Posted September 28, 2014
By STEPHANIE MEADOWS
BOCA RATON, Fla. – The City of Boca Raton welcomes its visitors and residents with its small-town charm and tropical ambiance. Boca, as locals call it, is the product of a rich and fascinating history.
Located in Palm Beach County, between West Palm Beach to the north and Fort Lauderdale to the south, the name Boca Raton has always sparked some curiosity. The city is an experience in itself. It is truly a great place to live or visit, making everyone feel at home.
Many people assume the name is simply “Rat’s Mouth,” as the Spanish word Boca means mouth while Raton is literally a mouse or small rat. The term “Boca Ratones” was once used as a navigational term for a rocky inlet.
However, the Boca story begins with its first residents, the Calusa Indians, for whom the Everglades and Boca Raton represented a supply of natural resources. The name Boca Raton was first associated with a Biscayne Bay inlet in Miami. It was mistakenly applied to Lake Boca Raton, whose inlet was closed at the time.
In 1895, civil engineer Thomas Moore Rickards built the first house. With the completion of Henry Morrison Flagler’s Florida East Coast Railway in 1896, families arrived from Georgia and South Carolina, and the new settlement of Boca Raton was born.
Despite its reputation as the South Florida playground of the wealthy, Boca Raton serves up a sophistication that’s more attainable than you think. Boca Raton offers all the charm and affluence of true South Florida living.
“If I could describe Boca in three words I would say classy, quiet and family oriented, “ said Sloane Caulkins, a frequent visitor from Fort Lauderdale. “It seems like a nice place to visit and raise a family.”
In addition to being surrounded palm trees and Mediterranean-style architecture, Boca Raton is known for its cosmopolitan style. It is rich with sophisticated and fashionable shops, artisanal food and wine, vibrant hot spots and renowned museums, such as the Boca Raton Museum of Art, and other cultural institutions.
Looking deeper, one can find many terrific features that can be enjoyed on any budget. The city of Boca is very safe and enjoys a much higher standard of living than many of its neighbors, giving it a well-manicured appearance with many things to do.
Visitors can appreciate the limited nightlife, and sun seekers enjoy its great tropical beaches any time of year as the city consistently enjoys comfortable weather. Sunshine, soft white sand and an endless expanse of deep blue sea define Boca Raton as one of the most desirable places to live. With pristine beaches and a subtropical climate year-round, it’s the perfect locality for fishing, swimming, surfing or just relaxing.
“There’s a casualness about Boca that surprises people,” said tourists and brothers Sam and Gabriel Adels from New York. “It feels like vacation everyday.”
Boca Raton is known as the ultimate shopping destination in South Florida, and offers everything from outlets to malls with popular brands and the luxury-brand retailers Louis Vuitton, Chanel, Tiffany & Co., Tory Burch, Lilly Pulitzer, Fendi, Dolce & Gabbana, Burberry and many more. Town Center and Mizner Shopping Center are the most popular.
Boca Raton is also home to many distinctive arts and cultural attractions such ad Festival of Arts BOCA, featuring the finest in classical music, jazz, art, film and literature. From Broadway shows, opera, ballet, concerts, cultural events and fairs, Boca Raton shows its diversity. No matter your tastes, desires or style, there is something new and exciting for everyone to partake in.
Boca Raton is has an affluent retirement community of approximately 83,000 people; as Boca is a place people go for business and to retire especially to be closer to their families. Boca is one of the largest Jewish communities in the United States. Boca also draws people in for Business tourism, retail, and real estate, as they are important to the economy.
“We came to Boca Raton in 1996 as retirees from London,” said resident Rosalyn Pincus. “Boca is a quiet place, but there is no shortage of things to do in the city, and the weather is nice year-round, unlike London where it rains. We moved here to be closer to our family, we enjoy it very much.”
It is often said that New York City is the melting pot of America, but take one look at Boca Raton and if you’re are a resident or are just visiting, this city surpasses its stereotypes. Whether you’re seeking the luxurious South Florida lifestyle of beaches, boating, and golf, or you need an excellent place to raise your family, Boca Raton is no doubt the city for you.
If You Go
- Where: Town Center Mall
- Address: 6000 Glades Road, Boca Raton, Fla.
- Phone: (561) 368- 6001
- Website: simon.com
- Where: Mizner Park
- Address: 327 Plaza Real, Boca Raton, Fla.
- Phone: (561) 362-0606
- Website: miznerpark.com
- Type of Restaurant: Pub Food, Steakhouse
- Address: Wine Bar 1900 NW Executive Center Circle
- Season’s 52
- Type of Restaurant: American, Wine Bar, Modern American
- Address: 2300 NW Executive Center Dr.
- P.F. Chang’s China Bistro
- Type of Restaurant: Asian
- Address: 1400 Glades Road
- Saquella Caffe
- Type of Restaurant: Breakfast/Brunch, Coffee
- Address: Mediterranean 410 Via De Palmas
- Type of Restaurant: Japanese, Sushi, Thai
- Address: 19605 U.S. Highway 441
- Rocco’s Tacos
- Type of Restaurant: Mexican, Tacos, Tex-Mex
- Address: 5250 Town Center Circle
- The Melting Pot
- Type of Restaurant: Desserts/Ice Cream, European, French
- Address: 5455 N. Federal Highway
- Way Beyond Bagels
- Type of Restaurant: Bagels
- Address: 16850 Jog Road, Delray Beach, Fla. 33446
- Type of Restaurant: Seafood, Steakhouse, Wine Bar
- Address: 351 Plaza Real
- Casa D’Angelo Ristorante
- Type of Restaurant: Italian
- Address: 1201 N. Federal Highway #5A, Fort Lauderdale, Fla. 33304
- Morton’s Steak House
- Type of Restaurant: Steakhouse
- Address: 5050 Town Center Circle, Boca Raton, Fla. 33486
- Type of Restaurant: American Cuisine
- Address: 8 E. Atlantic Ave., Delray Beach, Fla. 33444
Things to Do:
- Boca Raton Museum of Art
- Address: 501 Plaza Real, Boca Raton, Fla. 33432
- Website: bocamuseum.org
- Gumbo Limbo Nature Center
- Address: 801 N. Ocean Blvd, Boca Raton, Fla. 33432
- Website: gumbolimbo.org
- Morikami Museum
- Address: 4000 Morikami Park Road, Delray Beach, Fla. 33446
- Website: morikami.org
- Broward Center for the Performing Arts
- Address: 201 SW 5th Ave., Fort Lauderdale, Fla. 33312
- Website: borwardcenter.org