The coastline of Southern Delaware is a destination for vacationers of all sorts. Each location brings a unique experience for beachgoers, but ultimately, they have one thing in common – the perfect beach experience for locals and vacationers alike. Going down the coastline of the Delaware Beaches, here are just a few of the things to look for during your trip, starting with the area’s oldest beach town…
The ultimate sea town, Lewes is rich with maritime history and culture. When visiting, be sure to check in with the Lewes Historical Society to see what events the town has planned, including August’s annual Antique Show, and its guest speaker series throughout the year. When you’re done on the beach, check out the downtown district, a diverse area with a unique mix of shops and restaurants (disclosure: each town has a plethora of great seafood spots) all within a mile radius. Depending on the time of year, look into the various town tours for the best experience of “The First Town in the First State”.
The biggest “tourist” town of the bunch, Rehoboth Beach is the area’s most diverse beach town. With a boardwalk that has gained national acclaim and a bar/restaurant scene adored by those who keep coming back (Dogfish Head BrewPub, Fin’s Raw Bar and Big Fish are just a few) Oh, and did we mention the shopping? Rehoboth’s outlets are a full day of activity by itself, especially for out-of-towners looking to take advantage of Delaware’s tax-free shopping. Rehoboth is also becoming a hub for great festivals, with the Rehoboth Film Festival, the Rehoboth Jazz Festival and Sea Witch all taking place during the autumn.
The little town with a big reputation, Dewey Beach is tiny town situated between the ocean and bay with an energetic and fun-loving character. Known for its night life and live music scene, Dewey Beach gives you bay front relaxation at spots like northbeach and Que Pasa, live music hubs Bottle & Cork (two words: Jam Session) and Rusty Rudder and of course the “Heart of Dewey Beach”, The Starboard. Naturally, there’s also the beach and a few shops… and more bars, so if you plan to come to Dewey, plan on bringing all the energy you have. You’re probably in for some late nights.
Delaware Seashore State Park Beaches
Delaware Seashore State Park, which features drive-on, unguarded beaches, is the perfect spot for those looking to avoid the summer crowds of the aforementioned beaches. Tower Road, Key Box Road and New Road are a few of the spots you’ll be looking for if this sounds like your type of setting. Thank us later.
For those who want to avoid the rush of Rehoboth, there’s the patriarch of “The Quiet Resorts”, Bethany Beach. A traditional beach experience on a smaller scale than its northern cousin, Bethany Beach’s tranquil demeanor lends itself to the family looking for occasional isolation. That’s not to say there isn’t activity in Bethany Beach. Downtown Bethany has plenty of restaurants and shops to keep you and the kids occupied. It also features its own boardwalk and the Bethany Beach Bandstand, which is home to a variety of seasonal entertainment.
Bethany is also home to Sea Colony resort, an award-winning beach and tennis resort that features a half-mile of private, guarded beaches and remains one of the areas more popular resort destinations. Looking for something a little more tranquil then even Bethany? Try its little brother, South Bethany, which features nothing but surf, sand and sun.
The southernmost beach in Delaware, Fenwick Island has all of the fixings of your traditional beach town with the caveat that its bayside scene may be as popular as its Oceanside activity. It’s (almost) all about the food in this town, which features such favorites as Harpoon Hanna’s, Catch 54, Fenwick Crab House and Nantuckets. Fenwick is also home to Fenwick Island State Park, a three-mile stretch of beach that features a rare designated surfing area and is also a popular area for surf fishing.
Just outside of Fenwick, down the Route 54 corridor is an area known as “West Fenwick”, which features Bayside, a golf resort community that hosts the Freeman Stage and its exciting yearly schedule of live entertainment.
Ocean City, Maryland
You can’t talk about the coastline without mentioning Ocean City, One of the most popular beach destinations of the entire east coast. While it sits just outside of the Delaware border, it’s treated almost as an adopted cousin to those in the First State. What can you say about OCMD? A magnificent boardwalk with all the traditional beach snacks (get you some Thrasher’s Fries asap), rides and some of the coolest events you’ll find anywhere. Take in the OC Air Show, Car and Truck Show, or the national action sports tour event, Dew Tour, in June; live music extravaganzas Springfest and Sunfest, which bookend the summer season; and various holiday celebrations throughout the year. Ocean City truly has something for everyone.