Best Things To Do in Boca Raton
As part of Florida's famed Palm Beaches, it's no surprise that Boca Raton is a paradise for outdoor enthusiasts. Top sights include Red Reef Park – home to the Gumbo Limbo Nature Center – Spanish River Park and Sugar Sand Park. Meanwhile, shoppers and cultural aficionados will love strolling through Mizner Park, a tropical oasis that is home to the Boca Raton Museum of Art and a bevy of designer shops and trendy restaurants, as well as an outdoor amphitheater. When you need a break from the Florida heat and humidity, catch a show at the Wick Theatre or indulge in some retail therapy at the Town Center.
Updated October 5, 2016
- #1View all PhotosfreeMizner Park#1 in Boca RatonParks and Gardens, FreeTYPE1 to 2 hoursTIME TO SPENDParks and Gardens, FreeTYPE1 to 2 hoursTIME TO SPEND
One of the landmarks in Boca Raton and the primary community gathering place, Mizner Park was designed by architect Addison Mizner and reflects his love of Mediterranean architecture. This centrally located park is home to the Boca Raton Museum of Art, an outdoor amphitheater, a movie theater complex, and a wide variety of high-end department stores, designer boutiques and eateries.
Recent visitors loved the tropical garden vibe of this multiuse entertainment area, saying it's a "must-see" and perfect for strolling. Meanwhile, locals appreciate that parking and select events (such as summer concerts) are free, noting that it's a highlight for out-of-towners.
- #2View all Photos#2 in Boca RatonRecreation, Sightseeing, FreeTYPE2 hours to Half DayTIME TO SPENDRecreation, Sightseeing, FreeTYPE2 hours to Half DayTIME TO SPEND
This nature center, located at the north end of the boardwalk in Red Reef Park, offers a unique look at the wildlife and natural marine environment of the region. A variety of programs led by naturalists are available for both children and adults, including the popular turtle walk and hatchling release program. Visitors can watch aquarium feedings, hike nature trails or catch a glimpse of local wildlife and indigenous plants on the scenic boardwalk. Florida Atlantic University also operates a sea turtle research and rehabilitation facility here.
Recent visitors – many of them regulars – loved the scenic boardwalk, the aquarium, the beach area and the nature trails, saying this park offers a great way for kids to connect with native Florida marine life. Some recommended visiting the large tanks when a feeding is taking place, while others enjoyed kayaking through the mangroves. Many recent guests advised visiting during the cooler months, as most of the attractions are outdoors and not as enjoyable during the hot and humid summer season.
- #3View all PhotosfreeSugar Sand Park#3 in Boca RatonParks and Gardens, FreeTYPE2 hours to Half DayTIME TO SPENDParks and Gardens, FreeTYPE2 hours to Half DayTIME TO SPEND
The 132-acre Sugar Sand Park is a family favorite, featuring an array of amenities for both children and adults. Little ones can burn off some energy at the playground, water park, carousel or interactive Children's Science Explorium, while adults enjoy the athletic courts, full gym and nature trails. The entire family will enjoy shows at the Willow Theatre and extensive picnic facilities.
Recent visitors to Sugar Sand Park said it's "phenomenal" for all ages, with some even calling it the best park in Boca Raton. Travelers loved the water park, sand box and carousel for young children and the hands-on science center and shows at the theater for older kids and teens.
- #4View all PhotosfreeRed Reef Park#4 in Boca RatonParks and Gardens, Recreation, FreeTYPEHalf Day to Full DayTIME TO SPENDParks and Gardens, Recreation, FreeTYPEHalf Day to Full DayTIME TO SPEND
The oceanfront Red Reef Park occupies 67 acres on one of Florida's most scenic highways, State Road A1A. In addition to swimming, snorkeling and surf fishing, the park also offers the Red Reef Executive Golf Course and the Gumbo Limbo Nature Center, as well as extensive picnic facilities.
