An expert’s guide to arts and culture in Florida’s Cultural Capital
Experience the natural, cultural splendor of The Palm Beaches at the height of its epic season! While the initial sight of palm trees, white-sand beaches and hundreds of cultural events spanning across this giant destination might seem daunting—just take a quick glance at our weekend guide below for the insider’s track on what to and what to see while you’re here. Bon voyage!
Congratulations! You’ve made it to Florida during the winter season. The temperature is perfect for a bit of exploration, so it’s time to head the destination’s southern tip for the perfect mix of history and outdoor fun at the Jupiter Inlet Lighthouse and Museum. For those eager adventure-seekers, it’s a pleasure to tell you that, yes, you can indeed climb it as long as you’re accompanied by staff and pay admission to do so. For the more mild-mannered enthusiast, there’s a wealth of additional events and sights to see on the property including twilight yoga, sunset tours, crafting classes and story time for the kids. Or, what’s to stop you from walking around and enjoying a warm winter’s day? Sometimes the simplest option is also the most enjoyable.
(Literally) right near the lamp is the village of Tequesta, the southernmost tip of Palm Beach County and home to your next destination, Lighthouse ArtCenter Gallery and School of Art. Aficionados and amateurs alike will enjoy this ‘hidden gem’ tucked away in an unassuming plaza, which features yearlong exhibitions, frequent concerts, a gift shop stacked with local art and one of the area’s finest annual events—the Plein Air Festival, an excellent excuse to visit every March.
Make your way to West Palm Beach and put your thinking cap on—the South Florida Science Center and Aquarium is ready to educate and entertain you and your entire family! Where else can you see exhibits featuring superheroes (“Hall of Heroes” through April 19), the human brain and the deep blue sea? The center also hosts a wide variety of top-notch events for children (and adults!) including laser shows, Nerd Nights, STEM Studios and more.
Take the evening and enjoy your time in Downtown West Palm Beach! You can hit the night life (and incredible mural sights) on Clematis Street, grab a bite to eat at some of the finest dining destinations in South Florida, or enjoy a quiet moment by the waterfront before tomorrow’s busy day.
Now that you’re fully rested and ready for more cultural fun, you can head over to Armory Art Center to see what’s new and exciting in the local arts scene. This is where amateur painters, sculptors, 3-D animators and more go to learn their craft from seasoned professionals and eventually, get to show their work to avid art fans such as yourself.
Better yet, the building itself is a work of art….art deco, that is! It was also, in fact, an armory for the United States military in the early 20th century—hence the organization’s name.
Let’s take a quick break from the city and head over the bridge to the famous, fabulous Palm Beach to explore one of its oldest and most revered cultural institutions, The Society of the Four Arts. The organization serves as an entire ‘campus’ dedicated to presenting only the best concerts, performances, classes, lectures, art exhibitions and films possible.
The extra-special way to spend your day at the Society, though, is by taking a tour of its verdant botanical gardens. Dotted with sculptures and other breathtaking pieces of art, the gardens provides a level of zen that will linger long after you head home from the vacation. Take your time and wander!
After a spectacular day exploring Palm Beach, head back to your room and get ready for an extravagant evening at the Norton Museum of Art. The museum’s Art After Dark series occurs every Friday night and is the hottest spot for hip locals and visitors alike to experience a mix of music, art, food and drinks. With a ever-changing schedule of artist talks, exhibition tours and performances (usually relating to the museum’s current main exhibitions), Art After Dark is the best, arts-filled way to enjoy a Friday night in West Palm Beach.
It’s already your last day in The Palm Beaches? But, you just got here!
No matter, we’ve got two more places to visit before you leave and they are worth every minute of your time.
First up is the Boca Raton Museum of Art, a cultural highlight in the city of Boca Raton dedicated to the presentation and curation of all visual arts. The museum’s permanent collection features a wide variety of American modern art sure to dazzle visitors young and old. But, the rotating exhibitions are where you’ll see names such as Clifford Ross, Maren Hassinger and Phyllis Galembo make their mark and put forth incredible work that will leave you thinking long after you leave.
To end your weekend on the right note, experience the joy of seeing a brand new play at FAU Theatre Lab, the professional resident company of Florida Atlantic University in Boca Raton. Established and on-the-rise American playwrights both have tested their work on the Theatre Lab stage, and best of all: you’re seeing the premiere! There are two shows left to see in the 2020 season: Alex Sobler’s “The Glass Piano” from February 8 to March 1 and Jennifer Lane’s “To Fall in Love” from March 14 to April 5—so get your tickets early!
This weekend is just a taste of what’s available here in The Palm Beaches, Florida’s Cultural Capital. Visit palmbeachculture.com/things-to-do to explore more of this fantastic destination, or start planning your stay right away—as cool and comfortable as a winter day in The Palm Beaches.