Making your way through South Florida? Leave plenty of time to explore all the best things to do in Delray Beach. Between Boca Raton and West Palm Beach, Delray Beach offers the perfect blend of white sand beaches and cultural experiences.
The seaside town in Palm Beach County is home to the vibrant Atlantic Avenue and colorful Pineapple Grove Arts District. But just across the Intracoastal Waterway is a splendid selection of beaches, state parks, and ornate gardens to explore.
Not sure what to do in Delray Beach? Fill out your itinerary with this guide to the best places to visit in Delray Beach, Fl.
Best places to visit in Delray Beach, FL
An energetic street with excellent restaurants and happening bars, Atlantic Avenue is one of the top points of interest in Delray Beach. Get in among the action by wandering down the busy street and taking in the lively atmosphere that starts early in the morning and ends into the wee hours.
Throughout the day, you’ll be able to jump between Atlantic Ave’s boutiques and art galleries. As the evening arrives, patrons pick between a throng of delectable eateries, live music venues, and quaint bars, perfect for a special date night.
Throughout the year, Atlantic Avenue is home to several major cultural events, including the Savor the Avenue, a mouthwatering food festival.
Fan of nature? One of the best things to do in Delray Beach is to explore the expansive Wakodahatchee Wetlands. Set within 50 acres of wetlands off of Jog Road, the park is a mangrove-laden paradise and some of the best bird-watching in Florida. The Wakodahatchee Wetlands is also on the Great Florida Birding Trail, allowing intimate access to over 150 species of birds.
Thanks to the series of raised boardwalks, it’s easy to make your way through the Wakodahatchee Wetlands and get up close to the vast range of wildlife. But it isn’t just birds you should keep your eye out for. The wetlands are home to marsh rabbits, frogs, alligators, and turtles. Keep your camera ready!
Morikami Museum & Japanese Gardens
In the forests of West Delray, George Morikami created a pineapple farm at the turn of the 20th century. In the years later, the land was placed back into the hands of the public. To commemorate Morikami, a Japanese immigrant, the authentic Morikami Museum & Japanese Gardens came to be.
The tranquil Japanese gardens cover 16 acres of ornate designs that represent different eras of Japanese landscaping. Venture to Morikami Park Road to come and discover beautiful koi ponds, beguiling lakes, and bonsai trees, some of which are four centuries old.
The Morikami Museum, an authentic Japanese villa, features a specialty tearoom for ceremonies occurring every month. You’ll also find a secondary museum space where you can eat delicious Japanese food or explore the gift shop.
For families, Gulfstream Park is one of the top places to go in Delray Beach. Located just south of Boynton Beach and along the Atlantic Ocean, Gulfstream Park spans seven kid-friendly acres, with playgrounds and lush open lawns. It’s only a few steps away from the beach, too!
Load up the picnic basket and yard games for a fun morning before making your way to the beach. The soft white sands will welcome you, as will the lifeguards standing watch. With little swell and compact space, it’s easy to keep an eye on everyone here. After building some amazing sandcastles, you can also discover the coral reefs just off the shore.
Cornell Art Museum
Within an old elementary school from the early 1900s, you’ll find the brilliant Cornell Art Museum. The historic building features a beautiful facade and open courtyard with the bustle of Atlantic Avenue floating through the air. Renovations have improved the interior space, making room for several gallery halls, yet the building remains a celebration of Delray Beach’s early history and architecture.
After enjoying the exterior space, visitors can browse a wonderful collection of contemporary art with a welcome focus on local and in-state artists. The gallery remains complemented by a lovely selection of international artists to create one of the top Delray Beach attractions for culture lovers.
Delray Municipal Beach
One of the best activities in Delray Beach is to hit the coast at the most popular beach in town. Delray Municipal Beach boasts a festive atmosphere, particularly at the height of summer, thanks to a vibrant local community. At Delray Municipal Beach, you’ll find plenty to do both on and off the sand.
The scenery at this beautiful beach is matched only by its convenience. Access is easy thanks to the nearby public parking. Nearby, you’ll also be able to rent a range of beach gear, including umbrellas and chairs. For a splash of adventure, you can also get your hands on paddleboards and snorkel gear to roam off-shore.
Atlantic Dunes Park
Rivaling Municipal Beach as the best in town, Atlantic Dunes Park is a perfect alternative for a local beach day. Stretch out among the tranquility with pristine coastal views, backed by grassy dunes and nearby hotels.
There’s plenty to do at Atlantic Dunes Park aside from reading under the umbrella or swimming in the Atlantic. You’ll have the chance to gather the crew for some volleyball or head out on a SUP.
Atlantic Dunes Park is home to a large green space for non-sandy picnics and yard games. There’s also a nature trail and boardwalk to enjoy for excellent views. It’s easy to see why many decide to make the trip north from Fort Lauderdale to check it out.
Sandoway Discovery Center
Located within a historic home, the Sandoway Discovery Center is devoted to teaching guests about the fragile marine life found in South Florida. The nature center is home to a variety of exhibits and naturalists programs that do just that, allowing you an intimate look into local marine life, including native and invasive species.
Within the Sandoway Discovery Center, you’ll find sharks swimming through the coral reef pool, along with the biggest private shell collection in all of Florida. Later on, head upstairs to the observation deck where, with the help of binoculars, you’ll enjoy wondrous views of Delray Beach.
Other prominent attractions at the nature center include the butterfly garden and the daily shark feeding that’s sure to be a jaw-dropping experience for the young ones.
The Girls Strawberry U-Pick
As you walk towards the door, in the local strip mall, you’d be forgiven for thinking you have the wrong address. But behind the entrance is one of the best places to see in Delray Beach: The Girls Strawbery U-Pick.
