Apr 292014
 

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…

Lewes

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”.

Theres more than just surf and sand when you visit Delaware's famed beaches

Theres more than just surf and sand when you visit Delaware’s famed beaches

Rehoboth Beach

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.

Dewey Beach

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.

Bonus:

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.

Bethany Beach

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.

The boadwalk of Bethany Beach is smaller than it's counterparts' but has a charm all its own

The boadwalk of Bethany Beach is smaller than it’s counterparts’ but has a charm all its own

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.

Fenwick Island

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.

Bonus:

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.

Nov 292011
 

 

In a blog from the Old Town Alexandria Patch, blogger Tara Maglio, describes her recent family trip to the Delaware beaches this past holiday weekend.

“After years of boarding an airplane or sitting in gridlock on I-95, we spent Thanksgiving this year in Bethany Beach. It was fantastic!,” she said.

Maglio’s blog offers suggestions on where to go and what to do at the Delaware beaches, from staying in Sea Colony resort and taking advantage of its amenities (“The indoor pool and basketball court at the fitness center entertained my daughter for hours”), to visiting Ocean City, Maryland’s Winterfest (” a gorgeous festival of lights”), to Black Friday shopping in Rehoboth’s Tanger Outlets (“better Black Friday bargains that I ever have before”).

To see what else she had to say about her stay, including where to grab a bite to eat, visit the blog in its entirety at her blog, Young Life in an Old Town

Jul 142011
 

 

Residents with waterfront lots join restoration efforts

SOUTH BETHANY — Delaware State University graduate student Brian Reckenbeil stood in waist-deep water with a bushel basket in one hand and several oysters in the other, distributing them along the rocks of Wynona Dawson’s property.

“I’m finding crevices between all the rocks and wedging (the oysters) in,” he said. “We’re stocking them in the rip-rap below the barnacle so they don’t freeze. Survival is the main thing.”

The project is part of the Center for the Inland Bays’ shellfish gardening project, which provides juvenile oysters and clams, and apparatus to raise them, to citizens with waterfront properties.

The goal is to restore a viable population of oysters to local waterways, thereby creating critical bottom habitat and increasing the filtering capacity of the bays’ shellfish population, according to the CIB website. A mature oyster can filter 35 to 50 gallons of water per day.

In the last two years, more than 200 volunteers from Rehoboth Beach to Fenwick Island have raised oysters, which start out as spat — tiny free-swimming larval oysters that attach themselves to dead oyster shells — and grow to what’s considered market size.

Currently, Reckenbeil and several other DSU students, along with CIB coordinator E.J. Chalabala, are transplanting the oysters from floats — submerged nurseries secured to piers, docks and bulkheads — to rip-rap located throughout the bays.

“Oyster gardens are proving oysters can grow anywhere in the Inland Bays,” Chalabala said. “(It’s) going fantastically.”

Dawson, who lives on Jefferson Creek in South Bethany, was anxious to get involved in the effort to improve water quality, and she’s seen the benefits of the project firsthand. Two years ago, she caught 14 flounder in her floats.

“It’s gotta help because (the flounder) wouldn’t come if the water was dirty,” she said, noting that cleaner water is also for personal benefit. “I used to go swimming out here and I’d like to do it again.”

The next step is to plant more oysters in the Inland Bays; the CIB received one million eyid, a disease-resistant strain of oyster, from Rutgers University, Chalabala said.

The oysters are put in a large tank of seawater, where the larvae attaches itself to bags of oyster shells. They are then distributed every other year to volunteer gardeners.

“We’re looking to collect upwards of 100 bushels to plant in the Inland Bays,” Chalabala said.

While no actually tally has been done, Reckenbeil said a bushel basket could hold between 250 and 300 oysters. In three years, 26 bushels of oysters have been distributed in Dawson’s rip-rap alone.

With volunteers like Dawson managing the gardens, the CIB hopes to restore the depleted oyster population in the bays.

“They’re looking to see really what the survival rate is in different locations,” Reckenbeil said. “Oysters definitely grow better in Fenwick than anywhere.”