The sparkling turquoise waters and sugar-white sand lure tourists to Boca Raton. This posh town, also known as Boca Rat-hone, is so clean you could eat right off the floor. Not that you would want to with so many award-winning restaurants available. This elite South Florida neighborhood is safe from rats, despite the name.
Boca’s visitors love to relax on its sandy beaches and swim in the Atlantic Ocean’s waters when they’re not shopping. Boca is a great place to take your family, or couples, on vacation. There are many things to do. Boca Raton is a great place to visit for families, with its lush trails and art museums as well as a science center for children.
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Gumbo Limbo Nature Center
Oh my! The Gumbo Limbo Nature Center is home to some of Florida’s most beautiful and natural assets, including the iguanas, sharks, and other marine animals. The Gumbo Limbo Nature Center in Boca Raton is the top tourist attraction. It is located at the northern end of Red Reef Park.
The sanctuary covers twenty acres and invites visitors to spend hours exploring its lush surroundings. You can kayak through the mangroves, or take a walk along the Boardwalk Trail, that is surrounded by tropical hardwood hammock. Keep an eye out for wildlife such as the red-bellied woodpecker and grey fox.
Visitors can enjoy the tranquil butterfly garden or admire the aquariums while at the center. Family-friendly activities include the turtle walk, hatchling release programs and aquarium feedings.
Insider’s tip – Don’t miss Florida Atlantic University’s Sea Turtle Rehabilitation Facility. The gallery houses a viewing gallery that allows guests to see scientists at work in their biology labs.
Address: 1801 North Ocean Blvd., Boca Raton, Florida
Official site: https://www.gumbolimbo.org/
Red Reef Park
This public beach park offers more than 67 acres of fun, sun and surf. You’ll find a nine-hole course that offers stunning views of the Intracoastal Waterway and Atlantic Ocean. The Gumbo Limbo Nature Center is located at the park’s northern tip.
South Inlet Park is less than half a mile from the hotel. It can be reached on foot in just minutes. You’ll be able to capture the iguanas while you wander around. It also boasts a jetty that is used for fishing and a playground.
You’ll find grassy areas with grills and picnic tables just off the parking lot. This is a great spot to take a break from the intense sun’s rays. Follow the beautiful, elevated boardwalk to reach the beach. Before you make your way to the beach, stop and admire the view from the top.
This is Boca’s best spot to snorkel. Don’t forget your snorkel and goggles. Next, head to the man-made coral reef just off the beach. This stunning site is home to a wealth of marine life. Talk about turtles, barracuda and occasionally eels.
You can enjoy the soft, sugary sand and the turquoise waters from the shore while you relax on the shore. You can find shade along the boardwalk that runs for miles or under one of the tall palms that line the shore.
Lifeguards are on duty at the park, which also has changing rooms and showers. It is easy to spend an entire day there. To reduce pollution, they also provide trash bags.
Insider’s tip – High tide is the best time of day to visit the ocean if you want to view the marine life close up. You can also save money by arriving early to grab a spot on the street that is metered.
Address: 1400 North Ocean Blvd., Boca Raton, Florida
Sugar Sand Park
Sugar Sand Park offers everything you need for a family-friendly day. Carousel? Check. Are there nature trails? Check. Playground? Yes, that’s it. Play hide-and-seek while avoiding sprinklers at the amazing, underwater-themed Science Playground. A giant face watches over your play as you go. It’s easy for you to find the secret spot because there are so many tunnels within these intricate climbing structures!
In the playground, race a cheetah (but it’s not real). There are two racing lanes set next to an interactive light exhibit. Pick the animal that you wish to race and then run as fast you can until the signal goes off. The speed of the animal is represented by the lights running beside you. Insider tip: Cheetahs can take longer to reach speed than you think. You might even win.
The Willow Theatre offers live entertainment and a workshop to make an electric car. There is even a gym and community center in the park. Sugar Sand Park is safe and fun for kids. It is a great place to take the family to Boca.
There are 132 acres of land to explore so you will want to spend some time here. Bring a picnic and plenty of sunscreen. You can plan your meals around the park’s pavilions and grills.
Address: 300 South Military Trail in Boca Raton (Florida).
Exploration of Science for Children
Children’s Science Explorium’s interactive exhibits are the best thing about it. Entrance is completely free! This fun and interactive museum is located in Sugar Sand Park. It’s a great place for families to get away from the heat. It’s air-conditioned and fun enough to entertain children without making them cry.
