). The first Lilly Pulitzer store opened in one of the street's enchanting "vias," or back avenues off the main street, and it's anchored at either end by the landmark Everglades Club and the second-ever Saks Fifth Avenue.

"Worth Avenue is an undisputed highlight of Palm Beach," says Erika Constantine, VP of Marketing for Discover the Palm Beaches. "But few take time to fully explore the 'vias' that wind around and behind the avenue's high-fashion storefronts. You'll even find a tiny Starbucks and a gelato shop if you look hard enough, or the tiny tombstone for iconic monkey Johnnie Brown (a pet of Addison Mizner, considered one of the founders of Palm Beach) amidst the courtyard of Pizza Al Fresco."

For an ideal afternoon, Rose recommends lunch on Worth Avenue (if you can snag a table at perennially packed BiCE or Le Bilboquet, you might spot a celebrity), followed by a little shopping, Those looking to shop à la the stylish Palm Royale doyennes can pop into Lilly Pulitzer, Maus & Hoffman or Kassatly's; keep an eye out for stars also indulging in some retail therapy (though, as he points out, you'll want to play it cool: "Famous folks like to go to Palm Beach because they're not harassed by a lot of people," he says).

Once you've got your goods, he suggests, rent a bike and tour the area to see "the Breakers Hotel, the Lake Trail and so many of those Gilded Age sites."

<p>Courtesy of Alex Apatoff</p> A bike at the Colony hotel

Courtesy of Alex Apatoff

A bike at the Colony hotel

The Flagler Museum

<p>Courtesy of The Palm Beaches PR</p> The Flagler Museum

Courtesy of The Palm Beaches PR

The Flagler Museum

Perhaps the most famous Gilded Age site is the Flagler Museum, once the residence of the oil baron Henry Morrison Flagler, who built the first hotel in the state, in St. Augustine, and then heavily invested in railroad infrastructure and hotels to encourage other wealthy Gilded Age figures to winter in Florida.

Today, visitors can explore the mansion and the Breakers via a "House and Hotel tour" (with the option to take tea in the Railcar 91 tea room, an elegant atrium that contains Flagler's personal railcar in which he traveled from New York to Florida). It gives a sense of the incredible wealth that helped found the area, as well as how important the titans of industry and society were to founding the area's institutions and charitable efforts.

<p>Courtesy of The Palm Beaches PR</p> Tea at the Flagler Museum with a view of the yachts outside

Courtesy of The Palm Beaches PR

Tea at the Flagler Museum with a view of the yachts outside

And that sense of "high society" never left Palm Beach, though, as Rose said, it changed significantly in the early twentieth century.

"Prior to World War I, the French and the Italian Rivieras were where all of the very wealthy and aristocratic people were going in the winter month. Palm Beach was a destination, but it was relatively unimportant," he says. "It didn't get that jet-set feel until World War I, when all of a sudden, all those aristocrats and the royals who were going to the South of France couldn't go because there was World War I ... So there was a real active intention to recreate that Riviera."

And, as he points out, many of the founding members of that society in the 1920s would still have "ruled the roost" in the 1960s setting of Palm Royale, at a time when "the season" was much shorter before the advent of air conditioning, and "wintering" somewhere was exclusively reserved for the rich and famous — hence, the cutthroat competition to join the clubs reflected in the show.

"Back then, you still had pedigree and things like that played an important role, which allows them to make more fun of that aspect of Palm Beach, having that old American pedigree, like the Astors, and the Vanderbilts, and the Posts, when that was still so important," Rose says. "Palm Beach is still very, very exclusive, but it doesn't have the same [surname-based snobbishness] to poke fun at a little bit."

The A-List Experience

<p>Courtesy of The Palm Beaches PR</p> The pool by the Colony, Palm Beach

Courtesy of The Palm Beaches PR

The pool by the Colony, Palm Beach

More than half a century after the society heyday of Palm Royale, Palm Beach is still the premier destination for the wealthy (both Tinsley Mortimer and the Peltz Beckhams recently got married there, and stars with residences include Jon Bon Jovi, Sylvester Stallone, Rod Stewart and Rory McIlroy), titans of industry looking to relax and stylish socialites. If you're looking to indulge in that lifestyle for a weekend, what should be on your itinerary?

First, book one of the splashy suites or villas at one of the area's high-end hotels, to get to enjoy that Gilded Age extravagance, with staff attending to your every whim both in your room and by the pool or beach.

Then "a ride on Lake Trail will give you a sneak peek into how the rich and famous live," suggests Ryvis Sierra, the senior public relations manager for Discover the Palm Beaches. You can also charter a boat through your hotel ("the Brazilian Court is now including a yacht excursion as part of the hotel stays for guests," she notes), or book a cute pastel Palm Yacht to see the sights from the water.

In the afternoon, stop at one of the Worth Avenue restaurants for lunch and shopping, then pop over to the Royal Poinciana Plaza for more cute shops and coffee at celeb hotspot Sant Ambroeus, suggests Rose. A dip in the pool followed by dinner at trendy Buccan will round out your A-list day perfectly, but if you're looking for a nightcap, Swifty's at The Colony or HMF at the Breakers will be pouring to perfection.

<p>Apple TV+</p> Kristen Wiig in Palm Royale

Apple TV+

Kristen Wiig in Palm Royale

Ready to book a trip? "With temperatures averaging around 78 degrees year-round, anytime is perfect to plan a getaway," Constantine notes, but "for the most celeb spotting, visit 'in season' from January through April."

One stay, and you might find yourself like Kristin Wiig's character in Palm Royale, trying to scale the wall to get to be part of the club forever.

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