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Wheelchair-Friendly Cultural Attractions in The Palm Beaches, FL

Here is a list of wheelchair-friendly and accessible cultural attractions in The Palm Beaches, Florida

By: Rosemarie Rossetti

I am Rosemarie Rossetti, an accessibility consultant and expert in universal design. I have a spinal cord injury and use a manual wheelchair. When traveling, I also bring a folding scooter.

This May, my husband, Mark Leder, and I enjoyed a three-day itinerary in The Palm Beaches, Florida. Our itinerary included several cultural attractions in West Palm Beach, Palm Beach, and Lake Worth Beach.

Here is a list of the most wheelchair-friendly cultural attractions we have visited during our trip. I focused on accessibility features and services at each destination I visited. In many of the venues, I was met by leaders for a private tour. I have shared my experiences so you will be more informed when deciding to visit the Palm Beach area.

Norton Museum of Art, West Palm Beach

Address: 1450 S. Dixie Highway, West Palm Beach, FL 33401

Phone Number: (561) 832-5196

During our first day in The Palm Beaches, we toured a beautiful art museum in downtown West Palm Beach.

The Norton Musuem of Art showcases collections of American, European, and contemporary artists, as well as Chinese art & photography.

As we arrived at the Norton Museum of Art, my husband and I were greeted in the accessible parking lot by Scott Simmons, Public Relations Manager. There was a pushbutton at the entrance to open the main door.

I rolled along in my manual wheelchair as he led us through the three-story museum. It was easy to roll on the flooring throughout the museum. The museum is fully wheelchair-accessible and features ramps and elevators.

Accessibility Features:

  • Accessible parking
  • Pushbutton at the entrance to open the main door
  • Hard surface flooring throughout the museum
  • Elevators with Braille signage
  • Wheelchair accessible ramps
  • Complimentary manual wheelchairs and walkers are available on a first-come first-served basis
  • Assistive listening devices are available during guided tours, lectures, or other events
  • Accessible group gallery tours can be requested
  • Audio description and automated captioning are available online for selected programs
  • American Sign Language interpretation can be arranged upon request
  • The accessible restrooms have ample space for mobility devices and grab bars
  • Braille signage in many public spaces
  • Large print materials, including exhibition labels and museum maps, can be provided upon request
  • Service dogs are welcome
Rosemarie and Mark at the Norton Museum of Art

Mounts Botanical Garden, West Palm Beach

Address: 531 North Military Trail, West Palm Beach, FL 33415

Phone Number: (561) 233-1757

Another cultural attraction in West Palm Beach perfect to spend a sunny day is Mounts Botanical Garden.

Mounts Botanical Garden offers visitors a serene environment, educational programming, and special exhibits throughout the year. People who use mobility devices can rest assured that they will have access to enjoy this horticultural paradise. Visitors will enjoy the beautiful vistas and the fragrances of the flowers in bloom. Have your cameras ready to zoom in closely at some very unusual plant specimens.

This 20-acre garden has 25 unique garden areas. There is a map of the gardens at the entrance with a QR code so people can download the map to their smartphone.

In my scooter, it was easy to roll throughout the botanical garden on the many wide, hard surface pathways.

The gift shop was accessible and contained an accessible restroom. There was a second accessible restroom in the Hutcheson Complex at the back of the garden. Both restrooms had ample room for a wheelchair, grab bars and accessible sinks.

Rosemarie at Mounts Botanical Garden

Accessibility Features:

  • Accessible parking near the entrance
  • Map of the gardens at the entrance with a QR code so people can download the map to their smartphone
  • The gift shop can be navigated easily in a wheelchair
  • Accessible paths of travel throughout the garden
  • Almost all areas are accessible by wheelchair
  • Gentle ramps allow people with mobility devices to access various parts of the garden
  • Many plants were identified by name with labels that could be viewed easily
  • Accessible restrooms with ample space for mobility devices and grab bars
  • Service animals are permitted on a leash
  • Benches are throughout the garden so people can rest and enjoy the views
Rosemarie at Mounts Botanical Garden

Raymond F. Kravis Center for the Performing Arts, West Palm Beach

Address: 701 Okeechobee Boulevard, West Palm Beach, FL 33401

Phone Number: 561-651-4444

If you like musicals and other live performances, a can’t-be-missed cultural venue is the Kravis Center for The Performing Arts located in downtown West Palm Beach.

