Boca Raton is the most southern of Palm Beach County’s cities and was incorporated in the early ’20s.
As one of the state’s world-famous Palm Beaches, it’s a big draw for tourists looking to soak up the sun, surf, and sand for which the state is famous.
Boca Raton is also one of the country’s oldest continually inhabited settlements and is home to Florida Atlantic University as well.
The weather in Boca is nearly perfect for much of the year, and though the state is known for its humidity, it’s often overpowered by sea breezes, making it a year-round wonderland.
Below are 15 things to do in and around Boca Raton.
1. Boca Raton Museum of Art
Considered one of the state’s premier artistic and cultural attractions, Boca Raton Museum of Art features a variety of permanent and temporary exhibits in a wide range of mediums that were created by artists all over the world over many centuries.
The museum also offers instructional and educational programs and workshops; many guests choose to take advantage of their guided tours, which are a great bang for the buck and provide a unique insight into the works that may be missed if you see things on your own.
The permanent collection includes one of a kind works by Degas, Picasso, and Andy Warhol.
2. Gumbo Limbo Nature Center
Comprised of nearly 20 acres of preserved coastal ecosystem, the Gumbo Limbo Nature Center may have a funny name, but it’s a fun and educational destination that shouldn’t be missed.
The center’s main attractions include an elevated boardwalk, butterfly garden, and a sea turtle rehab center that’s staffed by students and faculty from nearby Florida Atlantic University.
Considering all there is to see and do, visitors should plan on spending between two and three hours – worrying about the little ones getting bored won’t be a concern.
Admission is free, though donations of at least $5 per person are encouraged. The center is located on Ocean Boulevard in Boca Raton.
3. Boca Raton Historical Society and Museum
With a fascinating history that dates back hundreds of years, Boca Raton isn’t just beaches and surf. For those who’d like to delve into its past, there’s no better place to do it than the Boca Raton Historical Society and Museum.
Located in the city’s town hall, it is easily recognized by its iconic gold dome.
The museum features a number of permanent exhibits and a small gift shop that’s full of things you may not find elsewhere.
The historical society offers seasonal tours to local points of interest, so check out their website for directions, hours and schedules.
4. Florida Atlantic University Galleries
Since they were established in the early ’80s, Florida Atlantic University Galleries have become some of the region’s most complete repositories of contemporary art in a variety of eye-catching mediums.
Artists from around the world are represented, which gives the museum a decidedly international flair that’s often missing in other galleries.
The museum is free to visit and open to the public. In addition to their exhibits, they offer a variety of art-related activities, including educational and instructional programs, guest speakers, and poetry readings.
The galleries are located on FAU’s campus, and the main entrance is on Glades Road in Boca Raton.
5. Osprey Point Golf Course
In 2014, Osprey Point Golf Course was chosen as South Florida’s best public golf course.
It’s pretty impressive considering the overwhelming number of golf courses in the area, and especially since it’s only been open since 2010.
The course incorporates many natural elements like native plants and trees that keep its environmental impact to a minimum while making it beautiful and challenging.
In addition to its fantastic 18-hole course, the staff offer a variety of instructional options that are appropriate for players of nearly all ages and skill levels.
Tee times fill up quickly year-round, so plan ahead and reserve yours before making a special trip.
6. Barrel of Monks Brewing
Located on South Rogers Circle in Boca Raton, Barrel of Monks Brewing is one of South Florida’s most popular microbreweries. Most of their products are inspired by traditional Belgian beers that have remained largely unchanged for centuries.
In many ways, it’s the best of both worlds — modern techniques and equipment combined with traditional ingredients and recipes.
Many Belgian-style beers are known for their strength and complex flavors. If it all seems overwhelming, fear not; their staff is there to help, and trying small samples of several varieties is the best way to figure out what you like without drinking enough to fall asleep in the bathroom.
7. Boca Raton Helicopters (Southern Helicopters)
With endless miles of white beaches, ocean views spanning to the horizon, and some of the country’s most vibrant cities, there’s really no better way to see amazing south Florida than by air.
Boca Raton Helicopters serves Boca Raton, Palm Beach, and Miami-Dade County, and specializes in flight training, airborne photography, and tours.
Considering how expensive it is to operate aircraft, their rates are surprisingly reasonable, and with a variety of tour options, there should be something to suit most budgets and interests.
Their aircraft and staff meet or exceed all FAA regulations, and safety is their number one priority.
