By  Mike Miller  Updated February 16, 2023

Delray Beach, Florida Things To Do, Lodging, Dining, & Real Estate At End Of Article

The City of Delray Beach, Florida is in Palm Beach County on the east coast between Palm Beach and Fort Lauderdale.  The city is on both sides of the Intracoastal Waterway that separates the Atlantic Ocean barrier island from the mainland.

Delray DepotDelray Beach Historic Train Depot

The population of Delray Beach in the 2020 census was reported as 66,846. 

Like so many other Florida towns, the population has been continually increasing as new people settle in the area.  The city has added almost 9,000 people in the past ten years.


The area that includes modern Delray Beach, Florida was first mentioned in history during the Seminole Wars.  The area was known as Orange Grove Haulover.

The spot got the name from its old orange groves, likely left by Spaniards who populated New World trade routes with citrus to prevent scurvy among Spanish sailors. 

One such part-time horticulturalist was Juan Ponce De Leon.

Maybe the explorer was the inspiration for America's Johnny Appleseed, who followed centuries later.

Juan was a "Juanito Citrus-Seed" who ordered his men to plant the fruit wherever they landed.

Delray Beach Florida Villa PostcardDelray Beach Florida Villa Postcard

By the 1860s, Wisconsin native and Florida's lieutenant governor William Gleason bought many acres in this area and began selling to enterprising settlers.

Orange Grove House of Refuge #3Orange Grove House of Refuge #3

In 1876, Orange Grove House of Refuge #3 was built in Delray.

Houses of Refuge were lonely outposts offering sustenance to castaways.

They were built by the US Life-Saving Service after countless ships and people were lost to Florida's remote and treacherous shores.

These stations were usually manned by a single keeper and his family. These modest buildings saved many lives for decades before being integrated into the US Coast Guard's network of rescue stations.

In 1894 William Linton, postmaster of Saginaw, Michigan, bought a tract of land just west of the Orange Grove House of Refuge, and began selling plots in what he hoped would become a farming community.

Initially, this community was named after Linton. Linton Road in Delray is a reminder of this heritage.

Bostons on the Beach, DelrayBostons on the Beach, Delray

In 1896 Henry Flagler extended his Florida East Coast Railroad south from West Palm Beach to Miami, with a station at Linton.

Many of his workers were African-Americans, working class John Henrys who built much of Florida's railroads and stayed behind when the task was done.

The Linton settlers began to achieve success with truck farming of winter vegetables for the northern market. A hard freeze in 1898 was a setback, and many of the settlers left, including William Linton.

Partly in an attempt to change the community's luck, or leave behind a bad reputation, the settlement's name was changed in 1901 to Delray.

It was named after the Detroit neighborhood of Delray. Delray is the anglicized spelling of "Del Rey," which is Spanish for "of the king".

The Detroit neighborhood was named after the Mexican-American War's Battle of Molino del Rey.

Many of the little old houses and cottages in Delray Beach Florida are still reminiscent of Michigan neighborhoods.

Delray Beach's beautiful beaches, fertile soil and inexpensive land attracted many blacks in the South who worked on Florida's railroads and phosphate mines.

With the completion of the railroad, Delray Beach Florida farmers were doing well exporting their beans, fruits, and other goods.

Bahamian workers settled in the area and convinced their relatives to emigrate as well.

By the turn of the century, Delray's affordable lots and strategic location attracted Japanese pineapple farmers who estabslished Yamato Colony.

The colony was on land where Boca Raton Airport and Florida Atlantic University sit today. Delray Beach quickly became one of the Florida's most multicultural cities.

This melange of cultural influences is still apparent in Delray Beach today.


I lived on my boat for a brief period at Delray Harbor Club on the Intracoastal Waterway.

It was a short walk of many great dining and cultural opportunities on nearby Atlantic Avenue, the main east-west street through downtown Delray Beach.

