Arts & Culture in Southeast Florida

/Arts & Culture in Southeast Florida

Arts & Culture in Southeast Florida

In addition to the natural attractions, cultural ones are playing more and more of a role in Southeast Florida. Along with all the historical gems along these coasts, the visual arts have become an integral part of society, with Latin American and Caribbean, especially Cuban and Haitian, painters and sculptors coming to the forefront. The wonders hidden within this region are vast and wondrous. It would literally take months to see all the arts and culture this region has to offer, but you can get started on your adventure right here while you pick out the few places you just have to go!

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Miami is filled to the brim with a never-ending list of museums, art institutions and live music venues.

As the home of Art Basel Miami Beach, the world’s most prominent annual art fair held in December, Miami-Dade County boasts a variety of opportunities to experience local and international art. For highly acclaimed performing arts and Broadway-style shows, head to the Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts.

To see the most post-modern artwork, stroll down the street and hit the galleries and warehouses in Miami’s Design District and Wynwood Arts District. The Wynwood Arts district is home to an abundant collection of local galleries as well as Tony Goldman’s popular Wynwood Walls.  If you’d rather look than buy, head to the Bass Museum of Art in Miami Beach, one of the area’s earliest art deco buildings, which now houses a priceless collection of art, sculptures and tapestries. or the Museum of Contemporary Art in North Miami.

For a different, but memorable, experience, visit the Holocaust Memorial in Miami Beach or the Holocaust Documentation & Education Center in Dania Beach.

In downtown Miami, waterfront Museum Park boasts the Pérez Art Museum, Miami, a highly regarded institution offering a taste of modern architecture and intellectually stimulating exhibits. The Pérez Art Museum Miami is Florida’s contemporary hub, which showcases art from around the world, as well as western pieces, including photographs, paintings and sculptures. All artwork is from the 1940s onwards, including locally inspired art, which reflects Miami’s diverse and culturally rich background.

Also in Museum Park, the recently opened Patricia and Phillip Frost Museum of Science (formerly known as the Miami Science Museum) features interactive science exhibits, a planetarium, the Weintraub Observatory, a Sea Lab and the Falcon Batchelor Bird of Prey Center.

frost science museum miami

In Homestead, Schnebly Redlands Winery & Brewery makes wines from exotic fruits. Nearby, Miami Tropical Bonsai boasts a collection of 10,000 miniature bonsai trees, and R.F. Orchids ships a wide selection of orchids nearly anywhere in the world.

Beyond the museums, Miami is an international city that can feel like it’s more part of Latin America than the United States. To get a taste of the Cuban culture that helped transform Miami, head to Calle Ocho to enjoy a café con leche or vaca frita at landmark restaurants Versailles and La Carreta.

Miami has changed considerably since wealthy American industrialist Henry Flagler brought his railroad to town in 1896. The first newcomers to the city were warm-weather seekers from the northern states, followed much later by refugees from Cuba who settled in a neighborhood known today as Little Havana. The city’s ethnic blend also includes Haitians who populate an area called Little Haiti. Latter-day arrivals from other Caribbean islands as well as South America contribute to the mix of cultures that now defines the city.

One of Miami’s most important cultural attractions is the Vizcaya Museum and Gardens, a grand estate featuring a marvelous Italian-style villa built in the early 1900s by wealthy American industrialist James Deering ( Surrounded by 10 acres of formal gardens and overlooking Biscayne Bay, the villa is filled with a vast array of art, antique treasures and elaborate furnishings.

Key West

key west arts and culture

Brimming with artistic flair and a vibrant artist community, Key West’s cultural institutions, like the Ernest Hemingway Home & Museum, offer glimpses into a nostalgic place and time of this Nobel Prize winner’s writing career in Florida. After touring his home, wander through the lush grounds where 40 to 50 polydactyl (six-toed) cats reside, some of which are descendants of Hemingway’s pet Snowball.

Also worth a visit every time you explore Key West, the Harry S. Truman Little White House, which once served as a naval station’s command headquarters, and as the winter home for the late President, and Audubon House & Tropical Gardens, originally built by the Geiger family in the 1840s are both cultural mainstays.

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Tour the Key West Art & Historical Society’s new permanent exhibit at Fort East Martello Museum to view more than 100 sculptures created by the late Key Largo folk artist, Stanley Papio, whose works are acclaimed for their inventiveness and humor.

Originally built as a carriage house in 1829, the Red Barn Theatre is a cultural cornerstone in Key West. Take another step back into time at Nearby, the historic Old Post Office and Customs House currently serves as the Key West Museum of Art & History, which showcases exhibits on local history, famous personalities, maritime history and works by local artists.

The Mel Fisher Maritime Museum features interesting archaeological artifacts, such as Spanish coins and memorabilia, pulled from the depths of the sea. You will also learn about pirates and the Fisher family’s unwavering quest for lost sunken treasures.

In Islamorada, visit the Morado Way Arts and Cultural District for a variety of hands-on pottery classes, educational seminars as well as the Third Thursday ArtWalk featuring artists, vendors and entertainment.

