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Boca Raton Entertainment

Best Site For Things To Do In South Florida

http://www.southflorida.com/attractions/

Best Movie Theater

Cinemark
3200 Airport Rd.,
Boca Raton, FL 33431
561-395-9009

Best Place to Find a Bargain

Sawgrass Mills Mall
12801 W. Sunrise Blvd., Sunrise
954-846-2300
800-356-4557

Discover Sawgrass Mills and find more shoes, more jewelry, more fragrances,more fashion, and more places to eat than you ever imagined in one place.Sawgrass Mills, recognized as one of the most popular international shopping destinations, features almost 2 miles of "Shoppertainmentsm!"More than 300 retail outlets and name brand discounters including Off 5th Saks Fifth Avenue Outlet, Last Call! Neiman Marcus, Kenneth Cole, Mikasa Factory Store and JCPenney Outlet. Plus--two major food courts and great restaurants.The Oasis at Sawgrass Mills is a hot spot both day and night, where you can dine al fresco at Hard Rock Cafe, Legal Seafoods or Wolfgang Puck Cafe, and play at GameWorks and the 23-screen Regal Cinemas.

Hours: Monday - Saturday 10am - 9:30pm Sunday 11am - 8pm

On your mark, get set...SHOP!

Best Public Beach

Red Reef Park
1400 N. State Road A1A

Dune boardwalk with observation gazebos, nature center, protected beach, play areas and picnic facilities. Professional lifeguards on duty.

Delray Beach
On A1A from Thomas Street to Atlantic Avenue, Delray Beach
561-243-7352

Delray Beach has a municipal beach which is at the intersection of A1A and Atlantic Ave. The beach stretches 1.5 miles, and there is a sidewalk along the back side of the beach, for pedestrians only. This is a great family beach with lifeguards and Emergency Medical Technicians on hand, restrooms and restaurants directly across the street. The water is shallow for a while, which makes it a great place for swimming, and the boat ramp and storage facilities also make this a good place to sail, surf or windsurf. 

Best Local Attraction for Kids

Rapids Water Park
6566 North Military Trail, West Palm Beach
561-848-6272

Rapids Water Park has 22 acres of action packed attractions, with something fun for everyone There's water everywhere in this wet wonderland - wave channels, flumes, shallow pools and more. The newest attractions are the Pirate's Plunge and Riptide Raftin. The Plunge is the park's newest speed slide that has a 70-foot drop! The Riptide is an enclosed tube ride where you can pack in 5 of your best friends for rippin' time. There are 16 water slides in allTamer water fun can be found in the Lazy River. And the Tad Pool's shallow play area and tree-trunk slide are perfect for toddlers. Children splash their way through Pelican Bay and Alligator Alley, where they clamor over monstrous floating swamp animals, including a 12-foot gator and 24-foot snakes. Life jackets are available. The park also has a miniature golf course, two full-serve snack bars, an ice cream parlor and a sno-cone stand. 

Boomer's Family Recreation Center
3100 Airport Rd., Boca Raton
561-347-1888

Boomers is a miniature amusement park complete with game room, center for children, race track, bumper boats, miniature golf and food center.

Hours: Noon to 11 p.m. Mon.- Fri.

Best Local Tourist Attraction

Lion Country Safari
2003 Lion Country Safari Rd.
Off Southern Boulevard (SR 80/98/441), Loxahatchee
561-793-1084

At Lion Country Safari you'll enjoy two different parks for the price of one.. First, lead your own safari through its world famous 500-acre drive-through wildlife preserve. You'll see more than 1000 types of animals from around the world. Keep your eyes open -- at Lion Country Safari they have the right of way! After your trip into the wild, have a wild time at the Safari World amusement park. Enjoy free rides, games, a petting zoo for children, nature walks, animal demonstrations, feedings and much more.

15 miles west of West palm Beach out SR 80

Hours: 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. daily

Best Downtown Shopping Area

CityPlace
700 South Rosemary Ave., West Palm Beach
561-366-1000

CityPlace is a shopping, entertainment and residential complex that features Williams-Sonoma, Pottery Barn, FAO Schwarz, Brookstone, Cache, Ann Taylor and Mayor's Jewelers, Hugo Boss and Kenneth Cole shoes and a 20-screen Muvico theater.For dinning there are The Cheesecake Factory and City Cellar Wine Bar and Grill, a new concept by the owners of Big City Tavern on Clematis Street..