The facilities include four venues – the 2,195-seat Alexander W. Dreyfoos Jr. Concert Hall, the 289-seat Rinker Playhouse, and the 170-seat Helen K. Persson Hall. Additionally, the Kravis Center’s facilities include the Cohen Pavilion, housing the Weiner Banquet Center and the Gimelstob Ballroom, The Elmore Family Business Center for the Arts, and The Picower Foundation Arts Education Center, which includes Persson Hall and The Khoury Family Dance Rehearsal Hall

The Cohen Pavilion is a grand, multipurpose facility with meeting and catering facilities, including the 10,500 square-foot Weiner Banquet Center and Gimelstob Ballroom with seating for more than 700 people, and The Picower Foundation Arts Education Center with the Helen K. Persson Hall, practice rooms, classrooms, lecture halls, theatre labs, a dance studio, and recording studio. These and many more amenities make this one of the most versatile and beautiful facilities in Palm Beach County.

I visited the Alexander W. Dreyfoos Jr. Concert Hall to see the performance of the musical Hamilton. We were staying across the street at the Hilton West Palm Beach, which made it very convenient to cross the street in my manual wheelchair and go up the theatre ramp entrance into the lobby.

Wheelchair-Friendly Cultural Attractions in The Palm Beaches, FL

We arrived an hour before the show to take a tour of the accessible features of the theater and the services provided to patrons with disabilities. Senior Director of Marketing and Public Relations Phala Murray led the tour. I found it easy to roll through the lobby and the ramps leading from one floor to another.

I was the first person allowed into the theatre before the performance. I was awestruck! The expansive number of seats, a giant stage, and beautiful lighting were overwhelming.

I requested to transfer to an aisle seat and was escorted by a trained staff member. The closest to the aisle armrest on the seat folded back, allowing me more clearance as I transferred from my wheelchair to the seat. A tag was placed on my wheelchair and I was given a claim ticket. My wheelchair was then parked adjacent to the aisle against the wall near my seat so that I could keep an eye on it.

During the intermission, I went to the single-person accessible restroom.

The Kravis Center is committed to providing accessible features and services to its patrons. The building was designed with accessibility in mind. The staff is dedicated to ensuring all patrons can fully enjoy their performances regardless of ability.

Kravis center for the performing arts

Accessibility Features:

  • Accessible customer service with trained staff are available to assist patrons and provide guidance
  • Complimentary wheelchairs are available to assist patrons on a first-come, first-served basis
  • The counter at the concession area accommodates people who are in wheelchairs or short-statured
  • Next to the concession area are low dining tables suitable for people in wheelchairs
  • Hard surface flooring and low pile carpet make it easy to roll on in a wheelchair
  • Ample lighting is available throughout the theatre before and after the performance
  • Accessible restrooms equipped with grab bars and ample space to accommodate patrons with mobility devices
  • Wheelchair-accessible ramps lead patrons from one level of the theater to another
  • Four elevators take patrons from one floor to another
  • Wide aisles throughout the theater make it easy to access seating
  • Wheelchair-accessible and companion seating is available on multiple floors
  • Selected seats on the aisle were designed for easy transfer from a wheelchair or scooter with armrests that swing away
  • Patrons who transfer from their wheelchair or scooter to an aisle seat will have their mobility devices stored against the wall near their seats
  • Patrons who transfer from their wheelchair or scooter to an aisle seat will have a claim ticket attached to their mobility device

Click here for a more detailed description of the Kravis Center accessibility features and special services.

Front building of the Kravis Center

Historic Walking Tour of Worth Avenue, Palm Beach

Address: Worth Avenue, Palm Beach, FL 33480

Phone Number: (561) 659-6909

If you are visiting Palm Beach on a Wednesday between October and April, I recommend you join the Historic Walking Tour of Worth Avenue. Rick Rose, the historical docent with colorful stories and an outfit to match, gave us inside information about the past and present of the area.

