Gumbo Limbo Nature Center

Top choice in Gold Coast

Boca's best asset is this stretch of waterfront parkland. It's a preserve of tropical hammock and dunes ecosystems, and a haven for all manner of sea creatures and birds. Dedicated to educating the public about sea turtles and other local fauna, the natural-history displays include saltwater tanks full of critters. The highlight is the sea-turtle rehabilitation center.

The preserve also has a number of secluded hikes. These take you along elevated boardwalks through tropical foliage and along an artificial mangrove wetland, reclaimed using filtered wastewater from the city.

Lonely Planet's must-see attractions

Nearby Gold Coast attractions

1. Red Reef Beach

0.61 MILES

Sadly Hurricane Sandy buried most of the artificial reef in 2012, but this beach – one of three in the area – is still tops for water-lovers. There are…

2. Mizner Park

1.22 MILES

Since Boca lacks a cohesive downtown, Mizner Park generally serves as the city's center. At the north end, the Count de Hoernle Amphitheater accommodates…

3. Boca Raton Museum of Art

1.23 MILES

In Mizner Park, this elegant museum showcases the minor works of modern masters such as Picasso, Chagall and Modigliani (note: these may rotate). It also…

4. Deerfield Beach

3.36 MILES

Deerfield Beach is an award-winning 'Blue Wave' beach with pristine water, nine lifeguard towers and a designated surfing area north of the pier and south…

5. Deerfield Beach Historical Society

3.74 MILES

This volunteer-run organization oversees several sites from Deerfield Beach's early days in the 1920s. Back then the community was 1300 people strong and…

6. Public Beach

4.83 MILES

A hip gathering spot for young locals and visitors with excellent surf for swimming and life guards. Coin-operated parking meters charge $1.25 per hour.

7. Atlantic Dunes Park

5.12 MILES

Has 7 acres of shorefront, clean restroom facilities, volleyball courts and picnic areas.

8. Morikami Museum & Japanese Gardens

6.36 MILES

Japanese immigrant and pineapple farmer Sukeji 'George' Morikami, a member of the original Yamato settlement of Delray, donated his spectacularly…