Local Experts Share What They Love about the Delaware Beaches
By Arielle Patterson
There are so many reasons to love the Delaware Beaches. From the charming cities and towns situated along the ocean and bays, to the tax-free shopping and array of activities and attractions, coastal Delaware has so much to offer both first-time and long-time vacationers. I asked local experts what they love about the Delaware Beaches. Here’s what they had to say.
From left to right: Scott Thomas, Executive Director of Southern Delaware Tourism; Carol Everhart, President/CEO of the Rehoboth-Dewey Chamber of Commerce; Betsy Reamer, Executive Director of the Lewes Chamber of Commerce; and Paul Kuhns, Mayor of the City of Rehoboth.
What do you love most about the Delaware Beaches?
Scott Thomas: “The friendly vibe, beautiful scenery and small towns. It’s a breath of fresh air when you get here. We’re a collection of small towns, so it’s like you have a continuing charm as you go through the area. Each town has a different personality, but they all have the same charm.”
Carol Everhart: “The variety. You can go from the Quiet Resorts to downtown Rehoboth where you have a boardwalk and open-land beaches. Everything is within 10 miles—the ocean, the bay, fishing and hiking. Just in downtown Rehoboth alone you have over 100 eateries, retail shopping and outlet shopping—all tax free.”
Betsy Reamer: “I moved down here 25 years ago, and I had always lived in metropolitan areas where I had to travel long distances to get to beaches for my vacations. When I moved down here, I got so close to the beaches that I felt like I was on a permanent vacation here. The state has done such a fabulous job of preserving the beaches. So many of them are undeveloped and natural, as you’re driving down the coast from Lewes to Fenwick Island. The beauty is amazing to me. The municipalities have done a good job of keeping the development to a minimum and limiting the sizes of properties, so the sightlines aren’t obstructed.”
Paul Kuhns: “I enjoy walking along the coastline and the abundance of open space we have in coastal Delaware.”
How would you describe life in the Delaware Beaches?
Scott Thomas: “A bad day here is better than a good day most anywhere else. Life is more enriching from what you’re surrounded by. Whether that’s the water or taking a run, you’re reminded that we’re in a mid-Atlantic paradise.”
Carol Everhart: “This is a resort beach community. It’s leisurely and recreational which makes life light and fun. There are also cultural opportunities, with theaters and the arts.”
Betsy Reamer: “I’ve lived in large metropolitan areas. Right away you realize it’s much more laid back down here. Lewes has been a more year-round town. A lot of our businesses stay open throughout the year.”
Paul Kuhns: “I would describe beach life here as slow and easy.”
What is your favorite thing to do with your family?
Scott Thomas: “Riding bikes on the trails that connect our towns. You can start in Dewey or Rehoboth and go through Gordon’s Pond and Cape Henlopen State Park, then take the Gordon’s Pond Trail to historic Lewes. You can take as many breaks as you want and enjoy the scenery. You can really make a whole day of it.”
Carol Everhart: “This is an amazing area for seniors. My husband and I enjoy any place we can be near the water. We love the water-side dining and outdoor concerts. We also love the nearby vineyard and farmers markets.”
Betsy Reamer: “With my husband, we love to go to all of the cultural events in Lewes. When my grandson visits, we take him to the beach where he can boogie board. He also loves the Seaside Nature Center at Cape Henlopen State Park.”
Paul Kuhns: “My family enjoys a backyard barbecue. When my nieces and nephews are in town, we head to Funland. This classic boardwalk amusement park is the perfect family-friendly summer fun place.”
What is your favorite “hidden gem” in the Delaware Beaches?
Scott Thomas: “Paddling along the Broadkill River in a kayak is one of my favorites. As you travel inland, you can take your pick of hidden gems. There are some special spots that have been around for a long time such as taking the Woodland Ferry across the Nanticoke River that connects the towns of Bethel and Woodland. Newer hidden gems are popping up as well like the Delaware Botanic Gardens just outside of Dagsboro.”
Carol Everhart: “I love Gordon’s Pond. There’s a wonderful hiking and biking trail to get there. The view, walking down Gordon’s Pond, over the water, is breathtaking. It is nature at its best.”
Betsy Reamer: “I think one thing a lot of people don’t realize when they come here is the variety of cultural activities that take place. The quality of them is every bit as good as a larger metropolitan area. For example, Coastal Concerts has performers that have performed at the Kennedy Center. There are theaters, the Rehoboth Art League, galleries—there’s just so much to do here. Until people live here, they don’t realize there’s a whole cultural landscape here.”
Paul Kuhns: “Cape Henlopen State Park. Rehoboth’s hidden gem is a beautiful state park located at the point where the Delaware River meets the Atlantic. This nature preserve offers something for everyone, from its beaches, trails for biking and hiking, a fishing pier and historic remnants dating back to an earlier time in American history.”
What’s your favorite beach or outdoor attraction to go to and why?
Scott Thomas: “Dewey Beach is close to my heart because I grew up there, spent every summer there and made so many special memories there, and continue to make them.”
Carol Everhart: “I love the concerts at the [Bethany Beach] bandstand. They’re free and have excellent performances there. I also love the free movies and bonfires at Dewey Beach.”
Betsy Reamer: “Cape Henlopen State Park and Lewes beach. I love Lewes beach because I can take my grandson down there. It’s kind of a wave-less beach, which is perfect for him. Cape Henlopen State Park is such an amazing attraction—it’s 5,000 acres of beautifully kept natural landscaping.”
Paul Kuhns: “My favorite place to spend time outside is in Rehoboth Beach. I enjoy walking around town and along our beach and boardwalk.”