About 54 specialty shops also are planned.

Best Place for Singles to Meet

Gigi's Tavern
346 Plaza Real
Mizner Park, Boca Raton
561-368-4488

It's hard to say just how large the dance floor is at Gigi's because people stand 3-feet-deep in the area around the raised platform from where Edge performs. Few of the bistro's areas provide a view of the band. Can't see the group from the outside patio or side corridor occupied by one long, large bar, or in the small sitting room at the building's opposite end. Best spot for sit-down viewing is in the dining room directly facing the stage or at the Oyster Bar. So lots of people stand around, giving Gigi's the look of a very popular place. Well-dressed people ages 30-plus stream into the French-styled tavern. The high-energy level, friendly spirit and excellent music fit together well. Saxophonist Michele Moretti, singer Tammy Lawrence, singer Mano Inchausti and drummer Steve Slaman are the group's members. They go from one high-energy song to another, providing dynamic showmanship and phenomenal musical talent. Appetizers are interesting. For those who just want a nibble along with libations, Gigi's does well with its crispy fried calamari ($7.95) and spicy Thai chicken lettuce wraps ($7.95). Well-brand cocktails cost $5.99, but be sure to specify "well" or "house" brand. The bar is open from 9:30 p.m.-12:30 a.m. Tuesdays and Wednesdays and from 10 p.m.-1 a.m. on Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays.

Hours: 11:30 a.m. to 11 p.m., Monday to Thursday; 11:30 a.m. to 12 midnight, Friday and Saturday; 11:30 a.m. to 10:30 p.m. on Sunday. 

Best 18 Holes of Golf

Boca Raton Municipal Golf Course
8111 205th Street S.
561/483-6100

Four blocks west of Florida's Turnpike on Glades Road is an 18-hole regulation, 6,593-yard, par-72 course; a nine-hole, 1,877-yard, par-30 executive course; a driving range and putting green; as well as a 10,000-square-foot clubhouse, golf shop, food service, club storage and locker rooms. The course is open 365 days a year, from daylight to dark. Special programs include junior golf, the Anniversary Classic, golf lessons and city championships. Annual permits for residents and non-residents, and resident ID cards are available.

Best Museum

Flagler Museum
Coconut Row and Whitehall Way, Palm Beach
561-655-2833

Sweeping guests into the opulence and luxury of America's Gilded Age, the one-time family home to Henry Morrison Flagler offers a charming, intimate portrait of Florida's evolution. Florida's history is inexorably intertwined with railroad magnate Flagler. In 1902 Whitehall was built as a wedding gift for Flagler's third wife, Mary Lily Kenan. Though Flagler died in 1913 at age 83, the house remained a family home until 1925, when it was sold to a group of investors. The group made additions to the house, adding a 10-story tower and turning it into a hotel. In 1959, Flagler's granddaughter, Jean Flagler Matthews, purchased the home. One year later, she established the Flagler Museum. Matthews led the push to remove the hotel's tower in 1963, restoring Whitehall to its original appearance. To design the house, Flagler commissioned John Carrere and Thomas Hastings, known in the Beaux Arts era for their French Renaissance style. Spread over two floors and spanning 55,000 square feet, Whitehall is decorated in a wide range of styles, from Louis XIV to Swiss chalet. Louis Comfort Tiffany, better known for his brilliance in glass artistry, is among the featured painters. The billiards room, in dark hues of brown and green, represents Swiss influence. As in most rooms, the ceilings are carved in intricate detail. French Renaissance splendor graces the main dining room, which features a fireplace bearing sea motif carvings and satyrs.

Admission is $8 for adults and $3 for children 6 to 12.

Hours: Tuesday through Saturday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., Sundays noon to 5 p.m.
Closed Mondays, Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Years.

