Boca Raton is a city on the east coast of Florida between West Palm Beach and Fort Lauderdale. The name is Spanish for "Mouse Mouth" (although the Chamber of Commerce tries to give less plausible alternative explanations of the meaning), which presumably comes from the shape of an inlet when the town was founded.
Boca, as it's known by locals, started growing in earnest in the 1920s, with the help of fanciful nouveau-riche architect Addison Mizner, who also helped design Palm Beach, 30 some miles north. Much of downtown was (and is being) built in "Addison Mizner-style" architecture, using distinctive bright orange and more subdued pinks in its Old Spanish theme with a touch of Venice.
Boca's long history of catering to the well-to-do has given it a snobbish reputation, but it has many features that can be enjoyed by visitors even if they are on a much less lavish budget. The city enjoys a much higher standard of living than many of its neighbors, giving it a well manicured appearance with many amenities. Visitors can enjoy the limited nightlife and much more extensive beaches, great at any time of day, any time of year.
[Edit this travel guide] Getting There
[Edit this travel guide] By air
- Fort Lauderdale International Airport , FLL, large airport 20 miles south of Boca in Fort Lauderdale.
- Palm Beach International Airport , PBI, large airport 20 miles north of Boca.
- Miami International Airport , MIA, Miami. (About 45 miles / 55 minutes non-rush hour.)
[Edit this travel guide] By car
- Interstate 95 - four exits to Boca Raton are Palmetto Park Drive, Glades Road, Yamato Road and Congress Avenue.
- Florida's Turnpike - toll road with lighter traffic and an exit at Glades Road.
[Edit this travel guide] By rail
- Amtrak, 1300 W. Hillsboro Blvd., Deerfield Beach, 1-877-632-3788, ].
TriRail goes to Miami, Fort Lauderdale, and West Palm Beach Airports.
[Edit this travel guide] By water from the Atlantic Ocean
- via Port Everglades in Fort Lauderdale. This is a port of entry for cruise ships and other commercial vessels.
- via Boca Raton Inlet. Vessels can enter Boca Raton through its inlet that connects the Atlantic Ocean to the IntraCoastal Waterway (ICW). Local knowledge is required, as shoaling outside the inlet can limit access at low tide and swift moving currents cause pretty decent swells where the outflow meets the ocean.
- via Hillsboro Inlet, south of Boca Raton, between the communities of Hillsboro Beach and Pompano Beach. This inlet was much improved recently by widening the channel outside the jetties. The widening was extensive, and allows safer approaches into the inlet from more bearings. The inlet is well marked, and has a dredge on site actively keeping the channel clear by dredging the sand that drifts into all East Coast inlets from the North. Local knowledge is suggested, as there are reefs to the south and jetties and lots of boat traffic.
- via the IntraCoastal Waterway (ICW), which stretches along the East Coast from Maine to Texas. The ICW flows through Boca Raton, and has no fixed bridges across it, just 3 draw bridges that open on schedule and/or on demand. The bridges across the ICW from North to South are at Spanish River Boulevard, Palmetto Park Road, and Camino Real Drive.
[Edit this travel guide] Getting Around
- Tri-rail connects to Miami, Hollywood, Fort Lauderdale and West Palm. It is underused and thus runs relatively infrequently.
Palm Tran buses which serve Boca Raton as well as the rest of Palm Beach County are also sadly unreliable.
- Delray Scooter Rental, LLC, (561) 723-4387, (561) 441-5244. Scooter rentals delivered and picked up for Downtown and Beach areas in Boca Raton and Delray Beach.
Your best bet is to hire a car at your port of entry.
[Edit this travel guide] Sightseeing
- Morikami Museum, 4000 Morikami Park Road, Delray Beach, Phone: 561-495-0233, . The Morikami complex in the western part of Boca includes a small but interesting museum of Japanese art and culture, and extensive beautiful Japanese gardens around a lake. The museum restaurant overlooking the lake offers good Japanese food at a moderate price with a splendid view.
- Boca Raton Museum of Art, in the Mizner Park complex, most of which is an upscale mall. Some good items in the permanent collection, and often hosts some fine traveling exhibits.
