Delaware on the Menu: Welcome to the Delaware Coast

By Bob Yesbek

Welcome to the Delaware coast! Affectionately known as the Nation’s Summer Capital, the Rehoboth Beach area receives multiple kudos from such luminaries as the James Beard Foundation, the Michelin Guide, Zagat, the National Restaurant Association and Wine Spectator Magazine, just to name a few.

I am fortunate to have the honor of describing, reviewing and photographing good food here in the Cape Region. Historic Lewes, Rehoboth, Dewey and Bethany beaches are connected by U.S. Rt. 1, and multiple restaurants have sprung up along this busy thoroughfare. No matter what your budget, great eating is never more than a walk or short drive away.

Restaurants in Rehoboth Beach

In downtown Rehoboth Beach you’ll find everything from gourmet Chinese dishes to wood-fired pizzas; from genuine Italian to Indian and Turkish specialties. Lewes dishes up everything from short rib sliders to lobster rolls, from Belgian delights to top-notch steaks and fresh baked goods – all just steps from one another in the First Town in the First State.

The very first fine-dining restaurant in Rehoboth Beach celebrates its 46th season in 2020, and neighboring spots are not far behind. A few allow you to select your own tasting menu from a list of chef-driven creations. Rehoboth Avenue, Wilmington Avenue, Baltimore Avenue, Coastal Highway and Lewes are not without a classy touch.

Click here to read more about restaurants in Rehoboth Beach.

Do you crave a great breakfast at the beach? There are well over 25 breakfast and brunch spots in the immediate area, from casual storefronts to lavish buffets. Local brewers, distillers and wineries helped pave the way for in-restaurant breweries, and currently there are well over 10 local brewpubs!

As a guide for the EatingRehoboth.com restaurant tours, I have the singular pleasure of introducing visitors and locals to new restaurant experiences and upscale gourmet shops. These three-hour walks invariably end with guests telling me how they would never have tried this or that place without having experienced our tours. And now, armed with the information here in the Delaware Beaches Visitors Guide, you can embark on your own tour of everything food and drink here on the Culinary Coast. You’re at the beach: Enjoy! And bon appétit.

Bob Yesbek, aka The Rehoboth Foodie, publishes the restaurant news & reviews website RehobothFoodie.com. His columns appear regularly in the Cape Gazette, Beach Paper and Coastal Style Magazine. Sip & Bite with the Rehoboth Foodie can be heard every Saturday from 3-5 p.m. on Delaware 105.9 FM.

Historic Lewes

The First Town in the First State

Step onto the streets of Historic Lewes and it won’t take long for you to sense the town’s maritime heritage and the roots that run deep into history.

Lewes History

Nearly 400 years old, Lewes continues to preserve its seafaring charm to honor its heritage as the first town in the first state. As with many colonial seaports, Lewes was also at the mercy of pirates for much of its history. During the late 1600s, pirates relentlessly raided the town, which caused a law to be passed requiring that Lewes’ citizens own a musket and ammunition for protection against the raiders. While today’s citizens will not be bearing muskets, Lewes’ enchanting history is waiting to be discovered around every corner. 

Things To Do in Lewes

Alive with people year-round, visitors often enjoy the gorgeous architecture, beautifully preserved homes, museums, scenic streets and downtown area, which is ideal for pedestrians. While most of these preserved homes date back to the 18th and 19th centuries, one from the 17th century is the oldest standing building in the state. You’ll find the alluring historic district filled to the brim with more than 40 unique shops, fine restaurants, inns, B&Bs and more. 

Water Activities in Lewes

Nearby, bay and ocean beaches offer limitless recreational activities amidst beautiful unspoiled nature. Anglers will enjoy an afternoon casting at the Lewes-Rehoboth Canal, while the bay and ocean areas allow for plenty of swimming. There are thousands of acres of preserved lands in Cape Henlopen State Park. The park provides lifeguard patrols between Memorial Day weekend and Labor Day, so you and your children can enjoy the beach safely.

Cape May-Lewes Ferry

One of the most popular ways to enjoy the Delaware Bay is aboard the Cape May-Lewes Ferry. Enjoy an 80-minute cruise as a passenger, or travel with your car. You can even explore another great coastal town at the other end of the journey—Cape May, New Jersey. 

Whether you spend the day learning about Lewes’ history, enjoying the beach and beautiful maritime nature, finding unique treasures to bring home or all three, you’re bound to come to one realization—one day in Lewes simply isn’t enough.

Beach Safety Tips

Tips to Stay Safe in the Surf and Sand at the Delaware Beaches

Sunburn Tips

Are some people more likely to burn?

