Located on Florida’s scenic Atlantic coast in Palm Beach County, Delray Beach is known for its beautiful stretches of shoreline and relaxing, family-friendly environment that draws sun-seekers from all over the country.
With a population of just 60,000, Delray Beach is one of the Metro-Miami area’s principal cities, and is equidistant from the Palm Beaches and Coral Springs.
Lake Okeechobee to the northwest and Everglades National Forest to the south are ever-popular destinations that can be easily reached by day trippers, and there are a variety of beach options for those looking to swim, sunbathe and relax.
Below are 15 things to do in and around Delray Beach, Florida.
1. Morikami Museum and Japanese Gardens
Located on Morikami Park Road in Delray Beach, the Morikami Museum and Japanese Gardens is the area’s premier destination for those interested in learning about the history and unique culture of the area’s Japanese immigrants.
Comprised of an indoor museum and six distinct gardens that highlight a variety of native and non-native plant, tree and flower species, the museum and gardens are a perfect side excursion for those who’ve temporarily had their fill of sun, sand, and surf.
Each cultivated garden is based on a different theme, and they seamlessly combine elements of the human-made and natural worlds – a talent for which Japanese gardeners are famous.
2. Silver Ball Museum
Named after the shiny metal balls that were used in pinball machines for decades, the Silver Ball Museum is a unique Delray Beach destination that includes more than 100 vintage games spread over thousands of feet of floor space.
Some of the games date back more than 80 years, and unlike most museums, you’ll be able to touch, use and enjoy the items on display, which is an especially exhilarating and memory-evoking experience for those who grew up during the golden age of the pinball machine.
They’ve got more recent digital games, and Miss Pac-Man as well. There’s also skee-ball, which has been an old standby at east coast beach resorts for ages.
3. Saltwater Brewery
Nothing tastes better after a long day in the surf than a tasty microbrew, and Saltwater Brewery on West Atlantic Avenue in Delray Beach is a popular adult beverage destination for locals and tourists alike.
Guided tours of their facility are offered on Saturday afternoons; due to their popularity, they often fill up quickly, so it would be a good idea to arrive early and reserve your spot.
The brewery’s beers are all handcrafted using all-natural ingredients, and their onsite tasting room is the perfect place to sample a variety of beers with different flavor profiles to decide which you like best.
4. Delray Beach Golf Club
The idea and planning for the Delray Beach Golf Club goes all the way back to the early ’20s, when the design was laid out by a famous golf course architect and the land was purchased and developed.
Located on Highland Avenue, the popular course had only nine holes up until 1950, but now features 18.
In an area saturated with golf courses, Delray Beach Golf Club remains a favorite for its attractive and challenging layout and reasonable greens fees.
It’s a full-service facility that includes a bar and restaurant, pro shop, and a variety of lesson options from its professional staff.
5. Delray Municipal Beach
To be named the state’s top beach by a well-known travel magazine is quite a distinction, especially in an area with so much competition.
Not surprisingly, Delray Municipal Beach is a true standout for those looking for a variety of convenient and inexpensive amenities and a family-friendly atmosphere.
The beach is free to use, and ample public parking is available nearby. For those who didn’t lug all their beach gear with them, it’s possible to rent umbrellas, chairs, paddle boards, and snorkeling equipment, and there are plenty of dining, shopping, and lodging options nearby too.
6. Wakodahatchee Wetlands
Florida’s wetlands support a diverse variety of flora and fauna, and many of them aren’t found anywhere else.
Located on Jog Road in Delray Beach, Wakodahatchee Wetlands is a preserved natural area that’s a popular destination for wildlife photographers, hikers, and all-around outdoor enthusiasts.
It’s not uncommon to see turtles, foxes, snakes, and alligators, and the area is home an incredible array of birds – from raptors to waterfowl and woodpeckers as well.
The wetlands are free to visit and feature a network of raised boardwalk-style trails that are safe, well-marked and offer great vantage points to take in the natural splendor.
7. The Avenue
Delray Beach’s most trendy shopping, dining and entertainment district is The Avenue, which lies along the central portion of Atlantic Avenue that runs through downtown.
It’s a pedestrian-friendly area that’s the perfect place for an afternoon or evening stroll. Though it’s full of tree-lined streets and small-town charm, it’s also home to an eclectic variety of shops, galleries, cafes, and restaurants.
