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7 Unique Offsite Venues in Palm Beach and Treasure Coast

May 4, 2022
Swank Farm event barn

We have Henry Flagler to thank for developing Florida’s many resort towns including Palm Beach, known today as “America’s First Resort Destination.” Comprised of 39 cities and towns throughout Palm Beach County, its claim to fame is probably the area’s number one selling point: 47 miles of glorious white-sand beaches. 

But this area offers so much more, with its selection of historic and boutique hotels—23 are registered on the U.S. National Register of Historic Places—in addition to a wide variety of eateries and exclusive venues to stage memorable and impressive events, both indoors and out. 

“In the Palm Beaches, we offer planners exciting, distinct outdoor spaces where guests can enjoy an ideal year-round climate with cool ocean breezes and experience something unique to our area. We offer plenty of beautiful open-air venues where the Florida sunshine is the star attraction,” said Kelly Cavers, senior vice president of group sales and destination services for Discover The Palm Beaches. “We also provide very unique between-the-session experiences, beyond the meeting room, for planners looking for out-of-the-box entertainment options, including croquet lessons at the National Croquet Center, learning about turtle conservation at Loggerhead Marinelife Center, or dining on the diamond at our baseball spring training facilities.

“Our destination services team works closely with planners and local venues to find the perfect fit for each group and provide a once-in-a-lifetime experience.”

Charles P. Steuber National Croquet Center

Charles P. Steuber National Croquet Center
Charles P. Steuber National Croquet Center

Advise your attendees to pack their whites before their visit to the Charles P. Steuber National Croquet Center in West Palm Beach. Here, guests can delight in a lively game of croquet followed by a sumptuous dinner on the veranda of the 19,000-square-foot Caribbean-Colonial style clubhouse overlooking four acres of pristine lawns. 

“We’ve done events from five to 500 guests and one of the themes groups particularly like is Great Gatsby, where guests are greeted by flappers to the tunes from a barbershop quartet. We’ve brought in antique cars and cigar rollers to complete the setting,” said Scott Reiser, catering director. “We teach them to play while we pass around Tito’s strawberry lemonade and hors d’oeuvres, including lobster and brie grilled cheese, ahi tuna rolled in cucumber, and shrimp and corn beignets. Guests then head to the veranda for a plated dinner of black grouper or filet, for example. Groups have also done laser light shows in the evening to cap off the event. We’ll do whatever the client wants. We really get fabulous feedback from groups.” 

Loggerhead Marinelife Center

In Juno Beach, the Loggerhead Marinelife Center will dazzle attendees with evening tours of the Sea Turtle Hospital, Virtual Reality Experience of a Sea Turtle or an Ocean Conservation Experience. Guests can watch the turtle patients receive treatment and learn about the different causes of patient injuries. Before or after the tour, guests will relish light bites and refreshments. 

Special events can be curated in the new events space (while supporting endangered local wildlife and ocean conservation) that includes a 3,700-square-foot Ocean Deck overlooking the Atlantic Ocean, the 5,000-square-foot Ocean Discovery Wing, the 1,900-square-foot Cafe Deck, or the auditorium, which seats 99.
“For large corporate events we like to use the Sky Deck for cocktails and dinner in the big Ocean Discovery Wing, which is 5,000 square feet and overlooks the marine life area. From the Sky Deck and the Cafe Deck, you can also see the ocean,” said Tonya Pellegrini, event manager. “It’s the crown jewel of the area. We’ve only been open since October and we’ve already had 30-40 events here. People are elated to have an event here while supporting our mission.” 

Events of up to 300 can be accommodated in the Ocean Discovery Wing and 250 guests on the Sky Deck, surrounded by couches and cafe tables. 

[Related: 3 Southeastern Resorts Perfect for Beach Meetings]

Spring Training Venues

Player signing an autograph at Roger Dean Chevrolet Stadium
Player signing an autograph at Roger Dean Chevrolet Stadium

Spring Training venues such as the Roger Dean Chevrolet Stadium in Jupiter and The Ballpark of The Palm Beaches in West Palm Beach offer groups a variety of options. Those in the area from mid-March to the beginning of April can expect to see the Washington Nationals, St. Louis Cardinals, Houston Astros and Miami Marlins. 

