5 Things to Do in Delray Beach

You'll love the artsy vibe in Delray Beach. A lively East Coast hot spot, this fun resort town seeps creativity and oozes charm. Funky music slithers over the red-brick sidewalks on popular Atlantic Avenue, guiding shoppers along a palm-tree-lined route stretching from the I95 to a silky-soft sandy shore.

1. Wakodahatchee Wetlands

Want to forget about all those niggly stresses in your life? Visit the Wakodahatchee Wetlands. A serene wonderland where mangroves thrive, the wetlands serve as home to more than 178 species of birds, as well as animals like turtles, marsh rabbits, frogs, and alligators.

The site also comprises the southern part of the Great Florida Birding Trail. A 3/4-mile boardwalk provides guests easy passage across the pond. It also allows for a more intimate peek at the habitat islands, which play host to many of the area's creatures. Keep your eyes peeled for a purple gallinule. His bright red and yellow beak and vibrant yellow legs are easy to spot among the lush green vegetation.

2. Atlantic Avenue

It's easy to flex your shopping muscles on Delray's hippest main street -Atlantic Avenue. A lively retail area, this long and lovely street is filled with people at all times of the day. Whether they're dining at one of the street's many popular restaurants (L'ACQUA is fab!), lightening their wallets in high-end boutiques, or admiring art in local galleries, there's no chance to get bored on this popular strip.

Multiple times a year, music spills onto the sidewalks, and the street itself is transformed into a tent-filled shopping area, open-air concert and dance venue, or massive outdoor dining experience (i.e. during the gastronomic fest, Savor the Avenue).

3. Morikami Museum and Japanese Gardens

The Morikami Museum and Japanese Gardens exude tranquility. From the moment you enter this stunning respite, you're transported to a quiet land ruled by beauty. The 16 acres of gardens are immaculate and represent designs popular from the ninth to 20th centuries. Within the grounds, you'll find traditional bonsai trees, a koi pond, turtle island, and a sparkling lake. Another 200 acres of parkland is also primed for exploring.

The grounds are also home to Yamato-Kan, a museum housed on its own island. They feature a selection of rotating exhibits and a large collection of items highlighting Japanese culture throughout the years. adding even further to the area's charm.

4. Old School Square

Old School Square has been dubbed the "beating heart" of Delray Beach, a perfect moniker for this lively hub. Serving as the main venue for Delray's music and arts scene, this thriving center acts as a gathering space for the community. Town hall meetings are held here, as are free concerts (including the popular Blues on the Square from March through May), a holiday tree lighting ceremony, and multiple classes and events. Also in March is the annual Art on the Square festival.

5. Cornell Art Museum

The shining star of Old School Square, this lovely museum served as the Delray Elementary School in the early 1900s. Today, the newly renovated space includes multiple galleries featuring exhibits from contemporary artists from across the state, country, and globe. Although small, it offers a wide variety of unique and interesting creations and provides visitors with a refreshing break from the buzz on nearby Atlantic Avenue.

The museum's building itself is a priceless work of art. Built in the Masonry Vernacular style, this is a remnant of the area's history and still maintains its original, preserved Dade County Pine floors. Insider's tip: The museum is closed on Mondays and Tuesdays, so plan your visit accordingly.