Category Archives: Watersports

Boca Raton: A City for All Seasons

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With miles of public beaches and a year round temperate climate, Boca Raton (locals says Boca Ratone) epitomizes the outdoor southern Florida lifestyle. While just 40 miles north of Miami, Boca Raton has none of the traffic headaches associated with a major metropolis.

As a rule of thumb for getting around Florida, take the I-95 (with a Sunpass) if you’re in a hurry, but drive the meandering A1A with beautiful views of the Atlantic if you have time. The drive south on the A1A into Boca from Palm Beach is especially scenic.

Many buildings in Boca Raton have a Mediterranean Revival or Spanish Mission architectural theme. In the winter of 1918, architect Addison Mizner brought the Mediterranean style to his first Florida commission, the Everglades Club in Palm Beach, for his friend, sewing machine heir, Paris Singer. Addison Mizner was also the visionary behind the planned development of Boca Raton.

Mizner’s Mediterranean style, which utilized stone, tile and stucco, was a better match for Florida’s semi-tropical climate (and threat of hurricanes) than the wooden shingle-style resort architecture imported from the Northeast.

The Boca Raton Resort & Spa
The Boca Raton Resort & Spa

Don’t miss seeing the jewel in Mizner’s crown, The Boca Raton Resort & Club or as locals know it, The Pink Hotel. It first opened in February 1926, as The Ritz Cloister Inn. The beautiful, one of a kind interiors offer a glimpse into the hotel’s storied past.

Things to do

The Wick Theater & Costume Museum

The Wick Theater and Costume Museum
The Wick Theater and Costume Museum

Fans will enjoy seeing movie and stage costumes up close and personal, from productions as diverse as Titanic, Dick Tracy and Les Liasons Dangereux. Marilynn Wick, CEO of Costume World, a national retailer and renter of theatrical costumes, bought The Caldwell Theatre in Boca Raton to house her enormous collection of original Broadway costumes. She also gained a 333-seat auditorium in the deal and produces popular Broadway musicals like South Pacific.

Boca Raton Museum of Art

Boca Raton Museum of Art
Boca Raton Museum of Art

Art lovers will be thrilled to find The Boca Raton Museum of Art at the north end of Mizner Park. The Museum features travelling exhibitions as well as an extensive permanent collection, from The Old Masters to contemporary artists. Don’t miss the sculpture gardens.

Where to eat

Max’s Grille

Max's Grille
Max’s Grille

Dine al fresco from a fresh contemporary bistro menu at Max’s Grille on Mizner Park. Perfect for people watching.

Where to stay

The Waterstone Resort and Marina

You’re a short walk to the beach at The Waterstone Resort and Marina. The newly renovated hotel has 139 guest rooms, all with private balconies overlooking either the Atlantic Ocean, Intracoastal Waterway or Lake Boca.

The Waterstone Resort & Marina Bar area
The Waterstone Resort & Marina Bar area

The contemporary polished chrome against whitewashed teak millwork both indoors and out creates a seamless transition between the main floor and waterfront promenade. Easy access to water activities that include paddleboards, reef snorkeling trips, fishing charters, boat rentals, surfing lessons, jet skis, and ocean kayaks.

Boca Beach Club

Located on the Atlantic Ocean with a mile of private beach, Boca Beach Club is the sister property of The Boca Raton Resort and Spa, just a short shuttle ride away.

Boca Beach Club
Boca Beach Club

Popular with young families for a wealth of water activities, guests of Boca Beach Club are also entitled to use the facilities at The Boca Raton Resort and Spa, including an outdoor Flow Rider surf machine.

Panama City Beach

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Did you know there’s a time zone in Florida? “The Panhandle”, the nickname given to the northwestern part of Florida, is on Central Time, while the rest of the state is in the Eastern time zone. Some say this time difference gives the Panhandle its relaxed feel. Whether it’s the one hour time difference or the proximity to the deep south, there’s no denying the Panhandle has a laid back vibe.

One of the most popular beach towns in the Panhandle is Panama City Beach, well-known for its powdery, white sand beaches along the emerald waters of the Gulf of Mexico. With dozens of public beach access points, the waters here are famous with fishermen who enjoy the benefits of artificial reefs.

Things to do

Book a tee time at The Nicklaus Course at Bay Point in Panama City Beach, the first and only Nicklaus Design golf course in Northwest Florida. Opened for play in 2005, the par 72 course plays 7152 yards from the tips and winds through native vegetation such as Florida pines, scrub oaks, salt-water marshes and features white sand waste areas. The signature hole, No. 5 has views of the Grand Lagoon and St. Andrews Bay.

Located just east of Panama City Beach, St. Andrew’s State Park is a great place to enjoy the unspoiled natural beauty of the Gulf . St Andrews State Park was a past national winner of Dr. Beach’s annual search for America’s best beach. Water sports enthusiasts can swim, surf, snorkel, and scuba dive. There are miles of white sand beaches for beach combers to explore and the nature trails, which wind through a diversity of coastal plant life, offer an excellent opportunity for bird-watching.

Fishermen will be thrilled with the variety of fresh and saltwater fishing options available in Panama City Beach, from deep-sea fishing in the Gulf of Mexico to casting a line off the piers along the beach and St. Andrew Bay.

Travel Planner

The Nicklaus Course at Bay Point  4701 Bay Point Rd, Panama City Beach, FL

Wyndham Bay Point Resort  4114 Jan Cooley Dr.,Panama City Beach, FL
Close to both St Andrew State Park and The Nicklaus Bay Point golf course, The Wyndham has great views of St. Andrews Bay.

Boatyard Restaurant  5325 N. Lagoon Dr.,Panama City Beach, FL 32408
Fresh local seafood with Southern favorites like shrimp and grits

Schooners  5121 Gulf Dr, Panama City, FL 32408,
American seafood located on the beach. The open air bar faces the ocean breeze so bring a coat.

St. Andrew’s State Park  4607 State Park Ln, Panama City, FL