The Morikami Museum and Japanese Gardens are one of the top attractions near Delray Beach in South Florida. Within the grounds there is a great variety of sights to see and things to learn. You'll find beautifully manicured foliage, waterfalls, museums, Zen rock gardens, a bonsai tree exhibit and a whole bunch of wildlife. The location was opened in 1977 for the purpose of maintaining the little known connection between Japan and South Florida. In the early 1900s the farming colony of Yamamoto was founded near present day Boca Raton by Jo Sakai, a recent graduate of New York University. The colony never exceeded 35 people, but it did last into the 1920s. The park was opened to provide an authentic cultural experience and carry on Mr. Sakai's legacy.
The path around the grounds takes you across a large wooden bridge and through a small bamboo forest while passing along the various exhibits and features. The large lake in the middle is home to many turtles, iguanas and even alligators. There are many birds to see including the double crested cormorant, various types of herons, and the snowy egret. Stop by the Cornell Cafe near the entry if you want an authentic Japanese meal. If you walk around the whole park it should be less than a mile total, and there are water stations along the way.
It gets really hot here in the summer, so dress accordingly. There is some shade, but much of the trail is exposed. This park is pretty close to the Wakodahatchee Wetlands, which is a good place to fill out the rest of the day without spending any more money.