Behind the Scenes of My Vacation With Lilly Pulitzer

This is what it's like to live in Lilly land.

The author, center, on her Lilly cruise. Photograph by Lauren McGrath

Me on the Lilly cruise. | Photograph by Lauren McGrath

Back in January, I got the opportunity a million girls would die for: a three-day trip to sunny Palm Beach, Florida, with a couple of girls from Lilly Pulitzer’s King of Prussia headquarters. Heaven, right? Almost. You see, I’m not exactly a fan of Lilly Pulitzer, so going on the trip felt a tad unfair, like a gluten-free person getting an all-you-can-eat bakery tour, or a vegetarian winning free burgers for life.

But I went (journalism!) and, well, I had fun. A lot of fun. We toured the Lilly Pulitzer design studio, awash in hot pink and shiny white lacquer, and the famed Breakers hotel, where many of the staff uniforms are Lilly. We dined on the patio at Renato’s, which is a coconut’s throw from Lilly Pulitzer’s first boutique. We hopped aboard the Lilly Pulitzer boat for a champagne-soaked cruise around the island. And when we left, I was … well, read the whole story here.

And for those millions of Lilly fans who weren’t on the trip with us, here’s a peek into the Lilly Pulitzer world and where it all began. With, yes, a juice stand. 

I wasn’t alone in un-Lilly wardrobe. The photog on the left – yep, the one wearing the black tee – is our very own Lauren McGrath, who came on the trip and snapped pics. We popped into the Lilly Pulitzer store at the Breakers, where I checked out on of the fabulously colorful hand-painted dressing rooms (center). And, naturally, we rode around town in the Lilly Pulitzer jeep.


Photo by Lauren McGrath.

Lilly lookbooks and sunshine.


Photo by Lauren McGrath.

I got a sneak peek at the spring collection at the design studio, and a lesson in the brand’s storied history from Lilly Pulitzer’s endlessly friendly and cheery Eleni McCready and Caroline Wright.

lilly pulitzer design table

Photo by Lauren McGrath.

The Lilly team hides the word ‘Lilly’ in each print. (Finding it is much harder than it looks, as proven by my flummoxed expression.)

lilly pulitzer design

Photo by Lauren McGrath.

The spring collection features crop tops, cut-outs and scallop-hemmed shorts, in Lilly’s signature (and custom!) bright colors.

The author tours the company’s Palm Beach outpost. Photograph by Lauren McGrath

Photo by Lauren McGrath.

I fell in love with the large-scale Lilly paintings – and that blazing-pink velvet sofa – in the design studio’s front sitting room.

Lilly Pulitzer HQ

Photo by Lauren McGrath.

Each pattern is designed by one of the on-staff print artists. Many of them are hand-painted, and the studio is filled with in-progress paintings and sketches, all whirls of color and bursting with energy.


Photo by Lauren McGrath.

As we departed for our sunset cruise around the Intracoastal Waterway, Lauren and I posed for a quick picture; (right) our crew as we set off.

lilly pulitzer yacht

Photo by Lauren McGrath.

Monogrammed (pink) napkins and glasses of champagne.

lilly pulitzer yacht detail

Photo by Lauren McGrath.


lilly pulitzer boat

Photo by Lauren McGrath.