Best Park in Palm Beach - 2006
John D. MacArthur Beach State Park
The marketing tag line for this state park is "More than just a beach... but wow, what a beach!" And in this rare case, reality matches the PR. Part of the allure of this park is simply getting from the parking lot to the sand. Walk up a shaded path, go past the massive nature center, look at the butterfly garden, and venture across a wide, 1,600-foot-long boardwalk that crosses a lively estuary full of fish and birds. The approach creates a drama, so that when you hear the waves crashing, you can't help but run over the dunes... to find the most vast, pristine, majestic stretch of shoreline in all of South Florida. It's pretty cool that the park offers yoga, surfing lessons, kayak tours, and butterfly walks... but this is the kind of magical beach where you should take a child, who will find you a seashell, which you should take home, put on a ribbon, and keep in a special place forever.