The top attraction at The Girls Strawberry U-Pick is, of course, the strawberry picking within the on-site hydroponic farm. Load up the bucket and take home your goodies to enjoy however you like.
But the fun doesn’t end there. You’ll also uncover a world of old-school candy, a chance to feed some of the resident goats and ducks along with colorful birds and reptiles. If you’re up for it, you’ll even be able to hold a snake or pet a lizard.
Mounts Botanical Garden
Located 30 minutes north in West Palm Beach, Mounts Botanical Garden offers a peaceful getaway from the action around Delray Beach. In its series of ornate and cultivated gardens, you can discover hundreds of different plant, tree, and flower species from the four corners of the globe.
The botanical garden is well-designed and connected through a network of informative nature trails. Along the path you’ll find several plaques that elaborate on the environment laid out before you, allowing you to better understand the scenery.
Each section of the park differs with some of the more memorable being the palm, herb, and fruit gardens with plenty of opportunities to sit and relax throughout.
In 2013, Delray Beach’s first microbrewery opened. Founded by passionate ocean conservationists, Saltwater Brewery features a popular beer garden and a tasting room.
Some of the top brews at Saltwater Brewery include the Sea Cow Milk Stout and the Screamin’ Reels IPA. Tours of the brewery are available from 1 pm to 3 pm every Saturday. The tour is a great opportunity to see how the brewery uses only natural ingredients to create its products.
The special attention given to each batch of handcrafted beer is matched by their enduring promotion of ocean education. Each case has 100% sustainable packaging while the six-pack features edible rings made of wheat ribbons and barley.
Pineapple Grove Arts District
Just off of Atlantic Avenue, the Pineapple Grove Arts District takes the energy of the downtown street and multiplies in tenfold. The Downtown Delray Beach neighborhood has several eclectic galleries and homegrown boutiques, punctuated by a series of unique sculptures.
Some of the more notable independent stores include the time-killing Murder on the Beach Mystery Book Store. For those seeking some local art, head to the Arts Warehouse for a steady rotation of exhibitions. Or get inspired by the work of John Spec at the Gallery at Studio Five.
Getting about on two feet is the way to go here as there’s always another mural or fascinating shop hiding around the corner.
Just south of Delray Beach is the intriguing Mizner Park. A popular part of Boca Raton, the park is another great side trip while in town. Mizner Park comprises an on-site art museum and an outdoor amphitheater. Throughout the year, the amphitheater hosts a number of live performances, with live music covering a broad range of genres.
Around the theater, you’ll find plenty of room to lie down on the park lawn and enjoy a picnic with your partner or family. If you haven’t brought the goods, the park is also surrounded by a great selection of restaurants and pubs.
Delray Beach Golf Club
South Florida is a golfing mecca, with picture-perfect golf courses seemingly around every corner. There may be many to choose from in town, but the Delray Beach Golf Club is the best of the lot.
For a long part of its history, the Delray Beach Golf Club had a meager 9 holes. But the current 18-hole iteration is popular among locals thanks to its fun but challenging layout and affordable greens fees.
It all adds up to an active day on the fairway for those that love to crank woods and irons. After the 18th hole, make your way to the on-site bar and restaurant to celebrate or commiserate.
Lake Ida Dog Park
If you’ve brought your dog with you on your travels and wondering where to go in Delray Beach, bring your furry friend down to Lake Ida Dog Park. Found within Lake Ida West Park, the park will let you take your pup off the leash and socialize with other dogs or simply stretch their legs and explore on a whim.
Lake Ida West Park has two dog-friendly sections that operate alternatively. The rest of the park covers 190 acres, and although your dog will have to be leashed, there are endless trails to roam. The park also features picnic shelters, several playgrounds, and boat ramps.
Spady Cultural Heritage Museum
If you’re interested in learning more about the rich history of Delray Beach, make your way to the Spady Cultural Heritage Museum. The museum is within the former home of an important African American leader and educator, the late Solomon David Spady. Spady was a vigorous proponent of childhood education. The museum continues the tradition through community events and youth programs.
Visitors to the Spady Cultural Heritage Museum can embark on historical tours of the home, which remains much as it was when Solomon Spady called it home. Through the help of your guide—along with documents, photos, and artifacts—you can learn more about the prominent figure and Delray Beach itself.
Palm Beach Zoo & Conservation Society
Florida’s top-rated zoological experience, Palm Beach Zoo & Conservation Society cares for over 500 animals spread across 23 acres. In a variety of habitats, you’ll find a vast array of animals broken up into real-world regions.
Located in West Palm Beach, the Palm Beach Zoo & Conservation Society’s most popular animals include rare species such as the white alligator and golden lion tamarin. There are many ways to see the park, including on a miniature train tour or with personal experiences such as feeding grapes to sloths or bathing the resident tortoises.
Great for families, there’s plenty to keep you entertained aside from the animals, thanks to the educational programs and the carousels.
Best places to stay in Delray Beach for sightseeing
For a stylish stay in Delray Beach, look no further than the Aloft. Located in the center of town, this popular mid-range hotel features chic modern rooms and superb amenities, including an outdoor pool, fitness center, restaurant, and lounge.
Located half a mile from the beach, this popular hotel delights with bright modern rooms, offering guests plenty of space for their adventures. Book yourself into one of the deluxe rooms to enjoy pristine views over the Atlantic coastline.
For the ultimate in Delray Beach luxury, snag a room at the lovely Residence Inn. Sitting on East Atlantic Avenue, this all-suite hotel offers spacious suites, equipped with full kitchenettes and seating areas. Enjoy cooling off in the outdoor pool and hot tub or fitting in a workout in the fitness center.