31st Annual Sea Witch Festival® Returns to Rehoboth Beach

By Kelsey Thomas

Get Ready for a Wicked Good Time

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.

Hayrides

A fall classic, hayrides are such an awesome experience for any age. Climb aboard, and celebrate the season.

50/50 Raffle

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.


See our full calendar of events for more things to do in the Delaware Beaches.

5 Early Fall Events Happening in the Delaware Beaches in 2021

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.

Click here to read more about Delaware Seashore State Park.

Sept. 4, 2021: Annual Outdoor Antiques, Vintage & Artisans Fair

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.

Click here to learn how to visit Bethany Beach without breaking the bank.

Sept. 15 – 19, 2021: 6th Annual Rehoboth Beach Bears Weekend

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.

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.

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.”

Shopping at the Delaware Beaches

Diverse shopping excursions await even the most assiduous buyer. Find repurposed treasures at local antique stores or funky and fun finds at eclectic, locally owned boutiques. Visitors flock from all over to meander the sidewalks of our quaint towns, stopping to browse for furniture, designer clothes, unique gifts, one-of-a-kind art and local items from our historic markets. The region may seem small but the Delaware Beaches are packed with huge selection of trends and deals.

Antiques & Repurposing Shops

Those with a flair for antiques or repurposed furniture will love exploring our scenic, rural towns for one-of-a-kind furniture and goods. There are actually more than 500 antique dealers in the southern Delaware area in the form of antique shops, flea markets and auctions. Treasure hunters will adore the unique finds throughout the entire area, whether it’s antique furniture, jewelry, books or another, rare and extraordinary item to add to your collection.

Repurposing shops are alive in well throughout the Delaware Beaches. Fenwick Island is home to vintage and reclaimed furniture shops, where you can purchase their pieces or bring in your own piece for a custom application. If you’re looking for vintage furniture with modern elements, then head to Lewes for the latest new furniture collections.

Locally-Owned Markets

For 50 years, the Seaside Country store has been a Fenwick Island landmark for Delmarva locals and visitors. The history, tradition and charm have earned the Seaside Country store its reputation as “the most unusual store on the shore.”

With one step inside Seaside Country store, the delicious aroma of homemade fudge wafts through the air. Combined with the friendly staff and the variety of items, it’s no longer a simple shopping trip; instead, it’s an experience. From sensuous lotions and body washes and unique home décor items to women’s clothing and collectibles, the store offers shoppers an old-town feel with a modern and unique flair.

And how could the experience be anything but exciting and fun? Since the store is open from March to November, the staff completely restocks before the start of the new season. By doing so, the Vickers and their staff provide customers with a new, fresh and unique inventory. No matter what you are looking for, you will find it at Seaside.

For a beach bonfire or fine dining at home check out G&E/Hocker’s in Bethany Beach, a unique and family-owned supermarket where customers can enjoy fresh, top-choice steaks, which are hand-cut to your liking, in-house seasoned and smoked high-quality pulled pork, all-beef hotdogs, sausage, ribs, turkey and more—all served from an authentic butcher shop for over 50 years.

Outlet Shopping

An incredibly popular place to shop is at the outlet malls on Delaware’s Route 1. Who doesn’t love finding delicious deals on high-end products? In fact, the Rehoboth outlets have become so popular that The Washington Post has published shopping tips and travel articles on the outlet malls alone!

Browse through well-known shops as well as stores only found in Delaware as you discover apparel for all ages, accessories, entertainment stores, dining and more all in one area. You will find yourself walking out of one store and quickly spotting your next stop to continue shopping for jaw-dropping deals and tax-free items. With all the trendiest brands the outlets have to offer, you will have no choice but to treat yourself!

Click here to read about shopping at Tanger Outlets Rehoboth.

Beach Rentals

The rental shops throughout Delaware Beaches provide everything you will need to have a perfect beach vacation. Biking is a popular beach hobby, and there are enough bike shops for you to find that stylish beach cruiser you’ve been dreaming of. You will find water sport rental shops offering rentals for stand-up paddleboards, pontoon and jet boats, jet skis and more. There are also places to rent beach items, such as lounge chairs and towels, so if you’ve left something at home, there’s no need to worry—we’ve got you covered like a beach umbrella in the warm sun.

Click here to read about shopping in Fenwick Island.


Tax-Free Shopping Year-Round

From the quaint antique shops in Lewes to the eclectic boutiques in downtown Rehoboth, shopping takes on many forms in the Delaware Beaches. People come from all over to roam the streets of our charming towns, stopping to window shop or browse for unique gifts, original artwork, designer clothing and more. What makes Delaware shopping so special is that it is tax-free seven days a week, 365 days a year!

Delaware does not impose a state or local sales tax, making the state a shopper’s paradise.

Purchase everything from name-brand clothing and designer accessories to new tech gadgets—all tax free!

After your shopping excursion, you’ve probably worked up an appetite. Your tax-free day continues with a delicious meal at one of the local restaurants.

Stop into a local brewery or distillery and pick up something to take home—all available for tax-free purchase.