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Delray Beach

Delray Beach Offers Great Dining and Entertainment in a Charming Beachside Setting. 

Positioned between Fort Lauderdale and West Palm Beach, Delray Beach has undergone a decades-long transformation, turning the once sleepy beachside town into a covetable vacation spot for locals and visitors. Delray Beach has long been known for its eclectic arts scene, but the addition of several new restaurants and a sleek new hotel has elevated Delray’s reputation. If you’re looking for a beachside vacation in a charming beach town, here’s what to do for your next visit to Delray Beach. 

Photo: Delray Beach Downtown Development Authority

Where to Stay 
Visitors to Delray Beach have a mix of established resorts and newer properties to choose from. The Ray Hotel is a newer edition, and its rooftop pool deck, Rosewater Rooftop, is a popular weekend and happy hour hangout. The hotel opened in 2021 with 141 modern guest rooms, a state-of-the-art gym, and a sleek lobby bar. Head to the hotel’s Asian restaurant, Akira Back, for Koren/Japanese-influenced bites like steamed octopus sashimi and wagyu short rib. The Ray Hotel is less than a mile from the beach, and the property’s many sculptures and art installations are a nod to Delray’s art community. 

Photo: The Seagate Hotel & Spa

The Seagate Hotel & Spa is a long-standing property with a classic Florida vibe. The hotel was established in the 1930s and has a private beach with a beach club just steps from the property. The hotel also boasts 154 guest rooms, each decorated with dark wood furniture and plantation shutters that open to floor-to-ceiling windows overlooking Atlantic Avenue. Other amenities include an award-winning spa, a private beach club, and an exclusive golf club. 

Photo: The Ray Hotel

For a small, intimate stay, consider Crane’s Beach House. The boutique hotel is conventionally located just a block from Atlantic Avenue, but the lush landscaping makes it feel secluded. Each of the 28 guest rooms and villas has a full kitchen and living room, and guests can access two serene pools. 

Where to Eat
Visitors to Delray Beach choose from a mix of fine dining to more casual hangout spots like The Hampton Social, or Bounce Delray. Both The Hampton Social and Bounce Delray offer lively weekend brunches with DJs and often host weekly social events. 

For a quieter meal, Delray Beach offers a few options. Downtown Delray boasts fine dining like Cut 432, a sophisticated steakhouse, and 50 Ocean, a second-story restaurant with views of the water and double-stuffed Maine lobster rolls on the menu. 

Hampton Social
Photo: Brian Adams

Delray Beach is also home to a few spots beloved by locals. DADA is an eclectic garden restaurant where people-watching rivals the uniquely named cocktails (try the tequila and prickly pear-infused Frida Khalo). El Camino also deserves a mention — the restaurant is packed nearly every night, and the shrimp tacos are some of the best in town. 

What to Do
Just west of the beaches, Morikami Museum & Japanese Gardens is one of Delray Beach’s most unique attractions. The property opened in 1977 and offers guests a museum with over 7,000 Japanese artifacts, beautifully manicured grounds, and annual special events. The museum and gardens honor Delray’s early Japanese community, and the peaceful grounds are a perfect afternoon activity. 

Morikami Museum & Japanese Gardens
Photo: Cultural Council for Palm Beach County

You could also check out Delray Beach’s art scene. The Pineapple Grove Arts District has murals, galleries, and outdoor art installations, and The Arts Garage hosts several live music and theater events each month, along with an arts education program for adults and children. 

For more live music, stop by Tin Roof, a bar on Atlantic Avenue that comes alive with local bands and an enthusiastic crowd looking for a good time. The bar proves that as much as Delray has transformed, the beach town remains true to its free-spirited, eclectic roots. 

Mariette Williams is a frequent globetrotter whose food and travel writing focuses on Florida and the Caribbean.