Almost all reviewers agreed the easy swim to the reef, great snorkeling and beautiful shoreline are worth the trip, calling Red Reef "one of the best kept secrets" in Boca Raton. Those traveling with kids appreciated that youngsters can view colorful parrotfish near the shore or search for sharks' teeth. Another highlight for parents: Lifeguards patrol the beach year-round from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
- #5View all Photos#5 in Boca RatonParks and Gardens, Recreation, Swimming/Pools, FreeTYPE2 hours to Half DayTIME TO SPENDParks and Gardens, Recreation, Swimming/Pools, FreeTYPE2 hours to Half DayTIME TO SPEND
Spanish River Park, also known as "Boca Raton's Lagoon," is named for a stream that once flowed along the western side of the park. The river is now considered to part of the Intracoastal Waterway. Although you can't swim in the lagoon or waterway, there is access to the Atlantic beach and lifeguards are on duty during the day. The park also offers several nature trails and a picnic area with grills, tables and restrooms. Fishing is also permitted with a license.
Recent visitors loved the picnic areas, playground, scenic nature trails and the clean beach, accessible by a tunnel under Highway A1A. Many reviewers commented on the lack of crowds and unspoiled natural beauty.
- #6View all PhotosfreeSouth Inlet Park#6 in Boca RatonBeaches, Parks and Gardens, Recreation, FreeTYPE1 to 2 hoursTIME TO SPENDBeaches, Parks and Gardens, Recreation, FreeTYPE1 to 2 hoursTIME TO SPEND
South Inlet Park is an off-the-beaten-path local favorite. The quiet inlet is rarely crowded and offers peaceful fishing from the shore or jetty, a lovely beach, restrooms and outdoor showers, as well as a small picnic area.
Recent travelers called it a great little secret place for fishing, swimming and snorkeling and said it's a beautiful spot to watch the sunset. Many preferred this stretch of sand to their hotel pool thanks to the peaceful atmosphere.
- #7View all Photos#7 in Boca RatonEntertainment and Nightlife, Museums, ToursTYPE2 hours to Half DayTIME TO SPENDEntertainment and Nightlife, Museums, ToursTYPE2 hours to Half DayTIME TO SPEND
In 2013, Marilynn A. Wick purchased a defunct theater to house her huge collection of Broadway costumes. Not wanting the 333-seat auditorium to go to waste, she also founded a resident theater company. Additionally, she created the Tavern Room, a restaurant that pays homage to New York City's famous Tavern on the Green and sports the amber and crystal chandelier that once hung in its foyer, as well as some of its china and crystal. Visitors can enjoy a tour of the costume museum followed by lunch, or grab dinner before a show.
Recent visitors raved about this hometown theater, from the quality of the performances to the tasty dishes at the Tavern Room. Almost all reviewers agreed that both the food and the quality of the stage productions were excellent.
- #8View all Photos#8 in Boca RatonMuseumsTYPE1 to 2 hoursTIME TO SPENDMuseumsTYPE1 to 2 hoursTIME TO SPEND
Located in Mizner Park, the Boca Raton Musuem of Art features more than 4,500 works. Permanent collections include African and Pre-Columbian art, 19th- and 20th-century European and American paintings, drawings and sculptures, and a stunning photography collection that includes more than 1,500 images.
Recent visitors said the museum offers a nice reprieve from the Florida heat and called the photography collection "first-class." Travelers recommended visiting on the first Sunday of the month, when the museum offers free admission. Reviewers also suggested strolling through the park or grabbing a bite at one of the many restaurants before or after your visit.
- #9View all Photos#9 in Boca RatonShopping, FreeTYPE1 to 2 hoursTIME TO SPENDShopping, FreeTYPE1 to 2 hoursTIME TO SPEND
The Town Center at Boca Raton is a fashionista's paradise, offering a mix of designer boutiques and upscale department stores, including Neiman Marcus, Saks Fifth Avenue, Nordstrom and Bloomingdale's. Browse the glittering offerings at Tiffany & Co. and Cartier or take a shopping break at one of several on-site restaurants.
While recent visitors touted the array of options at the food court and the fun of window-shopping in the high-end designer stores, many noted this mall is not for those on a budget. People who love to shop, on the other hand, loved the sheer volume of designer merchandise and dining outlets.
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