Yes. The most susceptible are people who are blue-eyed, fair-skinned, tan poorly or have red or blonde hair.

Should I use a sunblock?

Yes. There is evidence that sunblock helps prevent skin cancer and sunburn and slows the aging effects of the sun. Use a sunblock with the highest number, preferably 15 or greater, if you are more likely to burn.

Sunblock should be applied at least once an hour while you’re in the sun and more often if you are perspiring or swimming. The sun is most damaging between 11 a.m. and 3 p.m. Use a sunblock with a higher protection factor on the areas that are more exposed: the tip of the nose, ears, collarbone, top of the feet and shoulders. On your lips, use only those products designed for that area. Keep all sunblock and sun medications away from the eyes.

Can medications add to sun sensitivity?

Yes. Some examples are Tetracycline, diuretics and major tranquilizers, such as Thorazine or Stelazine. These have the potential to cause a bad burn from an amount of sun that would not ordinarily be harmful.

What should I do about a bad burn?

Take a cool bath—not ice cold—and don’t use bath salts, oil or bubble bath. Take it easy on your skin—no scrubbing, no shaving. Use a soft towel to pat the skin dry. Try a sunburn remedy or first-aid spray, one with lidocaine or benzocaine, for quick pain relief. Use a light moisturizer and a dusting of powder to ease chafing. In general, try to stay out of the sun. If the sunburn is severe, if you blister or if you feel faint or nauseous, see a doctor immediately.

Your Children and the Sun:

Children under 1 year of age should be kept out of the sun. Use lightweight, light-colored clothing, and always cover their head with a hat. Use a sunscreen with a protection factor of 15 for best results. Apply liberally and often. Don’t use a sunblock with a protection factor of more than four on children under 6 months of age. There is a possibility that the skin may absorb the chemical, and the child’s system may not eliminate it.

Since 80% of skin damage occurs in the first 20 years of life, it’s up to the parents to jumpstart their children on a lifetime of protective skin care.

Jellyfish Tips

While jellyfish look beautiful and harmless, their tentacles are an entirely different situation. The tentacles are long, spindly appendages that hang from the underside of the jellyfish. When they come in contact with the skin, the result is a red welt and severe pain. Gently wash the area with a mild soap and water, then apply liberal amounts of meat tenderizer (MSG, Accent, etc.) to the still-wet area. Benadryl will help lessen the reaction. If the reaction worsens, see a physician.

Beach Safety Tips

  • Holes dug on the beach can be no deeper than the knees of the smallest person in your group, and must take up a small area.
  • Do not leave any holes unattended, and fill it back in before you leave the beach.
  • Only swim when lifeguards are on duty (10 a.m.–5:30 p.m.)
  • Do not leave children unattended near the water.
  • Do not swim near fishing piers, wooden pilings or rock jetties.
  • No swimming or wading in designated surfing areas.
  • Pay attention to signs and flags, and check with a lifeguard regarding beach conditions.

Tips for Rip Currents

  • Rip currents can form in large open areas of water, including low spots and breaks in sandbars, or near structures such as jetties and piers.
  • If caught in a rip current, swim out of the current in a direction following the shoreline.
  • If you are unable to swim out of a rip current, float or calmly tread water to conserve your energy.
  • If you observe someone in distress in the ocean, do not enter the water. Get help from a lifeguard or call 9-1-1.

Experience Outdoor Adventure at Cape Henlopen State Park

By Robert Enriquez

History of Cape Henlopen State Park

After 1682, William Penn was granted Delaware land. He declared Cape Henlopen State Park and its resources for public use to the citizens of Lewes and Sussex County. The 5,193-acre state park located in Lewes became one of the nation’s first public spaces.

Swimming at Cape Henlopen State Park

Cape Henlopen State Park includes a swimming beach that stretches for six miles and has lifeguards on watch from Memorial Day weekend through Labor Day. This beach is complete with umbrella rentals, a bathhouse with showers, changing rooms and a food concession. As for visitors with wheelchairs and power chairs, there are 30-foot mats connected from the boardwalk to provide easy access onto the beach.

Cape Henlopen State Park Amenities

In addition to the beach, the Cape Henlopen State Park also offers open spaces for various activities. Picnic pavilions can be reserved for group events. The basketball courts and an 18-hole disc golf course promote both exercise and friendly competition. Surf fishing is also available, but only in designated areas. Vehicles that have surf-fishing permits are instutrcted to park in a single file; this helps accommodate any safety concerns for visitors and staff alike.