- Delray by Vespa, (Atlantic Ave and 4th Ave), Tel: (561) 271-2300, Web: www.delrayvespa.com Delray by vespa (Vespa and scooter rental) is a fun and unique experience providing you the joy of commuting in town, to the beach, and shopping on the avenue with fashionable simple and quick transportation . All vespas and scooters are Brand new,leading brands, fully automatic, well equipped, easy to ride and suitable for just about anybody. A stylish top of the line vespa 50cc is available, as well as an economy level scooter. All you need is a valid drivers license. Pick up and delivery available upon request. Reservations can be done by Email and are highly recommended. quick Delivery to Atlantic Ave 4Th.
[Edit this travel guide] Things To Do
- Intercoastal - tour by boat
- Sugar Sands Park,  is a great place to take the kids. It has an enormous fort/jungle gym, carousel, ball parks, etc.
- Red Reef Park, - A 67 Acre Oceanfront park including the 20 Acre Gumbo Limbo Enviormental Education Center . A fun and interesting feature of the beach is a rock outcropping and a series of small man-made reefs about 10 feet off shore, where even beginning snorkelers can enjoy swimming with small colorful tropical fish. The picnic area of the Park is equipped with grills, tables and restrooms.
- Caldwell Theatre Company, 7901 North Federal Highway, (Take I-95 south to Linton Boulevard exit (eastbound). Turn right on U.S.1 south (Federal Highway). The Count de Hoernle Theatre is one and a half miles south and is located on the west side of Federal Highway.), Tel: 561-241-7432, Web: www.caldwelltheatre.com Caldwell Theatre Company opened its doors in December 1975 at the suggestion of James R. Caldwell, inventor of the rubber dustpan and founder of the Rubbermaid Corporation. During the past 34 years in four different locations, and now in its own, permanent Count de Hoernle Theatre on U.S. 1 in north Boca Raton, the Caldwell has been called South Florida’s “Cinderella Theatre” and Boca Raton’s “Jewel in the Crown.”
[Edit this travel guide] Shopping
- Boca Town Center Mall,  is the well-known high-end retail mall on Glades Road, just west of I-95 and east of Turnpike.
- Mizner Park,  is a chic mixed-used new urbanism district in a revitalized part of downtown Boca.
- Royal Palm Place,  is a charming mixed-use development in the heart of downtown Boca. Featuring international restaurants, salons & spas, acclaimed shopping, specialties & services, Class A Office Space and 185 luxury rental residences.
[Edit this travel guide] Eat
Boca has a deserved "ritzy" reputation, but good food can be found for a variety of budgets.
[Edit this travel guide] Budget
- Tin Muffin, (561) 392-9446, 364 E Palmetto Park Rd. Sandwiches, quiches, soups, muffins and desserts served at this small breakfast and lunch restaurant. Outdoor tables as well as a few indoor tables.
- Cannoli Kitchen, (561) 338-2929, . Pizzas (whole or by the slice-- they often have up to 2 dozen different varieties of pizza available by the slice at any one time!), pastas, and other good Italian in addition to the namesake cannoli deserts. Mostly take out or delivery, but they have a small counter if you want to eat there.
- Lindburgers – West Boca, 9834 Glades Road, Phone: (561) 218-5557, . Delivery: (561) 488-9665. Serves over 50 versions of their old-fashioned 7-ounce sirloin burgers. If you've ever tasted a hamburger fried in a cast-iron pan, you have a good idea of what goes on at Lindburgers.
- Mississippi Sweets, 2399 N. Federal Hwy., just north of 20th Street on US 1. Reasonably-priced BBQ joint with genuine Southern-style cooking. BBQ is St. Louis-style.
- Sal's New York Grill, 200 S. Federal Highway (561) 392-1969. New York Italian deli and similar dishes, breakfast, lunch, or diner.
- Sieng House, 1001 S. W. 2nd Avenue, Suite 500 (Just off Camino Real west of Dixie Highway, next to the Walgreens). Good Chinese with extensive menu.
