Atlantic Avenue named to USA Today’s ’10 great American shopping streets’

A crowd gathers outside City Oyster on Atlantic Avenue. (Photo by Lannis Waters/ The Palm Beach Post)

DELRAY BEACH — With its boutiques, bars and restaurants, the downtown’s destination street Atlantic Avenue sees the bulk of Delray Beach’s tourism — and that hasn’t gone unnoticed.

A list of the 10 greatest urban shopping districts in America is circulating the web, and Delray Beach’s Atlantic Ave has its spotlight. The list was published last week by USA Today, based on an interview with urban planning expert and Harvard professor Robert Gibbs.

Gibbs told the news outlet that vacationers are spending more time shopping than on any other activity during travel, making these neighborhoods popular destinations.

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The list is quick to point out that Delray Beach wasn’t always a tourist destination.

“Once derisively known as Dull-Ray, this Atlantic Coast town has had a remarkable turnaround in the last 30 years,” the list reads. “With literally hundreds of shops and restaurants, 20,000 people can visit in a day, Gibbs says.”

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Laura Simon, director of the city’s Downtown Development Authority, said of the article: “We believe the information Mr. Gibbs shared will be a tremendous asset in supporting our current businesses as they continue to grow and succeed, while also providing property owners and developers with professional insight and industry knowledge that will assist their decision-making as they attract new tenants Downtown.”