The Avenue can draw a crowd, especially in the evenings and on weekends, and for those who’ve had their fill of beaches and swamp tours, it’s a nice change of pace and an excellent place to relax with a cup of coffee or a glass of wine.
8. Sandoway Discovery Center
Featuring a variety of educational and recreational options, the Sandoway Discovery Center on South Ocean Boulevard in Delray Beach is part nature preserve, part zoo, and part classroom; for those traveling with animal-loving kids, it’s a great place to spend a few hours.
They’ll love the scheduled shark and alligator feedings, and the center has one of the state’s largest shell collections that’s a big hit with amateur beach-combers.
Guided beach and dune tours are available, and are a great option for those looking to get outdoors, burn a few calories and get up-close-and-personal with some amazing habitats and animals.
9. Sundook Fine Art Galleries
Located on East Atlantic Avenue in Delray Beach, Sundook Fine Art Galleries was founded nearly four decades ago. Since then, it has evolved into one of the area’s most unique and well-respected galleries.
Featuring a variety of paintings, sculptures, and prints, the gallery’s works are the creations of local, national, and international artists. They offer other services as well, like custom framing, packaging, and shipping.
They frequently offer community events like book signings and chances to meet authors and artists, so check out their website to see what’s on their calendar of events for when you’ll be visiting.
10. Delray Beach Children’s Garden
Teaching children about the importance of the natural world may be the best way to ensure its preservation, and the Delray Beach Children’s Garden is dedicated to doing just that.
Located just off Atlantic Avenue, the garden consists of two acres of land that was donated by a local church. It offers a variety of opportunities for kids and adults to learn, play, and work together in a natural setting.
There are a variety of trees, cultivated areas, a pond, gardening tools, and an oversized chair where the popular story time reading activity takes place on days kids are working.
11. The Wick Theatre and Costume Museum
Back in 2013, a woman with a world-class collection of Broadway costumes purchased a 300-seat theatre that had fallen on hard times. Since then, the Wick Theatre and Costume Museum has been a popular destination for those interested in getting a taste of The Big Apple in the Sunshine State.
Now, in addition to the museum and community theatre, the facility includes a restaurant that’s a lot like New York’s Tavern on the Green; it’s the perfect place to grab a drink and a bite before taking in a show.
A variety of guided tour options are available, and some of them include pre-show dinner, drinks, and tours of the costume collection in addition to an evening show. It is located in nearby Boca Raton.
12. Mizner Park
Boca Raton’s Mizner Park is one of the area’s most popular community recreation attractions, and is located near other local hotspots, making it a convenient side-excursion when visiting Boca.
Consisting of an art museum, outdoor amphitheater, and a variety of trendy shops, bars, and eateries, it’s the kind of place you could easily spend a few hours.
The park hosts a free summer concert series that’s a favorite of locals and includes a variety of different kinds of music, from jazz and blues to classical.
There are plenty of inexpensive parking options nearby, though they can fill up quickly on event days.
13. The Palm Beach Zoo
Spread over more than 20 acres and including tropical gardens and a wide variety of animals and natural habitats from around the world, The Palm Beach Zoo is a fun and informative family recreation destination that’s the perfect change of pace from the beach.
A few of the zoo’s perennial favorites are the snake and lizard-filled reptile house, the tigers, and the cute and cuddly koala bears.
The zoo also features a few amusement park elements like play fountains and carousels. For those who’d rather not hoof-it, there’s a train that conveys guests to the park’s exhibits in style.
14. Norton Museum of Art
Featuring priceless collections of American, European and Asia art, Norton Museum of Art is one of Florida’s most well-respected artistic and cultural venues and was founded nearly 80 years ago.
Most of the museum’s pieces are contemporary and include works from famous and troubled artists like Jackson Pollock and Pablo Picasso.
In addition to their permanent collections, the museum often hosts temporary ones from other institutions, so no matter when you visit, you’ll likely see different things.
They also offer guest speakers, educational and instructional programs, and guided tours for those interested in getting a more in-depth look into the items on display.
15. Mounts Botanical Garden
Mounts Botanical Garden is the largest and most well-known facility of its kind in West Palm Beach and includes a variety of distinct cultivated gardens that include thousands of plants, trees, and flowers from all over the world.
The garden areas are connected by paths that feature plaques to let guests know about the things they’re seeing.
The fruit, herb and palm gardens are among the most popular, and there are seating areas throughout the grounds that are perfect places to relax with a cold drink and take in the splendor.
Most guests spend a few hours here before heading off to new adventures.