Wellington on the other side of the world
We all know that Wellington is the centre of the universe, but did you know there’s a Wellington that’s the center of the universe as well? Not so long ago, we got an email from Rick of Walk about Wellington. Yup, that’s right, there’s a Wellington in Florida, USA as well. We answered some questions about our city for him, and thought it was only fair that he do the same for us…
Rick, your Wellington is smaller than my Wellington (57,163 vs 395,600). Having read my answers to your questions, what appear to be some other noticeable similarities and/or differences?
Smaller? That’s what she said?
Based on your interview, my impression of your Wellington is that it’s populated with free-spirited hippies who spend their time exploring the arts, a beautiful coastline and writing books about Hobbits and other mythical characters. Did I get that right?
In comparison, I’d say that we’re a family friendly, small town version of your Wellington with a bit less art and few more horses running around.
What does Wellington “do well”? That is, what is Wellington known for and why do people want to live there?
Wellington, Florida does ‘families’ well. It’s the kind of place that you grow up hating (I was born and mostly raised here), but that you might stick around later in life because you get a family of your own and you realize that the town is actually built for kids. Good schools, safe neighborhoods, low crime, plenty of ice cream shops for kids and a few good drinking holes for their parents…
I think our location is great becuase we’re a short drive to incredible beaches, the Everglades, nightlife and more.
What activity or activities are popular locally?
Unique to Wellington is our large equestrian community and a number events which are pretty interesting (even if you don’t care much for “big dumb animals”). Polo is popular. In season, polo matches occur in a few different popular venues including the International Polo Club and Polo West. Polo is not as snooty as most think. The community is actually pretty laid back and polo is really a drinking/social sport (for the spectators and some of the players).
Equestrian shows and horse jumping are big too. the Winter Equestrian Festival ( – pretty good video here) is a big deal locally and features some incredible horse jumping events. To be honest, I’m not a big fan of horses at all and still attend these events because it’s pretty interesting to see.
Wellington is about a 20 minute drive from the shores of the Atlantic Ocean. Anything related to the ocean is pretty popular. We fish, surf, boat, dive, suntan and try to take full advantage of year-round warm weather and the ocean. Here are few photos which may help paint this picture.
The Peanut Island Sandbar – A great local spot to pull up, have a brew and enjoy the weather.
Scuba Diving off Palm Beach
What’s the nightlife scene like? And what’s good to eat and drink there?
Since we’re a pretty small town, nightlife is limited to a few good places to grab a pint and see live music. If you find yourself stranded in Wellington, I’d recommend heading east to Clematis Street in nearby West Palm Beach. Tweet at @aGuyOnClematis (he’s the local authority on Clematis) for recommendations.
For foodies, we’ve got some rockin’ cuisine in Wellington. The high-end polo crowd helps to support some incredible local restaurants as well as all the major US restaurant chains.
If you’re like me though, you’re drinking the locally-brewed @duesouthbrewing and eating a good burger and fries at a local sports bar.
You mentioned that there’s a lot of polo in your Wellington – what other sporting activities happen there?
Polo and equestrian are definitely our claim to fame. But golf is equally as important. Young and old alike enjoy year-round great golfing conditions on one of literally hundreds of courses in Wellington and around South Florida.
The World Adult Kickball Association (WAKA) has been expanding like crazy here too. There are adult leagues all around. I’m convinced that this is the best beer drinking sport on the planet. Is kickball a sport on your side?
More importantly, for someone who cares very little about sport – what else is there to do?
Hmm. Grow a family, attend a barrage of family-friendly events and get old? Seriously though, we’re not a cultural hub at all in my opinion. WalkAboutWellington is an events-based website and we rarely find good artsy events to promote. I wish it wasn’t the case…
What do Wellington, Florida locals also call themselves?
Some of us call ourselves, “Wellies.” To be honest, I think Wellingtonians has a bit more class. I may copy that on this side if you don’t mind.
Can you teach us some local slang?
I wish we had some to teach.
Is there a secret handshake that only locals know about?
I’d say that the handshake of secretive backroom business deals, greed, deception and corruption is one that is known locally, although probably not unique to Wellington, FL.
But since I don’t want to get political in this post, I think that the Rocket Fist Bump is making headway locally.
Have you ever tried this one? It’s a lot of fun at parties especially when you don’t decided ahead of time who is going to be the rocket and who the flame!
If I could only have one meal and one drink while in Wellington, what should they be?
I think that the meal and drink would be a fish taco and milkshake from our Food Truck Invasion. Food trucks have become all-the-rage in Florida and really throughout the USA. Food Truck Invasion is basically a group of about 20-30 food trucks which travel together and throw a weekly party in our area. The set up at the Wellington Amphitheater on Thursday nights and locals come out and eat glorified carnival food.
I’d say this is the one meal to experience because the food is great (considering the fact that it comes from a truck) and more importantly, the locals all come out to this. Our local Food Truck Invasion is great for meeting-up with friends, people watching and checking our local live music.
You’ve got Vanilla Ice and Bill Gates living in Wellington? Do you think they hang out together? Who else might we run into if we came to visit?
Yep, Vanilla Ice has lived here for years and Bill just bough a house a couple months ago, although he has been coming here yearly for equestrian events for a while now.
I’m not sure if they hang out. If they do though, here’s how I imagine the conversations go:
Vanilla Ice: Hey Bill, I like what you would did with that Microsoft company of yours. And I like how you donate all that money to charity. You’re a Ninja!
Vanilla Ice: Thanks. Smoke a doobie?
Bill Gates: Sure, but don’t tell my wife.
10 minutes pass…
Vanilla Ice: You hungry?
Bill Gates: Yep, let’s eat.
Another notable local is my boy “The Boss” Bruce Springsteen. Rumor has it that he goes to my gym but I can’t confirm that.
Coming from liberal circles here, a lot of people in Wellington here might have perceptions that Florida is kinda racist and home to some really weird laws. Do we have it wrong?
Hmm, I didn’t realize that we had any weird laws so I looked into this. I’m not sure if I’d agree with racist but if you come to Florida and have sex with a Porcupine or fart in public, it turns out that Jonny Law (that’s what we call the police) may give you a citation.
In all seriousness, Florida is pretty diverse and includes extremely liberal and extremely conservative pockets. In South Florida, we tend to be more liberal. Central and North Florida are definitely more conservative.
We don’t now and probably won’t anytime soon lead the country in paving-the-road to equality, logic or whatever you want to call it. Since most of the rest of the USA comes here to die (err, retire), our legislation tends to favor conservative, “old school” thinking.
Racism exists everywhere and within every race, but I don’t feel we’re much different than average in the USA.
If you had to pick one photo which captures the essence of your Wellington, which would it be?
This was a tough one. I chose this image because it represents Wellington as a creat, close-knit community committed to our families. This photo is taken from a local Amphitheater where they regularly host performances, public movie nights, festivals, etc. Thisphoto was taken at a local talent search event.
(Here’s the original publication)
Anything else you want to add?
Thanks for the opportunity and for sharing your Wellington. I hope to pay a visit someday. Cheers!