Downtown Delray BeachDowntown Delray Beach
Flickr/julie corsi

That's Delray Harbor Club in the photo below. It was a great little place to live in this fun small town.  It had a nice swimming pool that was available to residents and marina guests.

Delray Harbor ClubDelray Harbor Club

The city has beautiful Japanese gardens at Morikami Gardens Museum on the west side of town.

Atlantic Avenue Delray Beach

Many musical events take place in Delray like the Roots Cultural Festival feature black folk arts and Bahamian steel drum players.

Delray Beach Public BeachDelray Beach Public Beach


Morikami Museum and Japanese Gardens
4000 Morikami Park Rd, Delray Beach, FL | (561) 495-0233

The Morikami Museum and Japanese Gardens is so nice I'll mention it twice! Beautiful zen gardens, bonsai trees, exhibits, Japanese cuisine, and more, it is a peaceful retreat that offers a glimpse into Japanese culture.

Visitors like the museum’s exhibits showcasing Japanese art and history. The tea ceremonies and cultural events are also a highlight. It’s a perfect place for a relaxing stroll or to learn about Japan’s rich traditions.

The serene environment makes it a great spot for meditation and photography. Whether you're exploring the gardens or attending a cultural event, Morikami offers a unique and calming experience.

Boston's on the Beach

40 S Ocean Blvd, Delray Beach, FL 33483 | (561) 278-3364

Boston's on the Beach, pictured earlier, is a lively beachfront restaurant known for its delicious food and vibrant atmosphere. We enjoy the fresh seafood dishes and the cocktails.

Visitors like the stunning ocean views and the variety of menu options, including New England favorites and local specialties. The restaurant frequently hosts live music, adding to the fun, energetic environment.

It's a great spot for a casual meal, drinks with friends, or a night out. The friendly service and prime location make Boston's on the Beach a favorite destination for both locals and tourists.

Delray Harbor Club Marina
1035 S Federal Hwy, Delray Beach, FL 33483 | (561) 276-0376

I discussed the Delray Harbor Club Marina earlier. Here is the contact information if you’re interested in visiting it.

Atlantic Avenue
Atlantic Ave, Delray Beach, FL 33444

Atlantic Avenue is the vibrant heart of Delray Beach. We enjoy the bustling atmosphere filled with shops, restaurants, and galleries. Visitors like strolling along the avenue, exploring unique boutiques, and dining at a variety of eateries.

The street is lively both day and night, with plenty of entertainment options. It’s a great place for people-watching, enjoying outdoor seating, and experiencing the local culture.

The beautiful palm-lined avenue is perfect for a leisurely walk or a fun night out. Whether you're looking for shopping, dining, or entertainment, Atlantic Avenue has something for everyone.

Delray Municipal Beach
S Ocean Blvd, Delray Beach, FL 33483 | (561) 243-7352

Delray Municipal Beach is a favorite destination for sun and surf. We enjoy the pristine sandy shores and clear blue waters. Visitors like the lifeguard-patrolled beach, which is perfect for swimming, sunbathing, and beach games.

The area offers convenient amenities like restrooms, showers, and nearby cafes. It’s a great place for families, with plenty of space for kids to play and build sandcastles.

The beach’s beautiful scenery and relaxing atmosphere make it a popular spot for locals and tourists. Whether you're looking to swim, relax, or enjoy a beachside meal, Delray Municipal Beach is a must-visit.

Wakodahatchee Wetlands
13270 Jog Rd, Delray Beach, FL 33484 | (561) 493-6000

Wakodahatchee Wetlands is a wonderful place for nature enthusiasts. Its name comes from the Seminole for "created waters", due to its man-made nature. Hundreds of species of birds, turtles, and of course, gators, are all visible from a winding boardwalk.

We enjoy walking along the boardwalks that wind through the wetlands. The wetlands are a photographer’s paradise, offering plenty of scenic views and close-up shots of wildlife. It’s a peaceful spot for a morning walk or an afternoon of birdwatching.