- Tomasso's Pizza & Italian Restaurant, 1229 West Palmetto Park Road. (561) 392-8985. . A reasonably priced locally-owned pizza chain. Take-out, Delivery, and dine in available. Huge slices also!
- Watercolors, in the Boca Raton Bridge Hotel, 999 East Camino Real. (561) 368-9500. Nice restaurant and bar to visit when you want to relax, dance or just enjoy good food in a casual atmosphere. Overlooking Boca Raton inlet.
- Cold Stone Creamery, 2200 W. Glades Road, (561) 391-6966 or Delivery (561) 488-9665, . Kosher Certified. Offering the Ultimate Ice Cream Experience. Ice Cream, Ice Cream Cakes, Shakes, and Smoothies the Way You Want It.
- Sonny's Gelato Cafe, 2151 North Federal Highway, . Sonny's offers gelato at a great price and fun and friendly atmosphere. Also Italian cookies, capucino, etc.
[Edit this travel guide] Mid-range
- Asian Grill Japanese and Chinese Restaurant, 10018 Spanish Isles Blvd. Bay A-2 Boca Raton, FL 33498, Tel: (561) 883-3903, Web: http://www.asiangrill.org Home of the best Japanese and Chinese Take Out/Free Delivery in West Boca Raton area. Family owned and operated in two different locations for over 10 years.
- Augy's Pizza Board Restaurant, 1501 NW Boca Raton Blvd, 368-1330. Dozens of daily specials. Local favorite for their stuffed artichoke, baked clams oreganata, along with the snapper Provencal, made with fresh tomatoes, garlic and white wine sauce. Located in East Boca North of Glades Rd on NW 2nd ave.
- Bangkok in Boca, 500 Via De Palmas Ste 79, Phone: (561) 394-6912. Casual restaurant with live entertainment and outdoor seating, serving a menu full of rich authentic Thai curries with nearly fat free dishes, using the freshest ingredients in the area. Offering a wide selection of entrees with fresh seafood. Located south of Mizner Park off US1, in the Royal Palm Plaza.
- Bullfish Raw Bar & Grill, 7036 W. Palmetto Park Road; Suite 64, 392-5040, Casual, fun restaurant with a full bar & lounge and outdoor patio. Full menu for take out and delivery. Located in the Garden Shoppes of Boca Raton, there is a Large Secure Free Parking Lot across from Publix, available to all customers. Southwest corner of Palmetto & Powerline Rd in West Boca.
- Coal Mine Pizza, 399 SE Mizner Blvd, Royal Palm Place, 826-2625, . There are 10 specialty pizzas, balsamic coal-baked chicken wings, the Far East Crispy Shrimp, as well as the Tuscan salad, and daily specials.
- Curries & More 217 East Palmetto Park Rd. tel 392-29999. Good Indian food. Note: as almost everything has cashew based sauce, not many options for anyone with nut allerigies.
- Gary Woo's Asian Bistro, Tel: (561) 368-8803, Web: http://www.garywooasianbistro.com Unique Chinese restaurant that has real chefs from Chinatown in New York City. If you want authentic New York Chinese food in Boca Raton, you definitely need to check Gary Woo's. The food is fresh and traditional.
- Jasmine - Taste of Orient, 7860 Glades Rd Ste 105, 483-8888. Chinese restaurant with classic Pekingese specialties elegantly prepared and flavorful such as Peking Duck, lamb in garlic sauce, and honey-roasted ribs.
- Kagura Japanese Restaurant, 5030 Champion Blvd Ste D8, Polo Shoppes (561) 241-5958, Delivery:(877) 632-5487. Specialties: Sushi Bar with full menu of Japanese Cuisine available for Dine in, Take out and Delivery.
- Lilly's New Cuisine, 451 East Palmetto Park Rd, (561) 362-0208, Homemade pastas specialities including seafood and sausages for a one of a kind experience.
- Mario's of Boca 2200 Glades Rd., Phone (561)392-5595, . Popular Italian Bistro with an extensive menu of Southern and Northern Italian Cuisine for both lunch and dinner with a daily Lunch buffet. Located next to the Holiday Inn by I-95, Glades Rd and Military Trail with convenient take-out and delivery service.
