Discovering Gay Florida :: Delray Beach
The downtown area of Delray Beach is full of shops, boutiques and at least 20 art galleries. Known as the Village by the Sea, it’s the home of the beautiful Morikami Museum and Japanese Gardens and so much more. Located between Fort Lauderdale and West Palm Beach, the area has enough to entertain for a lovely weekend away.
Delray Beach is perfect for those who prefer walking to driving. You can take a leisurely stroll and check out the boutiques, art galleries and restaurants. In fact, every Friday there is an Art Walk along East Atlantic Avenue and its sidestreets where you can mingle among the locals, check out unique pieces and enjoy drinks and hors d’oeuvres. The evening is very social and bands play live music along the street.
The history of the art district is exciting. Back in the ’30s and ’40s, the Arcade Building on the E. Atlantic Avenue was the gathering place of artists, political figures and writers, including Winston Churchill. Through the years, the area remained a meeting point for artists and has become the charming place it is today.
Those who want to learn more about the history of Delray will enjoy the two hour "Ride and Remember" Historical Bus Tour of Delray Beach which takes place every second Saturday from September through May. Focusing on the area’s five historical districts, the interactive tour is narrated by people who are extremely passionate about the preservation of the area. Not only a bus tour, riders disembark to get closer looks at the historic sites.
Old School Square Cultural Arts Center and Historic Site is another area of interest for history buffs. The restored early 20th century school building is the place of many visual and performing arts performances. The Cornell Museum of Art and American presents local, national and international exhibits of fine art and crafts. The 323-seat Crest Theatre presents comedy, musicals and Broadway cabaret shows. The Vintage Gymnasium is mostly used for special events and weddings. The restored classrooms are used for classes and rental space. Old School Square is definitely the community’s cultural center.
Another place that history buffs and tourists will enjoy is the Cason Cottage House Museum (5 NE First Street, Delray Beach), which offers visitors a rare glimpse at daily life in South Florida from 1915 to 1935. It once was home to a family of Delray Beach pioneers. Another museum history lovers won’t want to miss is The Spady Cultural Heritage Museum (170 NW 5th Avenue, Delray Beach) which is located in the former home of the late Solomon D. Spady, the most prominent African American educator and community leader in Delray Beach from 1922 to 1957. It opened in July 2001 and is the only African American Cultural Heritage museum of its kind in Palm Beach County.
Those who can’t resist a street festival will love Delray as they have many special events that take place through the year. For instance, the third Saturday of every month from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. there is an Island Fair on West Atlanta Plaza.
One of the most amazing sites in Delray is the breathtaking Morikami Museum & Japanese Gardens. The mission of the museum is to provide authentic Japanese cultural experiences that entertain, educate, and inspire. The Morikami Museum and Japanese Gardens has rotating exhibitions in its galleries, tea ceremonies performed monthly in its Seishin-an tea house and Japanese traditional festivals celebrated for the public several times a year. The Morikami Gardens include shinden islands, paradise garden and contemporary garden.
Shoppers will appreciate the many options in the Delray Beach area. In downtown Delray Beach, on Atlantic Avenue and the surrounding streets, there are tons of unique shops. Delray Beach is also located near several malls, including the Boca Raton Town Center and the Boynton Beach Mall.
Shopping can make you build quite an appetite. No worries on that end-Delray has some great dining establishments. Here are a few of them:
52 N Swinton Avenue, Delray Beach FL
You won’t want to miss the funky Dada, located on Swinton Avenue in a two-story house turned restaurant/bar. Locals go gaga for Dada’s crab cakes and mac n’ cheese. The place is especially popular with young hipsters.
Brasserie La Cigale
253 S.E. 5th Avenue, Delray Beach, Florida 33483
La Cigale will give you a "Taste of the Mediterranean." If Moroccan, Greek and Italian food are your thing, then you will love this restaurant. Their most popular dishes are their Dover Sole and Moussaka and their atmosphere is truly romantic.
800 Palm Trail, Delray Beach, FL 33483
This hidden gem offers contemporary American and Continental cuisine and seafood dishes. Locals love their short rib stew and homemade ice cream. Patio Delray is also a good place for craft beer and cocktails.
169 Northeast 2nd Avenue, Pineapple Grove Way, Delray Beach, FL 33444
Max’s Harvest is all about fresh, local ingredients. They use meat from humanely raised animals, seafood caught or raised without damaging the ecosystem and are tight with local vegetable farmers. Their free-range deviled eggs and Wild Salmon are especially popular.
Delray Beach is a charming little town which really has something for everyone.