8. Mizner Park Cultural Arts Center
Named after one of the city’s founders, Mizner Park Cultural Arts Center is a unique mix of art gallery, shopping mall, and trendy eatery, all combined into one convenient locale.
Considered the heart of Boca by many locals, the area around Plaza Real has plenty of on-street parking and really comes to life in the afternoon and evening, when revelers emerge to sip cool drinks and listen to live music.
A few of the most popular bars are The Dubliner and Yard House, both known for their huge selection of high-quality beers and yummy food.
The area gets especially festive during the holiday season.
9. The Wick Theatre and Costume Museum
Comprised of costumes and related paraphernalia from dozens of on-Broadway shows, the Wick Theatre and Costume Museum is a truly unique venue that’s worth an hour of your time, especially if you’re interested in theatre.
The value of the museum’s pieces are estimated to be nearly twenty million dollars, and the best way to see them is by a guided tour.
The quaint and historic theatre still offers live shows as well, and their onsite restaurant called The Tavern Room is known for its tasty fare and elegant appointments.
The theatre and museum are located on North Federal Way in Boca Raton.
10. Red Reef Park
Boca Raton’s Red Reef Park is located on North Ocean Boulevard and is a perfectly secluded hideaway for those looking for a few quiet hours with Mother Nature away from pesky crowds of tourists.
A particular favorite of bird-watchers, its heavily treed areas are home to a wide variety of native species.
The park includes well-marked trails, and at the south end, there’s access to a beautiful beach which is a favorite of paddle-boarders, surf fishermen, and swimmers.
The park features picnic areas, barbecue grills, and restrooms. There are even showers which are convenient for washing away the salt and sand after a few hours lounging by the sea.
11. Sugar Sand Park
One of the most child and family-friendly of all South Florida’s destinations, the Children’s Science Explorium at Sugar Sand Park deserves a coveted spot on the itinerary of those traveling with little ones.
The park’s activities and exhibits focus on the fascinating world of science and encourage children to roll up their sleeves and get active, not stand at a distance and look.
Featuring two popular outdoor trails, the Sand Pine and Slash Pine trails are appropriate for most ages and lead visitors through interesting wild landscapes.
Sugar Sand Park is located on South Military Trail Road, and the cost of admission won’t break the bank.
12. Brazilian Beat Boca
With its prominent Latin and Cuban influences, south Florida is a wonderful mix of cultures, music, and food that’s considered one of the most vibrant in the state.
Brazilian Beat Boca is held at Mizner Park and is in its 7th year as an annual celebration. Highlighting Brazilian culture, it includes art, dance, music, and a huge variety of tasty South American treats.
Whether you want to get out on the dance floor and strut your stuff or just relax with a cold beer and watch it all from a safe distance, you’ll have a great time at the event. Admission is free and it takes place at Boca’s Plaza Real.
13. Spanish River Park
Open daily from 8 AM to sunset, Spanish River Park is known to the locals as the Boca Lagoon and is part of the state’s Intracoastal Waterway.
The park offers beach access that’s staffed with lifeguards and includes picnic areas, barbecue grills, and plenty of restrooms.
Admission is free, but there’s a relatively hefty parking fee that is slightly more expensive on weekends; it’s a flat rate for the vehicle only.
Fishing, swimming, and hiking are the park’s main activities, but the trails are open to bikers as well.
The park is often less crowded than other nearby beaches, so check it out.
14. Wakodahatchee Wetlands
Located in nearby Boynton Beach, Wakodahatchee Wetlands is free to visit and features tons of unspoiled wetlands that are home to a large variety of plants and animals.
The wetlands are viewable from an elevated walkway that runs around the perimeter. It’s not uncommon to see turtles, snakes, frogs, and an impressive variety of predatory and wading birds that call the area home.
Due to the natural swampy environment, it’s best to slather on a healthy dollop of insect repellant before heading out.
It can also get unbearably hot in the sun, so consider packing a hat, sunglasses, and a few bottles of water.
15. Daggerwing Nature Center
Located within the Burt Aaronson South County Regional Park, the Daggerwing Nature Center includes a huge exhibit hall full of a variety of live animals and interactive exhibits and activities that were designed with inquisitive children in mind.
In addition to its modern facilities, the center offers two outdoor trails that run along an elevated boardwalk leading through the mystical and primeval cypress swamps.
It’s pretty common to see alligators, woodpeckers, frogs, snakes, and a variety of wading birds hunting in the shallow water.
There are plenty of seating areas both in and outside that are the perfect places to relax after walking through the glades.