The Ballpark of The Palm Beaches is intimate, with just 7,700 seats, but offers big-league amenities, including a Craft Corner serving up a medley of craft beers on tap to sup from luxury suites and relaxed lawn seats. For events during the off season, The Ballpark offers exclusive batting cages for practice and state-of-the-art audiovisual systems for meetings. Capacity is 50-300 seated with a 2,000-square-foot indoor space, outdoor covered space and a video board that can highlight your company or sponsors.

Watching the St. Louis Cardinals at Roger Dean Chevrolet Stadium is a rare treat, especially when the players sign autographs and chat up fans. For groups here in the off-season, the Stadium features 12 major league practice fields in addition to the main stadium. But this complex also includes two 32,000-square-foot clubhouses with meeting rooms, two covered batting tunnels, four outdoor batting structures, and six sets of outdoor pitching mounds. Its 12 baseball fields, main stadium, picturesque John C. Cassidy Cool Zone and multiple suites are all available for group rental. 

Henry Morrison Flagler Museum 

Henry Morrison Flagler Museum
Henry Morrison Flagler Museum

For a unique event in a historic atmosphere, how about a visit to the 1902 mansion that once served as American industrialist Henry Flagler’s home? Called “Whitehall”, the 75-room beaux arts building was a gift to Flagler’s third wife, Mary Lily Kenan Flagler, and served as the couple’s winter retreat from 1902 until Henry Flagler’s death in 1913. Groups can stage an event in the West Room, with its ancient to modern Mediterranean influences, the Lake Room for an intimate dinner, or Lake Terrace, located along the Intracoastal Waterway, which reveals stunning views of the West Palm Beach skyline. 

The Flagler Kenan Pavilion is also available for groups and takes you back to the turn-of-the-century opulence and grandeur of the day. With its stunning panoramic views of the Intracoastal Waterway, coupled with marvelous columns, the Flagler Kenan Pavilion is the perfect setting for a dinner reception for up to 200. 
Sundy House.

Tropical beauty surrounds Sundy House, also known as the heart and soul of Delray Beach. The cultural heritage of the local community is revealed through its artwork and color schemes throughout this Victorian, Queen Anne-style residence built in 1902, now the historical property in Delray Beach with an acre of tropical gardens, both tranquil and inviting. Delray Beach’s first mayor, John Sundy, built this stately dwelling as his family home and it served as Delray’s first church, bank and schoolhouse. This meticulously restored home is now listed on the National Register of Historic Places and features an award-winning restaurant.

Groups can host memorable events by utilizing the 1,000-square-foot space, which includes three function rooms, each with outdoor seating. The garden setting with its gazebos and freshwater living pond invites 140 guests to dine in bucolic splendor, indulging in delectable food such as seared scallops, blackened mahi mahi and filet au poivre, prepared fresh at the restaurant. 

[Related: Explore These Unique Florida Neighborhoods After Your Next Meeting]

Norton Museum of Art

Founded in 1941 by industrialist Ralph Hubbard Norton and his wife Elizabeth, West Palm Beach’s Norton Museum of Art was originally conceived to give South Florida its first such institution and house the Norton’s own extensive collection of paintings, sculptures and photography to create the core of today’s institution housing more than 8,200 spectacular works in the permanent collection. 

In 2019, the museum expansion added 12,000 square feet of new gallery space, extended existing classroom space, a state-of-the art, 210-seat auditorium, a new store and restaurant, and a Great Hall serving as the Museum’s “living room.” The addition also added a lawn and sculpture garden for outdoor events, creating Instagram-worthy events. The 1,874-square-foot Jane and Leonard Korman Room is available for 230 guests, 150 seated, and the Pamela and Robert B. Goergen Garden and McGraw Terrace showcases outdoor works of art and is available for groups of up to 100 seated, 350 for a reception.  

