5 Tips for Planning a Vacation to Bethany Beach on a Budget

Image from Mathieu Turle

Save on Your Vacation to Bethany Beach

A trip to Bethany Beach and Fenwick Island is the perfect time to unwind and let your cares drift out into the ocean. From finding the perfect hotel or beachfront rental, to enjoying all of the watersports, attractions and activities possible, it’s easy for your vacation to become pricey. However, a trip to Bethany Beach does not have to break the bank.

Fun in the sun on Delaware’s coastline can be enjoyed on any budget. As you’re planning your Bethany Beach and Fenwick Island vacation, keep these helpful money-saving tips in mind.

Click here to read more about Bethany Beach and Fenwick Island.

5 Tips for Planning a Vacation to Bethany Beach on a Budget

Here are five tips for saving money when you visit Bethany Beach and Fenwick Island.

  1. Avoid Peak Vacation Times

Major holidays and weekends are the busiest times of year to visit the Bethany-Fenwick area. Many hotels charge increased rates from Memorial Day through Labor Day. In addition to this time of year being more expensive, it’s also when the beaches are most populated, meaning rooms typically get booked faster than normal.

If possible, plan your beach getaway for a weekday or in September when schools are back in session and rates are lower.

Fortunately, Bethany Beach was named one of the 10 Best Uncrowded Atlantic Beaches, so chances are you’ll easily find your own piece of paradise no matter what time of year you visit.

  1. Plan Your Vacation Ahead of Time

Planning your vacation ahead of time is one of the best and easiest ways to save money. This gives you more time to budget and plan for the accommodations, attractions and activities you’ll want to enjoy when you get to Bethany Beach and Fenwick Island.

Click here to read about family-friendly attractions in Fenwick Island.

If you plan on taking your vacation in the summer, start planning now. Winter is the best time of year to plan your summer vacation. Not only will you have the excitement of your trip for months, you will also be able to take advantage of early booking offers.

Click here to read more about planning your summer vacation in advance.

  1. Start Saving Early

Once you have your dates set, start saving your money. When you budget for a vacation, you have to keep in mind all of your expenses, including accommodations, transportation, meals and activities. Instead of getting overwhelmed by this number, put a little aside from each paycheck up until your trip. Every cent can help make sure you have the funds for a fantastic trip.

  1. Choose Accommodations Away from the Busy Areas

While it may be tempting to want to stay right near the beach and near the best attractions in Bethany Beach, it can be more expensive.

There are plenty of great hotels, motels and campsites that are less expensive and away from the busier parts of town. Rental properties can also be more budget friendly compared to hotels. Take advantage of your rental home’s kitchen to save on meals.

  1. Utilize the Delaware Beaches Visitors Guide

When you arrive to Bethany Beach and Fenwick Island, be sure to pick up a Delaware Beaches Visitors Guide. Inside, you’ll find information on family-friendly activities and attractions, as well as restaurants, shopping watersports and more. There are also plenty of coupons towards some of the area’s most popular businesses.

Before you leave, browse the DelawareBeaches.guide for even more travel tips, recommendations, coupons and more.

Click here for Bethany Beach coupons.

Bethany Beach 10 Best

Bethany Beach Named One of the 10 Best Uncrowded Atlantic Beaches

The Delaware Beaches have several destinations to enjoy some quality relaxation by the water. The Bethany Beach-Fenwick Island area is known as “the quiet resorts” thanks to the pristine beaches, peaceful inland bays, wooded parks and more locales for relaxation. Bethany Beach was recently named on of USA Today’s 10 Best “Uncrowded Beaches on the Atlantic Ocean.”

The USA Today 10 Best is a ranking accumulated by online readers. Bethany Beach earned the votes thanks to the area’s peaceful beach. Escape the hustle and bustle of nearby Rehoboth Beach for a more serene escape to Bethany Beach.

Things to Do in Bethany Beach

There’s so much to do in Bethany Beach, aside from relaxing on the uncrowded beaches. The tranquil resort town is known not only for its uncrowded, family-friendly beach, but also for the area’s shopping, dining scene and water activities.

