Between-the-Sessions: Dining, Shopping and Entertainment
Charming retail districts. Vibrant entertainment centers…
It’s no surprise The Palm Beaches are known as Florida’s Cultural Capital®. For those seeking to explore the arts and cultural highlights of the destination, the options are abundant.
Enjoy high-quality, off-the-beaten path experiences without sacrificing the sunshine. Get started on planning the ultimate arts and culture getaway with our suggested itinerary, below.
With over 220 lodging options throughout the destination, it’s hard to pick just one. Keeping in line with the most art-centric options, we suggest Grandview Gardens Bed and Breakfast, The Ben; an Autograph Collection or The Canopy. All options, located in downtown West Palm Beach, will have you swooning over the small city, big art vibes.
During high season (October through April), head to the heart of downtown West Palm Beach, where you will come across the City of West Palm Beach’s Green Market, nestled along the Flagler Drive Waterfront near Clematis Street. Boasting an array of more than 90 local food and art vendors, the market occurs each Saturday from October through April, from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. If the Green Market is not in season during your visit, enjoy a visit to the Historical Society of Palm Beach County, where you will be sure to learn lots about The Palm Beaches’ storied past.
The Palm Beaches have long been a south Florida hub for art and culture, and what a better way to start your visit than on one of the county’s most historic stretches? Dixie Highway, which stretches from the northern most point of the county to the southernmost point, is home to restaurants, retail and a wide mix of businesses, including many of the destination’s one-of-a-kind restaurants. Stop into Belle and Maxwell’s for lunch. Known for its superb, fine dining in a casual and fun setting, the eatery boasts a vibrant color scheme and eclectic décor that will set the mood for this three-day getaway.
After lunch, head to Ann Norton Sculpture Gardens to walk through the petite yet enchanting gardens for a dose of fresh air and large-scale sculptures. More than 250 kinds of tropical plants and palms call this site home, as do nine monumental and iconic handmade sculptures, built over 15 years by sculptor Ann Weaver Norton. (Don’t miss the work of Edwina Sandys, Winston Churchill’s granddaughter and a part-time Palm Beach resident.) Continue your experience by visiting Ann ’s artist studio and former residence, which houses the works of various artists in the gallery space.
In the mood for a little retail therapy? Located only minutes away is the uniquely diverse range of galleries, consignment and boutique shops of Antique Row, a charming street in the city’s heralded design and arts district more than 40 shops selling 17th to 20th century antiques, arts, furnishings and more.
Happy Hour is only steps away. Reserve a spot in the outdoor veranda at Todd’s at EmKo or grab a cocktail in its open and airy indoor dining room. The space, which was once an old car dealership, now doubles as an art gallery and restaurant. Here, legendary Chef Todd English presents creative culinary creations in a rustic yet refined atmosphere. Enjoy Happy Hour with the contemporary sculptures in the garden or on the porch under the palms. If you decide to stay for dinner, make sure to try the Bolognese. After cooling off with a cocktail or two, head back to your selected hotel and freshen up for dinner. Once you’ve recharged, enjoy the outdoor ambiance of The Square while dining on the veranda of Il Bellagio. This Italian restaurant – featuring picturesque, covered outdoor seating by the fountain – is a local favorite that has called the destination home for over 25 years.
Keep up the artistic energy by stopping by Subculture Coffee Roasters on Clematis Street for breakfast before starting up the day. Here, you will find street murals including a colorful Einstein piece, a destination favorite painted by world-renowned, Brazilian artist Eduardo Kobra. Stay for a stroll to view other street art murals in the area by visiting the CANVAS Outdoor Museum mural, many of whose works are found within walking distance. If you have time, venture via car to Lake Worth for more murals and a stop by the Cultural Council for Palm Beach County, where local experts provide insight into all things arts and culture. Before you leave, make sure to check out the shop located inside the building and pick out pieces designed by local artisans.
Next, head south to Boca Raton, one of the destination’s most historical regions and prominently recognized for its Addison Mizner influence in architecture and beyond. First, stop at the Boca Raton Museum of Art, which features everything from classical paintings to interactive exhibits. If you’re traveling in February, be sure to catch the Annual Mizner Park Art Festival, where you can enjoy some of the museum’s standout pieces outdoors. Continue strolling through the cobblestone streets of Mizner Park, replete with popular shops and drool-worthy restaurants.
For lunch, visit Max’s Grille, a treasured locale and long-time staple in Mizner Park. Once you’ve satisfied your appetite, head to the Morikami Museum & Gardens for a walk through any of the 16+ acres of expansive tranquil and timeless Japanese gardens. Also make sure to appreciate the museum exhibits that are chock full of over 7,000 pieces of Japanese art objects and artifacts.
Once you have reached your zen, head back to the central part of the county to West Palm Beach, where dinner awaits. At Restoration Hardware, enjoy dinner and a view in the home furnishing store’s rooftop restaurant. The Art Deco veranda that overlooks downtown West Palm Beach’s city scape is a beautiful way to take in the sunset.
Down the street, watch a performance at the Kravis Center for the Performing Arts. Look over the schedule to see the mix of national and international artists and companies of the highest quality that are coming to The Palm Beaches. We recommend booking your seats in advance to guarantee your spots.
Start your day with the flair and flavor we know and love in The Palm Beaches. In a destination full of diversity, it is easy to find amazing eateries from all over the world. Salento Coffee Shop, a Colombian coffee and sandwich shop is a great way to put an extra pep in your step. Along with a coffee, make sure to order a breakfast arepa, a traditional Colombian staple that will make your mouth water.
After indulging on breakfast and a cortadito, head to Mounts Botanical Gardens in West Palm Beach. There are over 2,000 species of plants in Palm Beach County’s eldest and largest botanical garden. Among them are Florida native plants, both exotic and tropical fruit trees, bromeliads, roses, cactus and palms. Spend some time enjoying the sunshine as you take in the sights of the 25 display gardens, and literal breaths of fresh air.
For lunch, enjoy more of the cultural scene that can be found in The Palm Beaches at Havana, a popular Cuban Restaurant that’s been a family tradition for 25 years. Here, enjoy the Cuban classics just the way they should be, rich in deep savory flavor and garlicky goodness. Over two decades, Havana has been a place for locals and visitors alike. Walk up to the order window or take a seat inside the dark wood-paneled, two-story dining room that instantly feels like you were invited into a friend’s home. If you are looking for something a little more casual, stop into one of our many breweries; Due South offers a food truck stocked with savory bites for lunch. Sit on a picnic table and sample some of the local beers.
Head back to the hotel to relax poolside, or drive down to Delray Beach’s Atlantic Avenue, a popular avenue in the destination filled with restaurants, shopping and nightlife. Pineapple Grove is a must for the fun street art, and Cornell Art Museum is just steps away. This is a great area to have dinner if you are starting to get hungry. Ending with one of the most well-known Art Deco restaurants in the county — DaDa — is a perfect idea. Have a seat under the glittering lighted banyan tree. We promise no matter what Chef Jessie Steele brings out, your taste buds will be happy. Eat, drink and enjoy in this eclectic home from the early 1900s, now one of the county’s most sought-after restaurants. Finish the night off at Arts Garage to watch our locals jam out, or return to your hotel for a relaxing evening under the stars.
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