Swank Farm

Swank Farm event
Swank Farm

Loxahatchee, Florida, in Palm Beach County, is home to Swank Farm, a 20-acre private farm growing hydroponic and sustainable leaf lettuces, vegetables, tomatoes, wildflowers and luscious strawberries, with a lively assortment of pigs, cows and chickens. 

For a unique experience, the 8,500-square-foot pole barn can accommodate up to 300 guests for square dancing hoedowns or elegant wine dinners. Swank Farmhouse, the family’s 4,500-square-foot private home, can accommodate smaller parties in the kitchen with up to 24 guests. The resident farm chef can do a three-course teaching class with welcome bites and cocktails. 

Groups can string lights, light candles or hang chandeliers (all complimentary) to create their own idyllic ambiance. Need floral arrangements? They can be ordered right from Swank Farm. A stage is ready for a DJ or band and there’s also a tent available for outdoor cocktail events. 

“We’ve done a lot of corporate events for groups that want a private and serene setting. It’s so much different than being at your standard restaurant,” said owner Jodi Swank. 

Plus: Sailing Experiences for On-the-Water Fun

Surrounded by the Atlantic Ocean and Lake Worth lagoon, one of the best ways to see how “the other half lives” is a cruise on Delray Yacht Cruises, offering year-round sightseeing cruises and private charters aboard the Lady Atlantic and Lady Delray. With three luxurious decks, guests will have ample room to walk the deck—or the plank—and take in the local sights. Cruises board from Veterans Park in Delray Beach, conveniently located near downtown Delray shops and dining. Both yachts accommodate groups of up to 150 passengers. 

Treasure Coast Sailing Adventures takes groups on a two-hour ride on the Schooner Lily for up to 36 passengers. It’s a wonderful way to see St. Lucie while sipping champagne and eating bites of cheese. Many groups have one of the downtown Stuart restaurants cater their affair. Captain and crew are all inclusive.

Departing from the downtown West Palm Beach docks, groups will want to go topside the 50-foot Hakuna Matata catamaran to appreciate the exhilarating skyline and other mega yachts while sipping a variety of tropical beverages and noshing on snacks. Explore the Ale Trail of The Palm Beaches with stops at 19 breweries and attractions throughout Palm Beach County. The cruise will steer toward Peanut Island where the Historic Coast Guard station still stands next to John F. Kennedy’s famous bunker built in 1960. The return trip includes up close peeps of the palatial mansions of Palm Beach, the Historic Biltmore hotel, and the breathtaking vista of the iconic Breakers Hotel. 

Good to Know: The Latest Openings and Renovations in Palm Beach and Treasure Coast (2022)

  • A collection of five hotels, The 904-room The Boca Raton recently underwent a massive $200 million transformation adding the plush 50,000-square-foot Spa Palmera, an 18-hole championship golf course, 34-slip marina, and Racquet Club with 16 tennis courts and four pickleball courts, retail boutiques and more. 
  • PGA National Resort recently unveiled a staggering $100 million transformation to deliver a “360-degree luxury travel experience.” This exquisite 339-room hotel features nine restaurants and lounges, a 34,000-square-foot conference wing, a 40,000-square-foot spa, 33,000-square-foot health and racquet club with 19 tennis courts and a Golf Digest academy.
  • The oceanfront Eau Palm Beach & Spa, a Forbes Five-Star luxury Palm Beach resort on a private beach with an award-winning spa, revealed extensive renovations, including a new signature restaurant, ice cream shop, Melt and coffee shop, Oceana. 
  • The Delray Beach Marriott announced in December its transformation to the Opal Grand Oceanfront Resort & Spa, with huge suites and more function space with a new American-Caribbean design. The hotel boasts 277 extra-large rooms including, 89 suites and more than 30,000 square feet of meeting and event space and a new, two-story restaurant overlooking Atlantic Avenue. 

Connect

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Read more about meetings in the Sunshine State in the 2022 edition of Meetings Today Florida

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About the author
Jennifer Juergens | Contributing Content Developer, Florida and Caribbean