Delray Beach a great destination for those who want to put the car in park

Delray Beach is Palm Beach County's up-and-coming travel destination, and one of the best for those who want to put the car in park.

While the beach is always a draw, the great thing about this little town that lies between West Palm Beach and Boca Raton is its redeveloped downtown off Atlantic Avenue.

Even though it's on the mainland side of the Intracoastal Waterway, it's extremely close to the beachside.

All along Atlantic Avenue and its side streets, both beachside and over the bridge, are a wide array of dining and shopping options and often the host of live events. Some great dining options include the relatively new Max's Harvest (maxsharvest.com), 32 East (32east.com), which has been open since 1996, Mediterannean offering Caffe Martier (caffemartierdelray.com) and The Grove, which changes the menu every two weeks (thegrovedelray.com).

The beachside has the unique Sandoway House Nature Center just south of Atlantic, where you can watch live shark feedings while checking out more than  10,000 shells, coral reef fish displays, the lizard room and an ode to a 1903 shipwreck off the coast known as the Delray wreck.

Also worth checking out is Arts Garage, a bring-your-own-whatever theater and music venue.

Top off-beach activities:

Go gallery browsing on Atlantic Avenue, where you will find almost 30 galleries covering all sorts of media. (downtowndelraybeach.com)

Visit the Sandoway Discovery Center, where you can take part in daily shark feedings. Watching is $5, but you can do the feeding for $25. (sandoway.org)

Hop aboard Delray Yacht Cruises for a narrated, two-hour tour along the Intracoastal getting a view of the area mansions and wildlife. (delraybeachcruises.com)

Check out the Arts Garage, which has theatrical and music productions, and you get to bring in your own food and drink. (artsgarage.org)

And if you have to drive, head over to:

Wakodahatchee Wetlands (dep.state.fl.us/water/wastewater/dom/wetwako.htm)

Morikami Museum & Japanese Gardens (morikami.org)

Mizner Park in Boca Raton (miznerpark.com)

Gulfstream Park racetrack and casino (gulfstreampark.com)

Website: www.visitdelraybeach.org

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