Bethany Beach boardwalk

Once you’re finished unwinding in the sand, explore more of Bethany Beach’s pristine environments. Coastal Kayak offers kayak and paddleboard tours through some of the Delaware coast’s waterways. Book one of the eco tours to get a closer look at area wildlife and the natural environment.

Click here for a Coastal Kayak coupon.

For family-friendly fun on land, head to Captain Jack’s Pirate Golf. Captain Jack’s is the only mini golf course in Bethany Beach. The pirate-themed course offers fun for all ages. Be sure to also talk a walk on the old-fashioned Bethany Beach Boardwalk. While the Bethany Beach Boardwalk does not offer any amusement-style rides and carnival games, you can find quintessential beach shops, eateries and a bandstand.

If you’re hungry for more than just boardwalk bites, Bethany Beach has several fantastic restaurants that provide not just a great meal, but also a beautiful view. Big Chill Beach Club is one of Bethany Beach’s most popular restaurants, serving filling boardwalk-inspired food, refreshing cocktails and unmatched views. Be sure to satisfy your sweet tooth with a trip to Candy Kitchen.

Click here for a Big Chill Beach Club coupon.

Click here for Candy Kitchen coupon.

Dogfish Head Brewings & Eats

Delaware’s Favorite Craft Beer Company is Serving Up More

Since 1995, Dogfish Head Brewery has been cultivating award-winning craft beers. The brewery first opened in Rehoboth and has expanded to shipping its beer to over 35 states. Dogfish Head has become a leader in the craft beer industry, receiving acclaim from beer enthusiasts all over the country.

Dogfish Head has become so much more than just a brewpub in a small beach town. Today, the company has expanded to a distillery and owns three restaurants and an Inn along the Lewes-Rehoboth Canal. Those visiting Rehoboth Beach should experience the popular craft beer for themselves, along with fantastic food and live entertainment, at the Dogfish Head Brewings & Eats brewpub in downtown Rehoboth.

Dogfish Head Brewings & Eats Menu

You’ll find several restaurants in Rehoboth Beach but Brewings & Eats sets themselves apart by offering a mix of classic pub fare and innovative cuisine. Indulge in dishes like seafood tacos made with locally caught seafood, pretzel bites served with 90 Minute IPA cheddar dipping sauce, buffalo chicken macaroni and cheese, as well as salads, sandwiches, wood-fried pizzas and wood-grilled burgers.

The brewpub is a family-friendly environment. Even the pickiest eaters will find something to enjoy from the kid-friendly menu. Options include chicken nuggets, pizza, hot dogs, grilled cheese and more.

Finish your meal with a pint or something sweet from the dessert menu.

The kitchen stays open late, especially on weekends. Whether you stop by Brewings & Eats for a new beer release, cocktail or live music, you can also grab a meal from the late-night menu. Several pizzas are available as well as their Brie-Schetta, Wood-Fired Brussels Sprouts and chicken wings.

On Tap

Dogfish Head Brewings & Eats has over 25 beers on tap, including fan-favorites 60 Minute IPA, 90 Minute IPA, SeaQuench Ale and more. You can also sip on seasonal releases, Brewpub exclusives, cask-conditioned beers and handcrafted cocktails from Dogfish Head Distilling Co.

Sunday Brunch

Don’t miss Sunday brunch at Dogfish Head Brewings & Eats. Start your meal with the brewpub’s twist on classic brunch cocktails. Or, get a flight of brew-mosas made with SeaQuench Ale.

The brunch food menu is similar to the brewpub’s main inventive menu. Chicken &Waffles get a new spin, as the chicken is brined in Flesh & Blood IPA and served with a spicy maple syrup. You can also order the breakfast pizza and Delaware Toast. More traditional dishes include a bacon, egg and cheese sandwich and the Simple Breakfast platter.

Events and Entertainment at Dogfish Head Brewings & Eats

The brewpub showcases a 220-square-foot stage, equipped with a professional sound and lighting system. While you enjoy your beer and meal, listen to music from talented local, regional and national bands and artists. You can find a full schedule of live music here.

In addition to live music, Brewings & Eats also plays host to events throughout the year.

Chesapeake & Maine

If you like your Dogfish Head beer paired with seafood, head next door from Brewings & Eats to Chesapeake & Maine. Inspired by the Chesapeake Bay region and summers in Maine, Chesapeake & Maine serves seafood sourced straight from the Chesapeake and Maine region.

