A deep breath…of warm, fresh, awakening Florida sunshine. It was bittersweet to spend the last few days prior to my ankle surgery in Boca Raton, Florida. We made the most of our time by planning ahead to do what we loved most; spend time together at a great resort, played great tennis in warm Southern Florida and watch professional tennis match.
We began our trip by flying from Newark airport to West Palm Beach. It was an easy two plus hour flight. We picked up our Hertz rental car. (Travel tip: Hertz gold and presidents circle makes it easy. Go to your area, pick up car and check out quickly with the attendant) and drove to our hotel, Boca Raton Marriott at Boca Center (travel tip: word on the street – if you don’t plan on staying by the water, the place to stay in Boca Raton is the Boca Raton Marriott at Boca Center). The hotel was very busy; however the check in process was flawless (travel tip: Marriott was rebranded to Marriott Bonvoy). We freshened up and then stopped by the hotel’s M Life lounge, conveniently located on the lobby floor for some fresh water, before we embarked on our adventure!
Delray Beach Open, Delray Beach, Florida
The ride to the Delray Beach Open from Boca Raton was less than 20 minutes. We were excited to return to the ATP Masters 250 tennis tournament, to see some of our favorite tennis players play singles and doubles, as we basked in the Florida sun! The town of Delray Beach was a great host to their tennis tournament. We noticed welcoming banners lining the Main Street, along with the inviting stores and restaurants on our route to the tournament (tennis tip: yellowballtennis.com for information on Delray Beach Open tickets and events each year).
We attended the day and evening sessions of the Delray Beach Open (tip: purchase VIP lounge access for only $15 extra per ticket, per session which included a lovely veranda to rest, cool down, as well as opportunities to purchase discounted (2 for 1 wine and beer) beverages and snacks). Fortunately, we opted for the VIP option as a quick seasonal rain shower dampened the courts for a short while during the day match.
As we walked around the grounds, we noticed that this venue had great food and vendor options. I bought a very cool dress from the artist, DeBilzan. (I’m now a fan of his modern art!, found on DeBilzan.com. DeBilzan Galleries in Delray Beach, Florida and Laguna Beach, California). We felt compelled to stop at one of the food trucks where we found a line for the popular guacamole bowl. It was worth the wait for the refreshing guacamole served with chips as we watched fantastic singles and doubles matches.
Boca Raton Tennis Center
After a long day of watching exciting tennis, we couldn’t wait to play! Our next stop was at the Boca Raton Beach Resort and Club. As we drove to our resort, we noticed an active tennis facility, the Boca Raton Tennis Center. We walked into the facility, where a nice young man explained that we could easily reserve tennis courts as a non-member (the town of Boca Raton runs two large tennis facilities). We could also join in a level appropriate tennis clinic (depending on space availability). We were very excited that Boca Raton had plenty of tennis opportunity for everyone. We were very tempted to pull out our tennis racquets and jump on a tennis court. It was good to know if we visit Boca Raton, Florida we had tennis options.
Boca Raton Resort and Club
After we checked into the Boca Raton Resort and Club (where else can you run into Reilly Opelka, American professional tennis player, who was 6’11” tall in the main lobby ),we immediately walked over to the tennis facility, which was located on the main property of the resort. We signed up for the morning two hour tennis drill. The property was quite large with its own golf course, resort and tennis. Our oceanfront room was at the resort’s beach club. We were able to catch the last couple of hours of sun on the beach. We were told that we would have to take a shuttle over from the beach club to the tennis facility. The fabulous view was well worth the few minute shuttle ride to the main resort’s tennis facility.
Boca Raton Resort and Club Tennis
Our morning breakfast was on the veranda, overlooking the Atlantic ocean. We savored each moment as we made our way to the tennis facility. The tennis drill was run by one of the club’s many tennis professionals along with few other instructors, with no more than three to a court. We played tennis for two hours (my last tennis before my surgery with my Donjoy performance ankle brace!) on one of the 18 har tru tennis courts at the top notch tennis facility. A tennis experience at Boca Raton Resort’s tennis club can range from tennis lessons, clinics to playing singles or doubles. At the tennis club, there is an opportunity to book a Jimmy Connors Experience, for those hankering to meet and hit with a tennis legend. The beautiful tennis facility’s level of service was unsurpassed …the staff at the club was very helpful and patient, going above and beyond to make sure everyone had a great tennis experience.
After our great workout on the tennis courts, we had many choices. The resort had a fabulous spa, a great fitness experience (orange theory classes for hotel guests), or pool. We decided to spend the rest of our stay pool side at the inviting, relaxing adult pool.
Last words on Boca….
Our trip to Boca Raton, Florida was remarkable in many ways. We have experienced the Delray Beach Open by staying in Delray Beach, Fort Lauderdale, Weston and lastly Boca Raton, Florida. Our Boca Raton itinerary provided us a wonderful experience as we relished doing what we loved most: spending precious, relaxing time with each other, watching fabulous professional tennis and playing tennis at an extraordinary resort…exhaled slowly.
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