Your Guide to the Best of Atlantic Avenue, Delray Beach
- Top Activities
- Eat and Drink
- Delray Sands Resort
- Opal Grand Oceanfront Resort & Spa
- Florida East Coast
- The Atlantic Suites on the Ave
Halfway between Fort Lauderdale and West Palm Beach, Atlantic Avenue is Delray Beach’s version of Worth Avenue or Las Olas Boulevard with – dare we say? – a little more attitude. We have just the list of latest hotspots you must hit along this award-winning avenue.
Atlantic Avenue in Delray Beach isn’t just trending, it’s absolutely thriving. Which is why it’s hard to believe that if you time-warped back to the 1980s and ’90s to this 24-block corridor, you’d find yourself smack in the middle of something of a ghost town (just instead of tumbleweed, think palm trees).
However, because of a revitalization effort that kicked into high gear in the early 2000s, this once dormant stretch of dusty storefronts is anything but sleepy now. Punctuated by contemporary boutiques, Delray Beach’s best restaurants, and clubs, it’s a walkable sizzling main artery begging to be sipped, savored, and explored. And when you stay at one of the two Opals – Atlantic Suites on the Ave or Opal Grand Resort & Spa – both of which call the prized real estate of this avenue home, you can bet you’ll be perfectly positioned to take in all the action. From Delray Beach bars to a hands-on museum dedicated to pinball, here are the hotspots to hit, starting on the easternmost end of Atlantic Ave then working your way westward into the heart of this stretch.
Ready to Soak Up the Ave? Save on a Stay
8 UNIQUE ATTRACTIONS ON ATLANTIC AVENUE
1. Tammy Fender Spa
Delray’s Holistic Spa Sanctuary
If seeking spa in Delray Beach, no experience tops the 8,000-square-foot wellness haven located just past the lobby within Opal Grand Resort. Yes, that’s thanks to eight treatment rooms (including a room for couples), a combo salt therapy/infrared sauna zone, and a spacious reception area stocked with award-winning products. But it’s also because it’s overseen by holistic wellness and beauty pioneer Tammy Fender, something of an aesthetician to the stars, who counts Gwyneth Paltrow and Julianne Moore among her longtime clients. A-list clientele aside, this is the place you go if looking to soak up Fender’s hand-crafted, plant-based natural skincare formulas that work on a cellular level to bring your skin into perfect balance. Be prepared to treat your mind, body, and soul.
2. Veteran’s Park
A Hidden Green Space Just Over the Bridge
Just over the iconic 1952 double-leaf bascule bridge that carries Atlantic Avenue over the Intracoastal Waterway, you’ll find this hidden gem of a park that skirts along the water’s edge. You’ll know you’re in the right place once you see the colorfully tiled mosaic fountain by local artists that marks its entrance. Beyond that, an open grassy area is punctuated by a pavilion, picnic tables, and an outdoor recreation area featuring seven lanes for lawn bowling, 16 shuffleboard courts, and a playground facility. However, a local’s favorite pastime is to simply sit along the newly installed boat dock and watch the drawbridge lift and lower for passing vessels.
3. The Wine Room Kitchen and Bar in Delray Beach
A Serve-Yourself Wine Playground
The coolest part of this rustic-chic locale? The tasting hall, centering around a specially-made self-serving dispensary that carries more than 200 wines, allowing patrons to discover vintages and varietals on their own without having to commit to the purchase of an entire bottle. All you have to do is load a dollar amount to a tasting card, then help yourself to one-ounce, half-glass, or full-glass pours of any wine that piques your interest. Found something you like? The retail shop features more than 400 bottles for purchase. There’s also an impressive global selection of cheeses and charcuterie curated by none other than international cheese expert and James Beard Award-winner, Max McCalman.
4. Silverball Retro Arcade
Eight-Bit Fun by the Beach
Since opening in summer 2016, this interactive museum has transplanted all the goodtime kitsch of a Jersey Shore boardwalk into a two-story arcade and restaurant just off Atlantic Ave. Eighteen bucks gets you a half-day of unlimited play on more than 150 old-school video games (think Frogger and Donkey Kong), pinball and Skee Ball, and antiques like a Shuffle Alley bowling game from 1959 (the oldest of the bunch even have built-in ashtrays). Meanwhile, the kitchen fixes up Nathan’s hot dogs, thin-crust pizza, and a Jersey Shore-style fries baskets (plus beer and wine) to refuel before round two.
5. THRōW Social
An Instagrammer’s Dream Backdrop…With Games
Located on the corner where Southeast Second Ave bisects Atlantic Ave, THRōW Social is a bright-pink, flamingo-themed “socializing center” new to town in 2022. Inside, a lounge and bar space is lined in faux-grass walls, neon signs with clever phrases like “Tropic Like It’s Hot,” jungle-themed wall paper, and Beatlejuice-esque black-and-white striped seating. Outside, in the courtyard space set beneath a retractable roof, you’ll find a similar vibe – just with an abundance of games (ax-throwing bays, cornhole, shuffleboard, life-size Jenga, etc.), an elevated stage for live bands and deejays, VIP cabanas, and a modern tiki bar. The cocktail list is naturally fruity and fun, but the drink locals line up for is something called a “Patrón Tree,” where four different flavored margaritas are served in miniature Patrón bottles in a tower.
6. Sloan’s Ice Cream
Where Ice Cream Meets Eye Candy
If Barbie had a favorite ice cream parlor, this purely pink setting – adorned in colorful chandeliers and ceiling cherubs – would probably be it (even their spoons are hot pink). But of course, what the Atlantic Ave candy shop is most famous for is its ice cream with flavors like banana, carrot cake, chocolate Oreo cheesecake, coffee and doughnuts, and more. If you want a challenge that feels right at home beside the beach, go for their Sandcastle Sundae, serving five scoops of ice cream, hot fudge, caramel, walnuts, your choice of two additional toppings, and a chocolate chip cookie in a real beach sand pail with shovel.
7. Honey Delray
An Upscale Social Club That’s a Bit Off-Beat
Nestled right on Atlantic Ave, Honey presents as an upscale social club with a touch of eccentricity. Picture an interior reminiscent of a New York-style speakeasy, complete with wood-carved paneling and sexy lounge spaces. However, upon closer inspection, you’ll see that it boasts offbeat elements such as Victorian-style paintings that showcase subjects adorned with graffiti (Napoleon sporting sunglasses and pink spiked hair) and a back patio with a sculpture-like tree adorned with illuminated bird cages. Just remember to dress appropriately: business casual dress is required.
8. Old School Square
Arts, Culture & Entertainment for All Ages
In the mid-1980s, when the prospect of demolishing the historic 1913 elementary and 1925 high school buildings loomed over the city, citizens joined forces to raise funds. Their goal wasn’t to solely save these structures but to transform them into a thriving community center. The outcome is this five-acre campus conveniently located off Atlantic Ave, hosting a collection of historic buildings that now accommodate Delray’s most novel modern cultural attractions. That includes a fine art museum featuring provocative works by contemporary artists the world over, a 320-seat performance theatre hosting national Broadway tours, and an art school with year-round classes on photography, drawing, watercolors, pastels, and writing.