Delray Beach boasts that the beach is just the beginning–and is that ever right! This laid-back, artsy town nestled on the Atlantic Ocean is part of The Palm Beaches of Florida. Delray Beach is often referred to as the “Village by the Sea” due to its close proximity to both the beach and downtown. Best of all, it is one of the most affordable spots in all of South Florida. Here is my guide to visiting Delray Beach, Florida.
The Entertainment Hub of Delray Beach
One of Delray Beach’s most popular hot spots is the Pineapple Grove Arts District. Just off of Atlantic Avenue, this is the town’s main thoroughfare and energy, with colorful murals, sculptures, galleries, boutiques, and local outdoor eateries. Atlantic Avenue is not only the main artery for hanging out in Delray Beach but it is also the hub for commerce. The beautiful palm-tree lined scenery makes it hard to resist. Nearby, Artists Alley is a great place to take Instagram-worthy photos.
Dining in Delray
Vic and Angelo’s Delray is an award-winning restaurant with killer Italian eats; the “smell is so delicious it oughta be illegal“. The complimentary bread alone is enough reason to visit. Vic and Angelo’s is slightly romantic, has professional waitstaff and serves mouth-watering Italian dishes, many classic plates and some with a noteworthy spin. The flavorful Orecchiette features fresh broccoli rabe and zesty fennel sausage while spaghetti lovers will want to sink their teeth into Spaghetti & Nonna’s Gigante Meatball with a decadent San Marzano tomato sauce. Yum!
Boston’s on the Beach is another hot spot you won’t want to miss in Delray Beach. It is one of three properties owned by Ocean Properties Ltd. that bring seafood dishes to another level. Start your meal with the Onion Dip paired with homemade chips dusted with onion powder. It is addictive! For dinner, nothing beats a dish of Peel and Eat Shrimp or a Lobster Pot, perfectly steamed and accompanied by red bliss buttered potatoes and corn-on-the-cob. Don’t skip a fancy cocktail from the large drink menu; they are tasty!
Two other great choices for food in Delray Beach are Taverna Opa (try the eggplant-layered Moussaka) and Rocco’s Tacos (for Austin Queso and sizzling carne molcajetes). Taverna Opa has all of your favorite Greek dishes at a reasonable price while Rocco’s Tacos & Tequila Bar is a lively and cool local chain restaurant with tasty cuisine and amazing margaritas. The nightlife at Rocco’s is pretty energetic; check it out.
Sweet Treats of Delray Beach
Sloan’s Ice Cream is a South Florida/Delray Beach staple. The sparkly decor, adorned with gaudy (but lovely) chandeliers makes you feel like royalty just walking in the door. Sloan’s isn’t only ice cream and everything that implies (think shakes, malts, sundaes, etc.), but also has a huge selection of various candy, and freshly-baked cookies. Have a Coffee and Doughnuts scoop—you’ll thank me later.
Other honorable mentions are Two Fat Cookies bakery and custom treats and Le Macaron French Pastries for, well, you know.
Unique Attractions To Not Miss
I’d be lying if I didn’t tell you that the Silverball Pinball Museum is one of my favorite spots to visit in all of South Florida. This fantastic museum has a collection of retro 1930’s to 1980’s collectible pinball games. The thrilling game room is home to flashy video games from times past, pool tables, classic arcade games, and a full-service restaurant. There is a separate bar area for unwinding after a hard day at work. This arcade screams Baby Boomer, Generation X’er, and Millennials surprisingly in the same manner—game lovers unite!
A unique offering in Delray Beach is the Morikami Museum and Japanese Gardens. It is a lovely place to wander immaculate grounds, learn about Japanese culture, and see the impressive artwork. Enjoy the South Florida weather and soak up the sun while observing birds, turtles, iguanas, and other wildlife from the boardwalk at Morikami’s Wakodahatchee Wetlands. You can also take in a tea ceremony or even learn calligraphy at this interesting museum.
Get a little exercise by renting a state-of-the-art Pedego E-bike on Atlantic Avenue. If you haven’t ridden one yet, you are in for a real treat. They are so much fun and you can pedal as much or a little as you like. Delray Beach is an appealing place for cycling.
Other fun things to do in Delray Beach include taking a Wicked Delray Ghost Tour, Taste History Culinary Tour, narrated Trolley tour, or a Yacht cruise on the Intracoastal Waterway.
Relax or Sunbathe: You Choose
Delray Beach is one of the lesser crowded South Florida beaches. Yippee, more room to move about and enjoy the gorgeous beach. You can partake in all of your favorite ocean and outdoor adventures via rentals on the beachfront. The sand is perfect for laying or playing on. Whether you are soaking up the sun and working on a savage tan or sheltering yourself under a colorful umbrella and simply enjoying the ocean breeze, Delray beach is a little slice of heaven.
Many parts of Delray Beach are pet-friendly, but require your pet to be leashed.
Shopping in Ritzy Delray Beach
Shopping enthusiasts will love the one-of-a-kind boutiques that offer the latest fashions, home decor, art, and things you didn’t know you needed until you laid eyes on them. Check out Delray Beach’s GreenMarket every Saturday at Old School Square from 9 AM to 2PM for a large variety of seasonal fruits, vegetables, and other food vendors. The market even has live music, flowers, and plants, offering fun for the entire family. Another fun spot for browsing is the Delray Marketplace outdoor mall for shopping, movies, and entertainment.
Historic and Budget-Friendly Accommodations
If you crave an authentic historic option to rest your head with the National Historic Register credo, the Colony Hotel & Cabana Club is for you. Located on Atlantic Avenue, this 70-room hotel features original furniture with tropical fabrics, a welcoming hotel lobby, and a private oceanfront beach club only two miles away. A complimentary breakfast is served onsite in the hotel’s Sky Light Lobby, steps from the well-appointed hotel gift and sundries shop. As with most businesses in Delray Beach, the Colony Hotel is pet-friendly.
A budget-friendly option is to cash in your timeshare points. Bluegreen timeshare group has a casual resort, Gulf Stream Manor, that is clean, beachfront, and has free parking and WiFi. Most of the units are either one or two bedrooms, with a separate living room, dining area, and full kitchen. There is plenty of room for a small family. There are also washer and dryers in each unit, a lush courtyard, and swimming pool to enjoy the outdoors.
Visiting Delray Beach: A Great Choice
The allure of current day Delray Beach won’t last long with people hearing about its wide-spread appeal from various platforms. This is one small city that already feels like a metropolitan big city and has the clout to back it up. Expect big things in the future from this Florida hidden gem!
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