Travel Guide: Things to Do in Delray Beach, Florida (2024)

For a fun beach weekend with the girls, your partner, or even the whole family, skip overcrowded Miami and hoity-toity Palm Beach. Instead, head to Delray Beach, Florida.

This sleepy beach town has experienced a revival over the last few years but it’s still maintained a bit of its kooky, South Florida charm, which is why I love it so much.

I first became familiar with Delray Beach when my parents moved nearby. Now, after spending years visiting and exploring the surrounding area, I wanted to put together a travel guide with all of my tips and recommendations of things to do in Delray Beach, Florida.

And don’t worry, this post includes where to eat as well, because if you follow this blog, then you know by now that I love to eat!

So, are you ready to learn more about Delray Beach and all of the fun things to do in this Florida beach town? If so, keep reading for all the deets!

Pro Travel Tip: Please note that with the ongoing pandemic, I’m not encouraging travel right now. In Florida, not much has been done by the government and it’s up to individual businesses to mandate safety protocols like social distancing and wearing masks. There are many places where this not being done. My suggestion? If Delray Beach, Florida is on your travel list, please bookmark this post for the future when it’s truly safe to travel again!

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Where is Delray Beach, Florida?

Delray Beach is a small city located on the Atlantic coast in southeast Florida. It is directly north of Boca Raton and south of Boynton Beach.

What I find most convenient about Delray Beach is that it’s centrally located between the Palm Beach and Fort Lauderdale airports, so you have many options when it comes to flying here. (For reference, it’s about an hour’s drive to Miami.)

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The Colony Hotel in downtown Delray Beach

Where to Stay in Delray Beach, Florida

For accommodations, stay at the upscale Seagate Hotel or the Opal Grand Resort (formerly the Marriott). Both are located on Atlantic Avenue, the main commercial thoroughfare of Delray Beach. You’ll find a ton of restaurants, shops, bars, and the beach, all within walking distance to both hotels.

Also on Atlantic Avenue, a few more blocks inland, you’ll find the Colony Hotel. I love this hotel because it gives me so much nostalgia for what Florid was like in the 1980s when I would visit my grandparents. The brightly colored, tropical-themed lobby transports you back to another era. It’s also where I take my favorite yoga class in town (more on that below).

If you prefer more of a Bed and Breakfast type of accommodation, stay at the Sundy House. The Inn has 12 uniquely themed accommodations tucked within an acre of tropical gardens. And the only beachfront hotel in the area is the Delray Sands Resort. Technically, the hotel is actually in Highland Beach, but it’s a quick drive to Atlantic Avenue.

Finally, if you’re going for more glitz and glam, there’s the Boca Resort in neighboring Boca Raton. (It’s about a 15-minute drive from Atlantic Avenue, the main drag of Delray Beach).

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Checking out the street art of Pineapple Grove in Downtown Delray Beach

My Favorite Things to Do in Delray Beach

Before I give you the overview of all the great things there are to do in Delray Beach, I want to share with you some of my favorite spots, because after visiting Delray multiple times per year for the last 15 years, I feel like I have a bit of a local’s perspective on things.

My favorite spots in town include Lemon Grass for dinner and Latitudes for brunch right on the beach. If you prefer a view of the intercoastal, Deck 84 also does a great brunch with make-your-own Bloody Marys.

Wherever you eat, save room for dessert, because Delray Beach is home to Kilwins, an amazing old-fashioned ice-cream parlor. Kilwins not only has amazing ice-cream, but it’s a confectionary shop where you can literally watch them making chocolate, fudge, and other delectable treats right in the front window. This place is always a crowd-pleaser.

But the best part of Delray Beach is, well, the beach! You’ll want to spend the most time here, soaking up the sun and surf. And I don’t blame you. Whenever I’m in a sunny, tropical climate, I also want to spend as much time as possible at the beach. And with the gorgeous turquoise waters and silky white sand beaches, you can’t go wrong doing the same thing when you come to Delray Beach!

For more intel on everything to do and see plus places to eat, check out my curated list below.

Related:What to bring to the beach – the essential list

Where to Eat and Drink in Delray Beach:

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Juice Bars & Coffee

Subculture Coffee – I think this is the best coffee in Delray Beach, Florida. They roast in small batches and everything is done in-house.

Yaxche Tearoom – For artisanal teas, coffees, and healthy organic food in a colorful bungalow.