Fort Lauderdale


Fort Lauderdale has plenty of museums, galleries and performing arts institutions to visit. Located on bustling Las Olas Boulevard, where shopping and dining abound, the NSU Art Museum of Fort Lauderdale is the perfect place to view more than 7,000 works by artists like Pablo Picasso, George Bellows and Diego Rivera. Children and adults alike love the Young At Art Museum in Davie. The LEED-certified 55,000-square-foot facility inspires, educates and entertains all ages with interactive exhibits, as well as fun art classes and camps.

In Fort Lauderdale, the Museum of Art hosts traveling exhibits and features a noteworthy collection of works from Europe’s CoBrA movement, while the Museum of Discovery and Science promises a fascinating day of exploration on two floors of interactive exhibits.

Another unusual collection is on display at The Wick Theatre & Costume Museum in Boca Raton. Proprietor Marilynn Wick opened the museum as a place to hold her 1.2 million costumes, many of them Broadway originals. The Boca Raton Museum of Art is also well worth a visit.

Palm Beach

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The Cultural Council of Palm Beach County promotes a wide range of theatre, dance, art, music and history in what’s known as Florida’s Cultural Capital, and offers endless tips for planning your trip! Located in the popular Mizner Park, the Boca Raton Museum of Art houses an array of contemporary and modern art collections.

The Norton Museum of Art in West Palm Beach remains one of the most renowned art museums in Florida, featuring highly acclaimed exhibitions, lectures and tours.  The Norton Museum of Art in owns paintings by some noteworthy Impressionists and the Cultural Council of Palm Beach County showcases exhibitions by local artists at its gallery at 601 Lake Avenue. Renowned internationally for its distinguished permanent collection of American, Chinese, Contemporary and European art as well as photography, its masterpieces of 19th- and 20th-century painting and sculpture include works by Brancusi, Gauguin, Matisse, Miró, Monet, Picasso, Davis, Hassam, Hopper, Manship, O’Keeffe, Pollock and Sheeler. Special exhibitions, lectures, tours and programs for adults and children are scheduled throughout the year.

Dating back to 1902, Whitehall, Henry Flagler’s Gilded Age estate in Palm Beach, is a National Historic Landmark and open to the public as the Flagler Museum, featuring guided tours, changing exhibits and special programs. For entertaining shows from elegant ballets to Broadway musicals, visit the Kravis Center for Performing Arts in West Palm Beach.

For something more intimate, but just as impressive, look up the playbill for the Maltz Jupiter Theater in Jupiter.

Also in West Palm Beach, the Raymond F. Kravis Center for the Performing Arts is home to the Miami City Ballet, the Palm Beach Opera and the Palm Beach Pops, and presents more than 350 performances featuring acclaimed artists every year. Perhaps no individual has had a greater or more lasting impact on a state than Henry Flagler has had in Florida. While in the Palm Beach area, be sure to tour the Henry Morrison Flagler Museum, housed in his opulent 73-room mansion, Whitehall, for a glimpse of what life was like for the wealthy during the Gilded Age in American history.

Other Locations

Delray Beach

Broward County

Broward County is home to its fair share of art and cultural institutions. Catch a play or concert at the Broward Center for Performing Arts, the Stage Door Theatre, the Parker Playhouse and others. All have been bringing in great live performances for years. View some of the hottest musical acts in the world at the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Hollywood. The popular venue hosts everyone from classic rockers to comedians and talk show hosts.

Delray Beach

In Delray Beach, visit the Morikami Museum and Japanese Gardens and the Delray Beach Center for the Arts at Old School Square to get a taste of local art and culture. The award-winning Delray Beach Center for the Arts at Old School Square successfully combines historic preservation and the arts. The campus includes the Cornell Museum of Art and American Culture, the Crest Theatre, the Vintage Gymnasium

The Cornell Museum of Art WILD exhibit features internationally recognized artists whose contemporary works are inspired by nature and illustrate the beauty and wonder of the natural world. Visit the Arts Garage in Delray Beach for a variety of theater productions, performing arts classes and a contemporary art gallery. The Boca Raton Museum of Art in Mizner Park houses an array of rotating exhibits and a combination of modern and contemporary art collections. The Wick Theatre & Costume Museum hosts a collection of shows as well as the nation’s largest collection of original Broadway wardrobes.


In Homestead, Schnebly Redlands Winery & Brewery makes wines from exotic fruits. Nearby, Miami Tropical Bonsai boasts a collection of 10,000 miniature bonsai trees, and R.F. Orchids ships a wide selection of orchids nearly anywhere in the world.

Florida isn’t known as a wine-producing region, but here’s something different: Schnebly Redlands Winery & Brewery in Homestead makes wines from exotic fruits such as mango, lychee, guava, passion fruit and Carambola. Schnebly Redlands is just one of the intriguing spots in the area between Miami and the Keys. Miami Tropical Bonsai boasts a collection of 10,000 miniature bonsai trees collected from around the world. R.F. Orchids offers a wide selection of orchids that can be shipped nearly anywhere in the world.

Southeast Florida is a treasure trove of art and culture waiting for you to discover it.

Now it’s your turn! Which places have you been? Where do you want to go? Please share your thoughts and experiences with us all!

By |2018-08-08T23:29:22+00:00April 21st, 2018|Southeast Florida|0 Comments

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