Hunting at Cape Henlopen State Park

Another activity that folks can partake in is hunting. All of the Delaware State Parks require that each prospective hunter must register for the Delaware State Parks Hunting Program and have a valid Delaware Hunting License. The registration is $10. All must be aware that the park’s hunting areas are shared with other permitted activities such as hiking and biking; extreme caution should be exercised during hunting.  

Trails at Cape Henlopen State Park

There are various horseback riding, hiking and biking trails that span anywhere from 0.6–5 miles long.

At the beach, there is 4.6-mile trail that is used for hiking and equestrian activities. Seasonal horseback riding is allowed on the beach, but all riding guidelines should still be followed.

Another trail available at Cape Henlopen State Park is the Pinelands Trail, which is 2 miles long and is exclusively for hiking. On the Pinelands Trail, one can find World War II artillery bunkers and discover four species of pine.

A second trail that’s exclusive to hikers is the 0.6-mile Seaside Nature Trail. Here, the bayside location holds many of the state park’s nature programs.

The Walking Dunes Trail stretches for 1.6 miles and is reserved for hiking and biking.

The Salt Marsh Spur is a 0.6-mile-long hiking and biking trail. This is a loose-sand trail that provides views of plant and wildlife.

The Gordons Pond Trail is a 2.65-mile hiking and biking trail that splits between a crushed stone surface and an elevated boardwalk while providing scenic views.

The Bike Loop Trail is a 3-mile-long shared-use trail. It is a paved trail suitable for most uses and links many of the state park’s main attractions.

Lastly, the Junction and Breakwater Trail is also a 5-mile, one-way, shared-use trail that takes you through open fields and conifer forests.

Click here to read more about the Junction and Breakwater Trail.

Camping at Cape Henlopen State Park

Along with its trails, Cape Henlopen State Park provides over 150 camping sites that accommodate RVs or tents; most sites have water hook-ups. In addition to these sites, there are 12 cabins available for rent to campers year-round. There is also an AC/heating unit, cleaning supplies, a fire ring and a grill for campers.

Cape Henlopen State Park Summer Camps

Along with the year-round camping at Cape Henlopen State Park, there are also summer camps for children of all ages. These camps and programs are just a few of many that are available at the park during the summertime.

Events and Additional Attractions at Cape Henlopen State Park

In addition to the many activities to choose from in Cape Henlopen State Park, the park hosts annual events, such as the Kite Festival and the Halloween Fantasy trail. For the history buffs, the World War II Observation Tower offers 360-degree views of the coastline. One thing’s for certain—outdoors activities are endless at Cape Henlopen State Park, and there’s always a new trail to discover.

Cape Henlopen State Park is located at 15099 Cape Henlopen Dr. in Lewes. For more information call 302-645-8983 or visit DeStateParks.com

SNAPSHOT: The Delaware Beaches

From the upscale, sophistication of Rehoboth to the beachy, laid back feel at Bethany Beach, a vacation in coastal Delaware has something for everyone.

The Delaware Beaches, full of history and character.

For history lovers, find points of interest in one of the historic, regional villages. Or for outdoor lovers, plan a getaway to one of Delaware’s local state parks. Hiking, biking, or just lounging on the sandy beach, you will feel your soul rejuvenated. Shopping is an extremely popular pastime in the Delaware Beaches. That’s because all sales are tax-free! Meander through quiet, quaint towns and check out local antique stores, cute clothing boutiques, unique gift stores and original galleries. There’s so much!

You can also head to one of the famous outlet malls where deals are standard. From Cape Henlopen State Park to the southern tip of Fenwick Island, find beautiful ocean vistas. Or go inland to see interesting museums, tons of events and festivals plus an array of outdoor adventures. There are ample opportunities to explore the bays and waterways by kayak or standup paddleboard. The region is eclectic and artistic, valuing cultural experiences and art. Galleries, symphonies, and theaters set the Delaware Beaches apart as not just your average beach towns. The attractions, the entertainment, the nightlife—all set to the soundtrack of the waves rolling in and out. And don’t forget about the food scene!

Delaware Beaches has an eclectic restaurant community. From gourmet fare to small eateries and diners. And the seafood is, of course, delectable! Welcome to the Delaware Beaches! Every moment of your visit here will be memorable. Whether strolling the boardwalks or soaking in sunrays on the beach.  

A Brief History of the Delaware Beaches

The Delaware Beaches along the Delaware coast is a very popular vacation destination. But you may wonder how these beach communities developed. Here’s a little bit of the history behind the Rehoboth, Bethany, and Dewey Beaches in Delaware.  

Rehoboth Beach: From Church Camp to Resort Town

When the first European settlers arrived in the area, it is said that this area was one of the main Mid-Atlantic fishing villages for Native Americans. However, modern developments have wiped away any evidence that such a village may have existed.

