Delray Beach is a charming beach town that gets lost in most conversations about spots to visit in South Florida. It may not have the nightlife of a Ft. Lauderdale or the yachting scene of a Palm Beach/West Palm Beach, but it does have many draws in its own right.
One annual event that gets the masses to head to Delray Beach is the Delray Beach Open. This tennis tournament, put on by the ATP, has had Delray as a hard court host since 1999. Big name players such as Lleyton Hewitt, John Isner and James Blake have recently taken center court to showoff their skills. This year's tournament will be held from February 13th-22nd. It will feature 32 singles participants and 16 doubles pairs. Already signed up to compete are the aforementioned Blake and Isner along with Goran Ivanisevic and Mark Philippoussis. With the tournament a little over a month away, the time to make travel plans is now. The Delray Beach Open is a great reason to check out a charming beach town — Photo courtesy of Delray Beach Open
The Delray Beach Open is held at the Tennis Center, located right on Atlantic Avenue. The town of Delray mainly consists of Atlantic, and the perpendicular A1A that hugs the coastline. Since all the shops, dining, attractions and beachfront are on two adjacent drags, it makes getting around extremely easy. You can undoubtedly pull off a "sans vehicle" vacation to Delray Beach, using the saved rental car money to procure center court seats at the tennis event.
The Colony Hotel & Cabana Club is the preeminent hotel in Delray Beach. Start your lodging search here when planning your trip. The 70 room hotel, with its own private beach access, has been operated by the same family since 1935. The Colony is pet friendly, touts itself as a "green hotel" and includes a complimentary breakfast buffet.
Once your hotel accommodations are booked, and tennis tickets purchased, you can start filling in the rest of your days with fun-filled activities. The A1A strip has some great beach-y hangouts like Boston's and the adjoining Sandbar. Here, you can enjoy delicious seafood, tasty drinks and go a few rounds on the cornhole boards. Once you are feeling good, a quick hop across the street will get you to the actual beach, one of the most beautiful in the state. Rent chairs and enjoy the cool breeze and clear blue waters.
Getting back to Atlantic Avenue, which you will inevitably have to walk to get to the Tennis Center, you will find a plethora of world class dining options, bars, haunts, shops and attractions. The Intracoastal Waterway runs right through Delray Beach as well. Here, you will find vendors ready to rent paddle boards, kayaks and other playthings. There are also a few sightseeing/brunch/dinner cruises that make port in Delray. These are definitely worth it and should be explored.
Delray Beach is a hidden gem as far as South Florida beach towns go. Locals know and take advantage of the area, but tourists still haven't caught on. With the Delray Beach Open taking place in February 2015, this could be the perfect time to plan a trip. Check the schedule, grab some tickets and head on down. The competition will be fierce and the weather warm and breezy.