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We're planning our trip to Florida in January, but the darn high season prices are killing us! We're looking at staying at the Palm Beach Shores Resort on Singer Island, which seems to be reasonable for a beachfront resort. But the Tripadvisor reviews are really mixed and many state how the surrounding area is not nice; one said, "From the freeway, one must drive through one of the most blighted, horrible neighborhoods I have ever seen - absolute ghetto. We did not feel safe in this area at all!" So, what's the deal? Has anyone stayed at this place, or on Singer Island? Is it unsafe on the island itself, or only across the bridge? What about the rest of the area? City-data.com lists WPB as #55 of the highest crime cities in the US, and Riviera Beach has similar crime rates. Is it a bad idea to stay at Palm Beach Shores? I should say, I live in a "transitional" neighborhood ("projects" down the street, complete with liquor store called Third World Market!) in SF, so I'm used to a certain amount of urban blight, but I don't want to be scared on my vacation. But I also can't see paying upwards of $400 a night for the Hilton or Breakers, unless it's really that much different. Would love your advice, thanks.
PS, is the resort nice or really dumpy? Was there a lot of hurricane damage from Wilma?
Last edited by capybara; December 4th, 2005 at 07:40 PM.
I can't tell you specifics about the resort, but will comment on the area.
Blue Heron Blvd. east of 95 is a reasonably dangerous neighborhood, yes.
However, the 5 minute drive through the area to get to Singer Island will not be an issue, really. Palm Beach Shores is the southern tip of Singer Island, and houses a reasonably ritzy hotel or two, restaurants and marina for million dollar plus fishing charters, etc. I'd guess as an average tourist you'd be staying within that general area for most of your activities. The public beach on Singer Island is itself called Riviera Beach (I believe). It's a beautiful, wide beach, with one of the only free parking areas left in the county. However the last hurricane severly damaged the strip mall right in front of it, so I'd guess you'll be seeing a lot of boarded up storefronts, which may not feel safe.
If you're planning on diving out of the Riviera Beach marina, you again have to drive through a generally tough area, and the cars parked at the marina are broken into often enough to be well known to the divers. Just don't leave anything valuable visible in the car.
I drive through the area at least once a week as the various dive shops are located right there; there is a shop called Force-E just before you cross the beach into Singer Island. For instance, they make it clear not to leave our tanks outside, or they may be stolen.
If you practice reasonable safety, don't go wandering Blue Heron or Dixie Highway late at night, you should be fine. Singer Island itself is a very high end condo (several million plus apiece) area, and the residents have to drive through the area every day to go about their lives, so I guess take that for what it's worth......
Just got back from Florida,And one day we ran up to Singer Island and seems fine and yes all areas have some bad areas,We like the Boynton Beach area much south of Singer Island but still WPB county,we rented a SWEET 2-bedroom 2 Bath condo 2pools in a gated condo community for $825 2 miles from the dive boat,stores and shops!
The Breakers and Ritz are nice,heck do lunch and pool hop!
try rent my cond or rental sites for some nice rentals at great prices,ask for a references some like long term rentals but some do weekly too!
and West Palm Beach is nice but all the way to Ft.lauderdale the much smaller hotels are real nice,and Florida has a nice rate system for small hotels too!
Did dives each day of trip,one day was a no dive day weather and some dry out time!
viz was 50'-60' and water was 78-75ish all I needed was a 3mm!
Have fun get down to Florida and enjoy!Dive safe!
I was married in the resort you are talking about and lived on Singer Island from 1996-1999. The island itself is relatively safe (some panhandlers still exist) and the resort is really nice. As described earlier the beach in front of the resort is extremely wide and a nice place to relax or get in a nice walk. As described earlier the shops next to the resort were badly damaged after Wilma and many were still closed 3 weeks later, but I am not sure of the current status. The problem for tourists begins when they stray off the island to get to their dive boat, restuarants, or night life. The surronding area (Riviera Beach) is mostly light industrial and surrond by ghetto. I worked in this area for 11 years and have seen and been involved in more than I wanted to. There are certain corners where locals target anyone who looks like they have a buck. Its usually when you are coming out of the store the approach for money occours. The marina where you will be doing your diving from has had car break in problems in the past but is now patroled by residents who live there on their boats and this has cut out the break in activity especially during the day. The area to the north of Singer Island Juno Beach and North Palm Beach is home to some very nice restuarnts and shops and caters to the likes of Jack Nickalus. If you travel north off the island for your night time ventures you will never know about any of the safety problems we are talking about.
I live Palm Beach. I dive out of ForceE dive shop.I think the charter are grate and you can't beat the price. I have not heard of any bad thangs happing to anyone. Peaple are verry n9ice around that aera. I hope and know you well have a good time here. Drop me a line and maybe we can dive with you all. Grate Malls too.