There’s more to Palm Beach County than its 47 miles of Atlantic-lapped beaches — the area does double duty as a breezy tropical getaway and the cultural capital of Florida. If you’re looking to plan a romantic rendezvous steeped in globally inspired arts and culture, you’ve come to the right place. We’ve rounded up the top date ideas for curious couples seeking the intrigue and enrichment that only a cultural or art-centered outing can provide.
Norton Museum of Art, West Palm Beach
After $100 million and nearly eight years invested into renovations, a reimagined Norton Museum of Art easily tops the list of best date spots in Palm Beach County for the artsy set. The Norton Museum reentered the scene early 2019 with 12,000 square feet of new gallery space as well as a reoriented entrance centered around a massive banyan that’s nearly 100 years old. There’s also an indoor-outdoor restaurant serving creative dishes worthy of a museum setting, making the Norton ideal for brunch, lunch or dinner with your muse.
The Norton’s collection includes American, Chinese, European, contemporary and photographic works of art, and weekly Art After Dark programming presents the perfect time to pay a visit: admission is free and activities range from artist talks to jazz performances, film screenings, hands-on workshops and more.
Jupiter Inlet Lighthouse & Museum, Jupiter
Looking to infuse your date with a little adrenaline? Hiking 105 steps to the top of the Jupiter Inlet Lighthouse & Museum, positioned over the turquoise waters of the Jupiter Inlet, makes for an adventurous undertaking — and promises killer views of paradise upon completion of the ascent. Post-climb, active couples will love exploring the scenic grounds of the lighthouse, which include exhibits recounting the lives of Native Americans, lighthouse keepers and early pioneers; the lighthouse’s history dates back to 1860, making it the oldest structure in Palm Beach County.
Want to up the ante? Sunset tours provide a dreamy backdrop and the chance to witness the light turning on for the evening, and moonrise tours — a stellar excuse to pledge your love under a full moon and a blanket of stars — are beloved by amateur astronomers.
Lake Worth Playhouse, Lake Worth Beach
Nonprofit community theatre Lake Worth Playhouse is a popular spot for live performances, offbeat plays and side-stitching comedies, but its next-door black box theater is a lesser-known gem and the ideal way to upgrade your standard dinner-and-a-movie routine. An alternative entertainment experience awaits at the 60-seat Stonzek Studio Theater, which is completely blacked out from floor to ceiling, creating a moody, funky setting for indie films and works from respected playwrights that are intended to be thought-provoking and unlike any flick you’d catch in a big-name theatre chain.
The Stonzek typically has two to three films to choose from at any given time, screened for a week before rotating on to new selections, so there’s always a fresh option for date night.
Palm Beach Zoo & Conservation Society, West Palm Beach
For a date both exotic and educational, check out the Palm Beach Zoo & Conservation Society, home to nearly 600 animals running the gamut of 190 different species, many of them endangered. Whether you’re into spotting tigers, cougars, capybaras, monkeys or the fabulously odd Baird’s tapir, the Palm Beach Zoo has them all. Plus, the price of admission supports the zoo’s conservation projects around the world.
Surprise your other half with an up-close encounter with a favorite animal: the zoo’s animal experiences are among its most popular offerings and include the chance to pet, feed or snap a selfie with koalas, sloths, flamingos, capybaras or Aldabra tortoises.
Arts Garage, Delray Beach
If you and your partner are live-music lovers, you’ll want to plan an evening at Arts Garage, where Palm Beach County goes to groove. Home to diverse concerts — the performance calendar is peppered with jazz, blues, rock, soul, alternative, hip-hop and even country acts — as well as theatrical productions and a gallery showcasing emerging visual artists from the local area, Arts Garage makes for a fun night out focused on music, dancing, and drawing inspiration from the zest of life. There’s even regular open mic nights if you want to take the stage and impress your love interest with a dedicated sonnet or heartfelt ballad.
We hope you fall in love with The Palm Beaches, Florida’s Cultural Capital! Get to know us more by taking a close look at our cultural destination online (or download the PDF guide) and find more date spots for you and your loved one.
Skye Sherman is a freelance travel writer based in South Florida. She is also a private pilot, scuba diver, bookworm, and world traveler whose curiosity and eagerness to explore send her all over the globe.