The Palm Beaches Naturally
Palm Beach County boasts one of the most attractive year round climates in the world. Southeast Florida is blessed with mild temperatures throughout the year (average annual temperature of 75 degrees Fahrenheit) due in part to its proximity to the Gulf Stream which flows through the Atlantic Ocean. Described as a warm “river in the ocean,” the Gulf Stream is fifty miles wide and close to half a mile deep and comes closest to shore – just over a mile away – along Palm Beach County.
Florida traditionally has two seasons: the dry season (winter/spring) and the rainy season (summer/fall). During the dry season the days are crisp and clear and the sky a bright winter blue. Highs are usually in the low 70’s making it comfortable for almost any outdoor activity. Most of the area’s average 53 inches of rainfall occurs during the rainy season, typically in the form of short afternoon showers which leave plenty of time for fun in the Florida sun. These showers along with the refreshing breezes from the Atlantic Ocean keep the summer average temperatures in the low to mid 80’s.
While much of the area features carefully planned development, several preserves have been permanently set aside as protective refuges for plant and animal life. These refuges are preserving the natural beauty of the area for generations to come. Every piece of the ecosystem has an important role in our environment. From our magnificent beaches on the east to the delicate ecosystem of the Everglades on the west, we have a responsibility to nature.
Over the past 20 years, the City of Boca Raton has purchased countless acres of environmentally sensitive land and roughly 2 miles of beachfront. The public land includes nature preserves, public parks and turtle nesting areas in Spanish River Park and Red Reef Park. The Gumbo Limbo Environmental Nature Center and Sugar Sand Park are two preserves with natural habitats and native ecosystems of various species of mangrove wetlands, pine and hammock trees, among others, nature trails and informative indoor exhibits. There are several others throughout Palm Beach and Stuart Counties.
Major Parks and Recreation Centers
Whether your preference is a day at the beach or just enjoying nature, whether you’re a sports enthusiast or spectator, Palm Beach County and Boca Raton offer a wide range of activities to please everyone and every age group. With over 7,000 acres of parklands in the county, including municipal and county parks, as well as state and national wildlife refuges, you’re sure to find a place for your favorite recreational pursuits. To search all of Florida for that perfect camping and recreational spot take a look at FloridaStateParks.org.
Boca Raton offers many opportunities for you to have fun – golf, tennis, softball tournaments, soccer, fishing, swimming, horseback riding, bicycling, in-line skating, as well as the many activities possible at area parks and beaches. Boca Raton boasts 5 miles of fabulous sandy beaches, and there are a total of 47 miles of beautiful shores in Palm Beach County. Florida Historical Resources on the Florida Department of State website showcases many historical resources and sites, some underwater parks that even feature shipwrecks to explore. The area’s waters offer fantastic snorkeling and award-winning scuba diving, brightly colored reefs with exotic tropical fish, and plenty of room for picnicking, motor boating or just enjoying the sunshine. Boca Raton has some of the most outstanding oceanfront beach parks – South Beach Park, Red Reef Park and municipal golf course, and Spanish River Park.
The Boca Raton Recreation Services Department maintains 43 parks and public beaches that provide amenities such as pavilions, picnic areas and grills, playgrounds, fitness and nature trails, tennis courts and sports fields, boat docks, swimming pools and much more, to spend relaxing days with family and friends. Seven community schools offer many recreational and educational amenities. The parks department also sponsors special events during Halloween and Easter, golf and tennis championships, Fourth of July fireworks, a Fishing Festival, the Holiday Parade and Tree Lighting, and free public concerts throughout the year. The department also sponsors or co-sponsors numerous weekly activities and practices from baseball to football to soccer, in which thousands of children participate.
Sugar Sand Park is Boca Raton’s newest major municipal park. The 160 acre park located at I-95 and Military Trail, is undergoing major improvements including a community center with a 150-seat auditorium, gymnasium, indoor basketball courts, conference rooms and Children’s Science Explorium. Also being developed are additional picnic pavilions and walking/jogging trails, adding to the softball fields and playgrounds already existing.
The City of Boca Raton publishes The Recreator, a quarterly magazine that details all the city’s recreation areas and community centers and their activities and programs. The City’s web site has some general information on the government. It has a proposed section that will include the information that is currently provided in The Recreator describing recreation areas and activities.