Flagler Museum from Gilded Age

Living large -- Henry Flagler's mansion, Whitehall

Best Things To Do in Palm Beach County

Morikami Museum and Japanese Gardens
4000 Morikami Park Rd., Delray Beach
561-495-0233

A Spiritual Journey at Morikami Thriving in western Palm Beach County with all the color and majesty of an orchid, the Morikami and its lush gardens provide locals with an affordable journey to the Orient that requires no passport and offers Japanese art, history and cuisine. A member of the original Yamato agricultural colony in 1906, benefactor and namesake George Morikami donated the west Delray Beach land to the city in 1975. The museum opened in 1977, a year after Morikami's death. Today the museum houses a Japanese Art Gallery and a Tea Room. With so much to learn about Japanese customs and culture, visitors are encouraged to participate in the many classes and workshops offered throughout the year. While the sticky summer temperatures rise to volcanic proportions, indoors visitors can learn ancient customs and craftsmanship. Visitors wanting to know more about the museum's history can visit the Morikami's library. Finally, no trip to the museum is complete without stopping in the gift shop. Need a new happi coat for the summer party season? If so, look for an array of patterns and styles at the museum. The shop also contains everything from elaborate handcrafted dolls to tiny chopstick holders.     

International Orchid Center
16700 AOS Lane, Delray Beach
561-404-2000

A new 20,000-square-foot Mediterranean-style building with an atrium and copula. The balcony is adorned with custom-designed medallions decorated with an orchid motif. The craftsman used several pictures of cattlelyas for inspiration as he created his own "artistic hybrid" for the design. A 1,690-square-foot gift shop features a variety of items -- from typical gift shop fare like books, jewelry and T-shirts to hand-painted candlesticks and orchid motif doormats. Adjacent to the gift shop is a tiled garden room, which sells displays from local growers on a consignment basis.The 3.5 acres of gardens showcases more than 600 species of ornamentals as well as orchids..

More information: Full story on the museum by Sun-Sentinel

Hours: Monday through Saturday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Arthur R. Marshall Loxahatchee National Wildlife Refuge
10216 Lee Road, Boynton Beach
561-734-8303

This 221-square mile refuge is the northernmost remaining example of Everglades habitat. There is a 12-mile bike trail and walking path. If you enter at the main entrance west of U.S. 441 between Boynton Beach Blvd. and Delray beach's Atlantic Ave., you can kayak or canoe down a 5.5-mile waterway that has been cut into the grasses of the Everglades. There is also a 57-mile L-40 canal that follows the circumference of the park. If you enter the refuge farther south at the Hillsboro Entrance at the west end of Laxahatchee Rd., you'll find a parking lot that extends into the Everglades that is sometimes borded with beautiful water lillies. To the south side of the parking lot is Water Conservation Area 2, where you can get airboat rides.

Parking fee: $5 (a $12 annual pass is also available)

US 441 (SR 7), between Boynton Beach Blvd. & Atlantic Avenue.

Hours: Hours: 9 a.m.-4 p.m. Mon-Fri, 9 a.m.-4:30 p.m. Sat-Sun & holidays.

Best South Florida places to dip a paddle

Loxahatchee: Florida's unspoiled beauty

Bonnet House
900 N. Birch Road
954-563-5393

Once a pocket of gentility on an untamed coast, the 35-acre estate is now a preserve for an Old Florida time warp. The land, 700 feet along the ocean reaching inland to the Intracoastal Waterway, was a wedding gift from Hugh Taylor Birch to his daughter, Helen, and Chicago artist Frederic Clay Bartlett in 1919. At its heart, Bartlett built a two-story, concrete-block plantation house with a large, lush courtyard, a music room for Helen, an art studio for himself and a chickee-covered bridge leading over the salt marsh to the beach trail. It was a perfect vacation house for Helen and Frederic, who wintered here until her death from cancer in 1925. Six years later, Bartlett married Evelyn Fortune Lilly, and together they built on the whimsical legacy of Bonnet House. At Evely's best, Frederic dredged the marsh to make freshwater lagoons. As another gift for his beloved, he created a circular shell house that displays shells from around the world and an adjoining orchid house and bamboo bar. The Island Theater, surrounded by a moat, was built to show a friend's movies of an African gorilla hunt.. The small building is now used as a classroom. Today visitors can take a guided tour of the house and step back into the life and times of the Bartletts. EXPERT TIP: Remember to wear comfortable shoes, you'll be doing a lot of walking.    

