The Sunshine State is known for its sunny beaches, crystal clear waters, and lush landscapes. Few places embody these qualities quite like Delray Beach in South Florida. Situated in between West Palm Beach and Boca Raton, Delray Beach is a small town with a big personality.
With its trendy downtown area and ideal weather, it’s no wonder Delray Beach was named Most Fun Small Town in America by Rand McNally and USA Today. If you happen to be visiting and are looking for travel inspiration, look no further.
Here are 13 of the best things to do in Delray Beach!
STROLL THE WAKODAHATCHEE WETLANDS
Fancy a boardwalk stroll? The Wakodahatchee Wetlands is a perfect place to take a leisurely walk and birdwatch. The wetlands are home to over 200 species of birds, turtles, alligators, and other wildlife. Wakodahatchee is built on an ancient water utility site and takes you back to what old Florida used to look like. You’ll walk over bridges, cross island lookouts, and get up close to nature.
Cooper’s Hawkeye, Heron Creek, and Egret Point are just a few of the scenic lookout spots. You can also take a canoe or kayak out on the water for some up-close views of the wetlands’ residents. If you can visit during bird hatching season, you might be able to see some fuzzy baby birds. Their songs fill the air and create an enticing soundtrack for your nature stroll.
Located a few miles inland of Atlantic Avenue, Wakodahatchee is an oasis in the city and something you are unlikely to see anywhere else.
EXPLORE ATLANTIC AVENUE
No trip to Delray Beach is complete without spending some time down on Atlantic Ave. This trendy, pedestrian-friendly street is lined with shops, restaurants, art galleries, and more. Start your day with a delicious cup of joe from one of the many cafes. Then browse the unique stores for souvenirs, beachwear, jewelry, and more.
Florida’s iconic palm trees line the streets, providing a shady respite from the heat. This makes it very walkable, which is perfect because you’ll want to take your time window-shopping and people-watching. Parking can be a bit tricky on busy days, so work those walking muscles and enjoy the scenery.
In the evening, downtown Delray Beach comes alive with live music, street performers, and a festive atmosphere. Finally, don’t forget to visit one of the many gift shops to buy some Delray Beach-themed merchandise for your folks back home. A visit here is one of the best things to do in Delray Beach!
GET A SELFIE WITH THE PUBLIC ART AT PINEAPPLE GROVE ARTS DISTRICT
Pineapple Grove is an arts district located in the historical center of Delray Beach. Compared to Atlantic Avenue, it’s a bit more relaxed with a focus on art galleries, public art, and unique architecture.
Instead of flashy nightclubs, you’ll find intimate mom and pop shops and cafes. Papa’s Tapas is a Spanish cuisine restaurant with an outdoor patio to enjoy the weather. The family-owned restaurants serve all the classics, from pella to sangria.
Public art in the district is definitely worth a visit. The streets are full of colorful murals and sculptures, making it a popular place to take some artsy selfies. You can find displays by simply walking around. One of the most famous murals in town is entitled: “Dancing Pineapples.” The color palette and overall design are popping, making it one of the most photographed places in Delray Beach.
Pineapple Grove is also home to the Arts Garage, which offers live music, theater performances, and art classes. It’s a great place to catch up-and-coming talent or see a more intimate show. There’s also an art gallery on-site with rotating exhibitions.
VISIT MORIKAMI MUSEUM AND JAPANESE GARDENS
Ready to escape the hustle and bustle of the city? The Morikami Japanese Gardens is a serene oasis located in Delray Beach. This nationally recognized museum and gardens offer a glimpse into traditional Japanese culture. Think of it as a botanical garden with a twist.
The museum houses permanent and temporary exhibitions on Japanese art and history. Our favorite part is the tea ceremony garden, which is beautifully landscaped and includes a tea house. The museum also offers ikebana (flower arranging), origami, and calligraphy classes. If Japanese culture interests you, this is a must-see.
The gardens are gorgeous and feature bridges, koi ponds, and more. A living exhibit is made out of the bonsai trees, a type of miniature tree that is carefully pruned. Stroll along the winding paths and take in the tranquil atmosphere. We recommended taking the audio tour, which can be downloaded on your mobile device.
SOAK UP THE SUN AT DELRAY MUNICIPAL BEACH
It probably won’t surprise you to learn that Delray has some of the most beautiful beaches in Florida. The sand is soft, and the water is crystal clear. You can enjoy a swim, sunbathe, or take a walk along the 3-mile shore.
Locals love Delray Municipal Beach because it doesn’t get too crowded, especially in the earlier hours of the day. You can find a spot to lay your towel and relax without being shoulder-to-shoulder with other beachgoers. This beach is also known for its fabulous sunsets, so don’t forget to bring your camera!
Delray Municipal Beach is mostly a place for relaxation, so don’t expect the Miami party scene. Instead, you can lounge around under the sun. There’s a possibility of renting beach chairs and umbrellas, but we recommend bringing your own to avoid the markup. If you get hungry, several casual cafes and seafood shacks are nearby.
TOUR AND TASTE SALTWATER BREWERY
Beer lovers, rejoice! Next on our Palm Beach County adventure is the Saltwater Brewery, a Floridian-owned business serving cold ones since 2013. They offer guided tours of the facility, which include a tasting at the end. Of course, you can buy their cans and bottles at the on-site store or find them in local retailers.
The tasting room is spacious with an industrial feel. They have a wide selection of beers on tap, and the bartenders are always happy to make recommendations. With live music and food trucks to complete the experience, it’s no wonder this place always sells out.
But what they are most known for is their eco-friendly initiatives. They were the first brewery to start using Edible Six Pack Rings, made out of spent grain and safe for marine life to consume. So, drink up and feel good knowing you’re supporting a sustainable business!
