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.

Outdoor Adventure in the Delaware Beaches

Image from Delaware Seashore State Park

Explore the Delaware Beaches’ Great Outdoors

A vacation to the Delaware Beaches is, of course, the perfect setting for lounging in the sand and splashing in the waves. Aside from the beach, Bethany Beach, Rehoboth Beach, Dewey Beach, Fenwick Island and Lewes offer several other experiences for outdoor exploration. These are a great way to connect with family, friends and the area’s natural environment.

Outdoor Adventure in the Delaware Beaches

Here are some ways to have an outdoor adventure in Bethany Beach, Rehoboth Beach, Dewey Beach, Fenwick Island and Lewes.

Take a Guided Tour

There’s no better way to experience coastal Delaware’s more natural settings than on a guided tour. These knowledgeable guides can take you to new locales where you can learn more about the history and ecosystem of the area while spotting local wildlife. By foot or by boat, you’ll certainly enjoy getting to see a different side of the Delaware Beaches.

Coastal Kayak offers kayak and paddleboard tours through some of the Delaware coastline’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.

Explore Delaware Seashore State Park

Located on Rehoboth Beach, Delaware Seashore State Park offers six miles of shoreline perfect for swimming, fishing, crabbing, kayaking, wind surfing, eco tours and more. The Delaware Seashore trail system features several miles of trails just waiting to be explored. There are also two campgrounds, on each side of the Indian River Inlet, for some outdoor adventure after dark.

Hit the Waves with Area Watersports

The Delaware coastline is the perfect destination for thrilling watersports. Whether you choose surfing, jet skiing, paddling, parasailing or one of the other exciting watersports, you’re sure to enjoy your time on the water. The towns within the Delaware Beaches have several sport outfitters in the area that can teach you how to use the equipment before you head out on your own.

Island Watersports has one of the largest selections of rental boats on the Eastern Shore. Find everything you need for a day on the water, including pontoon boats, jet boats, and jet ski rentals. They also offer paddleboards, wake boards, surf boards and more.

Take flight with Dewey Beach Parasail. Reach great heights and get a bird’s-eye view of Dewey Beach and Indian River on one of their parasailing adventures.

Click here for a Dewey Beach Parasail coupon.

Play a Round of Golf

For more relaxing fun outdoors, play a round of golf on one of the courses near the Delaware Beaches. Lower your handicap on these beautifully designed courses with views that you’ll only find in coastal Delaware.

Bayside Resort Golf Club’s courses boast wide-open fairways, pine trees and marshlands. Bear Trap Dunes offers golfers a coastal escape across 27 holes, perfect for beginners and experts.

The kids will love the thrilling sights and obstacles at the local mini golf courses. Go on a pirate adventure and search for lost treasure at Captain Jack’s Pirate Golf. Or, play 19 holes in mythical Scandinavia with Vikings and a two-headed dragon at Viking Golf & Go-Karts.

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.

Get a Taste of Delaware

From upscale eateries to dockside cafes, dining in southern Delaware is truly a culinary adventure. The art of food has been and continues to be an important tradition here, and it’s apparent that area chefs take pride in their delicious creations using straight-from-the-farm fruits and vegetables and freshly-caught seafood right from Delaware’s shores.

From Rehoboth Beach to Fenwick Island, you’ll find a wide variety of restaurants, including chef-owned and -operated bistros inventing uniquely appetizing menus to family-owned eateries preparing locally-sourced favorites.

Harvested Bites

Fresh veggies from the many farms on the Delmarva Peninsula are paired with fresh catches, enticing meats and other delectable entrees to make a locally-sourced meal you’re sure to love. Delaware has two-and-a-half counties on the Peninsula—Kent and Sussex—making up nearly 80 percent of the state’s land, and fresh veggies can be found here year-round.

Springtime brings favorites such as asparagus, parsnips and different types of leafy, green lettuces. The abundance of summer’s bounty provides juicy tomatoes, red raspberries, sweet peaches and varieties of squash. Restaurant menus are still filled with local ingredients during the fall and winter including pumpkins, winter squash, turnips, leeks, Brussels sprouts and beets. Look for these items prepared any number of creative ways at some of the fabulous restaurants along the Delaware Beaches.