Families with children aged 5-12 are the Explorium’s target audience. The Explorium’s walls allow children to explore the world of physical science through interactive displays that encourage and reward curiosity. The museum hosts traveling exhibits approximately four times a year, during spring and autumn.
You’ll find the Sugar Sand Science Playground and a Carousel just outside the entrance.
Address: 300 South Military Trail in Boca Raton (Florida).
Daggerwing Nature Center
This nature center, named after the Ruddy Dggerwing butterfly is the ideal place to relax. The boardwalk winds through swampland, home to some of Florida’s most beautiful creatures. Here you can spot an alligator, see turtles laying on floating logs and even watch an osprey dive down to get its lunch.
The Daggerwing Nature Centre is located in western Boca Raton. It features an exhibit hall measuring 3,000 square feet that houses live animals, classrooms and interactive displays. A vibrant butterfly garden is also located at the center.
Insider’s tip – Exhibits close on Sundays, Mondays and Tuesdays. However, they are open from Wednesday to Friday, and all day Saturdays. Nature trails are open daily from sunrise to sunset.
Address: 11435 Park Access Road in Boca Raton (Florida).
Spanish River Park
Visitors to the tranquil and beautiful Spanish River Park are greeted by a beautiful beach. This sandy beach retreat is a true treasure. It offers everything you need, from picnic tables and pavilions to volleyball courts to a playground and zipline. There’s plenty of space on 95 acres.
You’ll want to get in on the Intracoastal Waterway’s turquoise waters. You can body surf, SUP, swim or even hop in a kayak for a day of open-water fun. You will want to see the vibrant marine life in the area so bring a snorkel and a mask. It is amazing to see the variety of fish close to shore.
Fido and you are traveling together? You can travel with Fido. Spanish River Park houses a dog park between the lifeguard towers 18- and 20. You can bring your dog to this park between 7 and 9 a.m. and 3 p.m. and sunset on Fridays and Sundays.
Address: 3001 North State Road A1A, Boca Raton, Florida
Official site: https://spanishriverpark.com/
Shop at Mizner Park
Mizner Park is a paradise for shoppers. The area’s center is surrounded by a grassy promenade and a fountain that bursts out of the triple-layered surface. This area is filled with shops selling everything, from diamond studs to dog sweaters.
Many restaurants have outdoor patios that allow you to enjoy the beautiful atmosphere and people-watching. Max’s Grille is a favorite bistro that offers vegan, gluten-free and vegetarian options as well as hearty meals.
This beautiful outdoor shopping center has everything you need, whether you are looking for designer clothes or comfortable sneakers.
The It Sugar is so colorful and sweet that kids will forget all about it. Moms and dads will prefer more upscale shops such as Lord & Taylor and J.McLaughlin.
Mizner Park is a great place to spend the day and night. You’ll find a movie theatre complex, an outdoor amphitheater and the Boca Raton Museum of Art.
Insider’s tip – Don’t miss the Artisans & Green Market which runs every Sunday from 11am-5pm. You’ll find freshest produce and local delights here. It is located at the southern end of Mizner Park.
Address: 327 Plaza Real, Boca Raton, Florida
Official site: https://www.miznerpark.com/en.html
Boca Raton Museum of Art
Boca Raton Museum of Art’s most impressive feature is its sculpture garden. There are many unique creations here, including giant teacups that tip over; large black cubes; and bunnies and foxes riding horses. It’s sure to entertain everyone.
After you’re done with the sculptures, go inside for an additional treat. The museum’s permanent exhibition, which features works by masters like Warhol, Matisse, Warhol and Degas, is located upstairs. Here you will also find pre-Columbian and classic African works.
The traveling shows are held downstairs and feature all types of work, from contemporary and modern pieces to photographs.
The museum is family-friendly and offers treasure hunts, sketchbooks, and special programs for children.
Insider’s tip – Follow a tour guide to get a closer look at the pieces displayed.
Address: 501 Plaza Real, Boca Raton, Florida
Official site: https://www.bocamuseum.org/
Hillsboro Inlet Lighthouse
The charming Hillsboro Inlet Lighthouse can be found halfway between Boca Raton and Fort Lauderdale at the northern end of the Hillsboro Inlet. This unique structure, unlike other lighthouses is made of iron. It was first operational in 1907. It was electrified by 1932, and then automated in 1974.
The Barefoot Mailman Statue is one of the interesting memorials at the lighthouse. It commemorates the lives and times of the letter carriers who walked barefoot along the 40-mile stretch of beach between Palm Beach, Miami, and Palm Beach. The lighthouse also has a plaque, fog bell, flagpole and plaque to honor those who have kept it lit for so many years. A small museum is also located on the grounds.
