Previously named America’s “Most Fun Small Town” by USA Today Travel, Delray Beach is one of the top destinations for travelers looking for a southern coastal town. Delray Beach is located in Palm Beach County, Florida, along the Atlantic Ocean.
Delray Beach has a wide variety of activities for all ages, but the town is, or course, centered around the ocean. With two miles of public beach, which also play host to a sunken steamship wreck that now houses coral and is a popular place for snorkeling and scuba diving. Those who want to stay above surface can instead rent stand-up paddleboards or kayaks on the beach. Visitors who want to get out of the sun for a few hours can pay a visit to the Morikami Museum and Japanese Gardens, a Japanese cultural center and two gardens, or walk around the Arts District in the Pineapple Grove neighborhood and tour the galleries. The hub of the city is Atlantic Avenue, where the restaurants, nightlife, and shopping are centered. It’s a great place for dinner, or even just to walk around and take in the atmosphere.
Though Delray Beach is known for the ocean, Florida is also known for other bodies over water — mainly the swampland Everglades located just over an hour away on the southwestern tip of the state. In the Everglades, take a kayak or boat tour to learn about the estuary system and, if you’re lucky, see some gators. Miami is also just over an hour away, to the south of Delray Beach on the Western coast. Take in the Art Deco architecture of the vibrant city and enjoy some Cuban food. And, if you’re traveling with kids, go a little further (about 2.5 hours away) to Walt Disney World in Orlando and spend a day riding roller coasters in the Magic Kingdom.
Chances are that if you’re in Delray for vacation, you want to enjoy the beach. If that’s true, try to find rentals as close to the shore as possible in the Ocean Boulevard area, conveniently also located within walking distance from the city center. If you want to get fancy, however, try to find something in the ritzier area around Morikami Park Road. Though farther from the ocean, you might feel more relaxed without the hustle and bustle that surrounds the downtown and beach areas.
Because the beach and downtown areas are so close, Delray is a highly walkable city once you’re there. There are also a host of public transportation options, however. The Downtown Roundabout offers a shuttle bus that travels on Atlantic Avenue from the ocean past the freeway. The best part about it? It’s free. So if you’re tired and just want a lift nearby, hop on and off the brightly colored buses. If you’re trying to go a little bit farther, the Tri-Rail has a station in Delray Beach and also stations in Fort Lauderdale, Boca Raton, and Miami.
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