If you’re buying a home for sale in Boca Raton, you already know that this area is teeming with natural beauty – but did you know there are three little-known outdoor attractions where you can see spectacular sights within a short drive from the community? Check out these three gorgeous outdoor attractions near Boca Raton.
3 Gorgeous Outdoor Attractions Near Boca Raton
Whether you’re looking for someplace colorful and fun or a quiet spot that’s perfect for meditation and reflection, you’ll find it at one of these great outdoor attractions near Boca Raton:
- The Morikami Museum and Japanese Gardens
- Green Cay Nature Center and Wetlands
- St. Bernard de Clairvaux Episcopal Church
Here’s a closer look at each.
The Morikami Museum and Japanese Gardens
The Morikami Museum and Japanese Gardens, located at 4000 Morikami Park Road in Delray Beach, is a peaceful, idyllic park memorializing a group of Japanese farmers who mainly hailed from Miyazu, Japan. The space was originally intended to be the Yamato Colony, populated by pineapple farmers – but everything went south due to pineapple blight that struck the crops in 1908.
After a few short years, the Yamato Colony’s farmers relocated; some traveled elsewhere in the U.S. to strike their own ways, while others returned to Japan. Only one farmer – George Morikami – remained in the area. Morikami purchased 200 acres of farmland and farmed them for the next 65 years; he then donated them to Palm Beach County, and today, the Morikami Museum and Japanese Gardens are open to visitors who want to enjoy perfectly manicured gardens, explore interactive exhibits and photograph the on-site wildlife.
Related: 55+ villas for sale in Boynton Beach
Green Cay Nature Center and Wetlands
The Green Cay Nature Center and Wetlands, located at 12800 Hagen Ranch Road in Boynton Beach, features an artificial lake and marsh that’s been built on former farmland. The wetlands allow local species to thrive, filter pollutants from the water, and provide habitats for all kinds of plants and animals.
When you visit, you can walk more than a mile of elevated boardwalk through cypress swamps and open-water marshes, and you can learn about the natural environment through interactive signs along the way. It’s a great place for kids to learn about wetlands and ecosystems, too, because the nature center is filled with exhibits on the water cycle and all the flora and fauna that call the wetlands home.
St. Bernard de Clairvaux Episcopal Church
One of the oldest European buildings in the entire Western Hemisphere, St. Bernard de Clairvaux Episcopal Church is located at 16711 West Dixie Highway in North Miami Beach. The cloisters were built between 1133 and 1141 and were part of a Cistercian monastery when the territory belonged to Spain. They were seized during the First Carlist War in Spain during the mid-1830s, and then sold and turned into granaries.
In 1925, William Randolph Hearst loved the cloisters so much that he paid to have them disassembled and shipped to the United States in 11,000 separate boxes. Unfortunately for Hearst, the bricks in the boxes were packed with hay that may have been contaminated with hoof-and-mouth disease – so the boxes were emptied, the hay was burned, and the stones were re-packed. The stones remained in boxes in a warehouse in Brooklyn, New York until Hearst’s death.
Two men – W. Edgemon and R. Moss – purchased the boxes for $1.5 million with the intention of reconstructing the original cloisters and building a tourist attraction. It took them nearly two years to solve the puzzle of how the bricks went back together, but today, they stand as one of the oldest European buildings in the United States.
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