Travel Thursday: Boca Raton, Florida - Dining, Entertainment, And Lodging In The Laziest City In America.
A poll has named Florida cities as three of the top five laziest cities in America. Is this surprising? With weather people can only compare to paradise, a good cost of living, and beaches just about every where you look, Florida has the ingredients to make its inhabitants lazy as heck. Besides an alligator in your pool, there's no reason to have a fast paced life down here in the Sunshine State.
So what cities are on top?
Boca Raton has been dubbed the laziest city in America, a new study says.
“The Beverly Hills of Florida,” as it’s sometimes called, joined two other Florida cities on Realtor.com’s “Top 10 Cities Where Lazy Folks Can Thrive” list. Orlando and Miami were included as numbers 2 and 5.
What makes a city lazy, do you ask?
According to Realtor.com, number of restaurants that offer delivery, number of day spas and massage therapy centers, average hours of sleep and average work hours per week were all included as factors that contribute to a city’s laziness. The availability of service phone apps and average cost of a cleaning service were also measured. - sun-sentinel.com
I've relaxed quite a bit since I moved to Fort Lauderdale, Florida, but now I learn that 15 miles away from my home is the laziest city in America? This deserves a visit.
I had visited Boca Raton one time before, via boat up the Intracoastal Waterway to Lake Boca, not really a lake but a widening of the Intracoastal with a natural sand bar in the middle. An amazing time was had, full of boating and boys all enjoying the sun and sights while wading in knee to waist deep water. It's a must on a great summer day, especially when the burger and hot dog boat is in full cook.
Returning to Boca for a weekend away, I was very happy to find a room overlooking the Intracoastal and Lake Boca at the Waterstone Resort & Marina. What had use to be the Boca Bridge Hotel, the Waterstone felt like a brand new establishment, now 3 years under the Doubletree by Hilton umbrella. In talking with Jennifer Graham, Director of Sales & Marketing, and Roseann Grippo, General Manager, being under the Doubletree and Hilton has brought many perks to the location, but it also allowed the hotel to "be who they want to be." There's the soft branding of the more well known chains that allows the Waterstone to be a boutique hotel "inside a Doubletree."
The quality and variety is there within this 139 room venue, which includes 10 Executive Suites, and one Presidential Suite, and even a pet friendly floor which many of my friends look for when traveling. The Waterstone is a Four Diamond Hotel. Only 5.7 percent of the nearly 28,000 hotels Approved by AAA make the Four Diamond list. Grippo did mention the hotel is owned 90% by a father and son team. They are local, involved, supportive, and energetic about the betterment and quality of the location.
The Waterstone does have a good connection to the water, which I was told was the reason for it's name, showing a marriage of the water and stone. The resort has two restaurants right on the water and chances to get onto the water with boat, jet ski, kayak, and paddle board rentals as well as opportunities to go scuba diving, sailing, fishing, and partaking in a catamaran cruise. And if you're local and are already on the water, you can order food from the Waterstone Bar & Grill and pick it up dockside. Don't worry, the dock can accommodate your boat, up to 80 ft.
We wanted to be lazy in Boca and at the Waterstone all day and night, but we wanted to see where else we could be uber relaxed. The Wick Theatre and Costume Museum came highly recommended. I am not a huge fan of show tunes and Broadway musicals, but I can hold my own in a conversation about the art so a tour of a museum that specialized in costumes from original musical and revivals seemed like it would be interesting. I was amazed. Along the tour, you were up close and personal with full cast costumes from Dracula, Camelot, How to Succeed in Business …, A funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum, Titanic, Hello Dolly, My Fair Lady, 9 to 5, Porgy and Bess, and so many more. It costs $100k to $1 million to acquire full cast costumes from shows. High schools and other production houses can rent the costumes for up to $75k per production. Normal pricing for a tour and luncheon was about $38. Next time I will look into doing a TLM, a tour, luncheon, and matinee in their attached 320 seat theater for about $98.
Unlike anything you have seen before, the Costume Museum at the Wick Theatre is an astounding exhibit of the finest costumes ever brought to the Broadway stage by the most honored and respected designers in the history of the American Musical Theatre. This incredible venue houses a collection of original costumes from over 35 Broadway productions and revivals with an estimated value of more than 20 million dollars. The collection has been featured on The Today Show, in People magazine and was the subject of a spectacular photo essay in Vogue magazine by renowned photographer, Bruce Weber.
“For the past 38 years, I have had the privilege of collecting wardrobes from the most prestigious and successful Broadway productions in history,” said Founder and Executive Producer Marilynn A. Wick. “My passion for preserving this cornerstone of the American theatre inspired me to envision the rehearsal and prop storage area at the rear of the theatre as the dramatic showcase where over 100 years of our history can be preserved and appreciated for years to come.”
The Farmer's Table, a sustainable or "farm to table" restaurant, was an eatery that I had heard about ever since I moved to southern Florida. Attached to the Wyndham Boca Raton, The Farmer's Table offered drinks, apps, entrees, and desserts that were quite satisfying in regard to both quality and price. Cost was less than most Fort Lauderdale restaurants of lower quality. This restaurant is highly recommended, but make a reservation, just in case. Just 16 miles from my house? I'll be back.
I had other commitments that kept me from enjoying all that Boca Raton had to offer this lazy weekend seeker. With theater events at the Wick, excellent food options at the Farmer's Table, and a great place to stay at The Waterstone, there are many reasons to come back.
Working in Miami and living in Fort Lauderdale, I've never really think about going north of Oakland Park Boulevard and Wilton Manors, but with it being so close to FLL and MIA, I will be making Boca Raton a location I will visit again and soon.
999 East Camino Real
Boca Raton, FL 33432
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Box Office: (561) 995-2333
7901 North Federal Highway - Boca Raton, FL 33487