Photo Of Boca Raton

A luxurious coastline in Boca Raton, Florida. (ThinkStock)

What to do in Boca Raton

Halfway between Fort Lauderdale and Palm Beach, Boca Raton is a smallish city (pop. 90,000) with big money. And therein lies its appeal: Unlike many of its Floridian counterparts, Boca has the funds to keep major development at bay. The city's mostly suburban neighborhoods are riddled with nature preserves and waterways that spill out onto five miles of clean beaches.

Money, of course, has its limits. You will not find roaring beach parties or rowdy nightlife in Boca Raton—its upscale residents are too refined for such revelry—nor will you find the diversity of, say, Miami or Fort Lauderdale (more than 90 percent of Boca Raton's population is white). You will, however, discover an impressive roster of cultural attractions, including the Boca Raton Museum of Art (think Degas, Matisse, Warhol, and Picasso); a ballet theater; polo grounds; the 70-piece professional orchestra; and the Mizner Park Amphitheater, which attracts the likes of Harry Connick, Jr. and Duran Duran.

Perhaps Boca's greatest attraction is the downtown itself. Residents have spent millions restoring their city's historic architecture, and the centrally located Mizner Park is festooned with decorative walkways, fountains, name-brand shops, art galleries, and some of the best restaurants in South Florida. Be sure to save some time (and money) for nearby Royal Palm Place, whose boutiques, fountains, and courtyards constitute the oldest shopping center in Boca.

Ready to unwind? Boca Raton's shores do not disappoint. From North Ocean Boulevard, you can access South Beach Park (1,670 feet of sand) and Spanish River Park Beach (2,640 feet). And just to the north of Boca Raton, you'll hit Delray Beach's Atlantic Dunes Beach, a seven-acre slice of oceanfront serenity.

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