5 Cultural Experiences To Have In The Palm Beaches

When you think of The Palm Beaches in Florida the first thing that comes to mind is likely ocean waves, pristine sandy shores, sunshine, incredible cafes and trendy boutiques. While this is all true and heavenly, The Palm Beaches is also Florida’s Cultural Capital and incorporates world class venues, unique exhibits, fabulous street art, fun outdoor festivals for families, and art classes for beginners. There are many inspiring cultural experiences open year round, but for the month of May there is an annual celebration in town called MOSAIC (Month of Shows, Arts, Ideas and Culture), hosted by the Cultural Council that showcases artsy deals at cultural organizations, each with their own unique offer. The Palm Beaches is literally packed with museums, gardens, theaters, science centers, and art studios to explore where you can learn about the past, discover what is possible for the future, and appreciate the talents of local artists while supporting their work. From Jupiter, Boca Raton, West Palm Beach, Wellington, Delray Beach and Lake Worth, there are endless cities to experience Florida’s culture. Here are five venues to get you started on planning a cultural journey and unleashing your inner artist.

Benzaiten Center For Creative Arts

Benzaiten Center For Creative Arts located in the Lake Worth Arts District brings art to life in multiple ways. This huge arts center in the Historic FEC Train Depot is a place to learn, admire, shop, and appreciate the beauty of art. If you are looking to decorate your home the Center is packed with gorgeous masterpieces by talented artists from all over the country including one-of-a-kind objects. The 14,500 square foot space has a glass blowing area, flameworking studio, welding center, and fusing studio. I was excited to take their introductory one-hour glass blowing class, but nervous due to my total lack of experience. However, the step-by-step instruction was easy to understand and the use of safety tools and color application was explained. Channel your inner artist to create a vase, drinking glass, paperweight or floppy bowl. In addition to choosing your colors, melting the glass in a huge burning oven, turning and shaping it, you blow air into it to create shapes. My end result was nothing short of a miracle – an adorable lopsided starfish that serves as a reminder of my time in The Palm Beaches.

Mounts Botanical Gardens

This hidden gem is the oldest and largest public garden in Palm Beach County and perfect for all ages. Kids (and kids at heart) will especially love the Lego bricks displays by Sean Kenney that are currently part of Mounts Botanical Garden in West Palm Beach (Lego display on until May 1). Upon arrival at the gardens I was given a map to walk at my own pace exploring the 16-acre tropical oasis. I loved the Butterfly Garden where several butterflies greeted me by flying around my head and the Herb Garden of Well Being welcomed me with a mixture of fresh scents. I happily reconnected with my inner child at each Lego sculpture including a zebra, tortoise and dog. There are over 40 unique sculptures made from more than 800,000 Lego pieces. This garden is a true natural oasis and contains over 6,000 species of tropical plants such as cacti, succulents and many plants native to Florida. Be on the lookout for adorable lizards that call the garden home.

Henry Morrison Flagler Museum

History lovers that crave knowledge of how Florida’s economy came to be will appreciate a visit to Henry Morrison Flagler Museum. Located in Palm Beach and easily accessible from Interstate I-95, the museum tells the story of Henry Flagler, a man who invested himself in the development of Florida. Learn about the Florida East Coast Railway and how this transportation system linked communities and impacted Florida’s economy. The museum has world-class exhibitions depicting the arts and culture of Gilded Age America while highlighting arts and artists from 1865-1929. Visit the Lace Room on the second floor and discover why this highly prized material was more valuable than gold until the early 20’sth century and how it played a crucial role in how Gilded Age women dressed in style. There are samples, photos, and paintings to admire. If you are inspired to shop once you leave you are in luck as The Palm Beaches is home to multiple shopping districts from designer luxury boutiques to outlet malls where you can update your wardrobe with the latest styles.

Boca Raton Museum Of Art

After soaking up the shining sun at the beaches of Boca Raton, spend the rest of the day soaking up culture at the Boca Raton Museum of Art. This unique museum is the cultural heart of Boca and devoted to excellence when it comes to art collections and exhibitions. Founded by artists, this world class museum has permanent and changing exhibitions including sculpture, glass, photography, visual art, and contemporary art. Take a guided tour and learn about the art of Hollywood and how the magic happens in the movies. Art of the Hollywood Backdrop opens on April 20 and takes you on an artsy behind the scenes look at painted historic backdrops from MGM studios that appeared during Hollywood’s golden age such as The Sound of Music, Ben Hur and Singin in The Rain. Admire the masterpieces of scenic artists that transported audiences to different countries and places with their paintings. The museum is also home to an art school if you plan on staying in town longer and want to nurture your creative side.

Jupiter Inlet Lighthouse & Museum

A visit to Jupiter is a must to see one of the most iconic and oldest structures in the country, Jupiter Inlet Lighthouse & Museum. Wear comfortable shoes and get ready to climb to the top for a bird’s eye view of the world. Bravely walk up 105 cast iron stairs spiralling counterclockwise with three landings if you need a rest. The historic 1860 lighthouse is a testament to Jupiter’s maritime history and tells the story of Native Americans, early pioneers, and Lighthouse keepers through interactive exhibits. Learn how the Lighthouse saved ships from wrecking along the reefs between the Florida coast and the Gulf Stream. This majestic red tower is operated by the non-profit Loxahatchee River Historical Society and offers lighthouse Sunset and Moonrise tours, Twilight Yoga, and Lighthouse Story Time for Kids. While in Jupiter save time to swim or snorkel at Jupiter Beach Park, admire crystal clear inlets and rivers, or canoe the mangrove swamps of the Loxahatchee River in search of marine life.

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