The next time you find yourself dreaming about a summer vacation to South Florida, be sure to book a flight to the town of Boca Raton. This charming coastal town truly offers everything you could want!
In Boca Raton, you’ll find warm sandy beaches, excellent surf, fine dining and shopping opportunities, and fun entertainment districts for people of all ages to enjoy.
Spend your days sunbathing in the sand, surfing great waves, and snorkeling the best reef in Florida at Red Reef Park. Take the kids to Sugar Sand Park for an innovative and interactive educational experience, or head out to Coconut Cove Waterpark for a full day of adventure. If you love luxury shopping and fine dining, you’ll want to add Mizner Park to your itinerary.
No matter what you enjoy doing, there’s something for everyone in Boca Raton. Here are 15 things to do in Boca Raton that guarantee you’ll have an amazing visit.
MORIKAMI MUSEUM AND JAPANESE GARDENS
You’ll feel like you took a quick vacation to Japan when visiting the Morikami Museum and Japanese Gardens in Boca Raton. This museum and garden facility is the perfect cultural hub for all things Japanese, meant to educate and inspire the community.
The location features a museum, gallery, stunning Japanese garden, and a unique gift shop. It also has a really great restaurant with delicious drinks and reasonable prices.
Plan to spend at least a few hours strolling around the garden admiring the iconic waterfalls, watching the flowers blossom, and enjoying the peaceful atmosphere.
The museum hosts many events and workshops throughout the year and has a great membership program, so be sure to check their website to see what they have going on when you’re in town.
GUMBO LIMBO NATURE CENTER
The Gumbo Limbo Nature Center, formally known as the Gumbo Limbo Environmental Complex, is a 20-acre protected barrier island that provides both recreational and educational opportunities. It features views of the Atlantic Ocean and intracoastal waterway, and is part of Red Reef Park, a man-made beachfront to the intracoastal reef. I highly recommend spending a day visiting both places during your trip to Boca Raton!
The Gumbo Limbo Nature Center is most well known for its leading involvement in conservation efforts of south Florida’s sea turtles. They have a research center for Florida Atlantic University’s Department of Biological Sciences, which focuses on sea turtle behavior, while the rehabilitation facility responds to emergency calls in the area and works to care for injured or sick sea turtles and nurse them back to health.
I highly recommend visiting Gumbo Limbo Nature Center to enjoy the beautiful Atlantic views, learn more about sea turtles, and check out the nearby reef.
For a fun adventure that everyone in the family will love, check out Butterfly World at Tradewinds Park in Coconut Creek! Built in 1988, it was the first park of its kind and — housing over 20,000 live butterflies and other exotic birds — is the largest butterfly house in the world.
Aside from butterflies, the park also features tropical indoor gardens, six open-air aviaries, and a world-renowned maze of passion flower vines. Stop by for the day to admire the flowering gardens, visit the bug zoo, or hand-feed lorikeets.
No matter what you do at Butterfly World, you’re sure to see some beautiful scenery both on the ground and in the sky.
BOCA RATON MUSEUM OF ART
The Boca Raton Museum of Art was established in 1950 by artists, for artists. Throughout the past seven decades, this museum has been dedicated to providing cultural and artistic experiences throughout the community and for all who attend.
The museum is located in Mizner Park, and features both permanent and traveling exhibits that showcase different works of art from around the world, while still making sure the local Boca creativity shines through. If you’re looking for a fun way to spend the afternoon, you can take a look at the different exhibits yourself, schedule a guided tour, attend an event, or take an art class.
The museum has an excellent art school that offers programs both in person and online for painting, photography, ceramics, 3D design, jewelry classes, and more. Visit their website to see what they have going on and plan your visit!
SPANISH RIVER PARK
Covering nearly 95 acres of oceanfront beaches, nature trails, and intracoastal waterway, Spanish River Park is one of the largest parks in South Florida, and it is packed full of activities for everyone to enjoy!
For a well-deserved, relaxing day of vacation, go fishing or birdwatching in the Intracoastal Waterway or head to the beach for a day of sunbathing, swimming, and grilling out. If you’re looking for something active to do, bring your bike (or rent one), and go for a bike ride around the trails. The bike baths are really cool, so I’d highly recommend checking them out if you can!
The park offers volleyball courts too, so you can play a game with friends. No matter what you do in Spanish River Park, you’re sure to have a good time.
HILLSBORO INLET LIGHTHOUSE
Located halfway between Boca Raton and Fort Lauderdale, the Hillsboro Inlet Lighthouse is located on the northern side of the Hillsboro Inlet, where the Florida Reef ends.
The lighthouse has a really neat history. It was built in 1903 after 17 yearly requests were made and rejected. This is surprising, as Hillsboro Point was hazardous for safe navigation by boat beforehand. Over the years since its construction, lightkeepers have kept the area safe from shipwrecks, fires, World War II invasions, and more.
Nowadays, the lighthouse runs fully automatic and the keepers quarters have become recreational quarters. It is surrounded by water on three sides and is being threatened by coastal erosion, so tours are available a few times a year through the preservation society.
I highly recommend planning a visit during your trip to admire the lighthouse, views of the Atlantic Ocean, and nearby reef.
RED REEF PARK
For Boca’s best snorkeling and many other ways to spend a fun afternoon, head over to Red Reef Park! It is an especially popular snorkeling destination, as the reef was man-made, so it’s located right off the beach and is easily accessible for swimmers of all levels. Not only do you get to see some incredible coral, you’ll also run into many other sea plants and fish along the way.