Calder Race Course
21001 NW 27th Ave., Miami
305-625-1311

The live racing season at Calder runs May 23-Jan. 2. The biggest event of the year is the Festival of the Sun, which offers $1.3 million in stakes purses. There's also lots of fun for families, including live musical entertainment, a petting zoo, pony rides and a Horse Fair, where more than a dozen breeds of horses will be on display. **EXPERT TIP: Hot day, cold day, overcast day, it doesn't matter. The entire building is climate controlled for comfort.

Calder Race Course is next to Pro Player Stadium, near the Broward (Ft. Lauderdale) / Dade (Miami) county line. It is easily accessible from the Florida Turnpike, I-95, U.S. 441, the Palmetto Expressway and 27th Avenue (University Drive).

Swap Shop & Circus
3291 W. Sunrise Blvd., Fort Lauderdale
Sunrise Blvd. and State Road 7
954-791-7927

The famous Swap Shop boasts more than 2,000 vendors each day and 12 million shoppers each year. You can find almost anything here - from fresh, farm-grown produce and flowers to homemade crafts and garage-sale bargains. There's even entertainment for children and adults at the Swap Shop Circus, live performances daily!

Between I-95 and Florida Turnpike on Sunrise Blvd, near intersection of Sunrise and State Road 7.

Hours: Open every day of the year. Hours vary by day. See the schedule on the Swap Shop Website for more information.

Swap till you drop

Gulfstream Park
901 S. Federal Highway, Hallandale Beach
U.S. 1 and Hallendale Boulevard
888-57H-ORSE

Gulfstream Park offers both horse racing and concerts. The racing season at Gulfstream runs from Jan. 3-March 16, culminating in the the Florida Derby. The Derby, with a purse of $1 million, is the biggest day in Florida thoroughbred racing. Throughout the season, Gulfstream's concerts include headline musical and family entertainment, especially on Sunday, which is "Family Day." One adult is admitted free with each child. Gulfstream is closed on Tuesdays during the season. EXPERT TIPS: Dress casually and be ready to walk. Horse racing is an ambulatory spectator sport. If you plan on dining in one of the park's three restaurants, dress better. Learn the basics of horseracing and handicapping by attending Inside Track classes, held 12:30-4 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays. Classes last about an hour and they're free. Register at any of the customer service booths. Bring sunscreen. Plan to spend the day.

Directions: I-95 to Hallandale Beach Boulevard. East to U.S. 1 and Hallandale Beach Boulevard. Park entrance points are located on both Hallandale Beach Boulevard and US-1.

Jungle Queen Riverboat
801 Seabreeze Blvd. (A1A)
Radisson Bahia Mar Yachting Center, Fort Lauderdale
954-462-5596

The Jungle Queen has been an institution in Fort Lauderdale for more than 65 years. It offers two three-hour cruises, which set sail at 10 a.m. and 2 p.m.. daily from the Radisson Bahia Mar Yachting Center on the Intracoastal Waterway. The four-hour dinner cruise sets out at 7 p.m., offering an all-you-can-eat barbecue of ribs, chicken and steamed shrimp, as well as a variety show. Traveling the same path either day or night, one finds the historic river is a beautiful sight. By day, the cruise takes you more than five miles inland. Tour guides point out who owns what among the magnificent homes along the way. The boat ride stops at the Jungle Queen Indian Village, where a snack shop offers hotdogs, chips, sodas, beer and ice cream. You can view caged exotic birds, wild monkeys and alligators. Seminole Indians display beaded crafts, which can be purchased. Ten minutes after arriving, the main attraction begins. Daniel Fontaine appears among several 250- to 300-pound alligators in the wrestling pit. Dan pries a mouth open with bare hands to display ferocious teeth. Just when you think you've seen enough, it's back on board for the return excursion.

Three-hour cruise, $12.50 adults, $8.25 children under 10; dinner cruise, $26.95 per person; Miami cruise, $15.50. Cash or traveler's checks only.

Hours: Daily 10 a.m. and 2 p.m., three-hour sightseeing cruises; daily 7 p.m. to 11 p.m., dinner cruise. Miami cruises 9:15 a.m. - 5:15 p.m. Wednesday & Saturday.

A glimpse of city's past.

Las Olas Riverfront
SW 1st Avenue, Fort Lauderdale

Call it the playground for grownups, Las Olas Riverfront is situated in downtown Fort Lauderdale on the banks of the New River. The place has a Disney-esque quality, thanks to the brand new, but trying to look old and weathered, design.

