10 Fun Things To Do in Delray Beach, South Florida's Colorful Escape

Pineapple Grove Arts District
Photo: Robbie Caponetto

As soon as you see the palm-lined main drag known as Atlantic Avenue in Delray Beach, it's hard to not be in the vacation state of mind. The colorful attitude and style of South Florida is uniquely its own, and while most think of Miami, this coast-hugging town along the iconic State Road A1A goes at a slower pace.

Around 50 miles north of Miami, Delray Beach has a level of proximal sophistication to its boutiques, dining, and entertainment, but keeps its charm with a walkable downtown and historic architecture. Think of it like Miami's baby cousin.

Here are 10 things to do in Delray Beach on your next visit to South Florida.

01 of 10

Just Steps Away From the Shore

Delray Beach
Robbie Caponetto

Just off the A1A highway (which becomes South Ocean Boulevard in town), you can step through a verdant archway and onto a sandy path that leads you straight to the ocean in all its glory. Bisecting Atlantic Avenue is the Intracoastal Waterway, which divides Delray's biggest tourist draws into two distinct halves—one beach-centric, the other not so much. Some hotels have their own private beach clubs, so you don't have to choose between "in town" or "on the beach." You can easily enjoy both.

02 of 10

Sandy Amenities

Colony Hotel
Robbie Caponetto

Get the full beach-club experience at the historic Colony Hotel, convenient to both restaurants and nightlife during your stay, making it ideal for girls' trips and romantic getaways. The Colony's Cabaña Club is just two miles from the hotel on a private beach with a heated saltwater pool, complimentary showers, changing rooms, towels, and parking.

03 of 10

Beachfront Accommodations

Seagate Hotel & Spa
via theseagatehotel.com

The sleek and modern Seagate Hotel & Spa is about as close as you can get to the beachfront. Along with its own private beach club, pool, and water sport rentals, it offers access to golf and tennis at the Seagate Country Club for those looking to skip the sand. The Seagate trolley is at your disposal to drive you anywhere within a 3-mile radius of the hotel. Dinner, anyone?

04 of 10

Downtown Shopping

Roxy Lulu Delray Beach
Photo: Robbie Caponetto

There are unique shops in Delray to find something to take home, such as the Snappy Turtle, which captures breezy, colorful South Florida style to a tee. Find handcraft bespokse purses and jewelry that make perfect splurges for anniversaries and birthdays at Furst. You're bound to find more tempting spots along your stroll downtown.

05 of 10

Art Around Every Corner

Pineapple Grove Arts District
Robbie Caponetto

Pineapple Grove features a variety of shops, galleries, and eateries, as well as colorful murals that turn this part of town's streets into artwork. It'll make you feel like you're in an old Miami neighborhood—and that a picture or two is absolutely necessary. Search out the many vibrant murals scattered across town.

06 of 10

Water Views and Fresh Food

Deck 84
Robbie Caponetto

What's really fun about Delray is the impressive restaurant scene and al fresco dining. Find waterfront seats at Deck 84, which helps you enjoy the sunset with a cool cocktail and fried shrimp tacos. Caffe Luna Rosa, right across South Ocean Boulevard from the beach, has an old-school Italian vibe, and the popular breakfast pizza on the brunch menu will fortify you for half the day.

07 of 10

Foodie Spots

El Camino Delray Beach
Photo: Robbie Caponetto

El Camino (shown here) serves super tasty Mexican food, and its drinks are made with freshly squeezed juices. Make it your last stop, or you'll be tempted to park there for the duration. Gary Rack's Farmhouse Kitchen is a lively little eatery that's packed for lunch. Try the chicken flatbread with shaved Granny Smith apples on top.

08 of 10

Order Up the Oysters

City Oyster and Sushi Bar
Facebook @CityOysterandSushiBar

Even if you're not always a raw oyster lover, you can't help but be persuaded by the menu at City Oyster & Sushi Bar, where you can try an incredible array of bivalves. Serving a local-favorite brunch with unlimited mimosas or Bloody Marys for less than $20, City Oyster is a beautiful, airy restaurant that combines white-tablecloth food and refined service with a beach-casual attitude.

09 of 10

A Little Dose of Culture

Cornell Art Museum
via downtowndelraybeach.com

Just in case you're interested in something other than food, check out the Cornell Art Museum at Old School Square. It's housed in a 1913 schoolhouse and brings contemporary art to the city. One of the quirkiest attractions in Delray Beach is the Silverball Museum, a throwback vintage arcade. Forgoing the need for change machines and pockets full of quarters, the Silverball lets you play anything you want as many times as you can for just $15 an hour. That's some budget-friendly fun.

10 of 10

Wildlife Spotting

Colony Hotel Delray Beach
Photo: Robbie Caponetto

Any day at the beach isn't complete without beach time spent wandering for shells and looking for dolphins in the distance. During high season, you'll find rental businesses offering paddleboards and kayaks.

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