CONNECT WITH NATURE AT SANDOWAY DISCOVERY CENTER
If you’re looking for a fun activity the whole family can enjoy, look no further than the Sandoway Discovery Center. This hands-on natural history museum is perfect for kids and adults alike. They offer educational programs, guided tours, and unique exhibits.
Exhilarating activities like shark feedings take place daily. There are also rescue alligators and crocodiles to meet! The goal here is to show visitors the importance of conservation and protecting our environment. If you still see sharks as mindless killers, this place will definitely change your mind.
This is an excellent activity for a rainy day or when you need a break from the beach. The discovery center is small, but jam-packed with information and fun. It’s also reasonably priced, making it a great value for your money.
NOSH AT DELRAY BEACH MARKET
The food court, reimagined. The Delray Beach Market is Florida’s largest indoor food hall with a rotating lineup of vendors. From Chuck and Patty’s hearty burgers to more exotic fare like Chinese cuisine, you’re sure to find a dish to your liking.
This food hall is constantly buzzing with energy and friendly people. With nearly 30 vendors, it can get a bit overwhelming. But that’s all part of the fun! We recommend going with a group so you can try a little bit of everything. Don’t forget to wash it down with a craft beer or cocktail from one of the many bars!
The playful and colorful decorations here make it a worthy place to snap some Insta-worthy photos. Music also plays in the background, either by DJ or a live band.
TAKE IN THE ART AT CORNELL ART MUSEUM
Next is a hidden gem that’s often overlooked by tourists. The Cornell Art Museum is located in a 1913 elementary school building that has been restored to house galleries, artists’ studios, and an atrium.
Fashion is a recurring theme, with past exhibitions featuring wearable art and vintage clothing. Local artists are proudly showcased here, with a different exhibit every few months. Note that the building itself is not very big, so it doesn’t take long to see everything.
However, the staff is exceptionally passionate about their community’s history, art, and culture.
SNORKEL AT GULFSTREAM PARK
Another wonderful beach activity is snorkeling! Snorkeling is quite popular in Delray Beach, so you’ll have no trouble finding a rental shop. Gulfstream Park is one of the best places to do it. The water here is warm and inviting, with tons of coral and fish to see.
Since the water is relatively shallow here, you likely won’t need scuba gear. There are ropes in the water, which will lead you 30-50 yards offshore. After that, it’s up to you to explore! You’ll find damsels, parrotfish, groupers, and maybe even barracudas. Just be careful not to touch the coral, as it’s very delicate.
There is parking on-site, but not much else. So if you’re hungry after your swim, you’ll have to drive to one of the nearby restaurants or bring your meat to grill on the beach BBQs.
PICK FRUIT AT THE GIRLS STRABERRY U- PICK FARM
The Girls Strawberry U Pick is a local-owned strawberry farm that’s open to the public for picking. This is a great activity for kids, as they love running around in the fields and eating strawberries straight off the vine. Their fruit is organic and pesticide-free, meaning they’re good for you and the environment.
U-pick is usually available during strawberry season (which is typically from December to April), so make sure to check their website before going. However, The Girls still operate outside of those dates. They have a farm stand where you can buy other fruits and vegetables, as well as honey, jam, and pies.
But that’s not all! A bird exhibit, farm animals, and a playground make this spot a day-long attraction where you’ll find swans, chickens, goats, and pigs here. They also host ‘A buck for a duck,’ where you bet on which duck will cross the finish line first.
Finally, the ice cream parlor and pizzeria ensure you never go hungry. The perfect spot for a family outing!
OR VEGGIES… AT THE BOYS FARMERS MARKET
The Girls is actually a sister initiative to, you guessed it: The Boys Farmers Market. They sell organic produce, fruits, and vegetables grown on their farm. You can find them on Military Trail, just north of Atlantic Avenue.
The market is open every day from 8:30 am to 5 pm, making it a convenient spot to grab some groceries. It’s a massive building with many different vendors, not just for fruits! You’ll find the best cuts of meat, artisan cheese, fresh-baked pastry, and fish caught daily.
Understandably, this place gets crowded on weekends. But it’s worth braving the crowd to get your hands on some of the best food in town.
HEAD NORTH FOR A BOYNTON BEACH ADVENTURE
Last on our list is a day trip to Boynton Beach. Just north of Delray Beach, Boynton is known for its beautiful beaches, golf courses, and luxury hotels. If you’re looking to spend a day in the sun, this is the place to be.
There are two main beaches here: Oceanfront Park Beach and Gulfstream Park. The beach at Oceanfront Park is a prime location for swimming, sunbathing, and picnicking. Boynton is also famous for the treacherous Boynton Beach inlet. The man-made inlet was built in 1927 to help with circulation and water quality, but it has since become a popular spot for fishing and diving.
A beautiful coral reef sits just offshore, providing hours of entertainment for snorkelers and scuba divers. Be mindful of strong currents and undertows, as they can be dangerous. But if you’re an experienced swimmer, the inlet is a great place to catch some waves.
While you’re here, you might also want to check out ‘Eco Adventures From Boynton Harbor Marina.’ Get your blood pumping on a jet ski tour or take a scuba diving tour to meet turtles and sharks. The choice is yours!
MORE INFORMATION FOR YOUR TRIP TO FLORIDA
- YOUR FLORIDA VACATION
- FORT LAUDERDALE: 17 Things To Do In Fort Lauderdale With Kids That Adults Will Love
- WEST PALM: 20 Family-Friendly Things To Do In West Palm Beach
- BOCA RATON: 15 Phenomenal Things To Do In Boca Raton, Florida
- KEY WEST: 29+ Perfect Things To Do In Key West For Every Type Of Traveler
WHERE TO STAY IN DELRAY BEACH
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