In the Canadian Traveller office, we're always scouting for places that locals are escaping to. And when it comes to Florida's Atlantic Coast, sanctuary is found in Delray Beach. With idyllic white sand beaches, pedestrian shopping, a vibrant gallery district and succulent dining, day trippers from Miami and Fort Lauderdale love taking city breaks to relish in this darling community on the coast. (Don't mind if we follow their lead.) For those with discerning taste, here's where to find the finer things in Delray Beach.
Best Luxury Shopping
Rather than spending all of your time relaxing poolside or on the beach, take an afternoon or two to indulge in some of the best luxury shopping in Florida.
Just a short drive from downtown is iconic Worth Avenue. Famed for unique architecture and chic courtyards, Worth Avenue is the Rodeo Drive of Florida. Shop the most famous fashion houses including Cartier, Chanel, Gucci and Hermès.
For trendsetters who love the thrill of the find, Classic Collection, just north of Delray Beach in Palm Beach, is touted as a high-end consignment store. Known by locals as a treasure trove of designer labels, travellers can scoop classics like quilted Chanel lambskin crossbodys or envy-inspiring Louboutins.
Courtesy of Town Center at Boca Raton
Town Center at Boca Raton, just south of Delray, will make shoppers completely rethink their perception of 'mall,' as this one hardly fits the stereotype. Town Center is home to many familiar fashion brands; luxury boutiques accent the offering. Available brands include Versace, Louis Vuitton, Landau and Gucci.
Delray Beach's Must See & Do Highlights
Cruising Delray's Atlantic Avenue, the longest main street in Florida, visitors will find it impossible to resist the city's charm. Lined with decoratively lit shops and heritage buildings, the avenue is best explored on foot.
When you've got your sun for the day, take in one of Delray Beach's best highlights: an impressive arts scene.
Located in the Pineapple Grove Arts District is the thriving artist's colony, Artists Alley. This colourful gallery features the work from 30 of Delray's very own talented artists. Admire paintings, sculpture, pottery, glassworks, photography and other experimental mediums that push the boundaries of the art world.
Nearby, close to the Cornell Museum of Art, is the Arts Garage. Similar to Artists Alley, Arts Garage is a showcase of visual arts, musicians and art educators. Here visitors can take in nightly performances of jazz, blues, reggae, classical music and spoken word.
How about a round at one of the finest private golf courses in Palm Beach County? Head for the greens of the Seagate Country Club's championship course. Follow in the footsteps of greats like Jack Nicklaus and attempt the signature 17th hole; it is considered one of the great short par-3s in South Florida.
Do you love architecture, heritage and history? Take a bicycle or walking tour of historic Atlantic Avenue and the heritage homes spread throughout central Delray Beach. See one route here.
Stroll the gorgeous grounds of Morikami Museum and Japanese Gardens. We could try to paint a description, but it simply wouldn't do it justice. Take a peek at their Instagram account to see why they're rated as a top attraction by TripAdvisor.com users.
When 'beach' is included in the name of a destination, we shouldn't need to convince travellers to head for the shore. Delray Beach offers both private and public beach access.
Delray Municipal Beach is free for everyone to enjoy and beach-goers will find three kilometres of maintained Blue Wave Beach-designated sand.
If you fancy lounging poolside, Seagate Beach Club offers exclusive private oceanfront, framed by a dramatic Atlantic horizon. Lay out under blue umbrellas where an azure pool kisses white sands and take advantage of that beach-side bar.
Best Fine Dining
Delray Beach may have a charming small town feel but it certainly has big city eats. Skip the chains because there is so much original fare to be found.
The Atlantic Grille
The Atlantic Grille on Atlantic Avenue is lauded for perfectly capturing the unique style of the city. With an unparalleled ambiance (which includes a jaw-dropping 9,400 litre shark tank) and bold flavours like gourmet grilled salmon with orzo, olives, feta and a lemon poppy seed vinaigrette, the Atlantic Grille is a Delray Beach must-dine highlight. Dine alfresco amidst the breeze or in the privacy of a dining room.
Diners looking for a hip and modern setting will want to make a reservation at 32 East. Featuring French-inspired fare like Atlantic swordfish with kuri squash puree and yellow chanterelles, 32 East is always a satisfying choice.
Delray Beach has more than just fresh seafood. La Cigale offers a taste of the Mediterranean, evoking the intriguing flavours of Greece, Morocco, and the French Riviera. La Cigale's coq au vin and beef bourguignon remain perennial favourites, but the roasted half duck in a cassis liqueur reduction and chicken Francese tickle the palates of passionate foodies.
Nestled in Delray's Pineapple Grove Arts District, Max's Harvest specializes in seasonal and sustainable fare. With a menu that changes with the seasons, diners can delight in knowing their meal's ingredients didn't travel far from the source. Max's Harvest is also known as one of the city's best for vegetarians, vegans, and those who dine gluten-free.
Delray Beach Luxury Accommodation
When it comes to accommodation in Delray Beach, The Seagate Hotel & Spa is a high-end choice. Don't simply take our word for it – take a quick online search of luxury, hotel and Delray Beach and you'll find the internet singularly pointing to one place: Seagate Hotel & Spa.
There are a few things luxury-lover require to consider a place top-rated, and Seagate has them all. A location steps from the beach and minutes from the hubbub of Atlantic Avenue, check. A gorgeous setting enveloped by a white sand beach, check. Handsome British Colonial design with the laid back flair of the Bahamas, check. 154 luxuriously appointed rooms coupled by the charm and service of a boutique hotel, check.
What's more, guests gain privileged access to the Seagate's private Beach Club, 8,000 square foot, award winning spa, Seagate Country Club and the use of their Har-Tru tennis courts. When planned the ultimate luxury getaway to Delray, this is the place to lay your head after a long, hard day of suntanning, shopping and absorbing all that this community has to offer.
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