Make the Most of Your Time in Boca Raton: Your 24-Hour Getaway Guide

June 7, 2019

Boca Raton, where you can enjoy free fitness classes, pristine outdoor recreation, quality dining and shopping, and artsy entertainment all within a 24-hours

When time is money and you have a limited amount of both to devote to a mini weekend escape around The Palm Beaches, I highly recommend tackling the southern part of our county. Come visit Boca Raton! As a Boca native, I live in the heart of where many people vacation and have learned over the years how to take full advantage of any free time I have around town. Welcome!
 
First off, Boca Raton isn’t an overwhelmingly huge city, especially when most of the local attractions you’ll want to take advantage of fall in east and central Boca. This will definitely help you maximize your drive time getting from point A to point B.
 
Why not kick off your mini weekend jaunt with a little health and wellness? Every Saturday morning, you can catch a free outdoor yoga or Zumba class (weather permitting) sponsored by the City of Boca Raton. Open to the public, the yoga class is led by certified Yoga Journey instructors at Boca Raton’s Sanborn Square. Just bring your own mat! If you’re lucky, you’ll even get to practice with local notable Leslie Glickman. As for Zumba, there’s no better setting to get your cardio dance moves going than Boca’s South Beach Pavilion. The gorgeous views of the bright blue ocean alone will get your heart pumping. Just make sure you pack a water bottle and towel (along with your sneakers) for this sweat session.
 
An easy stop after either fitness class is Spanish River Park. Boca has really been embracing the arts recently and has invested in beautifying the beach tunnels at Spanish River with original murals by local artists. It’s an impressive sight to see as you walk through one of the tunnels to the ocean! Enjoy some of our town’s legendary sunshine, cool off with a quick swim and then get ready to head to your next destination of the day along A1A.
 
One of our favorite free (a $5 donation is suggested) and must-see local attractions in Boca Raton is Gumbo Limbo Nature Center. Probably best known for its sea turtle rehabilitation facility, it’s quite the serene stop. In addition to visiting the sea turtle “patients,” you can enjoy a quiet walk on the Gumbo Limbo boardwalk, ogle thousands of tropical fish in their on-site aquariums or stroll through the Nature Center’s butterfly garden. It’s a great way to round out your morning before a well-earned meal al fresco.
 

Turtle statues outside of Gumno Limbo Nature Center

There are few things I like more than shopping and good food, so what better place to grab lunch than Boca Center? Located in central Boca, this open-air plaza not only has shops, but fantastic dining options—both indoors and out. In the mood for Mexican? Then Rocco’s Tacos is for you. Feeling more like Italian cuisine? Then BRIO is a great choice. We also love Tap 42 for their beer selection and awesome appetizers.
 
If you’re looking to indulge in some retail therapy after lunch, then head over to Town Center at Boca Raton. This upscale shopping destination (also located in central Boca) just underwent a huge multimillion-dollar renovation that transformed everything from the valet parking entrance to the indoor fountains, seating and chandeliers. You’ll now even find sustainable LED lighting retrofitted throughout the shopping center between Town Center’s impressive lineup of department stores, including Neiman Marcus, Saks Fifth Avenue, Nordstrom, Macy’s and Bloomingdale’s. And upscale retailers such as Cartier, Gucci, INTERMIX and Louis Vuitton combined with restaurants like True Food Kitchen and The Capital Grille position Town Center at Boca Raton as one of South Florida’s top luxury shopping destinations. I feel pretty lucky to have all of these amazing retail options so close by.
 

Town Center Boca Raton

Now you might need a drink or two after doing some damage at Town Center. It’s time for happy hour! Did you know that there’s an Ale Trail of the Palm Beaches and a big chunk of it happens to run through Boca Raton? Grab a cold beer at one of Boca’s best breweries! This Ale Trail map will direct you to Barrel of Monks Brewing, Crazy Uncle Mike’s, Robot Brewing Company and my personal favorite, Prosperity Brewers. Be sure to pet Tank (the adorable doggy mascot) for me if you visit the folks at Prosperity!
 
As for dinner plans, you can’t visit Boca Raton without spending an evening at our signature pink plaza, Mizner Park. With shops, restaurants, the IPIC Theaters and Boca Raton Museum of Art, there’s no lack of dining, entertainment or even photo ops to be had here.
 
Mizner Park has free lawn games like giant chess and mini golf to play and even one of those big Adirondack chairs to take a photo on. It’s a perfect setting for those obligatory weekend Instagram photos to prove you actually went on vacation! After you’ve worked up an appetite, enjoy dinner at one of Mizner’s great restaurants. We tend to go to Tanzy, Yard House and Kapow Noodle Bar over and over again…so delicious!
 

After dinner, on most weekends Boca Raton hosts concerts and events in the Mizner Park Amphitheater located on the north side of the plaza. Many are free to attend throughout the year. Just bring along the lawn chairs you probably used at the beach earlier! My family and I have seen everything from Star Wars: A New Hope with a live orchestra to lively cover bands to Idina Menzel in concert. Boca definitely knows how to bring quality entertainment to town, that’s for sure!
 

Crowd enjoying an outdoor concert at Mizner Park Amphitheater

Are you tired yet? There is still so much more to do in Boca Raton! You might just have to make another 24-hour visit to see it all.

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Michelle Olson-Rogers
Michelle Olson-Rogers
A Boca Raton native, Michelle Olson-Rogers is the founder of ModernBocaMom.com, a local website featuring family events and activities, as well as lifestyle posts on fitness, dining, travel, home improvements and shopping.