November 17, 2023

History, Mystery & Luxury: A Conversation With Historian Leslie Diver

In Palm Beach, even the buildings are sun-kissed and dressed to impress! Our little slice of heaven boasts a rich tapestry of history and architectural grandeur. The playful tango between Mediterranean and Colonial influences creates a captivating dance of styles that will whisk you away into a world of beauty—especially at the Town of Palm Beach Marina. In this blog, you’ll be able to hear what local historian, Leslie Diver, has to say about Palm Beach’s unique ambiance.

Our Marina's classic aesthetic pays homage to the visionary brilliance of renowned architect Addison Mizner. Mizner's iconic "Palm Beach look," has come to define the architectural heritage of the Town and is beautifully showcased throughout our Marina. From stucco walls to resplendent red-tiled roofs, every detail has been meticulously crafted to perfection, adorned with intricate embellishments like arches, balconies, and ornate ironwork. Our Marina is not just elegant—it's the epitome of timeless fabulosity.

Continue reading or watch the video below for an exclusive interview with Diver as part of our esteemed Making Waves series highlighting Marina and Palm Beach personalities. She stands as a living testament to the vibrant history and architectural marvels of the island and has become an invaluable source of knowledge, shedding light on this coastal paradise through her tours.

Q: Can you tell us a little about your business, Island Living Tours?
Arriving in Palm Beach in 1986, I served on the architectural commission for eight years. During that time, I often pondered how people could experience the beauty of these exquisite homes. Recognizing this niche, I decided to create tours to help people explore and appreciate the Town's charm. I now run a one-woman business with various types of tours, including bike tours, driving and walking tours, as well as informative talks about the island. All my tours revolve around the colorful history of the Town, its world-class architecture, and insights into the residents' lifestyles.

Q: As a resident of Palm Beach and a local historian, how do you feel about our renovated Town Marina?
The Marina went to great lengths to duplicate what was already here, using old photos and knowledge of the surrounding area—they did what the Town really wanted and kept the look the same with modern standards, preserving a lot of the history that was here. Our famed architect, Addison Mizner, brought the eclectic style of Mediterranean architecture to Palm Beach. In fact, one of his first buildings is located just minutes from the Marina as well.

Q: What should visitors and residents know about our Marina?
You think of places like Royal Palm Way, Palm Beach’s “Wall Street,” and the beautiful Royal Palm Hotel, but the Town Marina is the first visual you see when crossing over the middle bridge onto the island. Slip holders have access to a treasure trove of historical wonders just minutes away from their floating abode.Including, our famous Worth Avenue with world-class shopping and restaurants.

Q: What three things should slip holders not miss while in the Town of Palm Beach?
A: I would recommend the recently renovated 10-mile-long bike trail that is adjacent to the Town Marina. Follow the flat cobblestone road up the Intracoastal. It has been preserved since 1927. Secondly, I would recommend the Flagler Museum, which was actually designed by two unknown architects Henry Flagler hired. They later went on to be very famous, designing the New York public library and the U.S. Senate building. Finally, I would recommend my tour, it's a great exploration of the Town and I make sure to not leave out any of the juicy parts of Henry Flagler's life.

Q: Why do you think Palm Beach is one of the most desirable places to work, live and play?
A: Palm Beach is one of the most desirable places because of the safety, security and privacy. They actually surveyed the Town residents and that was their three top reasons for living here. The average age used to be 72 and its now 55. Palm Beach is changing, money is getting younger, we are getting younger, and interestingly enough, preservation was one of the things residents have been favorable towards.

For slip reservations, visit our website,

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