The Annual Sea Witch Festival®, one of Rehoboth’s favorite holiday traditions, is coming back October 29-31, 2021. Packed with an endless variety of Halloween-themed games and scheduled activities, this family friendly event is certainly one to look forward to. It is so spook-tacular in fact, that HGTV.com included it in their picks of “21 Great Fall Festivals.”
The Sea Witch® Program this year is full of schedules and information pertaining to 30+ activities taking place during the festival. While there are many things to look forward to in this year’s event, we have selected a list of just a few of the incredible things you can expect while attending The Sea Witch Festival®.
Costume Parades (Dogs Welcome!)
Two parades will take place. One is for people and the other is specifically made to show off your pup’s Halloween regalia.
Indoor & Outdoor Vendors
Shopping galore! Take a walk around and experience artisans and vendors selling and educating the public about their handcrafted products.
Sea Witch Hunt
This free hunt for witches provides participants with the opportunity to win awesome prizes. People travel from site to site, collecting clues to make their best guess in the end.
Live Bandstand Entertainment
Live music will take place at the Rehoboth Beach Bandstand. Some artists include Junior Wilson and Chatty, Blue Cat Blues Band and The Jimmies, 80’s Flashback Back.
Trick or Treating
Collect as much candy as you can carry with your kiddos in Dewey Beach or Downtown Rehoboth. Participating businesses will have signs in their windows.
Kid’s Beach Games
Games include Hula Twist Off, Slippery Swords, Monster Stomp and much more. They are free to participate in and everyone gets a ribbon.
4th Street Fall Fest
A variety of activities will be happening at The Cultured Pearl Restaurant, The Shops at the Pearl Mall and Coho’s Market and Grill.
Fall Classic Racing Festival
Tie up those laces and get to steppin’! There will be a 5k and a half-marathon.
Scarecrow Trail & Show
Vote on your favorite scarecrow creation that you’ll see over span of the festival.
A fall classic, hayrides are such an awesome experience for any age. Climb aboard, and celebrate the season.
Enter for your chance to win big prizes!
… & Much More!
There is so much to look forward to with this festival in Rehoboth. Get ready to have a ghoully good time.
Image by the Bethany Beach Boardwalk Arts Festival
Mark Your Calendar for these Early Fall Events in the Delaware Beaches
By Kelsey Thomas
The end of summer sparks a series of fun and exciting events that will take place throughout Delaware Beaches, from Lewes, Rehoboth Beach and Dewey Beach to Bethany Beach and Fenwick Island. Whether you’re searching for family-friendly events, food and drink events, live music or free festivals, you’ll have plenty of options to choose from. Here are our top five events happening in the Delaware Beaches at the start of fall.
Top 5 Early Fall Events in the Delaware Beaches
Aug. 28, 2021: 5th Annual Paddlefest
Spend a day on the water at Delaware Seashore State Park’s 5th Annual Paddlefest. Paddlefest is a four-mile course through the salt marsh creeks of the state park. Along the route, knowledgeable staff members will be stationed to talk about the local wildlife and history, as well as hand out snacks. There will even be a digital course map available for any smart phone. The Paddlefest After-Party will conclude the event, featuring a few food trucks and exhibitors.
Looking to find antique gems, vintage-ware items, and one-of-a-kind art forms? Head on out to the Lewes Historical Society Campus at 110 Shipcarpenter Street to experience the Annual Outdoor Antiques, Vintage & Artisans Fair. This event, put on by the Lewes Historical Society, will feature artisan and vintage dealers, as well as food vendors and music.
Sept. 11, 2021: 43rd Annual Bethany Beach Boardwalk Arts Festival
Savor the end of summer in downtown Bethany Beach. The 43rd Annual Bethany Beach Boardwalk Arts Festival, hosted by the Bethany-Fenwick Area Chamber of Commerce, will feature a variety of fine artists showcasing their work, which will include paintings, clay, baskets, porcelain, jewelry and much more. There will also be live music and a silent auction sponsored by Jayne’s Reliable that will take place on the Bethany Beach Bandstand from 10 am – 2 pm.
