What I Love About the Delaware Beaches

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.”

Delaware Beaches Itineraries for Every Interest

Whether you come for the family fun, the romantic leisure or the exhilarating activities, you’ll find it all in the Delaware Beaches.

Just as no two places are alike and no two people are alike, it’s also true that no two vacations are alike. Luckily the experiences in this East Coast state aren’t tailored to any one specific type of person or family. The region is so varied that it’s easy to customize your own vacation with activities and excursions that fit your idea of fun. No matter if you’re looking for an enjoyable family getaway, a romantic trip for two or an adventurous journey filled with outdoor options galore, there’s a vacation itinerary to fit your one-of-a-kind personality.

Family Fun for Everyone

Vacationers of all ages will love these family-friendly excursions!

Day 1

All the kids’ necessities are packed, and you’re ready for a vacation. As soon as your troop arrives in Delaware, take everyone down to the water park in Rehoboth Beach or Fenwick Island. The kids will love slipping and sliding in the water, and you’ll have a great time relaxing by a pool.

Day 2

Get your family up and out of bed for a sun and fun-filled beach day! The beach is the perfect place to splash in the waves with your family, and best of all—it’s free! Afterwards, take a step back in time for an old-time photo portrait as you dress up in a range of distinctive costumes from your favorite era or take a family portrait on the beach by a professional photographer for some unforgettable memories.

Day 3

Slip aboard a pirate ship for a swashbuckling good time! Dress in pirate attire, and use your map to discover where sunken treasure might be lying. Don’t forget to practice your “Arrrg” beforehand!

Day 4

Laser tag, bumper cars and tokens make for a full day’s worth of fun! Get thrilled on some awesome amusement park rides with your family, and laugh together as you make some family fun memories.

Day 5

If you want family fun with an exciting edge, try racing one another in some go-karts! Kids will love driving cars all on their own. Go-karts are a safe way to let them go wild on the track and zoom past you in a safe—and fun—environment.

Day 6

No matter who you are or where you’re visiting from, summer is the season for mini golf! This “mini” sport is great for all ages, giving everyone a competitive edge with fun obstacles and themes.

Day 7

Spend your last day at a day camp where your kids can participate in a range of indoor and outdoor activities that are creative, recreational and educational. While the kids are enjoying their day, treat yourself by perusing the boardwalk and visiting neat souvenir stores and clothing boutiques complete with unique jewelry, whimsical toys and gifts.


Teen’s Dream

Think your teenagers are hard to please? We guarantee there’s an activity for them!

Day 1

Load up the gang and spend an afternoon or evening playing a rousing game of paintball! Everything you’ll need is supplied for you, and you’ll have a blast aiming and firing bright, colorful balls of paint at one another. Play during the day or at night under the lights!

Day 2

The waves of the area are perfect year-round, so why not learn how to surf in the vast Atlantic Ocean while you’re here?  There are plenty of places you can rent a surfboard and get a private lesson from experts who work with people of all ages and skill levels until they stand up on their board and catch their very first wave!

Day 3

There’s something about pizza that brings everyone together, and for teens, this idea is no different. Crowd around a savory pie and watch a movie a free movie on the beach, or just take time to talk and find out what’s going on in their lives.

Day 4

Brush up on your gaming skills by taking everyone to an arcade. Battle with your teens (in a good way) at classic favorites, or try something new together. The loser owes the winner an ice cream cone!

Day 5

Wait until your teens return to school, bragging to all their friends about the awesome time they had parasailing. This high-flying activity is thrilling enough to take them to the edge but still safe enough to give parents some peace of mind.

Day 6

Even teenagers enjoy getting in touch with nature. Take advantage of the miles of bay front coastline by renting a kayak. Nothing could be better than enjoying the cool breezes from your own waterfront view.

Day 7

You may not like their music, and they may think your music is old fashioned. But with Delaware’s variety of concerts and festivals held all year, you’re sure to find a group you can both vibe to. Check out who will be performing during your stay.


Trip for Two

You’ll fall in love with these romantic ideas just for couples!

