Situated between West Palm Beach and Miami, Delray Beach is undoubtedly one of the most fun small towns in the USA.
What started as a little farming community in the late 1800s quickly thrived with the advent of the railways and Floridians.
Currently, Delray Beach is one of the most popular weekend getaways, mainly because it's more budget-friendly than its neighboring towns.
On top of that, it's home to beautiful beaches and parks, along with fascinating museums and restaurants serving the most delicious cuisine.
If you're planning on visiting Florida's "village by the sea," here's a list of the best things to do in Delray Beach, Florida:
Enjoy the Vibe at Atlantic Avenue
Atlantic Avenue is one of the liveliest places in downtown Delray Beach.
Stretching for about two miles, this long and lively thoroughfare is the city's epicenter of fun.
The avenue leads up to the beach, which is the ultimate destination.
Atlantic Avenue is the ultimate shopper's paradise.
So, you'll get enough opportunities to flex your shopping muscles here.
While you're there, you can stop by popular restaurants like CASA L'ACQUA, Rocco's Tacos & Tequila Bar, or Dada to absorb their quaint and culture-soaked ambiance.
But that's not all—Atlantic Avenue offers a range of fun-filled activities.
The place hosts a number of local art events, music festivals, and craft beer fests to keep tourists engaged all around the year.
Sail Your Boats at Delray Municipal Beach
One of the best things about Delray Beach is its clean, white beaches.
If you're walking up Atlantic Avenue, the beach will be your final destination.
Delray Municipal Beach is one of the prettiest and most popular beaches in Southern Florida.
Tourists can enjoy the warm gulf coast waters with safe height waves for surfing and swimming.
One of the most interesting things about this beach is that it allows you to store your boat for an annual fee.
So, go out for a sail without further ado and enjoy the pleasant breeze.
Visitors can rent umbrellas and chairs on an hourly basis and just relax on the beach.
Trained lifeguards are on duty from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. all year round.
Relax at Atlantic Dunes Park
If you are in the mood to avoid crowds, this is an excellent place to be.
Less crowded than Fort Lauderdale Beach, Atlantic Dunes Park is a pleasant place for people to spend some alone time.
Pack your sunscreen and enjoy a relaxing day here.
You can choose to go for a swim, sunbathe, play volleyball, or enjoy the beautiful ocean view.
This place is only a few minutes away from downtown Delray Beach.
For safety reasons, a lifeguard stays on duty as well.
Car parking is not difficult here, since the parking lot is across the street from the main entrance.
Visit Morikami Museum and Japanese Gardens
Morikami Museum and Japanese Gardens is one of the most beautiful and peaceful places in Palm Beach County.
It is known for its Japanese festivals around the year.
Once you're inside the place, you'll be able to experience a semblance of peace and tranquility.
Established by a Japanese native in 1977, the area spanning over 200 acres comprises two museum buildings, a library, the Roji-en Gardens, a turtle island, and a gift shop.
You can also go for solitary walks along the winding pathways that unfold into the most beautiful parts of the gardens.
If you wish to spend more time here, you can always head to Cornell Cafe, which overlooks the beautiful gardens, for a delicious Asian lunch.
Get Fascinated at the Pineapple Grove Arts District
Apart from its beaches, Delray Beach is famous for being home to the perfect artists' district.
There are several art corners strewn all over the place.
Pineapple Grove Arts District, located north of Atlantic Avenue, is home to many such galleries, fancy sculptures, and more.
This cultural hub is always bursting with creativity and interesting art.
Travelers can check out works of resident artists at the Art Warehouse, some great works of John Specs in the Gallery at Studio Five, and more fascinating pieces at the Addison Gallery.
This whole place is worth exploring, and you can spend hours doing so.
If you feel hungry at any point in time, you can easily hop into any of the famous cafes or restaurants nearby, like Papa's Tapas or Cabana El Rey.
