Palm Beach County is one of the most LGBTQ-friendly destinations in South Florida and a “go-to” spot for vacations, tourism, agriculture, and breathtaking beaches. The county also has a booming LGBTQ community with tons of entertainment and programming. If you are visiting Palm Beach County soon and want a heads up on where to go, here are some of the best LGBTQ-friendly attractions and venues to conquer on your next visit.
Mounts Botanical Garden
With over 40 years of rich history, the Mounts Botanical Garden is the perfect place to live out all of your floral desires. It’s right by the Palm Beach International Airport, so it’s very accessible. Lovers of the 16-acre venue will witness a collection of 25 display gardens that feature over 6,000 species of tropical and gorgeous sub-tropical plants. Mounts is great for a nice stroll with your significant other. If you do plan on taking a stroll, visit the Garden of the Senses. There you will find Angel’s Trumpet, which blooms beautifully during the day and produces the most magnificent fragrance at night. Admission is $12.
Norton Museum of Art
If you are into fine art, then the Norton Museum of Art is definitely non-negotiable. The museum is located in West Palm Beach just minutes from shopping and fine dining. Norton has held exhibitions on LGBTQ+ artists like Keith Haring, Frida Kahlo, and a current exhibition (A Remarkable Gathering) that features Andy Warhol that extends until September 2022.
If music moves you, then join them for the live-in-person drum circle, which is always a crowd-pleaser. In June for Pride Month, the Norton partners with Compass Community Center to host one of the museum’s weekly Art After Dark events, transforming it into a party for members of the LGBTQ+ community and a celebration of local creators.
Lake Worth Playhouse
Located in the heart of downtown Lake Worth Beach, Lake Worth Playhouse can be traced back to the early 1920s. The theater has a long history of providing stellar entertainment and Tony Award-worthy performances.
One of their most anticipated productions is Send in the Queens. This production features high-energy drag performances from some of the most talented performers in Palm Beach County. It’s also an annual fundraiser that has been providing show-stopping performances for fourteen years.
Lake Worth Playhouse is also home to The Black Box Series which provides a unique selection of plays from nationally and internationally established playwrights. One of the best-kept secrets of the LWPH is that it also features the Stonzek Studio. The studio is the premier venue for indie films in Palm Beach County. After seeing an amazing production or watching an indie film, you can also dine at one of the many restaurants that the playhouse collaborates with for a special menu.
General admission is $35 and $45 on opening night for main stage seating. On Monday movies are $7, and from Tuesday through Sunday, the price is $9. When the Black Box Series is showing, admission is $25.
If you have the opportunity to come at all in June, you must attend the legendary Stonewall Ball. Compass Community Center hosts the event every year, and there is always a theme.
In 2022, the theme for the ball is a disco-themed party. It’s pretty much the LGBTQ version of the Met Gala for Palm Beach County. The evening features drag performers, a silent raffle, an awards ceremony, and a dance party. If you go, please be camera-ready. Stonewall Ball is always captured on camera by Compass’s longtime photographer and volunteer Wayne Lefkowitz, who was recently featured on Good Morning America during the Kick-off for Pride Month. If the name Stonewall sounds familiar, it is an homage to the Stonewall riots which were considered to be the spark that transformed the LGBTQ+ movement.
Ticket prices in the past have been around $300 for the awards ceremony and $45 for the general admission to the dance party.
Arts Garage is another place to see on your visit here, located in downtown Delray Beach in the Pineapple Grove Arts District. They are known for having a diverse variety of programming every week.
As soon as you walk in, guests are greeted with the artwork from the Marshall Family Foundation Gallery. Thankfully the exhibits change often, so there’s never a dull moment or a shortage of amazing artwork to view and purchase. Music is a huge part of the fabric for Arts Garage. They’ve been known to feature performances from local talent artists, established artists, and even some Grammy Award-winning musicians. They also has one of the best drag shows in Delray Beach. Garage Queens is held on the last Friday of every month, hosted by popular drag performer Ariel Rimm and features many breakout performances from several Palm Beach County queens.
Before you leave, make sure to visit the LGBTQ crosswalk and snap a selfie. It is located adjacent to the building. Ticket prices range anywhere from $5 to $50.
The Wick Theater & Costume Museum
Walking into this Boca Raton theater will be life-changing. I’d highly recommend visiting The Wick Theater & Costume Museum for a date. Not only can you witness a Broadway production, but you also have the opportunity to also eat. Tavern at the Wick is located inside the theater for all of your fine dining needs. The best part about the theater is the Costume Museum which has been open since 2013. So, if you love the glitz and glamor of theater, art history, and costume design, I’d definitely take a stroll to this stellar theater and museum.
There’s plenty of arts and culture for LGBTQ+ visitors to enjoy in The Palm Beaches. If you’re planning a trip soon, you can sign up for Insider Access and each month you’ll learn a little more about what makes this Florida’s Cultural Capital®.
Creative artist, journalist, and designer Deon C. Jefferson has worked in the bridal industry for eight years. His work has been seen at New York Bridal Fashion Week, in Trends Magazine, Out and About Southwest Florida, Upscale Magazine, and VEU Magazine. Deon considers himself to be the modern day Renaissance man and lives by the quote from Keith Haring “Art should be something that liberates your soul, provokes the imagination, and encourages people to go further.”