Day 1

Pack your trunk with swim suits and walking shoes because Delaware Shore is the place to enjoy those sunny days with your significant other. As soon as you arrive, the salty smell of the ocean will make you crave some freshly caught seafood. Restaurants in the Delaware Beaches offer huge selections of seafood as well as other popular items like sushi, fresh fish and shrimp delicacies guaranteed to delight! Swing by an upscale oceanfront restaurant for a romantic dinner for two.

Day 2

Wake up early to experience a sunrise complete with peaceful crashes of the ocean’s waves. The serene relaxation of the early morning in Bethany Beach is the best way to enjoy each other’s company without the normal hustle and bustle. After you see the sun’s spectacular rays glistening across the water, enjoy a scrumptious breakfast at a boardwalk restaurant where you can watch surfers showing off on the waves.

Day 3

Today is a nice day to relax and soak up the sun. Sprawl out those beach chairs and umbrellas, and delight in a relaxing. Once you’ve absorbed a few rays, grab some kites to fly. This nostalgic activity becomes brand new when attempted with the one you love.

Day 4

You and your honey can shop for unique treasures at a country store, or buy some new clothes during an outing in Rehoboth. Later, put your new wardrobe to good use when you enjoy a night on the town at any of the oceanfront’s exciting bars, or grab some nostalgic treats like candy or ice cream on the boardwalk.

Day 5

Ever wanted to give fishing a try? There’s nothing better than reeling in a catch at Fenwick Island State Park. Have your spouse help you out if you’re new to fishing, or teach your significant other something new that you’re good at! Tons of flounder, yellow fin tuna and blue marlin glide through the ocean every day!

Day 6

Learn something new this vacation by exploring a nearby museum. Check out event schedules to see what programs and exhibits are showing, and spend some time enjoying the calm indoors. If you leave feeling inspired, visit an art shop and buy a new piece that will add flavor and pizzazz to your home.

Day 7

There’s nothing more romantic than getting married, and beach weddings are one of the most popular themes among the engaged! The Delaware Shore has dozens of beachside resorts, restaurants and clubs, making a wedding reception a once-in-a-lifetime experience. Party with family and friends right in the sand, and watch the sun set on the most magical day of your lives. 


Adrenaline Junkies’ Paradise

Endless adventure for the outdoor explorers

Day 1

Take to a new form of transportation by learning the popular pastime of stand up paddleboarding. All you need is a board and paddle, and you’re ready to get started. Aside from connecting with the gorgeous nature that Delaware has to offer, this sport is also a great workout and successful in improving strength and balance. During your experience you’ll enjoy incredible views of the horizon and possibly even some sea creatures such as dolphins. Once you master this sport, you’ll be able to take the skills with you anywhere you go!

Day 2

Explore the ocean on a personal watercraft. Zoom on the ocean at quick speeds, leaping over gigantic waves. Whether sitting down or standing up, your heart will be racing the whole time.

Day 3

Start the day by soaking up the sun on some of Delaware’s best patios as you enjoy a delicious brunch served with a fresh mimosa or Bloody Mary. Later, stroll through the many one-of-a-kind boutiques to find that perfect treasure for the ones back home that couldn’t join you on this outstanding adventure. Don’t forget to pick up a little something for yourself, too!

Day 4

Head over to Cape Henlopen State Park in Lewes, where you can hike, bike and run in this 150-mile park.  Being outdoors can’t get any better when you’re having a good time and breaking a sweat!

Day 5

How would you like to experience the high seas? Reserve a speed boat, or bring your own to the local marina right on the ocean! Take a dip in the great Atlantic and experience the pleasures of the open sea in Delaware.

Day 6

Those looking to soar on the water will love doing so while windsurfing. Windsurfing is a thrilling watersport that combines surfing and sailing. Head to a water sports equipment rental facility to rent your board and even take an introductory lesson. Before you know it, you’ll be steering and gliding on the Delaware coast in no time.

Day 7

Fenwick Island home to the Flyboard, Hoverboard and Jetavator—a great experience to end your adventurous vacation. Discover this popular new water sport before leaving town and learn how to surf the sky!