Need deliverance from dreary winter blues, dull work doldrums, or distracting holiday hubbub?
Look no further than the newly renovated Opal Grand Oceanfront Resort & Spa at the corner of Atlantic Avenue and Ocean Boulevard, in the sleepy seaside city of Delray Beach in southeast Florida. Entering the resort, you’re immediately immersed in an upscale tropical experience. The open, airy lobby features a huge skylight and three large trees surrounded by rope-wrapped columns, potted palms, and gorgeous hanging swing chairs.
I happened to be in Delray Beach to attend an unforgettable book launch event for ASPIRE! How to Create Your Own Destiny and Alter Your DNA by local philanthro-capitalist and author Frank McKinney (which I highly recommend)! The Opal Grand provided the perfect remote office for me to work in during the day as well as a luxurious and quiet room wind down from a festive night.
Drinks & Dining
Once you check in, grab a cocktail (I suggest the King Kong or the Smoking Banana) and a snack at the Monkey Bar before heading out to the beach or the resort’s pool. Framing the breathtaking beach scene right across the street, the pool features a party-size coral-inspired deck filled with native palms and colorful flora. Check out 50 Ocean on the second floor for drinks and dinner, where you’ll enjoy phenomenal ocean views and one of their signature seafood specialties, like Grilled Garlic Prawns, Whole Roasted Branzino or a Jumbo Lump Crab Cake.
From plush featherbeds and cozy robes to complimentary Wi-Fi and awesome workspaces, the coastal-inspired guest rooms at Opal Grand offer guests a refreshing Palm Beach retreat with soothing hues, contemporary furnishings and upscale amenities designed to enhance every aspect of your stay.
While Delray Beach has always been known for its mix of big-city attitude and shoreside sanctuary, the Opal Grand offers guests and locals a new holistic retreat at the Tammy Fender Wellness Spa, overseen by holistic wellness and beauty pioneer Tammy Fender herself. Treat yourself to a 52 Mineral Organic Salt Scrub, Jade Hot Stone Massage, Luxe Opal Manicure and Pedicure, or Guided Meditation. They offer many other services tailored to your specific needs.
There’s an endless list of iconic venues to hang out in at Delray Beach. Here are just a few.
Eats and Drinks
Sandbar – order the Crackling Calamari, Two-Handed Mahi Mahi Sandwich with Ranch-Seasoned Fries and a frozen Rock-a-Rita
The Blue Anchor – an authentic English pub
J&J Seafood – be sure and check their website for seasonal hours
Yama – local celeb Frank McKinney said order the Rainbow Roll
Señor Burrito – where the locals go for Mexican (get the Veggie Burrito)
Rosie’s Daughter – best vegan selection in south Florida
Morikami Museum and Japanese Gardens – discover the century-old connection between Japan and south Florida
Old School Square – a beautifully restored, early 20th century school building complex that serves the greater Delray Beach community and South Florida with visual and performing arts, entertainment and enrichment
Sandoway Nature Center – great family fun
A Trio Just Up the Coast
¶ If you have time, drive north up A1A for breath-taking ocean scenery and views of the famous resort, Mar-A-Lago and the historic Kennedy compound
¶ You’ll find more shopping at Worth Avenue in Palm Beach
¶ Don’t miss the secret view of the city at the top of the parking garage by Old School Square—pack a lunch and take in the most spectacular views of the whole area
Whether you’re craving a family vacation, romantic getaway, or a much-needed solo weekend, I highly recommend you plan an escape to Delray Beach, Florida, a mix of small-town charm with a city feel. In this gorgeous stretch of south Florida, you’ll enjoy stunning sunrises, lazy walks on never-ending sugary soft beaches, the 24-block Atlantic Avenue packed with one-of-a kind boutiques and eclectic art galleries. Plus, beachside cafes with the freshest seafood, burgers and colorful cocktails begging to be devoured.
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Cover photo courtesy Grand Opal Oceanfront Resort and Spa
Leona Barr is a native Texan and avid traveler and reader, living her best life in Austin.