- Outback Steakhouse, 6030 S.W. 18th St., Boca Raton FL 33433, (561) 338-6283, . Australian steakhouse concept open for dinner only. Serves beef and steak items, for a good portion of the menu. As well as a variety of chicken, ribs, seafood, and pasta dishes. Located just west of military trail on Sw 18th st. Convenient curbside take-out and NEW delivery service.
- Pizza Fusion, 196 N Federal Highway,(561) 213-6512, Delivery:(877) 632-5487. . The Pizza Fusion all-natural, gluten-free, organic pie is a slender 28” long and 9” wide and it’s crust is thin and crispy, using 100% all-natural “00” flour imported from Naples, Italy. Topped with locally grown, organic ingredients (when available), baking all ingredients in it’s soap-stone Roto-flex oven and delivering it’s delicious meals in Pizza Fusion’s earth-friendly Hybrid delivery vessels.
- Punjab Indian Restaurant 1801 N Federal Hwy.,(561) 392-8000. Their lunch menu is extremely affordable and their dinner menu is on par. The lamb tandori is excellent and can be served mild or spicy. Vegetarian Indian vegan options as well. Located next to the Boca Inn in East Boca just north of Glades Rd.
- Red's Backwoods BBQ, 1345 W. Palmetto Park Rd., (561) 417-0797. . BBQ, Chicken, Ribs, Catfish, burgers, steaks and the sweet potato fries are a must. Located just east of I-95 on Palmetto pk rd.
- Siam Sea - Japanese Sushi & Thai, 7860 Glades Rd., (561) 483-3440. Enjoy a tasty curry or fresh sushi at the sushi bar .
- Steve's Wood Fired Pizza, 9180 Glades Rd, (561) 483-5665. West Boca Raton's Authentic Italian Neighborhood Pizzeria. "Steve's Pizza" has more than 50 types of freshly-prepared wood fired brick oven pizza, as well as salads, pasta entrees, salad wraps and desserts. One pizza is enough for one hungry adult.
- Sushi Masa Thai Cuisine 2200 Glades Rd, (561) 347-0008. Sushi Masa is no mere sushi bar, specializing in Thai and Japanese cuisine. Impressive Thai menu includes Duck curry, seafood garlic, seafood curry, and fried fish with sauce choice, cooked rolls, Pad Thai, a delicious mix of stir fried rice noodles with egg, bean sprouts, ground roasted peanuts, and your choice of chicken, shrimp, beef, veggies, or a combination of your choice. Prices at Sushi Masa, are a nice bargain.
- Sushi Thai Asian Bistro 100 NE Second St., (561) 750-4448. The list of sushi covers just about anything you could want, including a large variety of cooked rolls, tamaki and complete sushi/sashimi dinners. Appetizers include deep-fried lemongrass rolls, duck noodle soup, green papaya, tomato and shrimp salad. Favorites include Pad Thai and Pad Woonsen, and a dish called deep blue sea, with scallops, shrimp, mussels, fish and veggies. Just south of Mizner Park in East Boca Raton.
- Yucatan Mexican Grill 525 S Federal Hwy., (954) 481-9933. Great salsa, great food, good service. Karoke Night Thursdays, 2 for 1 Margaritas.
[Edit this travel guide] Splurge
- Mark's in the Park,  in the Mizner Park mall. Marks is NOW CLOSED
- Ristorante Bova, 1450 N. Federal Highway (Just north of Glades Rd. on Federal Highway in East Boca.), (561) 362-7407.Contemporary Upscale Italian Nuovo Classico Cuisine.
- Seasons 52,  2300 N.W. Executive Center Drive, (561) 998-9952 - Seasons 52 is a casually sophisticated grill and wine bar and a seasonally changing as well as health-conscious menu.
- Uncle Tai's, 5250 Town Center Circle, (561) 368-8806, Delivery:(877) 632-5487 . Uncle Tai's has excellent Authentic Hunan style Chinese food, not Thai.  Monthly cooking classes (with advanced reservations) are taught by the restaurants head chef James Tai.