When you’re not snorkeling, Red Reef Park is truly just a nice place to visit. The beaches are white and sandy, the water is crystal clear, and the scenery is absolutely outstanding! You can even go surf-fishing in some areas.
If you enjoy golfing, you must plan to spend a day at the Red Reef Park Executive Golf Course. Not only does it have a flawless design and outstanding service, the scenery is worth the visit alone.
Even if you only have one day in Boca Raton, you should carve out some time to spend at Red Reef Park. A visit here is one of the best things to do in Boca Raton.
SOUTH INLET PARK
If you’re looking for a more relaxed, off the beaten path place to spend a few hours, head over to South Inlet Park. They have a pretty good sized beach with crystal clear water, a boardwalk, a picnic area, and some grassy areas to lay and hammock or read or just admire the views. The park is also known as a great place to spot iguanas.
Make a quick visit for sunset or sunrise, or spend the day relaxing at the beach and BBQ-ing with friends or family!
SUGAR SAND PARK
If you have kids, spending a day at Sugar Sand Park is a must! It is home to the Children’s Science Explorium, the Willow Theatre, and The Field House.
Learn all about the physical sciences through interactive, hands-on exhibits at the Children’s Science Museum. Visit the Willow Theatre for a unique, up close and personal theatre experience.
If you’re a sports lover and are looking to get active, head over to The Field House. The Field House is a giant sports complex with a hockey rink, baseball fields, basketball courts, volleyball courts, and more. They run classes and activities throughout the day and also offer open gym times. Sign the kids up for a basketball tournament or play a game with the family.
No matter what you do in Sugar Sand Park, you’re sure to have a fun-filled, active day!
Whether you’re looking for the perfect date night option, a fun night out on the town, or a nice dinner with the family, head over to Mizner Park. Mizner Park is a high end shopping mall in Boca Raton, but it offers way more than just shopping.
This Mediterranean-style entertainment center features many world-class dining options, and it is home to the Mizner Park Amphitheater and the Boca Raton Museum of Art. Stop by the art gallery to admire local works of art and have lunch or take an art class. In the evening, grab dinner and drinks or check out a show at the Amphitheater.
Mizner Park is a pretty big cultural hub in Boca Raton, and you’ll find yourself visiting many times, even if you only have a day or two in the area.
THE WICK THEATRE AND COSTUME MUSEUM
If you love Broadway musicals, you must make a visit to The Wick Theatre and Costume Museum. When Broadway costumes leave the theatre, that’s often where they go.
This museum houses some of the most iconic original costumes from over 35 different Broadway productions. Altogether, the costumes here are worth about $20 million dollars. And you can see them all for just a few bucks!
They put on some pretty amazing productions over at The Wick Theatre, so I highly recommend attending a performance and checking out the Costume Museum while you’re in town!
DAGGERWING NATURE CENTER
Daggerwing Nature Center, located in the beautiful Burt Aaronson South County Regional Park in western Boca Raton, is a world of its own. Here you can experience a 3000 square foot exhibit hall, including live animals, exhibits, an art gallery, a reading area and a butterfly garden.
An elevated boardwalk includes two nature trails and meanders through 40 acres of seasonal swamp habitat. From an observation tower you can experience abundant plant and animal life including butterflies, birds, alligators and a wide variety of tropical plants.
Of course, be sure to look for the Ruddy Daggerwing Butterfly while visiting his home! General park hours are daily from sunrise to sunset. Be sure to visit while you are in Boca Raton.
THE BOCA RATON HISTORICAL SOCIETY & MUSEUM
When visiting any city, getting to know its history always makes the experience more meaningful. Visit the Boca Raton Historical Society and The Schmidt Boca Raton History Museum in the historic town hall to learn about all the sights you’re about to see on your trip to South Florida.
They have different rotating exhibits, offer guided tours of the town hall, and operate the Boca Express Train Museum. They also run a lot of fun events throughout the year, such as an annual food and wine festival. Be sure to plan a couple of hours at the beginning of your trip to stop by and learn all about Boca Raton!
If you’ve never attended a game at Florida Atlantic University’s FAU Stadium, you need to! Each year, they host the Boca Raton Bowl, a big college football event.
This is a unique stadium for many reasons. It cost $70 million to build and was the first building in the university’s Innovation Village, a multipurpose area for students and athletes. Not only is it a unique stadium by build, it is also the only one in the United States to offer views of the Atlantic Ocean from its highest seats and press box.
Plan a visit for a game, or stop by while you’re in town!
COCONUT COVE WATERPARK
More than an ordinary water park, Coconut Cove is a tropical oasis for the whole family. This is a seasonal attraction with varied hours, so be sure to check the details before you go.
Boasting two 4-story water slides, a 986 foot water ride, and a Lily Pad Walk, in addition to the usual pools and a playground, you won’t be disappointed with a day spent at Coconut Cove.
The park includes all you need, concession snacks, showers and lockers. More local or frequent visitors may enjoy camps, season passes and birthday parties. A day at Coconut Cove will be a day of fun to be sure!
MORE INFORMATION FOR YOUR TRIP TO FLORIDA
- FLORIDA’S WEST COAST: 23+ Memorable Stops On The Florida West Coast
- SARASOTA: 40+ Memorable Things To Do In Sarasota For A Weekend Of Fun
- ORLANDO WITH KIDS: 42 Things To Do In Orlando With Kids (Besides the Theme Parks!)
- VERO BEACH: 17 Awesome Things To Do In Vero Beach, Florida
- ST. PETE: 23 Outstanding Things To Do In St. Petersburg, FL
WHERE TO STAY IN BOCA RATON
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