Welcome to Boca Raton
Boca Raton is a city in Palm Beach County, Florida, United States. The population was 97,422 in the 2020 census and it ranked as the 344th largest city in the United States in 2021. However, many people with a Boca Raton postal address live outside of municipal boundaries, such as in West Boca Raton. As a business center, the city also experiences significant daytime population increases. A part of South Florida, Boca Raton is 45 miles (72 km) north of Miami and is a principal city of the Miami metropolitan area, which had a population of 6,012,331 as of 2015.
Still centered around luxury beach culture, the city today is dotted by many malls and shopping centers, including the Town Center at Boca Raton. The ODP Corporation, which operates Office Depot and OfficeMax, is headquartered here. Boca Raton is also home to the main campus of Florida Atlantic University and the Evert Tennis Academy, owned by former professional tennis player Chris Evert. The city has a strict development code for the size and types of commercial buildings, building signs, and advertisements that may be erected within the city limit, which has led to major thoroughfares without billboards and large advertisements, as well as increased green spaces on roads.
The area where Boca Raton is now located was originally occupied by the Glades culture, a Native American tribe of hunter-gatherers who relocated seasonally and between shellfish sources, distinct from the Tequesta to the south and the Jaega to the north.
What Spanish voyagers called “Boca de Ratones” was originally to the south, in present-day Biscayne Bay in Miami-Dade County. The area of Boca Raton was labeled “Rio Seco”, meaning “Dry River”, during this time. By mistake during the 19th century, mapmakers moved this location to the north and began referring to the city’s lake, today known as Lake Boca Raton, as “Boca Ratone Lagoon” and later “Boca Ratone Sounde.” An inland stream near the lake was later renamed Spanish River, and eventually became part of the Intracoastal Waterway.
When Spain surrendered Florida to Britain in 1763, the remaining Tequestas, along with other Indians who had taken refuge in the Florida Keys, were evacuated to Cuba. In the 1770s, Bernard Romans reported seeing abandoned villages in the area, but no inhabitants.
The area remained largely uninhabited for long afterwards, during the early years of Florida’s incorporation in the United States. The first significant European settler to this area was Captain Thomas Moore Rickards in 1895, who resided in a house made of driftwood on the east side of the East Coast Canal, south of what is now the Palmetto Park Road bridge. He surveyed and sold land from the canal to beyond the railroad north of what is now Palmetto Park Road. Early settlement in the area increased shortly after Henry Flagler’s expansion of the Florida East Coast Railway, connecting West Palm Beach to Miami.
Festivals and events
Boca Raton has exceptional attractions, shopping, fantastic events, and beaches. From luxurious spas to outstanding events that keep you coming back for more.
It’s not just about the beach in Boca Raton. Discover a one-of-a-kind balance of natural beauty and cultural attractions, exciting events, and slow-paced, sun-kissed leisure. Relaxation should be at the top of every itinerary. Soak up Old World elegance at the historic The Boca Raton, a sprawling pink palace where you can pass your days lounging in the shade of a beach umbrella, recharging at a world-class spa, and dining on some of the finest cuisine in South Florida.
When visiting Boca, plan to go home with more than you brought. High-end department stores and big-name brands are the specialty of Town Center, while downtown and Mizner Park offer a variety of designer labels and splurge-worthy local boutiques. Here, you’ll also find the Boca Raton Museum of Art at Mizner Park and breezy Mizner Park Amphitheater, which is the backdrop for many of Boca’s best concerts and events – from food festivals and farmers markets to the dazzling Festival of the Arts BOCA.
Take a walk on Boca’s wild side at Gumbo Limbo Nature Center, where you’ll learn about local marine life and even pay a visit to rehabilitating sea turtles. Follow it up with a family picnic at Spanish River Park or other beautiful Boca Raton beaches.
Red Reef Park, an executive course perched between the Intracoastal Waterway and the ocean, offers sweeping views from every hole. Or, play with the pros at one of the outstanding championship courses in cities near Boca Raton.