Briny Breezes: Among the Mansions of A1A, Old Florida

By: Gary McKechnie


Last week I was taking one of the world’s most pleasing pleasure drives: A1A along the Atlantic Ocean. I had just attended the Mai Kai Poynesian dinner show in Fort Lauderdale the evening before, and considering the show premiered in 1956, I was still in an Old Florida state of mind.

What’s so pleasing about this drive is that as it glides along canals and the ocean and past lush tropical vegetation and waterfront homes hidden behind walls of stone, you snatch glimpses of Florida as it was when the Mai Kai was opening its doors or when Clermont’s Citrus Tower actually towered over citrus.

You see it in beach cabanas and small businesses and after you’ve driven just four miles north of Delray Beach, you’ll reach a community that seems suspended in time.

It’s Briny Breezes, pop. 601.

Nancy and I guess there were a few hundred trailer homes here and watched folks on bicycles and on foot heading back and forth to the ocean, which was only a few feet away. There were no towering resorts in sight, no flash or glamour. It was Florida stripped down to its essentials: Sun and sand.

About a decade ago residents here (some whose homes had been passed down for generations) were offered roughly $1 million each to pick up and move out so this land could be re-developed and transformed into new homes or condos or a resort. A majority said yes, but the deal disintegrated, and Briny Breezes returned to its roots as an authentic Old Florida community, and still sits undisturbed along A1A.

Drop by next time you’re in the neighborhood.

Sponsored listings by VISIT FLORIDA Partners

More By gary mckechnie


You are signed in as:null
1 comment
Driving down A1A has always been one of the most relaxing things to do when I visit my family in Delray !!, We love seeing the old and the new blend together among the beauty of the palm trees and beautiful blue ocean and sky !!! So many beautiful trees on this road going from one town to the next . We love the fishing pier in Deerfield and we love Atlantic ave in Delray . The people we have met are always friendly and I feel at home the minute my feet hit the sand . This is a special place between Boyton beach , Spanish river beach , Deerfield beach and the feeling never leaves me when I have to leave to go home . I love the little beach town of Briney breezes because it is like time stood still for all of us to remember to enjoy the simple things because those are the things that really matter in the big picture of life . Thanks for all the great memories !!! Sally