Shop at the Delray Beach Green Market
The Delray Beach Green Market is a weekly market that opens every Saturday from 9:00 a.m to 2:00 p.m.
Here, more than 65 vendors come in to sell their locally sourced produce, food, flowers, and a range of other items.
If you're here, you can take away some of their honey, jams, jellies, and other local offerings.
Apart from many of the above-mentioned products, some pet companies and live music also set up stalls at the market.
The market opens for a short session in the summer and reopens again during the fall.
Get Close to Nature at the Wakodahatchee Wetlands
If you want to avoid the crowded places of the city and enjoy nature, the Wakodahatchee Wetlands is the place you're looking for.
This beautiful place filled with mangroves is home to more than 178 species of birds, alligators, frogs, turtles, and marsh rabbits.
A long wooden boardwalk covers most of the wetlands, so visitors can easily explore most of the place.
Though this place is not usually too crowded, the weekends are often filled with bird watchers with their huge cameras.
So, it would be best to come on a weekday to enjoy its beauty.
Visit the Old School Square
There's no shortage of concerts at the Old School Square campus at Delray.
Located in downtown Delray, the place promises to bring artists and audiences together with its line of unique events.
So, this is the place to be if you're craving activity and entertainment.
Remember to check out their schedule beforehand to customize your visit accordingly.
Stop by the Cornell Art Museum
The Cornell Art Museum is a must-visit on your trip.
The 1913 Delray Elementary School was restored to give way to this internationally recognized artists' hub.
The place is filled with immersive installations, interactive art pieces, contemporary art exhibitions, and so on.
If you're looking for something more than the art exhibitions, you can also appreciate the décor and its Masonry Vernacular style of architecture.
Enjoy an Evening at Arts Garage
Atlantic Avenue has another hidden gem tucked inside it.
That place is Arts Garage.
It's a popular destination for local and international artists who want to exhibit their art.
The "garage" comprises the Grassroots Gallery, home to some of the funkiest art exhibits, and the Stuart & Shelby Theater, the hub of popular concerts, poetry reading sessions, and performances.
If you are visiting Delray Beach with your partner, it is an excellent place for entertainment.
Whether it's dancing to jazz or blues or just listening to music performances, you will never run out of options here.
To top it all off, you can always take a stroll through the array of art exhibits.
Have a Family Outing at Gulfstream Park
Gulfstream Park is a beautiful place for family outings.
Situated beside the Atlantic Ocean shoreline, this park is one of the secret destinations for locals.
This spot is usually preferred over the other beaches because of its peace and quiet.
This beach has a separate picnic spot where you can grill or have a family outing.
This beach is open to all for free.
Visitors might also appreciate the cleanliness and the decent restrooms available at the beach.
Visit Sandoway Discovery Center
If you're looking for things to do in Delray that don't involve a beach, you can consider visiting Sandoway Discovery Center.
You'll come across this historic building if you're traveling down the scenic A1A route.
The resort-style center houses one of the premier collections of shells in the world.
If you're traveling with kids, this is a great place to educate them on marine life through hands-on experiences.
Play Golf at Delray Beach Golf Club
Golf is one of the most popular pastimes in Delray Beach, apart from spending time at beaches and cultural places.
Delray Beach Golf Club is the place where you can come with your friends and have a round or two of golf and relax.
The golf club offers training programs for people who are interested in learning how to play golf, along with junior programs where young golfers play weekly.
It also hosts tournaments where visitors are welcome to watch and enjoy the game.
Delray Beach Golf Club is occasionally used as a venue for marriage ceremonies and reception parties.
Enjoy Playtime at SilverBall Museum
All pinball and arcade lovers are bound to love SilverBall Museum.
This entire place is dedicated to pinball machines and arcade games.
The main branch is located in New Jersey, and the one in Delray Beach is an extension that opened in May 2016.
You can choose to play at any machine; all you have to do is pay a one-time entry fee.
Most of the machines feature pinballs, with some antique arcade games included.