The restaurant’s casual, nautical décor lends to the menu, influenced by the coast, handcrafted cocktails and, of course, Dogfish Head beer. There’s even a raw bar serving a seasonal selection of oysters, clams and more. Chesapeake & Maine’s made-from-scratch cocktails, made with Dogfish Head Distilling Co. spirits, earned the restaurant a semi-final spot in the James Beard Award “Best Bar Program.”

Dogfish Head restaurant

Off-Centered Society

Frequent visitors to Dogfish Head Brewings & Eats, Dogfish Inn, Chesapeake & Maine, Off-Centered EmPOURium and the Dogfish Head tasting room in Milton should become members of the Off-Centered Society mug club. Members receive advance notice about events and rewards for each time they visit all of the locations.

To sign up, visit one of Dogfish Head’s properties and pay the $25 annual fee.

More Information About Dogfish Head Brewings & Eats

Dogfish Head Brewings & Eats is located at 320 Rehoboth Ave. in Rehoboth Beach. Street parking is available along Rehoboth Avenue.

Beginning June 23, the Jolly Trolley will offer shuttle service to and from Dogfish Head Brewings & Eats, the Dogfish Inn or the Dogfish Head Brewery location in Milton. For more information, visit Dogfish.com.

Hours

The Dogfish Head Brewings & Eats is open Sunday–Thursday from 11 a.m.–11 p.m., Friday and Saturday from 11 a.m.–1 a.m. and for Sunday brunch from 11 a.m.–3 p.m.

Plan an Event at Brewings & Eats

Host your party or event at Brewings & Eats for an unforgettable experience. The brewpub can accommodate up to 200 guests. Dining options include plated meals, cocktail style, family style and buffet stations. Of course, Dogfish Head’s selection of beer, wine and cocktails will also be served. Rent the entire restaurant or just the upstairs mezzanine to accommodate up to 36 guests.

Restaurants in Rehoboth Beach

 

Rehoboth Beach is known for its famous boardwalk and family-friendly beach. When you aren’t soaking up the sun, you’ll want to grab a bite from one of the area’s restaurants. Whether you’re in the mood for fresh seafood, a romantic modern restaurant or comfort food with a view of the Atlantic Ocean, restaurants in Rehoboth Beach have a variety of choices and locales that you’re sure to love.

Restaurants on the Rehoboth Beach Boardwalk

During your trip to Rehoboth Beach, you could spend all day exploring the shops and attractions on the mile-long boardwalk. Sure, there are plenty of ice cream stands and spots to grab a quick snack, but take advantage of the fantastic view and enjoy a sit-down meal.

These restaurants not only offer the convenience of being right by the boardwalk, you’ll also enjoy a meal right on the water. Start or end your day on the boardwalk with a meal at one of the restaurants located right on the Rehoboth Beach Boardwalk.

Atlantic Boardwalk Grille

Located in the Atlantic Sands Hotel is a casual café serving classic American dishes. Atlantic Boardwalk Grille is a full-service oceanfront restaurant and bar right along the boardwalk. The restaurant has seating inside as well as outside on the open-air patio. Come in the morning for the all-you-can-eat breakfast buffet, or stop it later in the day for lunch, dinner or a cocktail.

Grotto Pizza

You can never go wrong with pizza. Grotto Pizza has been serving Rehoboth Beach locals and visitors since 1963. The family-friendly restaurant, open year-round, uniquely serves the sauce on top of the cheese and toppings of their pizzas. In addition to the “legendary” pizzas, Grotto also offers salads, hamburgers and buffalo chicken wings.

Gus & Gus Place

Rehoboth-Beach-boardwalk-restaurants

For classic eats along the boardwalk, visit Gus & Gus Place, a Rehoboth Beach landmark. With over 60 years of history, Gus & Gus has been serving up hotdogs, burgers, fries and more to hungry beach goers. Choose from eating inside the restaurant or grabbing your food to go through the walk-up window. Head to the back of the restaurant and order Gus & Gus’ crispy fried chicken to go along with your meal.