The city was first founded as a church camp association. When the church group disbanded, it was incorporated as Henlopen City. Later it was renamed Rehoboth Beach which was the name originally given to the city by the church group. Interestingly, Rehoboth is a location named in the Old Testament, which means “broad spaces” in Hebrew.

Bethany Beach: A Quiet Community Withstands Multiple Disasters

You may recognize Bethany as another Biblical name (from the New Testament this time). This city was also founded by a minister. Prior to 1950, this was a quiet little community. But growth began not long after the end of the second World War. The Chesapeake Bay Bridge made the beach community easily accessible to the residents of the nation’s capital, causing a population boom.

A devastating storm brought ruin in 1962. But development was resumed starting with a new post office and bank. Several hurricanes and nor’easters have damaged the area. But the residents were not deterred, and development continued, even until today. In 2011, Bethany Beach imposed a smoking, including nearly all of the boardwalk and beach areas.

Dewey Beach: A Way of Life

This is the most popular beach in Delaware, although you wouldn’t know it from the town’s population; 300-or-so residents. At peak season, 30,000 people descend on Dewey Beach and it’s many eateries. Only recently incorporated in 1981, Dewey beach is a popular family vacation spot and has adopted the motto: “Dewey Beach, a way of life.”

Bethany Beach and Fenwick Island

 

The name says it all: come to Delaware’s Quiet Resorts area for a relaxing coastal beach experience.

The Quiet Resorts area is comprised of 10 towns: Bethany Beach, Clarksville, Dagsboro, Fenwick Island, Frankford, Millville, Ocean View, Roxana, Selbyville and South Bethany.

If you want to breathe in the ocean air and feel the ocean breezes, Bethany Beach and Fenwick Island are calling.  These two towns are the most popular vacation destinations in the Quiet Resorts because of their public beach access. 

Located along Delaware’s southern coast, Bethany Beach and Fenwick Island are sandwiched between bustling Ocean City to the south and the serene Delaware Seashore State Park to the north, offering a perfect combination of the two: the excitement and the amenities of the boardwalk with the beauty and tranquility of nature.  The area is an ideal retreat for families and the perfect environment for a laid-back beach getaway. 

About Fenwick Island

Fenwick Island lies right on the Delaware-Maryland state line, just north of Ocean City, Maryland.  Quiet and uncrowded, Fenwick offers some of the cleanest beaches in the region. If you need a break from sun and sand, check out one of the most popular attractions in Fenwick Island: the Fenwick Island Lighthouse, an 87-foot-tall structure built in 1859. The towering white beacon is open for tours throughout the summer, except when it’s raining.

Family-Friendly Fun in Fenwick

Family-friendly entertainment is abundant in Fenwick! Choose a mini-golf destination to work on your putting game or take to the race track to try your hand at go-kart driving. Visit Thunder Lagoon Water Park for a day of fun for all ages, where you can cool off on one of six water slides or meander down a lazy river.  If you still haven’t gotten your fill of water activities, consider renting a kayak and paddle around the beautiful Assawoman Bay.  If you’re looking for live entertainment, head inland to the Freeman Stage and spend an evening enjoying a performance from Grammy-nominated artists.

Shopping in Fenwick

Many unique treasures and souvenirs can be found in Fenwick Island’s boutique stores. From clothing to candy or knickknacks and beach accessories, you are sure to find a special item that will serve as a reminder of your vacation for years to come. And, you won’t want to miss the weekly Fenwick Island Farmers Market for the Island’s locally grown produce and homemade goodies.  Head to the corner of Coastal Highway and East Essex Street every Friday from 8 a.m.–noon, late June through Labor Day, to shop local.  Don’t forget, all Delaware shopping is tax-free, making your vacation money go further!

In town the first Friday of the month? Take advantage of Fenwick First Fridays, a monthly happening where stores and restaurants offer specials, sales and other promotions.

About Bethany Beach

Bethany Beach also offers a quiet destination for a relaxing, family-friendly vacation with plenty to do just a short drive away.  It’s an ideal location for those in search of a laid-back beach getaway with the convenience of nearby attractions. With accommodations for groups of all sizes, vacationers can choose from waterfront rentals, charming bed & breakfasts, or homes just a short bike ride to the beach.

While the town’s atmosphere is decidedly laid-back with small-town charm, Bethany Beach offers all the modern amenities and services you would expect, including unique shops and diverse restaurant choices.   A typical day for Bethany Beach vacationers often consists of spending time on the beach, leisurely perusing area specialty shops, visiting with friends and dining in one of the area’s many restaurants.