Surf Shack Subs Smoothies & Bowls – A super casual, laid back café with a walk-up window and outdoor seating serving delicious and healthy food.

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A healthy salad with grilled salmon at Latitudes

Great for Brunch/Lunch

Latitudes –Located right on the beach at the Delray Sands Resort, enjoy fresh seafood and the ocean views. We always request outdoor seating when we go.

Deck 84 – Casual waterfront dining on the intercoastal, right off of Atlantic Avenue in the heart of Delray Beach.

Taru at the Sundy House – Dine with beautiful tropical surroundings. Pro-Tip: They do a decadent Sunday brunch. At $75 per person, it’s not cheap, but the Bloody Marys and Mimosas flow and a delectable buffet with chef attended stations serve up delicacies including lobster and more.

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Walking on Atlantic Avenue, Delray’s main drag with lots of restaurants, bars, and shops

Hot Spots for Dinner & Dessert

Lemongrass Asian Bistro – One of my all-time favorites, this casual pan-Asian restaurant offers everything from sushi to Thai curries plus an extensive wine list. I literally eat here every time I come to visit my parents. (They also have a location in Boca Raton.)

Dada – A truly unique restaurant in one of the oldest historic homes in Delray Beach. The eclectic décor and artwork match the equally creative cuisine. They also have a beautiful garden with outdoor seating.

City Oyster and Sushi Bar – A great seafood restaurant on Atlantic Avenue with sushi and fresh oysters plus a bustling bar scene.

Tramonti – Another longtime establishment on Atlantic Avenue serving high-end Italian food. It’s always quite a scene here, so be prepared to wait for your table, even when you have a reservation.

Cut 432 – A modern steakhouse in the heart of Delray Beach on Atlantic Avenue.

Luna Rosa – Another Italian restaurant, located right across the street from the beach on A1A. It gets quite windy there at night so request a table inside if that bothers you. They also get a huge crowd for breakfast and brunch.

Atlantic Grille – For a splurge, head to the Atlantic Grille at the Seagate Hotel. Enjoy the inventive cuisine and make sure to check out the lively bar and firepit lounge.

Anthony’s Pizzeria and Restaurant – For delicious, satisfying, and affordable food, head to Anthony’s Pizzeria, which draws people from all over South Florida. Make sure to get the coal-fired wings (yes I said wings!) and the pizza.

Kilwins – As I mentioned above, this place is my go-to for ice-cream, fudge, and delectable candies. It’s a must-visit if you make it to Delray Beach!

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Take a sightseeing cruise on the Lady Delray

Things to do in Delray Beach

The Beach – Ok, obviously, the first thing I have to mention is the beach, because it’s gorgeous and easily accessible. There’s a public beach located right where Atlantic Avenue ends at A1A.

Sightseeing Cruise – I did this intercoastal cruise last year with my parents and it was fascinating. You learn so much about the geography and waterfront homes in the area. They also serve co*cktails and snacks.

Colony Yoga at the Colony Hotel – I have been going to Colony yoga classes for years, but by far, my favorite class is the one on Sunday morning with live music. The class has such a positive vibe. It’s a great way to start your day. Colony Yoga also offers classes at the hotel every other day of the week (and at other locations), and you do not need to be a hotel guest to attend the classes. Please note that at least during pre-pandemic times, the Sunday morning class was always packed. There are usually over 100 people there, so you might prefer a weekday class if a crowded yoga class is not your thing.

Pineapple Grove Arts District – Just off of Atlantic Avenue beginning at NE 2nd Street is an eclectic mix of boutiques, galleries, bistros, and artists’ studios, plus public artwork on display.

Old School Square – Located in downtown Delray Beach on Atlantic Avenue, the Old School Square campus is home to the Cornell Arts Museum, a theater, pavilion, and the Creative Arts School. Check out the website for upcoming musical performances and events.

The Cornell Art Museum – a contemporary and provocative art museum located at Old School Square in the restored 1913 Delray Elementary School.

Saltwater Brewery – a local microbrewery with a bar for tastings plus a beer garden and rotating food trucks.

Morikami Museum – Technically just outside of Delray Beach, it’s a center for Japanese art and culture with beautifully landscaped gardens.