This place will take you back to the golden era of video games, and kids will definitely enjoy this place.
Visit the Girls Strawberry U-Pick
This huge strawberry garden is another must-visit destination in Delray.
Unique in its concept, the best thing about the Girls Strawberry U-Pick is that you can pick fresh strawberries from their garden.
In addition to that, this garden offers fun activities for every age.
You can relax on the beautiful grounds, have fun at the petting zoo, or even spend a buck for a duck derby.
The place has recently refurbished its animal farm and birds exhibit.
Dine at Taverna Opa
If you are a foodie, Taverna Opa will not disappoint you.
Famous for its Greek food, Taverna Opa is a lovely, casual restaurant in the heart of downtown Delray Beach.
People come here to enjoy exquisite cuisine along with a grand ambiance.
You can start with the Trio Spread, which includes three delicious Greek dips and warm pita bread.
For the main course, you must try the Souvlaki Platter (chicken or pork) or a traditional Greek salad (remember to add gyro meat).
Satisfy Your Sweet Tooth at Sloan's Ice Cream
Your visit to Delray Beach will become even more divine after you have a sweet encounter at Sloan's Ice Cream.
This place provides a variety of fancy flavors that you'll deem irresistible once you have a look at them.
In addition to that, they provide some crazy toppings options.
Some of their most highly recommended ice cream flavors are Almond Joy, Coffee and Doughnuts, and Ginger Snappy, though many are seasonal.
Apart from ice cream, they also serve fudge, cookies, and dozens of other candy and dessert options.
You will definitely leave this place with a satisfied sweet tooth.
Enjoy the Magnificent Delray Affair
Your visit to Delray Beach will be incomplete without getting to experience the Delray Affair.
This is an annual event covering over 12 city blocks and is the largest art and craft event in Southeastern US.
It features all kinds of artists and craftsmen and their works.
You can buy paintings, sculptures, pottery, jewelry, metalworks, soaps, clothing, and other items.
You will get to experience the height of exuberance during this time.
The ambiance is lit with local musicians and performers, providing thorough entertainment.
Stop by The Boys Farmers Market
A trip to the local farmers' market is always a great way to get in deep with the culture and social circles of the area, and The Boys Farmer's Market is no different.
You can find a host of locally made items and produce here, so check it out if you're looking for a specific treat or souvenir.
There are also a lot of places to eat, and you'll want to take advantage of the chance to sample Delray Beach's cuisine and support their local businesses.
Take Your Kids to Delray Beach Children's Garden
Delray Beach Children's Garden aims to nurture eco-consciousness in its young visitors through garden education, outdoor play, and nature exploration.
Give your kid a chance to enjoy the outdoors and fall in love with nature in the same place.
Let them grow into little earth stewards and grow into people who will care for and protect our environment.
The garden lets kids play around in the garden during the weekends, and at the same time, they can forage for fruits and explore the veggie labyrinth.
There are also youth volunteer days if you want to get your child more involved in their activities and get a more hands-on experience in protecting the environment.
Relax at Lake Ida East Park
Located on 9th Street, Lake Ida East Park has a wide variety of amenities that will keep all its visitors engaged and entertained while they're here.
It's open from sunrise to sunset, and during your visit, you can try out kayaking or canoeing and freshwater fishing.
There's also a lovely picnic area with tables so you can sit down for a meal with your friends and family and simply hang out in the beautiful area and spend time in each other's company.
If there are children with you, there's a playground for them to burn off their energy as well.
Visit Veterans Park
It may not look like much at first, but Delray Beach's Veterans Park has a lot to offer its visitors.
There's a picnic area and a lawn bowling court, so you can try out a simpler and more rural slice of life while you're there.
Bask in the sun, eat a good meal, and enjoy some leisurely activities with the people you care about.
There are even facilities that will let you cook up a barbecue, giving you a more traditional and all-American feel while you're in the park.
