Summer—that special time of year where you and your family can delight in a hard-earned vacation and relax. There’s no better place to take your summer break than here in The Palm Beaches, Florida’s Cultural Capital®, no matter what you’re into.
Check out our action-packed arts weekend itinerary below, and set your sights on The Palm Beaches this summer.
There’s no better way to start your cultural stay than by spending your first morning at the newly-renovated Norton Museum of Art in West Palm Beach. The museum, first built in 1940 by Ralph Hubbard Norton, underwent an immense amount of changes to its infrastructure by noted architectural firm Foster & Partners and reemerged earlier this year to much praise. Exhibitions this summer will include: “See and Be Seen: Picturing Notoriety” (June 14–October 22), which will feature famous photographs of ‘celebrities’ from Queen Victoria to Marilyn Monroe; “Small Worlds: Five Centuries of Prints and Drawings from the Permanent Collection” (July 5–September 17); and, for visual art and movie buffs alike, the delightful “Coming Soon: Film Posters from the Dwight M. Cleveland Collection” (July 12–October 29). Best of all—the museum offers free admission to visitors on Fridays! Who said the best of arts and culture has to be expensive?
Your second Friday destination is also free and just a short drive from the Norton Museum. Get ready to experience the rich history of this destination, because when you visit the Richard and Pat Johnson Palm Beach County History Museum, you become a part of it! The museum, which is also home to the Historical Society of Palm Beach County, features two permanent galleries—The People Gallery and The Places Gallery—that offer entertaining and educational insights into the history of our area. There’s also a special exhibition, “Building Paradise: Addison Mizner’s Legacy,” which highlights the life and style of Palm Beach County’s most famous architect, on display through the end of June.
Grab some pre-show supper on Clematis Street, the heart of West Palm Beach’s vibrant Arts & Entertainment District, and gussy up for a perfect evening’s end at Palm Beach Dramaworks. From performances of “Charlotte’s Web” and “Edges,” to concerts from local folk favorites The Lubben Brothers, this is a great place to unwind and enjoy fantastic works.
Head back to your hotel and get some rest—another packed day of arts and culture awaits you!
You have a very full and fantastic Saturday ahead of you, so get up and get going!
Grab a bite or a sip of coffee at Grandview Public Market for a morning perk-up and then head to the nearby Armory Art Center for visual art on display and, if you’re into it, classes and workshops that will hone your abilities. Or, just walk around and take it all in: the building is a work of art in it’s own right. It was built in 1939 as an actual armory for armed forces in World War II and sports an impressive amount of intricate Art Deco furnishings, decorations and more.
After spending your morning there, it’s time to leave West Palm Beach behind for the serenity and peace of the Morikami Museum and Japanese Gardens in Delray Beach. Block our your calendar for a few hours to take in whimsical exhibitions (the incredible “Falling Water, Soaring Kites” is on display through August 11), the gorgeous greenery of the 16(!) Roji-en gardens and, if you’re hungry, a sumptuous sushi meal. Grab a gift or two for the family and friends you left at home…it always helps!
Your next destination is at the southern tip of The Palm Beaches, so now is the time to eat some dinner along Delray Beach’s famous Atlantic Avenue or in Boca Raton’s Mizner Park. After you’ve paid the bill, it’s time for a show! Once a year during the summer, Florida Atlantic University hosts Festival Rep, which comprises three performances: one play (“Sabrina Fair,” June 7–22), one musical (“Sister Act,” July 5–21) and one concert (“Big Band Hits from the Golden Age,” July 13 & 14). This is an amazing opportunity for you to see stage favorites performed by the next generation of musicians, actors and dancers—so don’t miss out!
There’s only one special summer day left, so get your 40 winks in and prepare for more fun tomorrow.
Put on some sunscreen, your favorite sunglasses and get your breakfast and coffee to-go! This morning’s dose of fun will be administered by the Jupiter Inlet Lighthouse and Museum, home to Palm Beach County’s oldest landmark and (literal) beacon of pride. Take a tour of the grounds (which are the sole federally-designated Outstanding Natural Area east of the Mississippi River), hike to the lighthouse’s summit for the best view in The Palm Beaches (with an approved tour leader, of course) or visit the Keeper’s House and learn about the rich history of the area.
After a delightful morning in Jupiter, it’s almost time to make your leave…but not before a trip to the South Florida Science Center and Aquarium! This sprawling epicenter for all things scientific is a playground for the thinkers in your family, especially for the kids during the summer’s educational lull. Explore the center’s vast aquarium, play a round of mini-golf on their award-winning Conservation Course and get your thinking caps on for “Journey Through the Human Brain,” one of the world’s largest dedicated exhibits on the ever-important mass of tissue between your ears. You could call this final mark on your trip’s cultural calendar a hole-in-one!
That’s the end of our summer weekend getaway itinerary, but it’s just the beginning for you! Make your summer getaway dreams a reality today by visiting palmbeachculture.com/travel to start planning today.