Boca Raton, Florida, to most, rings as a place where shuffleboard and early birds are the top concerns of the day. It’s changing. In our guide, you’ll find the Boca Raton hotels to stay at; restaurants, bars and attractions; and a look into the offshore fishing scene.
The Fish Fight Charters crew (left: Capt. Nick Connolly, right: Capt. Matt Powers) know how to get you excited for the day of fishing. On their 36-foot Contender powered by triple Suzuki 300s, they blast music (when the time calls for it), work hard, and know the ins and outs of Boca Raton and its surrounding waters.
The crew runs Shimano Tiagra 50 wides, along with Chaos 80-130 rods. For this trip, going after “sunset wahoo” and the possible bull shark, they used 130-pound Power Pro Braid with 12/0 circle hooks with 200-pound cable.
Heading offshore took minutes: “South Florida, in general, gets so deep so fast” says Capt. Powers. “It takes almost no time to get to rich fishing grounds.”
Waterstone Resort & Marina, recently opened in Boca Raton. It’s a re-envisioning of the former Boca Bridge Hotel. It sits right on the edge of the Intracoastal Waterway, giving its guests a front row seat to the boat scene. The resort has just the right mix of South Florida chic and outdoor action.
Waterstone Resort & Marina’s pool harks back to the 1950s’ styling of Miami swank. But with the outdoor side of this resort, it also provides quick access to recreational activities, including fishing charters, sailing, kayaking, scuba diving and paddle boarding.
The Waterstone Resort & Marina’s restaurant has the only waterfront dining in the entire area. It also has the only “dock to dine”option in Boca Raton. Not a hotel guest, that’s just fine with Waterstone, dock your boat for free to enjoy the restaurant.
Executive Chef Matthew Mixon, of Waterstone’s Boca Landing restaurant, uses his Italian and French heritage for the backbone of the menu, but uses Florida ingredients to feed those rich cuisines. He’s the type of Chef that comes out of the kitchen to see well-fed faces. This seems to be half of the enjoyment, the other, the act of crafting this amazing dining experience.
For some exploration around the concrete condos and Banyan trees, one will find the remnants of a wildlife tourist attraction that was open from 1953 until 1961 — Africa U.S.A Park. It housed zebra, ostrich, cranes, wildebeest, zebra, chimpanzee, cheetahs, and gazelle. When squinting in the sun, one can see how the founder, John P. Pedersen, could see this area as an African backdrop. It now resides within Camino Gardens development. The lagoon’s geyser base is still visible from the sidewalk.
Gumbo Limbo Nature Center is a great family attraction (donation only, suggested $5.00). Bring the kids along to visit the sea turtle rehabilitation facility and massive, outdoor marine aquariums.
Since 2011, The Funky Biscuit has been bringing NOLA funk, Delta Blues, and Rock and Roll to Boca Raton. It’s an intimate venue, sit up close and see some great national and local acts.