Learn the Local Stories at the Cason Cottage Museum & Delray Beach Historical Society
In 1964, Ethel Sterling Williams—a member of one of Delray Beach's most prominent and influential families—and the Chamber of Commerce President Kenneth Ellingsworth decided to start a historical society to safeguard the records and stories of their beloved settlement.
This organization is now based in the Cason Cottage Museum, a 1915 restored house museum.
The museum contains various documents and artifacts on the history of Delray Beach and documents the lifestyle of Florida citizens from 1915 to 1935.
Be One with Nature at Leon M. Weekes Environmental Preserve
Delray Beach's Leon M. Weekes Environmental Preserve is one of the hidden treasures of the city.
Opened in 1999, this preserve showcases the beauty of what was once the community of Florida Scrub.
The site shines a spotlight on scrubby flatwood habitats and their wildlife residents.
Some of the plants you may encounter at this site include rosemaries with large flowers, wild pines, and nodding pinweed.
Keep your eyes peeled for gopher tortoises while traversing the nature trails.
For the little ones, there is also a playground within the property.
Leon M. Weekes Environmental Preserve is on Albatross Road, west of Old Dixie Highway.
Have a Picnic at Orchard View Park
Orchard View Park is a 6-acre park dedicated in 2000.
It went by the name Blood's Hammock Groves when it was under the ownership of the Blood Family.
This park features six picnic pavilions set within a wide, grassy area.
This place is ideal for family outings who prefer a little adventure and a common gathering place.
Trek around the paved walking trails and have a cookout with the help of barbecue grills onsite.
Orchard View Park is on Old Germantown Road, ready to serve you and your group.
Watch a Show at Delray Beach Playhouse
Tired of outdoor excursions in Delray Beach?
Then, you might like settling down and watching a live performance at Delray Beach Playhouse.
This theater has been bringing smiles to many faces since 1947.
Back then, the theater group met at St. Paul’s Episcopal Church Parish Hall before moving to larger venues, like the City’s Civic Center.
Eventually, the new and final facility for the Playhouse opened in 1958.
From Shakespeare plays to Broadway musicals, the fun is infinite!
Come with a loved one and escape reality for a while with the heartwarming and hilarious plays the theater offers.
Delray Beach Playhouse is a staple of Lake Ida, located on Northwest 9th Street.
Learn about African Culture at Spady Cultural Heritage Museum
Spady Cultural Heritage Museum gets you acquainted with Black history and the African diaspora.
Not only that, but the museum is also the only one of its kind within Palm Beach County.
Its exhibits specialize in the interesting history of the African-American settlers from the 1880s up to the present.
What's more interesting is the building it sits in, which was the home of Solomon D. Spady—a notable African-American educator.
Browse through historic shows and art exhibits you won't find elsewhere.
Join workshops and author talks and learn more about the pieces you've been admiring within the walls of the site.
The museum offers guided tours, too!
Spady Cultural Heritage Museum is on Northwest Fifth Avenue.
Feel Inspired by the Art Displayed at Avalon Gallery
If you're searching for a holistic art excursion, look no further than Delray Beach's Avalon Gallery.
This art gallery is home to artworks from over 120 artists hailing from the US and Canada.
It celebrates diversity in art mediums, as well.
Admire glassworks, ceramic art, and wall art displayed within the gallery.
Avalon Gallery is on East Atlantic Avenue.
Other Things to Do Nearby
Experience Green Cay Wetlands' Beauty
This 100-acre attraction is a blissful place for all nature lovers and is home to many of Florida's captivating wildlife.
It has a unique and modern boardwalk that is self-guided.
Visitors will find signs with QR codes, which provide interesting information about each specific zone upon scanning.
This beautiful place consists of three types of habitats: cabbage palm, wetland, and tropical hardwood.
As far as small towns go, Delray Beach definitely has a lot to offer.
Apart from the gorgeous views and access to the sea, you'll also be treated to various interesting establishments that all have their unique spins.
So, give it a try and start planning your trip today!