Society of the Four Arts offers public gardens that are a tropical wonderland of palms, ferns, bromeliads, fountains, sculptures, rocks, ironwork gates, and pergolas, with the delightful scent of flowers filling the air. It takes about an hour to truly enjoy this lush and blessed place, taking your time to look at the textures of the leaves and palm trunks, smell the flowers on vines hanging from the pergolas, contemplate the sculptures, and touch the soft petals of the white hibiscus flowers. Some of the sculptures are very unique, from Mexican and American artists. featuring huge bowls of pears and apples, or young nudes, or mothers with children.
There is a Chinese garden through a gate with red doors where a lovely sculpture of a Kwan Yin, a Chinese goddess of mercy who protects mothers and children offers a place to pause and reflect on the sacredness of family life. It is said that when she was about to enter Nirvana, she heard the suffering cries of mankind and turned back to Earth to aid the needy. She is saturated in serenity. Say a prayer to her and she will help you. She helped me.
A tropical area packed with palms, bromeliads, large-leafed plants, and exotic flowers is pure perfection! If filling up on beauty makes you happy, come here!
On the south end of the property, the King Library, in a sumptuous yet cozy setting, offers books and magazines you can browse on nice chairs, plus unique collections, such as Mizner's personal book collection. There are restrooms here.
Across the street, the Children's Library has storytimes on various weekday mornings and afternoons (see link to schedule below).
There are special art exhibits in the O'Keeffe Building.
There are excellent concerts, documentaries, and lectures in Gubelmann Auditorium, especially in winter season when the snow birds return. See the Four Arts tickets website for upcoming events. The concert hall is a bit musty, so avoid if you have allergies.
Walk south across the plaza filled with carriages to the S. Lake Trail, a peaceful walkway and bike path along the intercoastal waterway. You can walk a short distance to regal Flagler Museum/Mansion.
Another lovely garden nearby is the garden behind Bethesda by the Sea Church. You can walk the side streets north of the Four Arts Garden, zig zagging between the intracoastal and the ocean, until you get to the church. The best streets to see from south to north are: Seaspray Ave, Seabreeze Ave (my favorite), Clarke Ave, and Barton Ave, where the church is located. Enjoy the palm trees overhead, the hibiscus and bougainvillea flowers, and gorgeous details everywhere, like statues and sweet street number plates.
If you're hungry, drive north on Cocoanut Row past Royal Poinciana Way and turn right on Sunset Ave. Get a treat from one of the cafes or stores on Royal Poinciana Way, such as Sprinkles Ice Cream or Main Street Coffee.
Exit Highway 95 at Okeechobee Blvd and follow it toward the ocean. You will cross two bridges and then turn left on Cocoanut Row. You can park along the road here for free and then walk across Cocoanut Row to the Society of the Four Arts entrance gate that leads into the gardens.
Society of the Four Arts, 2 Four Arts Plaza, Palm Beach, FL 33480, call (561) 655-7227.
Gardens open Mon-Sun 10-5.
Children's library open Mon-Fri (Sept-July) 10-4:45, Sat (Nov-Apr) 10-12:45. Storytimes for kids on certain weekday mornings and afternoons; click here for link to the current newsletter (bottom of the page) that has the schedule.
There are excellent concerts and lectures in Gubelmann Hall, especially in winter season when the snow birds return. See the Four Arts tickets website.
Last Updated: Thu, 01 Dec 2022 17:23:47 GMT