Dining in Bethany Beach

From mouth-watering smoked barbecue to a fresh local catch, in an upscale or casual setting, dining choices are plentiful in Bethany Beach.  Don’t forget about the most important meal of the day, dessert!  Ice cream is one of the most popular treats for Bethany Beach visitors, and you will not be disappointed with your options.

Discover the Bethany Beach Boardwalk

What’s a beach vacation without a walk on the boardwalk?  Bethany Beach’s half-mile boardwalk is a great place to stroll and enjoy the ocean views, shop or catch a live show. Regular concerts at the Bethany Beach Bandstand during the summer months offer a variety of musical entertainment, from tribute bands to Army bands.  Other exciting events in town include movies on the beach, karaoke, Kids Club, talent shows, beach bonfires and morning beach yoga.  The town goes all out on July 4, with an Independence Day parade, horseshoe-throwing competition and a grand finale of fireworks and patriotic evening entertainment.

Bethany Beach’s Local Charm

You won’t want to leave town until you stop by the Bethany Beach Farmers Market on Sunday morning. The market is open every Sunday, beginning in mid-June through Labor Day.  Load up on freshly picked local fruits and vegetables, from juicy blueberries to Sussex County sweet corn, a “take-home” memory of your Bethany Beach vacation.   

Whether your idea of paradise involves a beach towel and a boogie board or a good meal and a day of shopping, the Quiet Resorts of Bethany Beach and Fenwick Island are sure to please.

For more information about Bethany Beach, Fenwick Island and surrounding areas, contact the Bethany-Fenwick Area Chamber of Commerce at 1-800-962-SURF or visit TheQuietResorts.com. During your vacation, don’t forget to relax and to shop, dine and stay local!

Dewey Beach and Rehoboth Beach

Images and editorial supplied by Rehoboth Beach-Dewey Beach Chamber of Commerce & Visitors Center

A quaint beach destination with modern flair, Rehoboth Beach is one of the mid-Atlantic’s most popular beach towns. Though garnering the nickname, “The Nation’s Summer Capital,” Rehoboth is truly a year-round destination with quality entertainment, cosmopolitan dining, one-of-a-kind shopping and recreation for all ages.

On the Water Activities in Dewey Beach and Rehoboth Beach

Spend a day at Rehoboth’s waterpark or at the ocean for an afternoon of swimming, surfing or just leisurely floating in the waves. Of course, relaxing in the rays is one of the main reasons people come to Rehoboth. The beaches are clean and spacious enough for folks to spread out and enjoy a little time in the sun.

Water activities are a big part of enjoying these Delaware beaches year-round. Whether you rent bright-hued, stand-up paddleboards, paddle through calm waters in a kayak or catch the summer breeze from a small sailboat, there are many possibilities for enjoying the water that go beyond a quick dip. For an added dose of adventure, hop aboard a jet ski or try skim boarding or parasailing in Dewey Beach. You can take a three-hour kiteboarding lesson or glide through local waters on a full-sized surfboard. In addition, eco-tours by kayak will introduce your family to water-loving wildlife as well as a water taxi across the bay.

Beach fun extends to tours through the watery depths of Rehoboth Beach-Dewey Beach. Late July through early October is the perfect time for dolphin-watching when the gregarious mammals often swim just off the shore. Whales are occasionally spotted in the area and whale-watching cruises are within an hour or two from the shore. Several companies offer close by dolphin cruises too. For added fun, check out kids pirate cruises.

Discover the Rehoboth Beach Boardwalk

A walk along Rehoboth Beach’s quaint and charming mile-long Boardwalk is a must. As a matter of fact, Coastal Living Magazine named Rehoboth Beach one of its 10 Great Coastal Boardwalks. To the east there’s clear blue water, white sand and a sea of beach umbrellas. To the west lies loads of eclectic shops and restaurants. Nearly a mile long, the Rehoboth boardwalk area includes a small, though thrilling amusement park, arcades, delicious restaurants, outlet shopping and many spots when you’re looking to grab an afternoon snack. Or earn your dinner by surf fishing, deep-sea fishing, clamming or crabbing. Then, on weekends during the summer, there are often festivals, art shows and concerts right on the boardwalk. The Rehoboth Beach Boardwalk is one of this area’s most beloved features.

Shopping in Rehoboth Beach

When you need a break from seeking shells, sunbathing, swimming and water sports, more than 100 familiar outlet stores in the Rehoboth Beach area sell big-name brands—and all shopping is tax-free. In addition, there are dozens of individually owned boutiques and galleries operating in Rehoboth Beach. Shop ‘til you drop for everything from souvenir T-shirts and sunglasses, to bright and beautiful swimwear and fun and funky unique clothing and jewelry. Create and purchase a photo of your family dressed in period garb from the early 1800s through 1930s set against elaborate sets designed to represent each period at an old-time photo shop.

