Boca Raton Shopping & Dining Guide
If you love to shop, you’ll love the diversity and caliber of stores and shops offered by South Florida. There are more than 160 shopping centers in Palm Beach County alone, liberally sprinkled throughout the county offering a wide selection of items to meet every taste and budget. From internationally and nationally known department stores to fine specialty shops, boutiques, and innovative shopping centers, plus downtown districts that offer art and culture, shopping and entertainment. There are also many factory outlet stores that are a bargain hunter’s delight.
Downtown Boca Raton in the area of Federal Highway and East Palmetto Park Road has been newly landscaped and redeveloped, offering a wide choice of goods and services, including travel agencies, gift boutiques and novelty shops, art galleries, clothing and jewelry shops, skin care and hair salons.
Mizner Park is downtown Boca Raton’s latest addition. This cultural and commercial village is centered around a Spanish-style courtyard reminiscent of Mizner’s Boca Raton Resort & Hotel. Opened in 1991, the park features upscale shops, restaurants, a multi-plex theater, an amphitheater, the International Museum of Cartoon Art, Jacobsons Department Store, Liberties Book Store, offices and theatrical organizations.
Royal Palm Plaza, which is two blocks south of Palmetto Park, is the popular “Pink Plaza”. Recalling the style made famous by Addison Mizner, with the Mediterranean influence abounding in the architecture and ambiance of quiet courtyards and sculptured fountains. The plaza houses 80 specialty shops including art galleries, clothing stores from casual to fine formal wear, jewelry and gift shops, and fine international restaurants and cafes.
Central Boca Raton
Town Center Mall is centrally located on Glades Road near I-95. This Spanish-style enclosed mall with exotic foliage, hand-glazed tiles and courtyard skylights provides a casual but elegant ambiance. The 1.3 million sq. ft. mall offers a sophisticated shopping experience and features five major department stores (Burdines, Bloomingdales, Lord & Taylor, Saks Fifth Avenue and Sears), 180 specialty shops, a large food court and outstanding restaurants.The mall is presently being enlarged to 1.5 million sq ft by the addition of a new Nordstrom Department Store with an attached parking garage, plus 13 additional shops, including Tiffany’s and William Sonoma, with a planned opening in the fall of 2000. Also, the Saks store is being significantly expanded, with an additional parking garage. There are many other shopping centers throughout Boca Raton that offer outstanding selections.
- East Boca: Fifth Avenue Shops, Oaks Plaza, Shoppes at the Sanctuary.
- Central Boca: Polo Shoppes, Del Mar Shopping Village, Garden Shops of Boca, Village Point, Regency Court, Shoppes of Boca and Piccadilly Square and Boca Center Shopping Center.
- West Boca: Mission Bay Plaza, Somerset Shoppes, Boca Lyons Plaza, West Boca Square, Westwinds Shopping Center, and Shadowood Square.
Delray Beach’s downtown main street portrays the charm of old Florida, featuring quaint brick sidewalks with gaslight street lamps. Colorful flowers and plantings, delightful store fronts and outdoor cafes set the stage for visitors and locals alike to enjoy shopping, dining, strolling and the ever popular pastime of people watching. From the rich architectural and cultural treasures of Old School Square on the west to beautiful ocean vistas on the east, Atlantic Avenue beckons the visitor to stop and relax for awhile and enjoy the treasures.
The avenue provides a cosmopolitan mix of shops with a wide array of merchandise – one-of-a- kind gifts and hard-to-find antiques, art galleries, fine clothing, and personal and professional services. Many fine restaurants and clubs offer cuisine for every taste and lots of establishments feature live music, from elegant piano to down-home blues. The city offers frequent special occasions, such as the regular Art and Jazz on the Avenue and annual Delray Affair.
Palm Beach/West Palm Beach
The county’s most famous shopping area is Worth Avenue, located in Palm Beach – four blocks of the finest shopping and dining in the world. When you walk along the tree flanked colonnades and explore the quaint vias along fabled Worth Avenue, you’ll rub shoulders with the most renowned identities in international fashion: From Cartier to Tiffany; Ralph Lauren and Calvin Klein to Giorgio Armani and Louis Vuitton; Gucci and Chanel to Hermes, Saks Fifth Avenue, FAO Schwartz, Mondi and Tourneau. In between are nearly 250 exquisite shops and boutiques, tantalizing restaurants and cafes, and trend setting galleries that cater to every whim.
Clematis Cultural, Retail and Entertainment District
Every great city has a street where everyone just has to go … where the shopping is so much fun, the restaurants so delightful, and the people so trendy that you must be there. In West Palm Beach, that street is The Clematis Cultural, Retail and Entertainment District. Beautifully restored buildings maintain an Old Florida charm. The street is home to a diverse mixture of more than 30 restaurants, 50 shops and galleries, and non-stop entertainment and fun. Lined with colorful landscaping, park benches, and enticing storefronts, Clematis leads residents and visitors alike from the Intracoastal waterfront to the heart of Downtown.