The Greene Turtle Sports Bar & Grille

For rooftop oceanfront views on the Rehoboth Beach Boardwalk, grab a cold beer and pub food at The Greene Turtle. This popular sports bar is also a family-friendly restaurant. Come for lunch, happy hour or dinner and make selections from their large menu, including a options for kids, burgers, seafood and shareable appetizers. If the food and drink offerings don’t draw you in, the fantastic view of the ocean will.

Obie’s By The Sea

A summertime favorite, Obie’s by the Sea is a massive restaurant and bar with indoor and outdoor seating providing views of the Atlantic Ocean. Walk right in from the boardwalk for lunch and dinner. The whole family will love Obie’s crab dishes, burgers, fries and catch of the day. Beat the summer heat with a fruit smoothie, both alcoholic and non-alcoholic.

Victoria’s Restaurant

For more refined eats on the boardwalk, Victoria’s Restaurant serves breakfast, lunch and dinner. Located in the Boardwalk Plaza Hotel, Victoria’s three-tiered dining room provides unmatched views of the beach and boardwalk. There’s even an outdoor patio, right on the boardwalk, for those who want to dine al fresco. Victoria’s is perfect for an intimate and romantic dinner. Those staying at the Boardwalk Plaza Hotel can even order room service from Victoria’s full menu.

Click here to learn more about hotels in Rehoboth Beach.

Seafood Restaurants in Rehoboth Beach

Rehoboth-Beach-seafood-restaurants

Since Rehoboth is a coastal town, you can certainly expect the freshest seafood on your plate. Local seafood restaurants embrace the tide-to-table movement to serve you fresh, locally-caught seafood, including blue crabs, rockfish, tautog, flounder and more. Here are three of the best seafood restaurants in Rehoboth Beach.

Henlopen City Oyster House

A favorite among locals and visitors, the Henlopen City Oyster House features a plethora of oyster dishes. Select an offering from the raw bar or enjoy your oysters fried, baked steamed or in a shooter. Open for lunch and dinner, Henlopen City Oyster House creates their dishes using the freshest, locally-sourced ingredients. The menu includes other seafood offerings like scallops, crab legs, mussels and shrimp. Henlopen City Oyster House is a bit more high-end than Rehoboth’s other seafood restaurants, making this a great spot for adults looking for some time away from the kids.

Big Fish Grill

Voted “Best Seafood at the Beach” by Delaware Today countless years, Big Fish Grill is a staple in Rehoboth Beach. The casual restaurant serves your favorite seafood dishes at an affordable price. Open for lunch and dinner, Big Fish boasts an extensive menu of offerings such as raw oysters, mussels, shrimp, lobster and more. Take advantage of the daily specials to receive the fresh catch of the day. Big Fish’s happy hour features discounted beer, wine and cocktails along with specials on raw oysters, the sushi bar and appetizers.

Fin’s Fish House & Raw Bar

Taking advantage of the local offerings from the sea, Fin’s Fish House & Raw Bar has over 30 oysters in rotation on their menu. Great for families, friends and couples, Fin’s embraces Rehoboth’s beach setting in their casual dining room. Stop by for happy hour and enjoy discounted oysters, clams, shrimp, mussels and more, as well as beer and wine. Check Fin’s website to find out about the daily specials like Tuesday’s half-priced fish dinners or Thursday’s discounted crab cakes.

Upscale Restaurants in Rehoboth Beach

Rehoboth-Beach-fine-dining-restaurants

While Rehoboth is a very casual coastal community, that doesn’t mean all of your dining experiences have to be. Treat yourself to a sophisticated meal at an upscale restaurant. This can be the perfect, candlelit dinner for a romantic night out, or just a chance to enjoy a high-quality meal from an award-winning Rehoboth Beach chef. Rehoboth Beach has a number of fine-dining restaurants ranging from American, Italian and French cuisine to vegan and more eclectic offerings. Here are three of the best upscale restaurants in Rehoboth Beach.

La Fable

Transport your taste buds to an authentic French bistro when you dine at La Fable. The cozy and intimate atmosphere is perfect for couples wanting to have a romantic evening in Rehoboth Beach. The menu features traditional French and high-end fare, including escargot, braised beef, duck confit and more. While the menu offerings are succinct, you won’t find anywhere else in the area with such fine, authentic cuisine.

