What are the best Palm Beach museums?

Answers from Our Experts (1)

Susan Barnes

If you’re looking for the best museums in Palm Beach, start with the state’s largest, the Norton Museum of Art. It exhibits works from 19th- and 20th-century masters like Gauguin, Matisse, Miró, Monet, Picasso, Hopper and Pollock. The internationally known museum also carries an impressive collection of Chinese art, contemporary art and photography.

For some local history, try the Flagler Museum. It’s dedicated to railroad tycoon Henry Flagler, who was instrumental in developing south Florida. His hotels also helped establish tourism in the state. Want more history? Check out the Richard and Pat Johnson Palm Beach County Museum, housed in a 1916 courthouse in downtown West Palm Beach. The museum features two permanent exhibits — The People Gallery and The Place Gallery. In The People Gallery, learn about those who helped build up the area and develop it into what it is today, including pre-Columbian inhabitants, Seminole Indians, early pioneers, educators, influential leaders and more — all through video displays, kiosks and exhibits. The Place Gallery is filled with models and photographs of the area’s natural environment, and the animals and ecology that make it unique.

If science is more your thing, geek out at the South Florida Science Museum in West Palm Beach. Test yourself with some brainteasers, touch a 232-pound meteorite from space, view Egyptian artifacts or safely experience the force of a tornado. The hands-on, interactive exhibits and laser and star show just might make you forget about Palm Beach’s lovely beaches — at least for a little while.

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