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Walking Tour of Historic A1A

Delray Beach, Florida

Today, a century after the days of the Barefoot Mailman, walking on the sidewalk where the beach is on the east of Ocean Boulevard/A1A, starting just south of George Bush Boulevard and continuing south to Casuarina Road for approximately one mile, is a beach walk filled with historical markers and landmarks.

Walking south on A1A and approaching Beach Drive, the area extending between South Ocean/A1A and Andrews Avenue is the location of the Bay Ridge Cemetery. This was the graveyard of the pioneer families of Delray Beach.

Looking west at 120 N. Ocean Boulevard, The Grosvenor House Condominium is seen. This was once the site of the Orange Grove House of Refuge that had been built in 1876 by the U.S. Life Saving Services. It was the first known building in Delray Beach and was used by the “Barefoot Mailman” on his overnight rests before continuing to deliver the mail up and down South Florida’s beaches.

  • East of the sidewalk, walk beachside and pass the Orange Grove House of Refuge Marker.
  • Built upon the site of the 1923 Seacrest Hotel which was demolished in the early 1980’s, the Marriot Hotel stands gracefully on the corner of A1A/Ocean Boulevard and Atlantic Avenue.
  • Located east of the sidewalk, on N. Ocean Blvd is the Bicentennial Marker erected for July 4, 1976
  • On the southwest corner of Atlantic Avenue & #2 South Ocean Boulevard, is the Visitors Information Center and Sara Gleason Park. This is the former site of the Old City Casino and salt-water pool, built during the Great Depression of the 1930’s.
  • Directly across from the Visitors Information Center is the Delray Beach Pavilion that served as the center for many activities of the pioneer families beginning early in the 20th century. The present pavilion is an architectural homage to the Orange Grove House and with the generous assistance of the Beach Property Owners Association is currently receiving donations to the city to preserve and renovate this historical landmark.
  • Located west at #40 S. Ocean Blvd on the site of the Old Casa Las Olas Hotel is Boston’s Restaurant.
  • Continue walking south to The Dover House Resort, located at 110 South Ocean Boulevard and the Bermuda Resort, both reflecting Revival Style architecture of the 1950’s.
  • Soon, on the west side of the street is the Sandoway House Nature Center, built in 1936 and listed in the National Register of Historic Places. Offering unique educational experiences, Sandoway House is a wonderful place for the entire family. An historic marker has been erected there.
  • At the corner of Nassau Street and Ocean Boulevard begins the Nassau Park Historic District. This two block historic district consists of eighteen one and two story Cape Cod Colonial Revival Style Cottages built in the 1930’s and 1940’s. This district is located at Nassau Street and extends to Venetian Drive Historic District. An historic marker has been placed on Nassau Street near the corner of Venetian Drive.
  • Beachside, east of the sidewalk at 200 Ocean Boulevard and Bay Street is the most recently placed historical marker. It commemorates the dedication of the Delray Beach Municipal Beach that was donated to the City of Delray by the Hunt and Gleason families (as in Gleason Street) in 1899. Sara Gleason held the title to the Delray Municipal Beach.
  • At 340 S. Ocean Blvd is Anchor Park so named for the ship’s anchor in front. Anchor Park is the home of the Ocean Rescue Division Headquarters. This park offers outdoor showers; a playground, picnic tables and a barbeque grill, making it an ideal place for a family outing.
  • On the beachside approach to Casuarina Road, is the S.S. Inchulva Wreck State Marker. Wrecked by a fierce September 11, 1903 hurricane, the S.S. Inchulva in 5 broken sections is scattered at the south end of the Delray Beach Municipal Beach. This is considered one of the best diving spots in Florida and is located only 150 feet offshore and 25 feet of water.
  • The mile long Delray Municipal Beach ends at this point. South toward Linton Boulevard are pristine beach properties, the backdrop for the magnificent homes found just east and west of the sidewalk on A1A/South Ocean Boulevard.
  • At the corner of Casuarina and A1A/Ocean Boulevard, is the captivatingly, luxurious British Colonial Style Seagate Hotel Beach Club. This private club offers to its members dining, swimming and beach privileges just across the street from elegantly appointed tropical distinguished residences.
  • Continue walking prior to Linton Boulevard is the Atlantic Dunes Park, funded by a Land and Conservation Grant from the Dept. of Interior through the auspices of the Florida Dept. of Environmental Protection. In the park is a serene, tropical forest with a path that leads to the ocean.