Wakodahatchee Wetlands – Free and open to the public, the Wakodahatchee wetlands in West Delray opened in 1996 and were constructed on previous wastewater utility property. With a ¾ mile boardwalk, it’s a great place to see plant life and wildlife, particularly birds.

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With All these Things to Do, Are You Ready to Visit Delray Beach, Florida?

I hope you like this Delray Beach travel guide! I tried to include everything I love to do as a ‘semi-local’ plus the more touristy things that are still great and fun things to add to your list.

Let me know if you have any questions – or things to add to my list – and who knows, maybe I’ll see you around in Delray Beach when you make it there for a trip!

Related: Everything to see and do in Asheville, North Carolina

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Beach getawayDelray BeachSouth FloridaUS Travel

Travel Guide: Things to Do in Delray Beach, Florida (2024)


What is special about Delray Beach? ›

Nestled between Boynton Beach and Boca Raton, Delray Beach is famous for its lively main street, inviting beach weather, a thriving arts scene and interesting culture that stretches back centuries.

Is Delray Beach for older adults? ›

There's also Atlantic Avenue, Delray Beach's main downtown area, which was named among the 10 greatest American shopping streets by USA Today. This dynamic hub of activities and entertainment is just one reason why Delray Beach is considered among the best places to live in Florida for seniors.

What is the best street in Delray Beach? ›

A walk down Atlantic Ave. Delray Beach, can be a truly exciting Florida afternoon adventure. Starting at the "Famed" Tennis Courts (Pro Matches to live musical events ) West. to the ocean, East, and return will take you past many fine shops, bars, historic sites, parks, museums, art galleries and more.

What is the main strip in Delray Beach? ›

The Main Street of Delray Beach is Atlantic Avenue.

Is Delray Beach worth visiting? ›

With accolades like Most Fun Small Town in the USA and one of America's Happiest Seaside Towns, it's no surprise Delray Beach is such a popular destination.

Is Delray Beach FL wealthy? ›

Delray Beach, located in Florida, is considered a wealthy area due to its high per capita income and affluent neighborhoods. In 2023, the per capita income in Delray Beach was $69,955, which is relatively high compared to both the state of Florida and the national average.

Is Delray Beach wealthy? ›

The per capita income in Delray Beach in 2018 was $52,879, which is wealthy relative to Florida and the nation. This equates to an annual income of $211,516 for a family of four.

What is the most expensive neighborhood in Delray Beach? ›

Explore Delray Beach, FL

There are 23 neighborhoods in Delray Beach. Tropic Isle has a median listing home price of $3.5M, making it the most expensive neighborhood. High Point of Delray is the most affordable neighborhood, with a median listing home price of $199.3K.

Does Delray Beach have a downtown? ›

Welcome To Downtown Delray Beach

Exclusive boutiques, art galleries, and cultural opportunities are all steps away. Feel relaxed, happy, and safe, enjoying both the moment and the memory.

Is Delray Beach a walkable city? ›

The Downtown is the heart of the city and has a village-like feel. It is walkable, sociable, and most of all - fun!

What is the nickname for Delray Beach? ›

In the 1980s Delray Beach was sadly saddled with the nickname “Dullray Beach,” reflective of a reputation as a dowdy, rundown Palm Beach County ocean side Florida town full of vacant buildings, high crime, racial tension, dysfunctional politics and a crumbling infrastructure.

How expensive is Delray Beach? ›

Best Places gives Delray Beach a Cost of Living Index of 102.6. The national average is 100, so Delray Beach is slightly more expensive than other American cities. However, Florida has a cost-of-living index of 102.8.

How many restaurants are in downtown Delray Beach? ›

There are nearly 80 restaurants in downtown Delray to choose from!

Is Delray Beach more expensive than Boca Raton? ›

The least expensive city was Hollywood with a score of 61.29 followed by Fort Myers in second (60.19), Boca Raton third (59.76), Bradenton fourth (69.64), Melbourne fifth (58.72), Delray Beach sixth (57.59), West Palm Beach seventh (57.31), Boynton Beach eighth (57.26), Deerfield Beach ninth (56.32).

Is Delray Beach an expensive place to live? ›

The cost of living in Delray beach is 6.6% greater than the Florida average, and 8% greater than the national average. The current tax rate in Delray Beach is 6.00%, while the income per capita is $36,779. The median household income is $50,935, but the unemployment rate is at 6.2%.


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