Many local restaurants focus on local flavors, such as the famous Chesapeake blue crabs available April through December. You’ll see these popular seafood staples prepared different ways from battered and fried to steamed and served with a piping hot bowl of melted butter. Sometimes chefs will use these sweet, succulent chunks of blue crab meat to form perfectly shaped crab cakes, often prepared with little filler and topped with spicy remoulade or sweet tartar sauce. 

Other seafood favorites found along the Delaware Beaches are the deliciously moist rockfish, tasty tautog and flaky and delicate flounder available at different times throughout the year. If you familiarize yourself with the types of seafood available in the region during certain times of the year, you’ll benefit by getting the freshest, tastiest seafood. You’ll also be giving back to the local harvesters in the area, which preserve this long-time fishing tradition.

High-End Meat Eats

Of course, there are plenty of options besides seafood at the many restaurants here. Meat is always in season, but there’s a lot more to it than your average beach burgers. Here in Delaware, chefs perform some of their wildest experimentations, and the results are always extraordinary. Menus boast offerings such as slow-roasted pork belly with braised fennel, bacon-wrapped quail stuffed with goat cheese, roasted prime rib and grass-fed burgers topped with foie gras.

If you’re in the mood for a succulent steak, you’ll notice that many eateries here take pride in this one menu item. Chefs often highlight their juicy steaks and take great care in preparing a tender and flavorful steak cooked just to your liking.

Cosmopolitan Dining in the Delaware Beaches

Restaurants in the Delaware Beaches have been attracting loads of media attention, as area restaurants have expanded beyond the typical beach resort establishments to creative and gourmet eateries. You’ll still find the classic mom-and-pop diners, as well as beach food favorites, seafood dishes and a unique atmosphere.

Added to the mix are cosmopolitan eateries with fusion cuisine, international restaurants and chef-owned eateries with changing menus using the best of local flavors. The farm-to-table, or in some cases the tide-to-table movement, is taking over the mindset of many area chefs as the need for building community, not to mention, obtaining great tasting food.

Dining Al Fresco

Start your morning off on the patio of a locally-owned breakfast and coffee shop and end it with a delicious meal and cold beverage at one of the several waterfront restaurants in the area. Delaware Beaches are a host to casual dining, family-friendly eateries—all with plenty of outdoor seating.

What makes the fresh and local food in Delaware Beaches all the more enjoyable is where you enjoy your meal. There are dozens of outdoor places to dine throughout the area, whether you are vacationing in Rehoboth Beach, Bethany Beach, Fenwick Island, Dewey Beach or Lewes.

After dinner, the town continues to sizzle with nightly concerts by the beach and popular downtown hotspots. 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 restaurants and bars that attract crowds into the wee hours.

Family-Friendly Restaurants

Of course, you will find a plethora of seafood restaurants that are traditional or in a buffet-style where you can indulge in your favorite seafood dish. There are a variety of non-seafood restaurants in the area as well. From delis and pizzerias to authentic Mexican and barbeque, you won’t have trouble finding a place to eat that the whole family will agree upon.

If you’d rather eat at home or are having dinner on the beach one night, there are plenty of restaurants and cafes offering carry out so you can avoid the wait and pick up your meals to-go. Or head over to Bethany Beach to visit the local butcher’s shop where you can order hand-cut steaks and other high-quality meats for a fun cookout with family and friends.

No matter what you choose to take on the go, you are sure to love the variety of delicious dining options while in Delaware Beaches.

Don’t Forget Dessert

Finish off your meal with a tasty dessert at one of the local bakeries, ice cream or frozen yogurt shops where you will find plenty of treats made with fresh and local products satisfy your sweet tooth.

Whether you’re craving fresh-from-the-shores seafood, a piping hot pizza or a little sweet treat, you’re sure to find all this and more inside the superior restaurants in Delaware Beaches. So, indulge a little and enjoy a meal that you’ll remember forever.