The Rehoboth Beach Bears, a 501(c)3 non-profit organization dedicated to promoting camaraderie and inclusion, is hosting their biggest flagship event and fundraiser at the Atlantic Sands Hotel & Convention Center. The 6th Annual Rehoboth Beach Bears Weekend will begin with a welcoming dinner Wednesday evening, followed by a series of activities and events throughout the weekend, including an Early Halloween Freak Show and Costume Contest on Friday and performances by LGBT comedian Eric Hahn on Saturday. Reservations must be made through the hotel using group code #10173. There are only 300 spots available so reserve yours today.
Sept. 24, 2021: Craft Beer and Brewery Retreat
Quench your thirst at Canalside Inn’s Craft Beer and Brewery Retreat in Rehoboth Beach. This 3 day, 2 night excursion will allow you to experience popular Southern Delaware breweries, including Dogfish Head, Big Oyster, Dewey Beer Co., Iron Hill Brewery and others. Not only will you be able to go beer tasting and brewery touring, but you’ll also gain VIP access to Canalside Inn’s Oktoberfest Event held on Sept. 21, 2021.
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.”
Lefty’s Alley and Eats has brought the first ever axe throwing activity to Lewes!
Lefty’s located in Lewes Delaware, converted an old storage area into what is now the axe throwing arena. The private axe throwing room has two lanes with tons of seating for up to 12.
Lefty’s had been thinking about ways to expand the business and that the axe throwing idea has been a dream for 2 years now. Due to COVID-19, Lefty’s took advantage of the shut down, and moved full steam ahead renovating for the project.
“It’s like darts on steroids. But honestly the way the game works is a lot like golf in my opinion. It’s about technique and finesse, not all about brute force,” said D.J. Hill with Lefty’s.
Both throwing lanes have two large wooden boards at one end. What we were told is the closer you can throw your axe at the bullseye, the more points ya make… kinda like throwing darts?? Axe throwing is not as easy as it sounds though. Austin Robert is the onsite expert! Austin works with each group, laying down the ground rules. He makes sure everyone stays safe and passes along a few teaching skills to help everyone hit a bullseye.
Governor Carney announced new restrictions on private and public gatherings. But Hill says this will not take away from any of the fun, it will just keep things safer.
“It’s 2020 right? So the best we can do is rent this space by the hour for one specific group. It’s a private rental space. A minimum of 8 and max of 12, preferably from the same household,” said Hill.
The private area is perfect for birthday parties, team-building events, bachelor/bachelorette parties, reunions, or just a fun night out with friends. To find out more about making a reservation or general details, visits Lefty’s website: https://iloveleftys.com/axe-throwing
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.
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.
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.
Tips to Stay Safe in the Surf and Sand at the Delaware Beaches
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.
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.
Mark Your Calendar for these March Events in the Delaware Beaches
The month of March is full of fun and exciting events in the Delaware Beaches, from Lewes, Rehoboth Beach and Dewey Beach to Bethany Beach and Fenwick Island. Whether you’re searching for family-friendly events, food and drink events, live music or free festivals, you’ll have plenty of options to choose from. Be sure to pick up a Delaware Beaches Visitors Guide to find even more events happening throughout the year.
Top 5 March Events in the Delaware Beaches
Here are our top five events happening in Bethany Beach, Rehoboth Beach and Lewes during March.
March 1: VegWinterFest
Stick to your resolution to eat better in the New Year by attending the VegWinterFest, Sunday March 1. This free festival, at the Lewes Public Library, is smaller version of Rehoboth Beach’s VegFest. Local chef Hari Cameron will teach a cooking class, demonstrate preparing plant-based whole foods and share best places to find fresh, local produce.
