An often overlooked community in South Florida is Delray Beach. Only a few miles south of Palm Beach International Airport, Delray Beach was incorporated in 1911 and covers about 16 square miles.
Both I-95 and U.S. Highway 1 traverse Delray, running north and south.
Initially settled by former slaves as a farming community, the town began to prosper after Henry Flagler extended his Florida East Coast Railway from Palm Beach down to Miami with a stop at Linton, the original name of Delray Beach.
Historic downtown Delray lies along Atlantic Avenue on the east side of town, and the Florida East Coast Canal divides the mainland from the barrier island beach community. The Downtown Delray Beach Arts District is geared to pedestrians, covering Atlantic Avenue and connecting side streets.
Among historic landmarks in downtown Delray are the Old School Square and the Colony Hotel. The Delray Beach Tennis Center was built during the roaring 20s and seats 8,500 guests. On the edge of downtown is the St. Vincent Ferrer Catholic Church, which dates back to 1941.
A unique attraction in Delray Beach is the Morikani Museum and Japanese Gardens, which trace their history back to the Yamato Colony, a group of Japanese immigrants that settled here around 1904. The area covers 200 acres, with Japanese houses offering exhibits of their culture, plus several lakes with Koi fish and other wild life. Several Japanese traditional festivals are held each year.
Palm Tran is the public transportation system in Palm Beach County, which covers Delray Beach. Both the Amtrak Miami-New York train and the Florida Tri-Rail train share the same station, and a free shuttle service connects the station with downtown Delray, making several stops along Atlantic Avenue.
Delray Beach is home to the Pet Airways headquarters. This is the first airline specializing in the transport of pets, either alone or with their owners.