Insider’s tip – The State of Florida Lighthouse Day is held in April. Shuttle boats depart Sands Dock every hour between 9am and 3pm. Other tours are offered monthly. For more information, visit the website.
Address: Hillsboro Inlet Park A1A, 2700 North Ocean Boulevard Pompano Beach Florida
Official site: http://hillsborolighthouse.org/
Coconut Cove Waterpark
Do you want your children to love you forever? Or at least to appreciate you for a day? Take your kids to Coconut Cove Waterpark. Are you not a fan of sliding down slides? You can take a tube to slowly travel along the lazy river that runs 986 feet.
Younger children can enjoy a whole day at the water playground, while their older siblings race down slides and jump off of ropes. Couples can relax poolside and enjoy a snack at one of the concession stands.
You won’t be able to see everything in this park. However, you will want to stay as long and as possible. Insider’s tip – There isn’t much shade so make sure to apply lots of sunscreen and reapply.
Address: 20130 Regional Park Drive, Boca Raton, Florida
Official site: https://coconutcove-waterpark.com/
Sports Immortals Museum
This museum is a must-see for sports fans. You can find memorabilia from all sports teams, including the Yankees and Red Sox, Bulls as well as the Patriots and Colts.
This impressively large collection (a sign inside says they have “over one thousand mementos”) includes multiple sports like basketball, boxing and golf.
It is easy to spend hours looking at the most rare relics. Many of these items are available for purchase, making it even easier to save money. There are plenty of tokens for sports stars, from posters to cards to boxing uniforms.
Joel Platt is a huge sports fan and started his collection when he was a kid. The amazing result of this obsession is the museum. Insider’s tip – There are so many things to look through, you will want to take the time to see them all.
Address: 6830 North Federal Highway, Boca Raton, Florida
Official site: sportsimmortals.com/
Boca Raton History Museum
The Boca Raton History Museum is hard to miss. It sparkles in the Florida sun thanks to its golden dome. This iconic structure was built in 1927 and has been included on the National Register of Historic Places.
The museum, which is located in downtown Boca, houses this delicious exhibit. It is operated by the Boca Raton Historical Society and features exhibits that reflect the town’s rich past.
Insider’s tip – The museum is currently closed due to renovations, but will reopen in the new year. To schedule a guided tour, call ahead.
Address: 71 North Federal Highway, Boca Raton, Florida
Although it is not actually located in Boca this attraction is well worth the 10 mile trek to Coconut Creek. Enjoy the sight of a beautiful wing with a graphium-agamemnon or the vibrant archaeoprepona depona, while you are serenaded with classical music and trickling waterfalls.
There are over 20,000 species of birds and butterflies in the gardens and aviaries. You’ll see at least 12 beautiful butterflies no matter how you look. Visitors can feed the lorikeets and look at the loud macaws. They can also cool off in the Tropical Rainforest Aviary’s misty tunnel.
This attraction was opened by Ronald Boender, a butterfly enthusiast. Its primary goal is 1. To educate the public on butterflies and 2. To help the founder with his off-site research to save endangered species. To date, staff have collected over one million butterflies.
Insider’s tip – Admission can be quite expensive so search online for a discount before you go. Rainy weather can cause many aviaries to close, so make sure you go on a sunny day when they are ready for flight.
Address: 3600 W. Sample Road Coconut Creek, Florida
Official site: https://www.butterflyworld.com/
Morikami Museum and Japanese Gardens
Visit the Morikami Museum or Japanese Gardens if you want to relax in tranquility. This utopia is located less than 10 miles north of Boca (technically in Delray Beach). It boasts 16 acres worth of tranquil gardens.
Visitors can enjoy the beauty of nature by taking in its most stunning gifts: koi ponds and sparkling lakes, perfectly trimmed bonsai tree trees, and a sprawling 200 acre park. Walk across bridges that connect the tiny, unspoiled islands, including Turtle Island, wander through bamboo forests, and enjoy the sound of the waterfall at the end.
These beautiful gardens welcome you with their stunning Japanese designs, from the ninth to the 20 century. Photographers will love the Yamato-Kan museum. This beautiful Japanese villa is home to many interesting exhibits. It also houses a traditional teahouse as well as a lakeside cafe. For a refreshing treat, we recommend the delicious bubble tea.
Address: 400 Morikami Park Road Delray Beach, Florida
Official site: https://morikami.org