Best Attractions & Activities
With all of the things to do and see in a city, deciding how to spend your time can be quite an agonizing decision. 10best has narrowed all of the available attractions in Boca Raton to a list of the most appealing and reputable, to aide in your decision making. You can rest easy knowing that any choice you make from our list is sure to please.
10 Deer Creek Golf Club
Don't let the spiffy design and country club airs keep you away -- this topnotch course just so happens to be open to the general public. One of South Florida's most highly reviewed courses, Deer Creek has hosted a USGA Senior tournament (2003) as well as the LPGA Tour's Mazda Classic (1979-84). The course, which was designed by Arthur Hills, is known for its rolling fairways (a rarity in the Sunshine State) and greens that feature TifEagle Ultradwarf Bermuda grass. (954-421-5550)
9 Morikami Museum and Japanese Gardens
In the early 20th century, a group of Japanese immigrants came to Florida to institute an agricultural community. It didn't succeed, but one of its members, George Morikami, donated 200 acres to honor the effort and his native country. Today, that initial gift has blossomed into an entire cultural complex that features exhibitions on Japanese culture and traditions. A chronicle of the intended farming community can be traced, and visitors may also view artwork, bonsai, domestic artifacts, and crafts. Also on the grounds are a theater, a library, a multi-media center, an authentic tea house, a shop, cafe, and amazing gardens and water features. Classes in traditional crafts and ceremonies are also available. (561-495-0233)
8 Delray Municipal Beach
The beach at Delray is busy and well-frequented by people of all ages and persuasions. You'll see families on vacation, young people playing volleyball, and older folks basking in the warm sun. Parking is available nearby, as is a good supply of restaurants and eateries to take care of hunger pangs that inevitably spring up. The waters are ideal for swimming, and lifeguards posted along the shore guarantee that everyone is protected and safe. A good hang-out year-round.
7 Boca Raton Museum of Art
The beginnings of this fine museum date back to the 1940s, when a group of culturally-minded residents united their efforts to increase Boca's arts presence. More than 60 years later, the museum resides in an incredible facility in Mizner Park and boasts more than 4000 works in its permanent collection. Modern European and American pieces are prominent, along with pre-Columbian Mesoamerican art, Oceanic items, and western African tribal art. A ceramics collection, an outdoor sculpture garden, and impressive photography holdings are also available to visitors. A gift shop and changing exhibitions can be found as well. (561-392-2500)
6 Gumbo Limbo Environmental Complex
A mission to spread awareness of the natural world and of Florida's environmental concerns defines this center. Named for a local tree, the facility occupies 20 acres along the coast and preserves the landscape for visitors and native wildlife. An elevated boardwalk and a viewing tower provide vistas of the terrain, and the museum boasts educational displays and live creatures. Outdoor saltwater tanks house ocean-dwelling animals and allow folks to examine them close-up. (561-338-1473)
5 Spanish River Park
One of the area's largest parks, Spanish River guarantees plenty of room to spread out and enough diversions to please any visitor. Swimming in the ocean and sunbathing on the beach satisfy plenty of folks, and picnic tables and grills make outdoor dining a no-brainer. If you're the more active type, biking paths and nature trails offer the opportunity for exertion, and pick-up volleyball games are frequent occurrences. Other Spanish River perks include an observation tower and restrooms. (561-393-7815)
4 Boca Raton Resort and Club
Premiering in 1926, this elegant complex was architect Addison Mizner's initial step in establishing Boca Raton as a first-class resort. Intended to resemble a Mediterranean castle, the hotel was known as the Cloister Inn and operated as a private club and as WWII military barracks in succeeding years. Currently, the enterprise is one of the most desirable resorts in the nation and is an upscale destination for well-heeled visitors to the area. The palatial pink landmark features two golf courses, a private beach, tennis courts, a marina, Spa Palazzo and a selection of top-notch restaurants -- just to name a few of its amenities. (888-491-2622, 561-447-3000)
3 South Beach Park
A popular beach that doesn't always get the traffic more developed beaches do, South Beach offers a lovely, lifeguard-patrolled coastline. Swimming attracts most folks, but you'll find opportunity for snorkeling as well.
2 Boca Raton Old Town Hall
This charming structure, originally designed by Boca Raton's visionary architect, Addison Mizner, is a city landmark, especially given its prominent gold dome. Although Mizner's money ran out before he was able to construct the building, William Alsmeyer, another architect, revised the plans and finished the project. These days, the building is a repository of Boca's history, and it shelters a museum with displays about the city's cultural and architectural past. (561-395-6766)
1 Loxahatchee National Wildlife Refuge
Although many people are familiar with the southern Everglades (the wildlife and nature preserve southwest of Miami), not many realize that there's also a northern aspect to the preserve. This refuge represents the much-diminished northern Everglades, complete with wet prairies, sawgrass marshes, and swamps. Part of the refuge's function is to shelter wildlife, particularly birds, but it also works to maintain water levels for irrigation and emergency needs. In addition, it helps to prevent seawater from encroaching into freshwater reserves. A visitors' center, walking trails, observation platform, and canoe trails are available for education and recreation. (561-732-3684)