Mizner Park
On Federal Highway, just north of Palmetto Park Road, Boca Raton
561-393-7806

Take I-95 to Glades Road and go east to Federal Hwy. Go south on Federal Hwy.. and Mizner Park Amphitheatre is on the east side of the street.

Current/Upcoming Events

Norton Museum of Art
1451 S. Olive Ave, West Palm Beach
561-832-5196

The Norton Museum of Art offers a world-renowned collection featuring some of the greatest names in art. Visitors will find works on permanent display by:

Claude Monet
Gauguin
Pablo Picasso
Andrew Wyeth
Edward Hopper
Stuart Davis
Georgia O'Keefe
Jackson Pollock
Alexander Calder
Andy Warhol

The Norton Museum was founded in 1941 by Ralph and Elizabeth Norton when they decided to share their collection with the public. The strength of the museum's permanent collection is in quality, not numbers. Mr. Norton's goal as a collector was to acquire an artist's finest work. He particularly sought out those works which represented turning points or touchstones in an artist's career. The Museum underwent a major renovation, including a 77,500 square foot expansion, in 1997. DIRECTIONS: Take I-95 (either north or south) to EXIT 52A - Okeechobee Boulevard east. Go EAST on Okeechobee to Dixie Highway, then turn RIGHT (south) and go 1/2 mile to the Norton. Parking may be accessed through entrances on Dixie Highway and Olive Avenue. 

Palm Beach Zoo at Dreher Park
1301 Summit Blvd., West Palm Beach
561-533-0887

Palm Beach Zoo is a small, intimate park where many of the 400 animals reside just a few feet from the main walking trail. It is nestled on 23 acres in West Palm Beach. The zoo is shady, easy to walk in a few hours and offers children in strollers an unobstructed view of most of the exhibits. (By comparison, Miami-Dade's Metrozoo, the only other zoo in South Florida, sprawls across 740 acres.) Here, the proximity to the animals gives the zoo a hands-on feeling. There are no moats or prairie spaces separating them from us. With a focus on the South and Central Americas and the Pacific Rim, the zoo is home to animals such as Bengal tigers, jaguars, exotic parrots, a Komodo dragon and a 4-foot long capybara from South America, the largest rodent in the world. The zoo's history dates to the 1950s when the late Paul Dreher urged the city of West Palm Beach to preserve the land that sits just east of Interstate 95 on Summit Boulevard. Dreher, the former parks and recreation director, wanted a botanical and zoological garden. But it wasn't until 1969 that a group of citizens formed the Zoological Society of the Palm Beaches and the zoo opened with a handful of animals.

Hours: The opens daily at 9 a.m. and closes at 5 p.m.

Stop, hear and smell the jungle

Ramblin' Rose Riverboat
801 E Atlantic Ave., Delray Beach
561-243-0686

The Rose offers daily sightseeing, lunch and dinner cruises on the Intracoastal. Reservations are required.

Hours: Seasonal: Nov. 1 through Feb. 1 the Rose goes out daily. The rest of
the year she is not available.

Royal Palm Polo
18000 Jog Road, Boca Raton
561-994-1876

The season at Royal Palm Polo runs from the first Sunday in January through mid-April. And every March through the year 2000, Royal Palm will host the USPA Gold Cup. Matches are held at 1 and 3 p.m. every Sunday. EXPERT TIPS: Come early and have brunch before the match in Oxley's Restaurant (located at the polo grounds). Or, pack a picnic lunch.

From I-95, exit Yamato Road west. Take Yamato west to Jog Road. Go north on Jog Road approximately 2 to 2 1/2 miles, until you see the entrance on the right. 

Vizcaya Museum and Gardens
3251 S. Miami Ave., Miami
305-250-9133

Southern charm at its greatest with a little Italian flair. the Vizcaya is a 34-room Italian villa nestled among 10 acres of gardens on Biscayne Bay. The rounds include over 10 acres of formal gardens and fountains. Vizcaya is one of only two officially designated National Historic Landmarks in Miami-Dade County.

Current/Upcoming Events

Hours: The villa is open 9:30 a.m.-5 p.m.; gardens, 9:30 a.m.-5:30 p.m.