24 hours in Delray Beach, Florida

While staying longer is definitely recommended, the beauty of Delray Beach is that you can still experience all of its charm in 24 hours or less.
Delray Beach, Florida

Everyone knows the idyllic scene: a small town where everybody knows everybody and history is a great sense of pride. Well, located in eastern Florida lies one of those little towns. Except, the sleepy little coastal getaway known as Delray Beach has since woken up!

With boutique shops, art galleries and award-winning restaurants lining Atlantic Avenue, which leads you straight to the beach, a day in Delray is an opportunity to take part in a beachy community charged with energy.

While staying longer is definitely recommended, the beauty of Delray Beach is that you can still experience all of its charm in 24 hours or less. So, if you’re short on time and want to maximize your stay in Delray, hit up the following local places and enjoy the perfect escape.


Grab Breakfast at Nani’s Doughnuts

Delray Beach - breakfast

Since the opening of its new location in West Delray, Nani’s Donuts has become the best way to start your day. Founded by a Delray local, Nani Edry moved his business to Delray on June 2nd after becoming a local big wig in Boynton Beach just north of where he grew up. These handcrafted treats are the freshest confectionaries you’ll get your hands on in South Florida.

From cinnamon roll to maple bacon, you can get a variety of unique flavors, or stick to the classics like glazed and sprinkles. If a sugar rush isn’t enough for you, be sure to order a cup of their specially roasted Atomic coffee for a caffeine kick. Just be sure to get there quick because selling out is a daily occurrence.


Take It Outside With Stand Up Paddleboarding

No doubt, you’ll want to get your feet wet in Delray! Take part in one of the most popular coastal trends and rent yourself a paddleboard from Delray Beach Watersports. If you’re not familiar with the term, paddleboarding is like a combination of surfing and canoeing. While you stand on a board floating in the water, you propel yourself forward with a paddle.

This is a fun activity for families of all ages. You get to chill on the water while moving your body — and you can get a good laugh when someone inevitably falls in! But, definitely try to go early to mid-morning, before the sun becomes too much to handle and the beaches fill up.


Break for Lunch at El Camino

Delray Beach - lunch

Rated one of the “Top 100 Hot Spots in America for 2017” by the reservation app, OpenTable, El Camino is most definitely of flavor! Offering “Soul Mexican” cuisine, this local joint offers it all and always has a stocked bar. Treat your taste buds by starting with the Mexican street corn with lemon aioli, chipotle, cilantro and cotija cheese all grilled to perfection. Then, take your pick from classic tacos, burritos, fajitas and more. 

And if you’re not opposed to a little (or a lot) of day drinking, don’t forget to order yourself a margarita as tequila is their expertise.


Indulge in Some Retail Therapy — AKA, Shopping— On Atlantic Avenue

When you “do” Delray Beach, you can’t avoid Atlantic Avenue. As the hub of the town, this street offers some of the best shopping in America, as rated by USA Today. While you have your mainstream fashion outlets like LF and Urban Outfitters, those aren’t the stores you should find yourself in.

Delray’s claim to fame is its local businesses. So, make your way to places such as Morley, The House of Zen Dali and Love Shack for unique pieces. You’ll also get a peek into the artsy side of the community as galleries line the Ave and side streets.


Slow Down For Tea Time at Yaxche Tearoom

Delray Beach - tea room

Delray is a busy little town, and you may find yourself wanting to take a breather. That’s when it’s time to step out of your currently reality and into the exotic realm that is Yaxche Tearoom. Tucked away on the corner of Swinton Avenue, just before entering the main section of Atlantic Avenue, this brightly colored hideaway is a great escape.

Tell the barista what kind of flavors you like, and they’ll help you make an informed decision about what tea is best for you. And with a passion of honoring hard work, truth and ingenuity, this green and sustainable business gives back to the community, making every sip feel that much more special.


Go for Dinner at Dada

Delray Beach

Keep it classy with a little Delray twist at Dada. Located right off Atlantic Ave, Dada serves up a wide variety of cuisine in a casual, whimsical atmosphere. Start with the grilled brie then move onto a rich meal like The “Butcher” which offers the chef’s cut of the day, a starch and vegetable. If you’re looking for something more “out there,” go for the burger featuring their “secret goop.” Don’t worry though — no matter what choice you make, there’s no way you can go wrong.


Enjoy an Evening Stroll Along Pineapple Grove

The South Florida art scene is one that can’t be missed. Pineapple Grove is the art district of downtown Delray and offers a splattering of historically important murals and modern sculptures — all of which speak to the community. Be sure to snap a picture at the “Dancing Pineapple” wall by artist Anita Lovitt that welcomes you into the Grove and keep your eyes peeled for the art lining the sidewalks.


Stay Up Late at The SilverBall Museum 

In Delray Beach, it’s all about the young at heart. So let your inner child run free at the SilverBall Museum. You can play classic pinball games like Ms. PacMan, Donkey Kong and Evel Knieval all while sipping on something strong. Their beer list has all your classics with a healthy choice of local brews, including Due South’s Caramel Cream and Funky Buddha’s Floridian Hefe. If you’re more of a classy player, sip on something from the wine list. Needless to say, you’ll be reliving your teenage days, playing video games until the early hours of the morning.


Author’s Favorite Travel Gear



Fujifilm Instax Mini 9: Fuji’s Instax is not only Insta-worthy itself, but it’s a great way to immerse yourself into the artsier side of Delray Beach. Take shots and print them out right away as you explore the art district.

Sun Bum Moisturizing Sunscreen: Needless to say, Florida is sunny. A major part of the Delray lifestyle is being outside, so you’re going to want to apply plenty of sunscreen. Sun Bum is a quality brand and is Florida-native!

Lifeproof Nuud Phone Case: Florida nature offers endless beauty and photo opportunities. While you’re out paddleboarding get some shots by protecting your phone with the Lifeproof Nuud case. It’s not only lightweight but keeps your screen free and can be submerged underwater up to 6 meters for an hour.


Emily Creighton

Emily Creighton is a South Florida-based journalist, freelance writer and photographer. She recently graduated from Florida Atlantic University where she studied English and communication. Over the past three years, she has completed several internships, including with the magazines, "Palm Beach Illustrated" in West Palm Beach and "Good Housekeeping" in Manhattan, all while running an online lifestyle and fashion magazine – Two Seventy.

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