#7. Boca Raton
You’re probably not shocked to see a Florida city on this list, but you may be surprised to learn how special Boca Raton (usually shortened to “Boca” by locals) really is.
According to Troy McLellan, president and CEO of the Greater Boca Raton Chamber of Commerce, the community is “truly paradise” with five miles of pristine beaches, more than 40 parks and an impressive array of world-class golf courses. For example, visitors can take a swing at Osprey Point Golf Course – one of the state’s top courses and home to 27 holes spread across three nine-hole tracks – and Southwinds Golf Course, which is filled with wildlife and habitat management areas and is part of the Audubon International Cooperative Sanctuary Program. Boca Raton Municipal Golf Course is another great place to play as it features an 18-hole, par-72 course and a nine-hole, par-30 course.
Boca Raton also has a thriving shopping scene, thanks to destinations like Town Center at Boca Raton and Mizner Park, an open-air lifestyle center located downtown that includes several retailers and restaurants along with the Boca Raton Museum of Art and Mizner Park Amphitheatre, where top performers like Shawn Mendes and John Legend have taken the stage. Another favorite entertainment spot is The Wick Theatre & Costume Museum that presents classic musicals and includes a museum for iconic Broadway costumes.
Bringing the kids? Be sure to visit the 132-acre Sugar Sand Park, home to the Children’s Science Explorium, the Willow Theatre and an indoor gymnasium, and check out the Gumbo Limbo Nature Center – there are outdoor aquariums, sea turtle-themed activities and events, and a butterfly garden that’s in full bloom during May and June.
“Visitors come for the beautiful beaches and golf courses in Boca Raton and end up staying for the history, cultural attractions and eateries,” says Jorge Pesquera, president and CEO for Discover The Palm Beaches. “Whether you’re seeking world-class golfing, upscale shopping, outstanding natural areas or exceptional scuba diving, you’ll find Boca Raton offers a sophisticated, casual vibe and elegance.”