Rated as the Most Fun Small Town by Rand McNally, USA Today, and The Travel Channel, Delray Beach is a town rich in history, architecture, and fun things to do. The first settlers arrived in what’s now known as Delray Beach in the late 1800s. Hearing that the land boasted rich soil and abundant water, many settlers moved with the intention to farm.
These days, the town, which is aptly nicknamed “Village by the Sea,” boasts chic, locally-owned boutiques, tasty restaurants, and a casual, welcoming culture. And all of this is set against the sounds and sights of the Atlantic Ocean, which the town is nestled up next to.
One of the elements that sets Delray Beach apart from other towns is the lack of high-rise luxury condos that have become so prevalent in South Florida. In order to preserve its charm and breathtaking views, the town places height restrictions on all new developments.
Delray Beach's commitment to preservation gives it a nostalgic, idyllic feel, which is easy to notice with a walk down the town’s bustling main street, Atlantic Avenue. Stretching from Interstate 95 all the way to the shoreline, the highly walkable thoroughfare features old-timey street lamps; charming brick sidewalks; and an endless stream of galleries, boutiques, and restaurants.
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Art and culture enthusiasts flock to the town’s Pineapple Grove and Old School Square districts. The former boasts abundant art galleries and compelling public art alongside wine bars and bistros to enhance your experience. If you head to Old School Square, you’ll find endless opportunities to engage with art, such as the Cornell Art Museum, which regularly features auctions, cabaret performances, and contemporary art exhibits.
Given Delray Beach’s long history and commitment to preservation, it’s no surprise that the town is full of historic, architectural gems. And many of those gems have been repurposed as spaces for you to enjoy food and activities while gazing at the architecture.
The Sundy House
For example, the Sundy House was built in Florida vernacular style in 1902 and was the home of Delray Beach's first mayor, J.S. Sunday. These days, the two-story building, with its wraparound porch and colorful windows, is an upscale restaurant that’s a favorite brunch spot for many residents and visitors.
JB Evans House
Another example is the J.B. Evans House, also built in Florida vernacular style, which was constructed in 1936. Delray Beach’s first registered architect, Samuel Ogren Sr., designed the building for retired produce broker J.B. Evans. Currently, it’s a nature center that offers educational exhibits and programs about South Florida’s fragile freshwater and marine environments.
The Colony Hotel and Cabana Club was constructed nearly a century ago and is the last remaining hotel in the area built during the economic boom of the 1920s. The hotel was designed in Mediterranean Revival style, complete with cast concrete moldings, barrel-tile visor roofs, and arched entrance.
Whether you’re an architectural history buff; an art and culture enthusiast; or you simply like good food, sunny beaches, and fun things to do, Delray Beach is a must-visit destination.
If you’re interested in rooting down in this charming town, go check out all homes for sale in Delray Beach.
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