Not Your Parents' Boca Raton

January 10, 2014 | by Beth Landman | Pursuits

surf school boca raton resort and club
A surf school and ice skating rink round out the activities amenities at Boca Raton Resort & Club. 

Boca Raton was immortalized on Seinfeld as the home of Jerry’s parents, but the city right now has little in common with the retirement community portrayed in the ‘80s sitcom. The booming area is full of fun, ahead-of-the curve options for dining, shopping, and entertainment. Here are a few pursuits that definitely make it worth the trip.

Surf School, Ice Skating, and Sushi
Around since the 1920s, the palatial pink Boca Raton Resort & Club, A Waldorf Astoria Resort was thoroughly modernized this year. Now touting a surf school that attracts a younger, hipper set (thanks to hot Aussie instructors), the hotel has also installed a sprawling pink skating rink that stays impossibly frozen, even when the sun is beating down on it. Apart from catching the waves and hitting the ice, there are two 18-hole golf courses, tennis, and a variety of swimming pools. Also worth checking out is the property's anti-aging center, Cenegenics, where a video game will test your brain age. Ready to unwind? Head to the recently updated Spa Palazzo for a massage followed by a visit to the Roman baths, where you'll be fed sorbet while you soak. Lastly, sidle up to the sushi bar at the resort’s Morimoto outpost. 501 E Camino Real, Boca Raton, 561-447-3000

ipic theater in boca raton
Mizner Park's iPic combines dinner, a movie, and a scene. 

A First Class Night at the Movies
Located in Mizner Park amidst boutiques and outdoor dining, iPic makes other film houses feel like rec rooms. In addition to custom Italian leather recliners and a full Italian restaurant in the lobby, there's also cocktail and "dine in the dark" waiter service at your seat. The feeling is that of a private, super high-end screening room. 301 Plaza Real, Boca Raton, 561-299-3000 

Dial-a-Driver
If you beckon the cocktail water at iPic one too many times, dial up White Glove Drivers. The new service has drivers at the ready to chauffeur you home in your own car—no worries about getting home safely or going back to pick up your ride. 561-Drivers (374-8377)

Crave-Worthy Farm-to-Table Fare 
Real estate developer Mitchell Robbins and chef Joey Giannuzzi had the brilliant idea of offering generous portions of locally sourced, largely organic, healthy food at affordable prices. The result? Lines out the door within a week of opening. Farmer's Table's beautifully appointed rustic room, which premiered after Thanksgiving, has indoor and outdoor poolside dining. From an oversize farmer salad with fig vinaigrette to zahtar-spiced salmon with cashew and vegetable brown rice biryani, spinach, and pomegranate glaze, dishes are creative and tasty. Don’t skip desserts like wood oven-baked apple crisp. 1901 N. Military Dr., Boca Raton, 561-417-5836

farmer's table restaurant in boca raton
Head to Farmer's Table for dishes like Florida snapper with grilled asparagus, butternut squash, and herb citronette. 

Red Carpet Makeovers 
Featured on Style Network's Split Ends, Salon Oasis is at the forefront of cutting edge beautifiers, like a new formaldehyde-free express hair smoothing treatment coming this month (a must in South Florida). Cuts are chic and flattering, colors rich and vibrant—even a routine pedicure is elevated to a luxurious experience with fresh flowers and hot stones. If you have some time, try the Red Carpet Metamorphosis, a three-hour beauty transition complete with makeup and accessorizing. 6100 Glades Road, Boca Raton, 561-482-9610

Prime Shopping 
The only outpost of Lord & Taylor outside the northeast opened this fall in Mizner Park. A sleek, modern alternative to the mall, the tony department store is illuminated by Italian chandeliers and filled with fashions and accessories for men and women. And with personal shoppers, valet parking, and a men’s lounge, the service alone warrants a visit. 200 Plaza Real, Boca Raton, 561-394-5656

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