There’s never a dull moment on Clematis Street with a multitude of regular activities and special events planned all year long – Lunch Concert Series, Saturday morning GreenMarkets, Clematis by Night and Clematis Backstage cultural events, live concerts and holiday celebrations at the outdoor Meyer Amphitheater – to live music in clubs, author signings and poetry readings, to name just a few of the activities.
After dinner, enjoy one of the area’s many jazz clubs or bistros, or relax in a quiet piano bar. There are many different types of nightlife and entertainment from which to choose. Palm Beach County has some of the best night clubs offering everything from country western to progressive, jazz, contemporary or oldies music. From comedy shows, live theater, concerts and movies to a simple stroll on the beach, the county has something to suit everyone’s pace.
Boca Raton, Florida & Surrounding Area Outdoor Living
The relaxing atmosphere of dining at an outdoor cafe or waterfront restaurant with magnificent views is a treat that can be enjoyed year-round in Florida. And naturally, many boast an extensive menu of fresh seafoods. Strolling palm-shaded sidewalks and browsing through the many shops and galleries of open air retail centers are a favorite pastime for visitors and residents alike.
South Florida’s coastal communities have taken differing perspectives on their waterfront development. Boca’s oceanfront and intracoastal lands are substantially developed with either nature preserves, public parks and beaches or as residential properties – condominiums or single family homes. The city’s approach has been to offer people the opportunity to commune with nature or enjoy it on a private basis versus commercial development. There are very few hotels, shopping areas or restaurants located directly on waterfront properties.
Boca’s Downtown Shopping Areas are brimming with upscale shops and boutiques, and restaurants and cafes that have quaint outdoor settings to enjoy the wonderful sunshine and breezes. Mizner Park, Royal Palm Plaza and Palmetto Park Road’s downtown area offer upscale shopping and a variety of cuisines to appeal to every palate – from ethnic to nouvelle cuisine. You’ll never run out of choices.
Boca is just a short drive from Other Area Shopping – delightful downtown Delray Beach, Palm Beach’s world-famous Worth Avenue, and the quaint shops of Las Olas Boulevard in Ft. Lauderdale. Spending the day at the exclusive, upscale shops and cafes of Bal Harbour, located in the North Miami town of Bal Harbour is well worth the trip. Other nearby areas of Palm Beach County, such as Delray Beach, Palm Beach and Jupiter, and the various communities to the south from Deerfield Beach to Miami offer numerous choices for waterfront dining – both oceanfront and intracoastal restaurants where you can dock your boat and stop for a leisurely lunch.
Palm Beach County
A number of major malls anchored with famous name department stores are located from Boynton Beach to Miami. The Boynton Beach Mall is anchored by Macy’s, Dillards, Sears, Penney’s and Burdines plus numerous special fashion shops such as Ann Taylor, Lane Bryant, Gap & Express, Petite Sophisticate, and Victoria’s Secret. The Gardens of the Palm Beaches, in Palm Beach Gardens, features Macy’s. Saks Fifth Avenue, Bloomingdale’s, and Sears, plus 180 specialty shops, including Abercrombie & Fitch, Ann Taylor, Eddie Bauer, Liz Claibourne, Brooks Brothers, Disney Store, FAO Schwarz, Warner Bros. Studio Store, Sharper Image, and Franklin Mist Gallery.
The fashionable Galleria in Fort Lauderdale, with its two levels of world-class shopping, includes Neiman Marcus, Saks Fifth Avenue, Lord & Taylor, Dillard’s, Liz Claiborne, Williams-Somona, and Burdines plus 150 specialty shops and restaurants.
Broward County’s answer to Worth Avenue is Las Olas Boulevard. Stretching from Fort Lauderdale Beach, west through the lovely Riverwalk area along the New River, it offers an array of boutiques, galleries and restaurants.
And to the west of Fort Lauderdale is the huge Sawgrass Mills Outlet Mall that has become one of the top destinations for tourists visiting Broward County. Some of the outlet stores featured are Spiegel, Burlington Coat, J.C. Penney, Saks Fifth Avenue, and Bed, Bath & Beyond.
Further south, there are several large malls in the Miami area, one of the largest being the Adventura Mall, that includes Macy’s, Lord & Taylor, Penney’s etc. The Bal Harbour Shops in North Miami feature Nieman Marcus and Saks Fifth Avenue, plus such outstanding fashion and specialty shops as Christian Dior, Coco Paris, Cache, Brooks Brothers, Maus & Hoffman, Cartier, and Tiffany.