With its beautiful beaches on the Atlantic Ocean and rivers winding from inland to the ocean, it’s no surprise that Boca Raton has many nature preserves to check out with the family.
Gumbo Limbo Nature Center
Formally named The Gumbo Limbo Environmental Complex, this nature center is run and operated by the city of Boca Raton, and is located on Ocean Boulevard.
On one of the nature walks through the center, you catch glimpses of local wildlife, and it’s not uncommon to see Sea Turtles! The center’s turtle conservation efforts have been lauded for years.
To make things even better, the center offers free parking, only asking for a donation of $5 to enjoy this local gem.
Blazing Star Preserve
The Blazing Star preserve is 26 acres of scrub pine and other flora such as sand live oaks, myrtle oak, chapman oak, saw palmetto, slash pine, sand pine, bromeliad, prickly pear cactus, marsh ferns and cinnamon ferns, found on W Camino Real, near I-95 and is exclusively for walking trails with occasional wildlife sightings.
The area is peaceful, but still more geared toward exercise than relaxation, taking about 30-45 minutes to walk the length of the trail. Reviewers recommend bringing your own water.
Florida Atlantic University Ecological Site
Found down on Glades road, this eco site is run by the Charles E. Schmidt college of science and supports the nearby university’s environmental science program, as well as being open to the public.
All manner of local plants and creatures can be found along the trails, and with three trails to choose from, you can enjoy the place much more than once.
Yamato Scrub Natural Area
On Clint Moore Rd, you’ll find the Yamato Scrub Natural Area, where a parking lot can also be used as an access point to the nearby El Rio Trail and is in close proximity to a public library.
The trails take pro-level hikers upward of an hour and a half to travel all the way, so the preserve is clearly a good size. The place is well-reviewed, with the only common complaint being lack of seating.
Daggerwing Nature Center
Found on Park Access Road, near U.S. 441 S is Daggerwing Nature Center, built inside Burt Aaronson South County Regional Park.
The nature park has an exhibit with live animals and interactive exhibits as well, in addition to its scenic boardwalks near the beach, classroom facilities, laboratory, art gallery, reading area, and butterfly garden.
Directions from Highland Beach to True North Wellness Center
Head east toward S Ocean Blvd
Turn right onto S Ocean Blvd
Turn right onto E Palmetto Park Rd
Turn left onto S Dixie Hwy
Turn left onto SE 6th St
Destination will be on the right