Blue Moon Rehoboth

Blue Moon Rehoboth offers sophisticated food and talented entertainment in downtown Rehoboth. Located in a restored Victorian home, Blue Moon has been ranked as one of Delaware’s best restaurants for years. Blue Moon is open for dinner and their award-winning Sunday brunch. The menu is constantly changing to utilize the freshest ingredients, including local seafood. Have a glass of wine with your meal that was selected to complement the menu. While you eat, enjoy a cabaret-style performance or lively karaoke.

1776 Restaurant

Nothing says fine-dining like dinner at a steakhouse. 1776 Steakhouse is one of the few steakhouses in the Rehoboth Beach area. The steakhouse, also open for lunch, serves the highest quality cuts of meat. In addition to the premium dry-aged cuts of meat, 1776 also offers pasta, seafood, chicken and vegetarian options. Have a glass of beer, wine or a handcrafted cocktail with your meal, then wind down with one of their decadent desserts.

During your Rehoboth Beach getaway, you may not want to splurge on dining. Not to worry. There are plenty of restaurants in Rehoboth Beach that offer quality food at a cheap price. These range from mom-and-pop diners serving comfort food to bars with filling beach bites at a bargain.

From the boardwalk to downtown Rehoboth, fantastic restaurants are waiting for you during your Rehoboth Beach vacation.

Local Libations of the Delaware Beaches

A Sip of Summer on the Delaware Beaches

Summer vacation is all about indulging and enjoying life. At the Delaware Beaches, enjoy the sand in your toes and the sound of waves crashing as you sip on the ice-cold beverage in your hand. Whether you’re a craft beer connoisseur or you just want to cool off with a frozen cocktail, you’re sure to find the perfect summer libation.

According to Josh Grapski, managing partner of La Vida Hospitality, Delaware’s craft beverage scene is booming with new breweries and distilleries.

Craft Beer on the Delaware Beaches

Local industry leaders like Dogfish Head Brewery introduced the area to the craft beer scene and led the way for smaller breweries like Crooked Hammock in Lewes. Crooked Hammock specializes in “easy drinking” craft-beers. Grab a pint of their signature Wai Ola California-style coconut beer, while you listen to live music in their beer garden.

Grapski says the craft beer scene has created a sub-tourism business for the area through tours and tastings. Follow along the Delaware Beer, Wine & Spirits Trail for a thirst-quenching experience. With several participating breweries near the coast, you can take a tour of the facilities, enjoy tastings and make memories while enjoying the state’s finest craft beverages.

The Delaware Beaches’ Twist on Classic Cocktails

While innovation is emerging along the coastline, the easygoing, fun drinking scene has not been forgotten. Grapski says that the Delaware Beaches lay claim to being the home of the crushes, plus you can never go wrong with a margarita. However, you’ll find more than just the traditional orange crush and frozen margarita.

Bartenders in the Delaware Beaches take classic recipes and put a twist on them. Fork and Flask at Nage in Rehoboth Beach takes an artisanal approach to their cocktails. Try a jalapeño watermelon margarita or their classic Summer Lovin’, made with raspberry vodka and white cranberry.

Sip a Vintage from Delaware’s First Winery

During your trip to the Delaware Beaches, head to Lewes to visit Delaware’s first and only winery, Nassau Valley Vineyards. Peg Raley and her father Bob established the vineyard on a family-owned farm site outside of Lewes back in 1993. At that time, state laws did not allow farm wineries. Peg drafted laws and convinced the Delaware General Assembly to create legislation for farm wineries.

Nassau Valley Vineyards produces 13 wines, crafted from Eastern Shore grapes and fruits, as well as regionally-grown fruit. Taste the varied wines, from the barrel-aged cabernet to a French-style rosé. For dessert, try their 2012 Peach Ambrosia, crafted from 100 percent fermented peach juice.

Take a tour of Nassau Valley’s winery along a self-guided or guided group tour. Discover your new favorite of their award-winning wines in the tasting room and even sip on some of their unique small batch wines.

From Rehoboth to Lewes, the perfect sip of summer is waiting to be imbibed in the Delaware Beaches.