The informative signs along the trails provide interesting facts about the local ecosystem. Whether you're a nature lover or just looking for a quiet escape, Wakodahatchee Wetlands is a delightful destination.

Old School Square
51 N Swinton Ave, Delray Beach, FL 33444

Old School Square is a cultural hub in Delray Beach. We enjoy the historic buildings and the variety of arts and entertainment events. Visitors like the exhibitions, theater performances, and concerts held here.

The beautifully restored school buildings add a touch of history and charm. It’s a great place to experience the local arts scene and attend community events. The square often hosts festivals, art shows, and outdoor concerts.

The friendly atmosphere and vibrant programming make it a favorite spot for both locals and visitors. Whether you're enjoying a show or exploring the galleries, Old School Square is a must-see.

Sandoway Discovery Center
142 S Ocean Blvd, Delray Beach, FL 33483 | (561) 274-7263

The Sandoway Discovery Center offers a fun and educational experience for all ages. We enjoy the hands-on exhibits and the up-close encounters with marine life. Visitors like the shark feedings, touch tanks, and the informative talks by the staff.

The center is housed in a historic beachfront home, adding to its charm. It’s a great place to learn about the local marine environment and conservation efforts.

The friendly staff and interactive exhibits make it a hit with kids and adults alike. Whether you're exploring the aquariums or attending a special event, Sandoway Discovery Center is a fantastic destination.

Pineapple Grove Arts District
NE 2nd Ave, Delray Beach, FL 33444

Pineapple Grove Arts District is a vibrant area filled with art and culture. We enjoy the colorful murals, unique galleries, and the creative atmosphere. Visitors like the mix of boutiques, cafes, and public art installations.

The district is perfect for a leisurely stroll and discovering local art. It’s a great place to shop for one-of-a-kind items and enjoy a meal at a cozy café. The district often hosts art walks and events, adding to the lively vibe.

The friendly community and artistic flair make it a favorite spot for both locals and tourists. Whether you're an art lover or just exploring, Pineapple Grove is a must-visit.

Cason Cottage House Museum
5 NE 1st St, Delray Beach, FL 33444 | (561) 274-9578

The Cason Cottage House Museum offers a charming glimpse into Delray Beach’s past. We enjoy the guided tours that take you through the historic home and its well-preserved rooms.

Visitors like the stories about the early settlers and the artifacts that showcase the area’s history. The cottage is beautifully maintained, with period furnishings and décor. It’s a great place to learn about the local heritage and the lives of the early residents.

The friendly guides provide interesting insights and make the tour engaging. Whether you're a history buff or just curious, Cason Cottage House Museum is a delightful destination.

Mounts Botanical Garden
531 N Military Trl, West Palm Beach, FL 33415 | (561) 233-1757

Mounts Botanical Garden, located a short drive from Delray Beach, is a beautiful and expansive garden. We enjoy exploring the various themed gardens, from tropical landscapes to herb gardens.

Visitors like the peaceful walking paths and the opportunity to learn about different plant species. The garden hosts educational programs, plant sales, and special events throughout the year. It’s a great place for a relaxing day out in nature.

The friendly staff and well-maintained grounds make it a favorite spot for both locals and tourists. Whether you're a gardening enthusiast or just looking for a tranquil escape, Mounts Botanical Garden is a wonderful destination.

Atlantic Dunes Park
1605 S Ocean Blvd, Delray Beach, FL 33483 | (561) 243-7250

Open 9am to 5pm, Atlantic Dunes Park has serene beaches with rolling dunes, nature trails, picnic areas, and more. A boardwalk & a short trail lead through the dunes to the beach.

They have lifeguards. Visitors like the shaded picnic areas and nature trails. It’s perfect for swimming, sunbathing, and enjoying the natural beauty of the Atlantic Ocean.

A local favorite for relaxation, it’s an inexpensive and pleasant way to spend a few hours.


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