Outdoor Activities in Dewey Beach and Rehoboth Beach

Biking is a popular way to get around Dewey and Rehoboth, especially considering the summer traffic. Rent a bike and explore each town or enjoy an early morning ride on the boardwalk. Opt for the longer trails in the area for a scenic ride through one of the many state parks.

For leisurely views of local plants, wildlife and water, Cape Henlopen State Park includes trails with varying degrees of difficulty and length. The Gordons Pond Trail features crushed stone that easily accommodates hikers, bikers and strollers. In addition to forested areas, open fields and marshes, this lovely park is home to a pavilion, concessions and two iconic WWII towers.

Bird watching is a favorite pastime in spring and fall. Twelve feet wide and six miles long, the handicap accessible Junction and Breakwater Trail is created with crushed stone and equipped with restrooms and bike racks. The trailhead begins at the historic Wolfe House and meets Tanger Outlet Center.

Historical Attractions in Rehoboth Beach

For the price of a donation, Rehoboth Beach Museum will introduce your family to the legacy of fun at Rehoboth Beach, through its history, culture and architecture. Check out vintage bathing suits, surfboards and even archaeological artifacts. Antique postcards provide black-and-white glimpses of beach life too. Founded by the nonprofit Rehoboth Beach Historical Society in 1975, the museum is located inside Rehoboth Beach’s former ice house and maintains the Anna Hazzard Tent House—a turn-of-the-century “tent” house where religious “Camp Meeting” gatherings took place. The museum runs children and adult programs throughout the year.

Dining in Rehoboth Beach and Dewey Beach

This area is called “The Culinary Capital of the Culinary Coast.” It features seafood-focused menus, coffeehouse retreats, ethnic cuisine and comfort food—and most restaurants cater to kids. Classic cinnamon rolls, cookies and house-made pies delight families. Parents appreciate kid-friendly options at local restaurants plus terrific happy hour prices. Find tacos, terrific burgers and stellar seafood. Romantic, adult dining is made perfect while sitting on an outdoor deck during warm weather months.

Nightlife at in Dewey Beach and Rehoboth Beach

At night, the town continues to sizzle with nightly concerts at the oceanfront, popular downtown cosmopolitan hotspots to mingle with friends. Many also head to nearby Dewey Beach for a night out on the town. Dewey, a more casual and smaller version of Rehoboth, features many popular nightlife attractions that draw pleasure seekers into the late evening. A trolley connects to the two towns in the summer for easy travelling between each.

This is the kind of place that hosts sandcastle contests, fireworks and free Bandstand performances—all equally popular with kids and adults, visitors and locals. Dewey Beach hosts nightly movies and bonfires.

Annual Sea Witch Halloween Festival in Rehoboth Beach

Readers of Coastal Style Magazine voted the local Sea Witch Halloween & Fiddlers’ Festival® a 2017 “Best Of” winner. The Sea Witch Halloween Festival® draws approximately 200,000 visitors every year who love it for its costume parade full of ghosts and goblins, the best costumed dog contest, amazing musicians, horse shows on the beach and live entertainment. Youngsters can join a Kid’s Treasure Hunt, go trick-or-treating and ride ponies on the beach. Families can try old-fashioned beach games such as the wacky Broom Tossing Contest.

Both Dewey Beach and Rehoboth Beach offer a world-class beach getaway that is both eclectic and old-fashioned. From the boardwalk to the boutiques, these two towns are full of excitement year-round.

Rehoboth Beach-Dewey Beach Chamber of Commerce & Visitors Center
Visit www.Beach-Fun.com for more information or stop by the Visitors Center located at 501 Rehoboth Avenue, Rehoboth Beach.

Delaware on the Menu: Great Eats at the Beach

 

Welcome to the Delaware beaches! When it comes to vacationing between the Atlantic Ocean and the Rehoboth Bay, you can’t throw a beach ball without hitting a great restaurant. Affectionately known as the Nation’s Summer Capital, the Rehoboth Beach area receivies multiple kudos from such luminaries as the James Beard Foundation, the Michelin Guide, Zagat, the National Restaurant Association and Wine Spectator magazine, just to name a few.

