I just spent 3 weeks in Delray Beach, Florida (Palm Beach County) and I’ve compiled everything you need to know before planning your vacation! From dining to attractions, I’ll give you my honest opinion and expert tips on how to visit the Village by the Sea like a pro!
Getting to Delray Beach
While I certainly wouldn’t recommend it, we drove from Dallas to Delray. No, not because we thought it would be a fun 18-hour road trip, but because the BFF was moving and we had to get her car to Florida. There are much less taxing ways to arrive in style as opposed to looking like a rag-doll, covered in fast food crumbs. Palm Beach International Airport (PBI) is the closest airport, although since it’s small, the fares aren’t exactly cost effective. Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport (FLL) is your best option for decent fares and is about 25 miles away. You can also fly into Miami and make the drive to Delray in just under an hour (pending no traffic).
I’m here, now what?
If you’re like me, life is what happens between beach vacations. So priority number 1; toes in the sand! The great thing about being on Atlantic Ave. (The Ave if you want to sound like a local) is that everything is walk-able. In just a few minutes you go from an energetic restaurant scene to the serenity of waves crashing the shore. Lounge chairs and umbrellas are available to rent so you can sit back, relax and an attendant will assist you. Pricing is $10/hour or $40/day for 2 chairs/1 umbrella. For more information, call 561-840-3373
Delray Beach has no shortage of things to keep you occupied until Happy Hour, or whatever it is that you count down the hours for. I personally love being on the water, and even better if I’m on a boat! Delray Yacht Cruises offers a variety of water excursions to suit everyone! Spend an afternoon on a Sightseeing Cruise down the Intercoastal with views of breathtaking waterfront mansions or an evening for a Sunset Dinner Cruise, ideal for those seeking romance.
Let’s be honest, this is why most of are reading this post! Happy Hour is every hour on the beach but let’s talk about food and more importantly, drink specials! Most restaurants and bars up and down Atlantic Ave. are going to offer discounted bites and libations from 4-7pm, but here’s a few that really stood out.
El Camino: Being from Texas, I can never be too far away from Mexican Food! I went first for Margarita Monday’s; $3 Frozen or OTR House Margs all day, every Monday! Then I went back for Taco Tuesday! ALL tacos on the menu are $2! Their Mexican Street Corn is a-MAZE-ing and the cocktail menu is just as impressive. Other HH options are $2 select apps and tacos, $3 select Mexican beers, $4 drafts, and $5 cocktails and select spirits. Late night happy hour also includes half off ALL tequila!
Pro-Tip: It gets packed for HH, especially on Tuesday’s, so go as early as possible or be prepared to wait.
Happy Hour Daily 4-7pm and 12-2am
Park Tavern: Hands down my fav spot in Delray Beach. $5 Burgers all day on Monday’s (then go to El Camino for $3 Margs) and the best HH I found! $3 bottled beers, $4 drafts, $5 select bourbon, rum, vodka, gin, and tequila cocktails, and a great food selection! Stand outs are the Pulled BBQ Pork Sliders and Baked Mac & Cheese.
Pro-Tip: I heard they have a killer brunch!
Happy Hour Mon-Fri 5-7pm
Sandbar: This spot is an absolute must and is where you want to day drink! It’s located directly across the street from the beach, plays fun music with a live DJ, great food, and killer vacation-style cocktails! We went twice during my visit and the second time was on Saturday when Tiki Cocktails by the pitcher are $19! Week day specials include 1/2 off select premium liquors, drafts, apps, and wines. If you need to refuel after swimming in the ocean all day, go for the Maine Lobster Roll!
Pro-Tip: Weekends can get crazy so if you want a more relaxed vibe, go during the week.
Happy Hour Mon-Fri 4-7pm and 10pm-Close
Need to satisfy those pesky sugar cravings?! Sloan’s Ice Cream is perfect for everyone in your travel squad! More treats that you can imagine and one of the cutest and most Instagrammable places I’ve ever walked into. I was a kid in a candy shop, literally! I had been drooling over the menu for days before I actually went, so I arrived with a purpose; ordering the Cookiewich! Chocolate Chip Cookies are baked fresh every morning and they are the most ooey-gooey cookies ever, (I’ve thought of them fondly several times since I’ve been back), stuffed full of your choice of ice cream. I was in sweet tooth heaven! The Sandcastle Sundae is perfect for a family or group with 5 scoops of ice cream, hot fudge, caramel, whipped cream, cherries all in a real beach sand pail complete with a shovel and sunnies! If you are in the mood for something a bit more modest, Sloane’s has cones and other treats you can easily polish off on you own like this Cotton Candy and Strawberry Cone.
Pro-Tip: Check out the restroom. Just trust me!
There are several ways to keep you looking beach ready in Delray. Personally, I loved running through Pineapple Grove (an arts district) and down A1A (Beachfront Avenue. Cue Vanilla Ice!) I ran passed stunning scenery and mansions all while breathing in the ocean air. The Delray Beach Tennis Center houses clay and and hard courts complete with adult and junior programs, a pro-shop, locker rooms, food and beverage options, and even a conference center. Check rates and reserve online here.
Pro-Tip: Watch out for lizards! They’re everywhere!
Downtown Delray Beach has plenty of paid parking for beaches, restaurants, and attractions but pay close attention! Many have a max on time (3 hours is what I noticed most) and parking enforcement is always out ticketing violators. Just be mindful of your parking time and don’t park where you shouldn’t (sidewalks, alleys, etc….) and you should be fine.
Pro-tip: Everything is so close just walk, lazy! Uber and Lyft were never more than $5 which is less than valet or paid parking. Another option is the Downtowner, a free electric car service available only in Delray Beach, FL, Tampa, FL, and Aspen, CO. Download the app here.
I hope this helps you when planning your next trip to Delray Beach, Florida! Thanks so much for reading!