Boca Raton is an affluent retirement community of 83,000. Having a home in “Boca” ironically provides a certain cachet. The irony comes from the derivation of the city’s name in Spanish– “rat’s mouth”. The city has benefited from a carefully thought out Master Plan and strict zoning and signage laws that have helped make it a desirable place to live. The Master Plan helped to revitalize decaying areas – some of its features included mass landscaping, expansion of the downtown park, Sanborn Square, and restoration of the old city hall to become a museum. Up until the 1990’s the city was the headquarters of IBM. The city also made headlines in 2001 as the site of the first anthrax attack in the country.
A new downtown shopping center, Mizner Park, was completed over the site of the older Boca Raton Mall. Featuring a landscaped central park between two cobblestone roads (collectively called Plaza Real) with stores only on the outside of the roads, Mizner Park resembles a Mediterranean suburban "town center" with a more contemporary look. It features many restaurants and it has since become a cultural center for the city. This affluent city is warm in the winter, has a decidedly upscale town center with world class shopping, and has a rich array of choices for retirement living. The city has many public beaches and parks. Photo of Mizner Park courtesy of Wikipedia and Elfguy in the public domain.
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Where to Retire in Boca Raton and Home Prices
Retirees who want to live near the water – either the beach or the intercoastal - will love living in Boca Raton. Or you can choose to live in one of the many gated communities in the town or surrounding area. Boca Raton offers apartments near the ocean as well as single family homes. The median home value in early 2021 was $365,467 according to Zillow. However, there are still many properties near the ocean selling for much more.
What Is Special about Boca Raton
Beautiful white sandy beaches; World class shopping in a beautiful environment; Warm weather all winter; average Jan temperature is in the mid-60s;
Many housing opportunities for retirees, including high rise apartments near the beach and gated communities to the west; A Master Plan and strict zoning laws
What Is Not Special about Boca Raton
• Crowds in season • Some people might view it as too upscale or busy
Who Will Like Retirement in Boca Raton
Boca Raton attracts a diverse community with the common denominator that they are generally affluent. With a Jewish population of over 15%, Boca is one of the largest Jewish communities in the U.S. Many residents have retired here from New York City.
Local Economy Is Driven by
Business (much of it high-tech), tourism, retail, and real estate are important to the economy
Climate and Physical Environment
Boca Raton is on the southeast coast of Florida, about 30 miles north of Miami. It is flat with the Atlantic Ocean on the East and serious real estate development to the west. It is one of the warmest places in the U.S. during winter. Find out more about what it is like to retire in Florida
Restaurants & Cultural Scene
Mizner Park has since become a cultural center for the city. It is home to the Boca Raton Museum of Art which opened in 2001. In 2002, a new amphitheater was built replacing a smaller one, providing a large-capacity outdoor venue. Two colleges provide cultural opportunities for residents: Palm Beach Community College has a Boca Raton campus, as does Florida Atlantic University, part of the State University System of Florida. Nearby Fort Lauderdale, Palm Beach, and Miami have much to offer culturally just a short drive away.
Crime in Boca Raton is just under the national average.
There are 2 hospitals in town: Boca Raton Community Hospital Inc and West Boca Medical Center
Palm Beach International is 20 miles away, Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport is 21 miles away. Several railroads pass through Boca Raton, with the nearest Amtrak passenger service in nearby Deerfield Beach (4 miles). Tri-Rail provides commuter service from Palm Beach County, through Broward County/Boca Raton, and into Miami-Dade County. Boca Raton is average walkability when compared to other towns.
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