Budget-Friendly Fare

In my various writings, I have the honor of describing, reviewing and photographing good restaurants here at the beach. And it’s not only about fine dining: There are budget-friendly casual eateries and carryouts to fit every wallet. Which, of course, begs the question: Do you like pizza? There’s no shortage of pizza here on the Culinary Coast! In the first block of Rehoboth Avenue alone, there are three pizza joints that are never without a line in the summer season. In fact, over 50 years ago the founder of the first pizzeria in the area cultivated a following by handing out free slices to vacationers who had no idea what to think of that cheesy delight. Now they know, and it’s everywhere.

Dewey Beach (a minute or two south of Rehoboth), Bethany Beach (about 15 minutes south), and historic Lewes (about 5 minutes north) are connected by U.S. Rt. 1, aka Coastal Highway. As the Delaware Cape Region has flourished, restaurants have sprung up all along this busy thoroughfare, including informal spots that dish up cheesesteaks, pizza, made-to-order tacos, burgers, towering deli sandwiches, kicked up bar grub, seafood, wood-smoked barbecue, Vietnamese specialties, mac ‘n’ cheese, and submarine sandwiches (or grinders or heroes or hoagies or po’boys or torpedoes or zeppelins, depending on where you were born). No matter what you call them, and no matter what your budget, great eating here on the Delaware coast is never more than a walk or short drive away.

Mid-priced eateries at the beach offer relaxed, sit-down dining and reasonably priced fare. In downtown Rehoboth Beach alone you’ll find made-from-scratch gourmet Chinese dishes, raw bars overflowing with fresh seafood, authentic Indian cuisine, freshly rolled sushi, hot & spicy Thai, homemade Turkish dishes and Mexican food— from Salvadorean/Spanish fusion all the way to straightforward Tex-Mex. And don’t forget Italian! House-made pastas, wood-fired pizzas and genuine Italian specialties are all in ample supply.

Dining in Dewey Beach

Locals tout the Dewey Beach “way of life,” and there’s always a party with quesadillas and margaritas on the sand by the bay; huge raw bars and buffets with an assortment of seafood entrees; fried chicken, burgers, dogs, and early-morning breakfast spots— several of which will happily pour you a bloody mary or mimosa to kick start your day at the beach. And many of them proudly declare: “No shoes? No shirt? No problem!”

Dining in Lewes

Downtown Lewes dishes up everything from short rib sliders to lobster rolls, from Belgian delights to gourmet pizzas, fresh baked goods and roasted-before-your-very-eyes coffee. Gourmet candies, homemade ice cream and authentic Italian meats, cheeses and desserts are all just steps from one another in the First Town in the First State.

Dining in Rehoboth Beach

If you come to the beach for fine dining, you will not be disappointed. The very first fine-dining restaurant in Rehoboth Beach celebrates its 46th season in 2020, and several neighboring spots are not far behind. Chef-driven specialties such as rabbit, duck, Angus beef, Berkshire pork and fresh seafood are the mainstays of local upscale menus. A few specialty restaurants allow you to select your own tasting menu from a list of unusual creations. Conventional wisdom suggests that Rehoboth’s Baltimore Avenue is ground zero for fine dining, and with seven popular eateries in those two short blocks, that’s probably a fact. But Rehoboth Avenue, Wilmington Avenue, Coastal Highway and Lewes are not without the classy touch. In fact, Lewes sports two of the region’s nicest restaurants virtually next door to one another!

Click here to read more about restaurants in Rehoboth Beach.

Dining at the Delaware Beaches

Vacationers will not leave Delaware hungry if it’s morning and early afternoon feasts they crave. There are well over 25 breakfast and brunch spots in the immediate area; everything from tiny in-town storefronts where flip flops and bathing suits are the order of the day, all the way to lavish buffets with omelet stations, waffle pods and chefs in dress whites carving standing rib roasts. I’ll give you fair warning: If you are squeamish about restaurants in strip centers, you’ll need to leave that at home when you visit. Space, parking and access are at a premium on this narrow strip of sand, and some of the best restaurants share walls with other businesses.

Locally-Crafted Beer, Wine and Spirits

Local brewers, distillers and wineries are among my favorite guests on my weekly radio show (it’s probably because they bring samples!). Many of these entrepreneurs helped pave the way for in-restaurant breweries, and currently there are eight local brewpubs tapping their own creations as well as those of their cohorts. Distillers range from those that specialize in rum all the way to full lines of vodka, gin and whiskey. Some even offer tours— with the obligatory sample at the end. Reason enough to check it out.

Walking Food Tours of Rehoboth Beach

As a guide for the EatingRehoboth.com downtown restaurant tours, I have the singular pleasure of introducing visitors and locals to new restaurant experiences and upscale gourmet shops. The three-hour walks invariably end with guests telling me how they would never have tried this or that place without being on our tours. And now, armed with the information here in the Delaware Beaches Visitors Guide, you can embark on your own tour of everything food and drink here on the Culinary Coast. You’re at the beach: Enjoy! And bon appétit.

