I told you more than two weeks ago in this very spot that Delray Beach was a shoo-in for Rand-McNally’s “Most Fun Small Town in America”—and it became official yesterday. Much of the credit goes to Stephanie Immelman of the Delray Beach Marketing Cooperative who mounted a social media campaign that would make most political contenders jealous. Combine that with the tour she and Sarah Martin provided for the visiting judges (Patricia Serrano of New York City and Anna Haas of Nashville), and no one else had a chance. Sarah and Stephanie and friends emphasized the beach, starting with a turtle walk and beach yoga and moving on to paddleboards and an offshore dive. Then there was the night action—complete with 1957 Chevy—that ended at Kevro’s Art Bar in the wee hours of the morning.
Serrano and Haas summarized the Delray fun quotient in the following USA Today Travel article:
What made it stand out: Located north of Boca Raton in South Florida's Palm Beach County, this town has a "Miami meets Manhattan in the '60s" vibe (think Panama hats and individually owned shops, not flip-flops and chain restaurants). "You can be a yogi beach bunny one minute, on a boat cruising the marina the next, then get your taste of great locally-sourced grub decked out in a dress you got at one of the many awesome vintage stores before you hit one of the town's night spots," the team says.
Don't miss: Kevro's Art Bar, an "authentic, intimate and creative space that harbors arts of all kinds," and the free Delray Downtowner, a door-to-door, eco-friendly golf cart service.
Biggest surprise: Delray is "a great snorkeling and scuba diving destination," Serrano and Haas say, with a century-old steamship sunk in shallow water and some of the best visibility on the East Coast.
Aside from eternal bragging rights (and I will be the worst when it comes to this), Delray reaps the following benefits from this award:
- Inside cover of Rand-McNally Road Atlas next year
- Special GPS app
- Will be in USA Today
- Travel Channel show on July 25 at 8 p.m.
There will be a viewing party on July 25 at Boston’s on the Beach to celebrate the win—we’ll see you there!