[Edit this travel guide] Drink
- Brewzzi Boca Raton, 2222 Glades Rd, (561) 392-2739, An Italian American Bistro and Microbrewery in central Boca. Winning both gold and silver medals at the Great American Beer Fest 2000-2003, Brewzzi is the most honored brewery in Florida. In addition to the 2 for 1 Happy Hour (3pm-6:30pm, M-Th) serving the award winning beers as well as cocktails, there are also 2 for 1 drinks 9:30pm-Close daily.
- Bullfish Sports Bar, 11379 W Palmetto Park Rd. Suite F, (561) 482-0052 ,Delivery (561) 488-9665, Formally known as Packy's of Boca Raton, still a warm, family friendly bar that welcomes all NY Jets and NY Giants fans as well as other sports enthusiasts. Plenty to watch with 17 TVs, including 7 satellites. Nightly beer specials including All Day, All Night $2 Pints of Heineken. Karaoke night Thursdays. Tuesday Night kids special, free kids meal with purchase of adult entree. Located in the southeast corner of the Loggers Run Plaza in West Boca Raton.
- Holloway's Pub, 504 Via de Palmas, (561) 361-8445, Anyone thinking that Boca Raton is pretentious hasn't been to Holloway's Pub just south of Palmetto Park Rd. on Federal Highway, in the Royal Palm Place shopping center in East Boca Raton. Fun place, very laid back, friendly atmosphere. Live music from Walt Rooney every Friday night, starting at 9PM. Karaoke every Saturday night at 9PM. Lunch served daily, prime rib special on Fridays. Closes at 2AM every night.
[Edit this travel guide] Accommodation
- Boca Raton Bridge Hotel, 999, East Camino Real, (866) 909-BOCA (2622),  Overlooking the Boca Raton Inlet by A1A, Originally known as The Bridge Hotel, Boca's second-oldest, albeit, fully renovated hotel. The pet-friendly Boca Raton Bridge Hotel offers resort-style accommodations close to the beach. Guests are within walking distance of South Inlet Park and two miles from various museums and an outdoor shopping malls including Mizner Park.
- Boca Resort and Spa, 501 East Camino Real, (888) 491-2622,  World–renowned Florida spa resort includes the tallest building in the city (and pink stucco, too), world class dining, as well as providing beachfront and intercoastal access with Professional Golf Course.
- Embassy Suites - Deerfield Beach, 950 Ocean Drive, 954 426-0478, .
- Renaissance Boca Raton Hotel, 2000 NW 19th St.,(561) 368-5252, .
- Boca Raton Marriot at Boca Center, 5150 Town Center Circle, (561) 392-4600,.
- TownePlace Suites Boca Raton, 5110 NW 8th Avenue, (561) 994-7232..
- Hilton Suites Boca, 7920 Glades Road, (561)-483-3600]...
The Hilton Suites Boca Raton hotel, an all suite hotel, is conveniently located in the heart of beautiful Boca Raton, Florida among a six acre lakeside complex surrounded by shopping and dining.
[Edit this travel guide] Nearby Destinations
- Delray Beach, just north of Boca Raton is a sleepy beachfront town with beautiful beaches and a hip inland downtown district with good restaurants.
- City Place is a nice mixed-use lifestyle development in downtown West Palm Beach. Just east of I-95 and next to the Kravis Center for the Performing Arts.
- Miami for sports events, fine dining, people watching and more.
- Mizner Park Amphitheater, 590 Plaza Real, (561) 750-1668,  Presents a minimum of 20 concerts and events annually from a wide range of musical genres including country, jazz and classic rock. The amphitheater can accommodate up to 4000 fans for general admission events. Box Office Hours: Monday – Friday: 12 p.m. – 5 p.m.,Day of show: 12 p.m. – 9 p.m.
- Mizner Park, 433 Plaza Real,(561) 362-0606.  Come to Mizner Park in Boca Raton and enjoy unique boutiques, sumptuous eateries, energizing music and inspiring art wrapped in an ocean breeze that makes your time under the sun and stars simply refreshing.
- Palm Beach is Boca Raton's predecessor, a half hour's drive up the coast. Great for window-shopping and ogling the spectacular, palatial mansions on the waterfront.