March 5: Beers for Barks
Raise funds for the Brandywine Valley SPCA while sipping craft beer at Beers for Barks. Come out to Crooked Hammock Brewery in Lewes for a beer. Twenty-five cents of every pint sold will be donated to the BVSPCA. Bring your pet to Crooked Hammock’s dog-friendly backyard.
March 7–8: 2nd Annual Delaware Resorts Health-Fitness & Leisure Expo
The Rehoboth Beach Film Society presents the fifth annual Rehoboth Beach Jewish Film Festival. The goal of the film festival is to deepen the awareness of Jewish cultures and experiences through the art of film.
March 14: 30th Annual Rehoboth Beach Chocolate Festival
Indulge your sweet tooth at the 30th Annual Rehoboth Beach Chocolate Festival. The Harry K Foundation hosts this event at the Atlantic Sands Hotel and Conference Center. Proceeds from this event go to feeding hungry children throughout Delaware through the Harry K Foundation School Food Pantries’ Backpack Program and the Baby Pantry.
Image from Bethany-Fenwick Area Chamber of Commerce
Spend Your Spring Break in Bethany Beach
Spring Break is the perfect time of year for all ages to visit Bethany Beach. Whether you’re a family with children, a group of teenagers or young adults, this coastal destination has something for every interest. You’ll find countless things to do during your spring break vacation in Bethany Beach.
From late February to mid-April, Bethany Beach has plenty of events. There’s sure to be something happening during your spring break vacation. Mark your calendar for one of the food festivals, arts and crafts shows, races and more.
Spend the Day at a Local State Park
Everyone knows that Bethany Beach is famous for its sandy coastline, but did you know that the city offers plenty of outdoor activities away from the beach? Visit one of the local parks for hiking, biking, kayaking and more. Cape Henlopen State Park and Delaware Seashore State Park are perfect destinations for some fun in the great outdoors.
Bethany Beach is an angler’s paradise year-round. However, spring is when flounder start biting again. Head to a dock along the bay or ocean where you can reel in one of the species of fish that call these waters their home. You can also rent a boat or go on a fishing charter for a longer excursion.
When the weather warms up, you’ll want to spend as much time as possible outside. Bethany Beach has a number of restaurants with outdoor patio seating and several that are right on the water. Enjoy the fresh seafood catch of the day while overlooking the Atlantic Ocean or inland bays.
Spring breakers age 21 and older will love having a beer, wine or cocktail at one of Bethany Beach’s local bars, breweries or wine bars. Many of these locations have outdoor seating so you can enjoy your drink in the sunshine.
Spring Break is the perfect time of year for all ages to visit Rehoboth Beach. Whether you’re a family with children, a group of teenagers or young adults, this coastal destination has something for every interest. You’ll find countless things to do during your spring break vacation in Rehoboth Beach.
From late February to mid-April, Rehoboth Beach has plenty of events. There’s sure to be something happening during your spring break vacation. Mark your calendar for one of the food festivals, arts and crafts shows, races and more.
Spend the Day at a Local State Park
Everyone knows that Rehoboth Beach is famous for its sandy coastline, but did you know that the city offers plenty of outdoor activities away from the beach? Visit one of the local parks for hiking, biking, kayaking and more. Cape Henlopen State Park and Delaware Seashore State Park are perfect destinations for some fun in the great outdoors.
Rehoboth Beach is an angler’s paradise year-round. However, spring is when flounder start biting again. Head to a dock along the bay or ocean where you can reel in one of the species of fish that call these waters their home. You can also rent a boat or go on a fishing charter for a longer excursion.
When the weather warms up, you’ll want to spend as much time as possible outside. Rehoboth Beach has a number of restaurants with outdoor patio seating and several that are right on the water. Enjoy the fresh seafood catch of the day while overlooking the Atlantic Ocean or inland bays.
Spring breakers age 21 and older will love having a beer, wine or cocktail at one of Rehoboth Beach’s local bars, breweries or wine bars. Many of these locations have outdoor seating so you can enjoy your drink in the sunshine.