More information about the Boca Raton, Florida Area
Start with a glorious climate, lush tropical vegetation, miles of stunning beaches, and the beautiful Intra-coastal waterway. Add cosmopolitan shopping, world-renowned dining and nightlife, and a vibrant artistic and cultural scene creating an outstanding quality of life. So now you can begin to understand why the 200,000 or so permanent residents of the Boca Raton area would not live anywhere else! Safe, clean neighborhoods and communities of exceptional quality, with unexcelled golf, boating, and other recreational and sporting opportunities, a booming economy, easy access to Miami, Fort Lauderdale, and other large cities, great health care and schooling; the list is endless. No wonder Boca Raton has long been one of the nation’s most desirable and sought-after addresses.
Boca Raton is located in Palm Beach County on the east coast of the Florida peninsula, midway between Fort Lauderdale and Palm Beach. U.S. Route 1 passes through the city’s downtown and commercial districts and Interstate I-95 bisects the city from north to south.
Situated at approximately 16 feet above sea level in mostly flat, formerly swampy coastal country, Boca Raton has five miles of ocean frontage and a city park system covering over 1000 acres.
Distance to 3 Closest Major Cities
Boca Raton is sixteen miles north of Fort Lauderdale, thirty-six miles from Hileah, and forty-two miles north of Miami.
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With three international airports and three active seaports, as well as state-of-the-art high-tech communications infrastructure, a multilingual workforce, and a wealth of corporate and financial resources Southern Florida is the commercial crossroads and major hub for international business, transportation, cross-border trade and investment, banking, finance, and telecommunications for the entire Western Hemisphere. Boca Raton is located right in the heart of this hub, and its well-educated, computer literate community has attracted scores of innovative companies. These include technology and venture capital firms as well as manufacturers of computers, plastics, electrical and electronic equipment, furniture, jewelry, paint, and air-cushion vehicles, to name just a few, all contributing to an extremely attractive employment environment, with an unemployment rate of only 3.3%.
Boca Raton is known nationally and internationally as an originator in the area of comprehensive zoning. Land is at a premium, but new development and re-development assures that a wide range of superb homes is available, including condominiums, townhouses and villas, luxury homes on acreage, and single family homes in delightful neighborhood communities where security is assured and buyers can choose access to marinas and boat docks, canal or ocean-front, golf courses, horse-riding trails, and other attractive features.
With more than 1000 acres of parks and reserves, Boca Raton offers something for everyone. The area’s beaches are justly famous the world over, and the Intra-coastal Waterway provides access to wonderful boating, fishing and water sports. Spanish River Park, extending from the beach to the waters of the Intracoastal Waterway is one of several parks which offer picnic and camping sites, superb salt- and fresh-water fishing, and delightful nature trails where visitors can enjoy wildflowers, palm trees, and countless waders and small birds. Another similar area is Red Reef Park, renowned for its nature walks and surf fishing, and for marvelous reef and rock snorkeling close to the shore.
Among many sporting facilities, Boca Raton boasts several excellent tennis centers where experts can hone their game and others can just enjoy hitting a few balls around. One of most popular, the publicly owned Swim and Racquet Center, offers 26 clay courts with coaching and other facilities as well as a beautiful Olympic-sized swimming pool with life guards.
For more passive recreation, the city’s wonderful malls and shopping centers offer a dazzling range of specialty shops, cinemas, concert venues, restaurants, and nightclubs. Or for the ultimate in relaxation and indulgence, the opulent Spa Palazzo at the legendary Boca Raton Resort & Club offers pampering beyond the wildest dreams, with 22 treatment rooms, beautiful sunning terraces, palatial gardens and waterfalls, a spa pool with underwater music, and a vast selection of spa treatments and therapies.
Boca Raton offers golfers over 30 superb golf courses and country clubs in the most wonderful tropical environment. For affordable year-round play on beautifully-tended courses that offer challenge to players at every level of skill, the three courses operated by the City of Boca Raton can’t be beaten, while the two eighteen hole courses at the historic Boca Raton Resort and Club offer sensational golf in an ambience of opulence and luxury.
For twenty years the annual Boca Fest has drawn local and national artists and craftspeople to display their work to thousands of professional and amateur buyers. Exquisite art work is exhibited in outdoor street environments in what has become known as one of America’s finest art festivals, and visitors are encouraged to engage the artists in conversation about their work.
The Gumbo Limbo Environmental Complex, located in the beautiful Red Reef Park on the barrier island between the Atlantic Ocean and the Intra-coastal Waterway has indoor and outdoor classrooms, large outdoor aquariums, a butterfly garden, a 40-foot high observation tower, and an elevated boardwalk through hammock and mangrove communities that offer visitors views of a unique range of environments. Rare and endangered manatees, brown pelicans, osprey and sea turtles are among the many forms of wildlife that can be seen, while an ancient shell midden and relics left by early European explorers add to the richness of a visit to this unique natural treasure.
A short drive from Boca Raton, the marvelous Morikami Museum and Japanese Gardens is one of the region’s cultural treasures. Covering 200 acres, the facility includes stunning formal gardens constituting a visual history of 1200 years of Japanese garden design, and more expansive gardens with paths and observation areas, tropical bonsai trees, koi ponds and small lakes, nature trails, and pine forests. Also open for public viewing is the Morikami Museum Collection which includes more than 5,000 Japanese fine art objects and artifacts. The facility also functions as a center for Japanese arts and culture in South Florida, offering monthly tea ceremonies and celebrating traditional Japanese festivals in its Seishin-an tea house.
For those who love architecture and the graciousness and glamour of Old Florida, the historic Old Floresta neighborhood in Boca Raton offers a glimpse of a simpler past. Originally designed by local businessman, entrepreneur, and city father Addison Mizner as winter quarters for members of his corporation, the 29 lovely cottages in this charming neighborhood have been lovingly maintained by their subsequent owners, and offer an enjoyable stroll for both locals and visitors.
Interesting Facts/Historic Buildings and Places
Boca Raton’s earliest inhabitants, the Tequesta Indian people, lived in coastal communities in the area for over a thousand years until the coming of white people in the 18th Century began their displacement and rapid decline. The development of canal and rail transport in the late 1900’s and early 20th Century allowed pioneer farmers to take advantage of Florida’s climate to grow fruit and vegetables – first pineapples and later crops like green beans- for the colder Northern cities.
The Florida land boom of the 1920’s saw rapid growth throughout the eastern areas of the state, and the Town of Boca Raton was incorporated in May, 1925. Renowned architect and entrepreneur Addison Mizner was quickly commissioned by the new town’s council to plan a world-class resort community, a project on which he embarked with great enthusiasm. Unfortunately the land boom collapsed a year later, and many of Mizner’s ambitious plans collapsed with it, but a few buildings of his design remain to grace the city, including the City Hall, which was completed in 1927 and now houses the Boca Raton Historical Society, and the exclusive Boca Raton Resort and Club, completed in 1926 and known originally as the Cloister Inn.
With its wonderful climate and environment and its ambience of opulence and leisure Boca Raton has attracted many of America’s rich and famous. It has also attracted many members of the Mafia, and as recently as 2004 it was alleged that the Gambino crime family continued to operate there. Not surprisingly, the concentration of high technology and internet-related businesses in the area has also attracted a few shady characters, and the city now enjoys dubious honor as the "spam capital of the world", since a high proportion of the world’s spam is said to originate there. Indeed the Miami Herald, commenting that the city had been home to some of the nations most notorious confidence tricksters, once quoted the dry observation of a former U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission chairman that Boca Raton was "the only coastal city in Florida where there are more sharks on land than in the water".
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