5 great places to go dancing in Delray Beach, Florida

Often when I'm going out at night, I don't leave until at least eight. In part to save money by eating at home and also to beat the unbelievable crowds in Delray during "the season." Another big reason is because I have so many things on my to-do list, it's amazing that I can make it out of house. Once I do arrive to wherever I'm going, I enjoy relaxing with a sour apple martini and then I love to dance the night away. We're fortunate in Delray to have so many places with live bands and where dancing is encouraged. Listed below are my favs.

Il Bachio
Il Bachio is a huge surprise. Behind the building is a ginormous outdoor dance area with a stage for the various bands they bring in. Lively, hip and loud, it caters to the younger set. Their mac n cheese is the best I've ever had although in general, I don't recommend eating there. Definitely a place to see and be seen.

Blue Anchor
This English Pub rocks. It stays open until the wee hours of the morning and is packed. Patrons tend to be middle aged and up, but don't let that fool you. It's one fun place. The food is very, well, English. That says a lot. If you're a fish and chips fan, you're going to be happy. When I want to dance, this is where I like to go.

Johnnie Brown's
Johnnie Brown's is a favorite of families and tourists. Located next to the railroad tracks that cross Atlantic Avenue, every time one passes, the restaurant passes out free shots. Several bands play there over the weekend. On Tuesdays, Scott Ringersen, AKA Elvis shows up. He is the former Delray cop who is also an entertainer. He gives shows, and if you're an Elvis fan, he gives the best one I've ever seen. The food is American and not bad. Very fun and great for the family.

The Colony Hotel & Cabana Club
Oozing old Florida charm, this lovely, historic hotel was designed built in 1925. The porch faces Atlantic Ave, and that's where all the action is. No band, but there is usually a guitarist. Once in a while a band shows up, but overall, The Colony is a mellow place. The crowd tends to be older and the dancing slower, but it gets an A+ for ambience and romance. No food, but beverages are served. I highly recommend it.

Hurricane Bar and Lounge
Tucked behind some bigger buildings on Atlantic Ave is the Hurricane. The name tells you everything– loud, noisy and very popular with the 20s crowd although all ages show up. The bar hosts local and regional bands that play rock and sometimes country. No food- but if you're hungry-just across the alley is the Mellow Mushroom. The Shroom is a great pizza place and you can bring it with you into the lounge. Definitely not a family place, but great for a night out if you like fast dancing, and I do.

Mary Yuhas is a freelance writer and author and has lived in South Florida for the past fifteen years. She's written for USA Today among other publications.