Bob Yesbek, aka The Rehoboth Foodie, publishes the restaurant news & reviews website www.RehobothFoodie.com. His columns appear regularly in the Cape Gazette, Beach Paper and Coastal Style Magazine. Sip & Bite with the Rehoboth Foodie can be heard every Saturday from 3-5 p.m. on Delaware 105.9 FM.

Click here to read about restaurants with outdoor seating.

Golfing in the Delaware Beaches

Get Ready to Tee Off at Some Superb Coastal Courses

Summon your inner Jack Nicklaus and tee off at one of the many first-rate courses that surround the Delaware Beaches. There are more than a dozen public courses in the area, each with a distinctive layout and atmosphere. From coastal marshes to farmland and forests, the Delmarva peninsula’s varying terrain creates a wonderful canvas for any golf architect. Famous course designers have contributed their talents to molding this seaside landscape into stunning fairways and greens, creating championship courses and many memorable holes.

Golf Courses on the Delaware Beaches

Nature defines southern Delaware and Maryland golf. There are many fairways framed by towering pines, coastal wetlands, lakes, rivers and streams. Don’t be surprised if you are joined by herons, deer and other wildlife, even just a few miles away from the bustling beaches. The natural beauty of this area shines through at all area courses, providing a serene environment for total relaxation.

The unique terrain found at most area courses is not only visually stimulating but also provides rare challenges that test a golfer’s ability. There are some ambitious holes on area courses—challenging enough that golfers keep coming back again and again to lower their handicap. Of course, most courses were designed with both the professional and beginner in mind, so even a first-time golfer can enjoy a day out on the links at the nearby courses in Delaware and Maryland.

dewey beach golfingGear Up

In order to be ready to tackle that Par 3 or fish your ball out of a freshwater wetland, you need to have the proper attire and equipment. Make sure your outfit is appropriate for the course by stopping in a pro shop to find all your favorite brands of golf clothing. If you left your clubs at home, many courses offer club rentals, or you can pick up some new ones at a pro shop if you’re in the market. With help from the friendly staff and the great selections of golfing equipment, rest assured that you’ll be the most prepared golfer on the course—and the best dressed as well.

Golfing Tips for Kids, Beginners and Experts

Most golf courses offer lessons for every level of golfer. Whether you need to tweak your swing or get a full introduction to this game of precision, on-site pros are there to help. Learn the basics from one of the expert instructors, or work on advanced techniques with a pro. In addition to teaching the fundamentals, lessons can offer swing analyses, general pointers for evaluating the course and tips for your short game. Some golf courses also have the additional benefenwick island golffit of an on-site driving range. Or if you want to enjoy a day on the green with your kids, there are courses that allow them to learn the keys to playing a good game. Some even offer parent/child programs for the mini golfer who’s interested in more than just putt-putt.

Off the Course Perks

Top quality service and clubhouses are standard, so if you can’t get your game up to par—or under par, we should say—stop in at the clubhouse for a tasty beer and meal. Some of the area’s finest clubhouses feature deliciously fresh food and cold drinks in a casual setting. Take in the lakeside views, meet your golfing buddies and make some new friends as you reminisce about golfing excursions and share techniques. Some clubs even offer swimming, tennis and dining, all in one place.

Many courses offer deals on day-long play packages and giveaways as well as “stay and play” packages that are perfect for those who want to play golf by day and relax on the greens by night. Why go anywhere else when you can have it all in one location?

Hotels and Lodging near Golf Courses

You can relax knowing that when you return after a long day on the green, you’ll find top-notch facilities and a friendly staff ready to help you unwind. There are a great variety of hotel selections in the area for a mix of economy or luxury accommodations. No mbethany beach golfingatter which place you choose to stay, you’ll get a good night’s sleep and be energized for a brand new game in the morning. Many hotels even offer complete golfing packages that allow you the privilege of trying out several different ranges of courses at various locations rather than playing the same course over and over. If that wasn’t great enough, many of the packages may include free club cleaning and storage, breakfast, lunch and beverage vouchers, complimentary golf towels, tees, ball markers and guaranteed preferred advanced tee times.

Since the Delaware Beaches community is dedicated to golfing and the courses vary to suit everyone from beginner to professional, there is an experience waiting for every golfer. So try one, try all—with beautiful weather and spectacular scenery, southern Delaware and Maryland’s golf is an experience all visitors will enjoy and continue to come back for year after year.