Palm Beach has a Mediterranean feeling that’s only part of what’s earned it the nickname “America’s Riviera.” Founded in 1911 by Henry Flagler, the city has always attracted the wealthy and influential to its bougainvillea-lined streets, glittering Worth Avenue shops, and sunny beaches. The shopping and beaches are famous, but Palm Beach also has a great cultural scene.
The Kravis Center for the Performing Arts
The Kravis Center for the Performing Arts is home to many regionally based arts organizations including the Palm Beach Symphony, Palm Beach Opera, and the Palm Beach Pops. www.kravis.org
A wedding present from oil and railroad tycoon Henry Flagler to his new wife, this mansion also served as a winter retreat and an office to overlook Flagler’s Palm Beach hotel empire. After Flagler’s death, it served first as a hotel and then as a museum. It is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and features permanent and special exhibits. www.flaglermuseum.us
Ann Norton Sculpture Gardens
Ann Weaver Norton studied at the National Academy of Design, Arts Student League of New York, and Cooper Union. Her work was well received and she participated in group shows at the Museum of Modern Art and the Whitney Museum of American Art. In 1977 she established a foundation to preserve the house and grounds, which are now listed in the National Register of Historic Places, as is the surrounding El Cid neighborhood. The Sculpture Gardens feature both permanent and special exhibits. www.ansg.org
Armory Art Center
****Constructed in 1936, the Center was an armory for the National Guard until 1982. A coalition of artists, preservations, philanthropists, and the Palm Beach County Cultural Council lobbied jointly to convert it into an art facility and save it from destruction. It’s now on the National Register of Historic Places and offers Palm Beach residents an array of art classes and exhibitions. www.armoryart.org