Delray Beach, a thriving coastal city located directly on the Atlantic Ocean, is a fun, energetic, and fun piece of South Florida.
Affectionately called “The Ave” by locals, Atlantic Avenue is arguably the epicenter of Delray’s cultural life. Recently named one of the ten best urban shopping centers in America by USA Today, some are even calling it the best street in Palm Beach County.
Those most familiar with the street might call it an exercise in contrasts: it brilliantly manages to balance elements of both gritty beach culture and high-end resort; both fine dining and burger shack; both pricey boutique/gallery and the refreshingly tacky.
Chain stores and local gems jostle for space, and numerous restaurants, specialized eateries (think delicious smoothies, a honey maker, and sandwich artisans), art galleries, massage parlors and spas, and even a regal hotel are all here for the taking.
The Sandoway Discovery
The Sandoway Discovery Center capitalizes on the unique marine life and ecosystems of South Florida by creating a lavish educational and preservation center.
Since opening its doors in 1998, the Center has enriched the lives of residents and tourists alike through education, hands-on exhibits, nature walks, the largest shell collection in South Florida, and even an outreach program to at-risk youth designed to connect them with the beauty of Southern Florida’s ecosystem.
Many other details, including a butterfly garden, extensive library, alligator feedings, fossil digs, and more encourage all who come to love and work to preserve the fragile animal and floral life that beautifies Delray Beach.
Designed to promote the enjoyment and creation of art in the Delray Beach populace, the Garage features numerous diverse and enjoyable exhibits, art creation opportunities, concerts, poetry readings, and more.
Local and international artists alike have found a home at the Garage; a current exhibit of oil paintings displays the work of a retired math teacher who moved from Michigan to Florida in 2000, alongside the paintings of a Sao Paulo-born painter whose specialty is in acrylic paint.
Numerous concerts and other events are scheduled for the next months, including spoken word poetry, jazz, saxophone players, pianists, R&B, and more. All venues are handicapped accessible and visitors are welcome to bring their own meals and refreshments, including alcohol.
Delray Beach Golf Club
Aside from beaches and humidity, perhaps golf is South Florida’s best-known commodity. Delray Beach does not disappoint, with the Delray Beach Golf Club a lively staple for residents and tourists alike.
There are training programs available for people who want to learn how to play golf, and junior programs for young golfers are offered each week.
If you ever wondered if an entire museum could be dedicated to pinball machines and arcade games, then wonder no more. This location is an extension of the mother campus located in New Jersey; the Delray building opened in May of 2016.
What is most unique about the museum is that every machine is free to play—they do not require quarters, just the price of admission ($7.50 for thirty minutes, $10 for an hour, $15 for half a day and $25 for the whole day).
While the majority of the games are pinball, there are some other arcades and skee-ball games available, most of them antiques. A second upstairs bar, an exhibit featuring truly antique games (that are not allowed to be touched), historic video games, and a long shuffleboard table round out the mezzanine level.