The Worth Avenue Area has shops, a hotel, restaurants, art galleries, and more. The streets are lined with luxury shopping, including men’s, women’s, and children’s apparel, jewelry, art, rare books, cigars, home furnishings, eyeglasses, linens, flowers, fashion accessories, shoes, and leather goods!

I was on my scooter and found it easy to navigate the wide sidewalks and cross the many streets in this area during the 75-minute leisurely tour. Frequently, I found myself at the head of the line so I could be closer to Rick Rose as he spoke.

Accessibility Features:

  • Wide sidewalks were easy to navigate in a wheelchair
  • Accessible curb cuts and crosswalks were clearly identified
  • Benches were present to allow people to rest on the tour
Wheelchair-Friendly Cultural Attractions in The Palm Beaches, FL

Henry M. Flagler Museum, Palm Beach

Address: One Whitehall Way, Palm Beach, FL 33480

Phone Number: (561) 655-2833

Located not too far from Worth Avenue, the Henry Morrison Flagler Museum is a one-of-a-kind mansion rich in history, beautiful architecture, art, and elaborate furnishings. The museum is a 75-room, 100,000-square-foot Gilded Age mansion. This home was completed in 1902. The private estate of a wealthy entrepreneur and cofounder of Standard Oil, Henry Flagler, named this mansion “Whitehall.”

On a recent visit, I rolled in my manual wheelchair from the accessible parking lot to the front gate and toured the museum.

My husband and I were led on a tour by David Carson, Public Affairs Director. We toured the museum’s first floor and the Flagler Kenan Pavilion, which houses Flagler’s Railcar No. 91.

Flagler's Railcar No. 91

Accessibility Features:

  • Accessible parking close to the entrance
  • Accessible exterior and interior ramps
  • Elevator
  • Wheelchair-accessible hallways, exhibitions, galleries and rooms
  • Hard surface flooring throughout
  • Wide doorways throughout
  • Ample room for navigation throughout in a mobility device
  • Wheelchair-accessible restrooms on the first floor of Whitehall and in the Flagler Kenan Pavilion
  • Self-directed audio guides (Telecoil enabled)
  • Sign Language Interpretations can be arranged by request
  • Braille and large print materials are available by request
  • Docent-led tours that utilize a group guide system for amplification and a smartphone app (Bluetooth enabled)
  • A closed caption video is playing outside of Railcar No. 91 as an alternative option for visitors who cannot safely climb steps
  • Service animals are welcome and must be on a leash

Visitors to Palm Beach and people who live in the area should not miss visiting the Flagler Museum. You can’t help but notice this magnificent mansion as you drive by and wonder what’s inside. From my experience on a tour of this museum, I learned the history of Henry Flagler and how he was the co-founder of Standard Oil and a pioneer in developing the state of Florida.

The interior design was breathtakingly beautiful, including the furniture, artwork, woodworking, and lighting. One can only imagine what it would’ve been like in the early 1900s when the Flagler family lived here.

Rosemarie at the Flagler Museum

Cultural Council for Palm Beach County, Lake Worth Beach

Address: The Robert M. Montgomery, Jr. Building, 601 Lake Avenue, Lake Worth Beach, FL 33460

Phone Number: (561) 471-2901

The Cultural Council for Palm Beach County serves as a visitors center and art gallery in Lake Worth Beach. My husband parked our car in an accessible parking lot across the street. In my manual wheelchair, navigating the sidewalk and ramp leading to the front door was easy.

The solo gallery is approximately 390 square feet and includes movable wall space. There were exhibits on display with information about the artists.

There is an extensive collection of information about the area and cultural programs. The gift shop displays items made by local artists.

This location is an excellent destination for travelers looking to find information about places to visit in Palm Beach County. Not only do they have marketing materials, but the staff at the center is very knowledgeable and can make suggestions for places to travel.

A bonus is your opportunity to see artworks by local artists on display in the galleries. Some of their artwork is available for sale in the gift shop.

Accessibility Features:

  • Accessible parking
  • Accessible ramp to the front door
  • Accessible gift shop
  • Accessible displays of information about Palm Beach County
  • Accessible art galleries
  • Accessible restroom had ample room to navigate in a wheelchair, grab bars, and a sink with knee space underneath
Rosemarie at the Cultural Council for Palm Beach County

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