Crossing Terrapins on Delaware’s Route 1

Why did the turtle cross the road? To lay her eggs!

Each year, just as people are heading for the beaches, so are the female Diamondback terrapins. The terrapin lives in the Delaware Inland Bays, but the females lay their eggs in the soft sands of the beach dunes, and mid-May to mid-July is their nesting season.

Dangers to Diamondback Terrapins

Some of these beloved creatures are killed crossing Coastal Highway. Unfortunately, nearly all the terrapins that are killed are adult females. Because they can live for 25–30 years and can continue to reproduce for two decades, every female lost is also a loss of all her potential offspring.

Protecting Diamondback Terrapins

One solution is more sandy beach habitats on the bays. But these natural areas are becoming rarer and rarer as shorelines are hardened with rip rap and stone. As an alternative to bulkheads and riprap, the Delaware Center for the Inland Bays, a nonprofit organization committed to the protection and preservation of the watershed and local marine life, recommends installing a “living shoreline.” This is a term used to describe a number of options that reduce wave energy, trap sediment and filter runoff, while maintaining (or increasing) beach or wetland habitat. Such habitat can protect Diamondback terrapin populations by providing areas for feeding and growth.

What can you do to help the Diamondback Terrapins?

  • Drive slowly on Route 1 (Coastal Highway) between Dewey Beach and Bethany Beach from May through July.
    The females will be crossing the road from the bay side to the ocean side to nest in the Atlantic dunes and lay their eggs. It is a dangerous crossing for these gentle animals.
  • Leave extra distance between you and the car in front of you.
    Cars may stop suddenly or swerve. If you are following too closely you may be unable to react in time to avoid a terrapin.
  • Use extra care at nighttime.
    The terrapins nest round-the-clock and are very hard to see in the dark.
  • If you see a terrapin in the road and want to help, use caution when stopping.
    Pick her up gently on each side of her shell and place her behind the terrapin fencing on the bay side. She won’t bite, but be prepared; she will be frightened and will flail her back legs that have sharp claws.
  • Don’t drop her under any circumstance.
    She and her eggs may be injured. If you are scratched, don’t worry, the terrapin does not transmit disease.

Adult females can live 25–30 years and will reproduce for 20 years and produce 8–36 eggs per year if allowed to live. Please help them cross the road safely. Keep pets and people away from their nests.

Facts About Diamondback Terrapins

  • Diamondback terrapins are non-migratory and spend their entire lives in bays, creeks, salt marshes and coves.
  • Terrapins do not reach maturity until a minimum age of 6, and then produce only 8–36 eggs per year. This low reproductive potential means that female terrapins must reproduce for many years in order for the population to grow or remain stable.
  • The terrapin is considered an aquatic organism, but female terrapins must lay their eggs in open, sandy areas to successfully reproduce. These are among the few times that terrapins exit the water.
  • Although little is known about the behavior of very young terrapins, juveniles and hatchlings spend a lot time on marshy shoreline searching for food such as arthropods, clams, crabs and small crustaceans.
  • Because of alternating areas of sandy beaches and marsh waters, the natural shoreline around the Inland Bays is an excellent terrapin habitat.
  • Habitat loss is a significant threat to the continued existence of the Diamondback terrapin in the Delaware Beaches. Beach nesting areas are universally and permanently being altered through riprapping, bulk heading and other shoreline stabilizing practices.
  • Shoreline stabilization that uses bulkheads or riprap destroys the narrow strip that has suitable sandy material required for nesting as well as high beach elevations necessary for the successful development of terrapin eggs.
  • If terrapins nest in areas that are not sufficiently above the high tide, the developing embryos can drown. Or if they lay their eggs in higher, grassy areas, eggs and hatchlings can become entrapped or killed by grasses.
  • It is estimated that only two percent of terrapin eggs hatch, owing largely to predation by foxes, skunks and raccoons, which dig into nests and consume the eggs and baby terrapins.
  • Surviving hatchlings emerging from the nest are often eaten by gulls and crows or by herons and predatory fish after entering the water.
  • Traditional nesting areas have been severely and permanently altered by waterfront development.
  • Beach habitat is critical to the continued existence of terrapins. Research indicates that more than 95% of breeding females return to a particular area to nest year after year.