Activities and Attractions in the Delaware Beaches
Whether your vacation is centered on fun adventures for the family or water-related itineraries, or you just need some tips for spending time indoors when the weather’s gone awry, you’ll certainly find these all and more on the Delaware coastline without the normal hustle and bustle.
Just as unique and varied are the members of your family, the same is true for a vacation in Delaware. If it’s a breezy morning walk on the beach or in the many galleries, boutiques or bookstores, this East Coast state hosts a wealth of experiences that aren’t tailored to a single type of person or family. Because the region is so varied, it’s easy to customize your vacation with activities and excursions that fit your idea of fun. You can rest assured there’s much to see and do to fit your one-of-a-kind personality.
Rainy Day Activities
While any day is a good day to go shopping, a rainy day is an even better opportunity to keep dry and delight in the many quaint and fun shops at the Delaware Beaches. Wander inside the eclectic souvenir stores and clothing boutiques complete with unique jewelry, whimsical toys and gifts. You can shop for unique treasures at a country store or buy some new clothes for an outing in Rehoboth! There is also a great shopping area in Town Center in Bethany, the Avenue in Rehoboth, in Fenwick and at the outlets of Rehoboth.
How about brushing up on your gaming skills? Battle with your teens (in a good way) at a local arcade. The loser owes the winner an ice cream cone! Or work on your tactical skills with some laser tag. It’s the perfect time to try something new together, like a puzzling escape room. Work together as a team and beat the clock! No matter who you are or where you’re visiting from, summer is the season for indoor putt-putt or a round of bowling! These no-sweat sports are great for all ages, giving everyone a competitive edge.
Museums, Music and More
Feed your appetite for knowledge with 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. Feeling inspired? Visit one of the many nearby galleries and buy a new piece that will jazz up and liven your home. Or you can opt to spend some time creating your own art by painting your own pottery!
Spend the Day on the Water
After a day of shopping and indoor activities, there’s nothing like getting back in the water after a rainy day. The area has an abundance of activities available, all with an emphasis on safe, clean fun!
Soar above the Atlantic and see the best views of the beautiful Delaware shoreline from the air. One of the most popular beach activities, parasailing, can be done without even getting your feet wet. Watch dolphins and other wildlife and take in beautiful views of the inland bays and quaint seaside towns.
Take a ride down Delaware’s watery nature trails. Peaceful and equally pleasurable, make sure you take advantage of the many miles of bay front coastline aboard a kayak. There’s nothing quite like enjoying the cool breezes from your own waterfront view.
Fishing opportunities are a cinch in the Delaware Beaches. Charter a boat, head to one of the state parks or do some surf fishing. You’ll be excited to know that flounder, seabass, yellowfin tuna and marlin are several fish in Delaware’s local waters.
Since the waves here are simply perfect year-round, why not use your vacation as the perfect opportunity to learn how to surf? There are plenty of shops where you can rent a surfboard and get private lessons from a local pro. From first-timers to the casual surfer looking to learn new tricks, surf instructors work with people of all ages and skill levels.
Plot your course for fun on a pontoon, speedboat or other watercraft available at local boat rental locations. A great way to get that adrenaline pumping is on a speedboat. Or you can kick back and enjoy a family excursion on a pontoon boat.
Perhaps you’d rather ride solo. Explore the water on a personal watercraft. Your heart will be racing as you zoom along at high speeds, or you can simply go at your own pace. Double and triple jet skis are available at some locations.
More serene, yet with extra strength required, learn the popular pastime of stand-up paddleboarding. All you need is a board and paddle, and you’re set to go. You’ll enjoy incredible views of the horizon and possibly even catch glimpses of dolphins.
Ecotourism Opportunities at the Beach
By Jenifer Adams-Mitchell, Owner, Coastal Kayak
Small waves lap over your feet as you gaze, from a safe distance, at the puzzling underbelly of a horseshoe crab. Your guide is casually holding the creature in one hand while pointing to its book gills, its creepy mouth and its nine eyes. She explains the simple yet complex relationship the horseshoe crab has with the coastal ecosystem, how it uses tidal and lunar cycles in its spawning rituals, how its blue blood keeps humans safe from bacteria, and that the species hasn’t changed much in 400 million years. The prehistoric animal wriggles as she talks, pedaling its dangerous-looking legs and whirling its pointy tail. “It can’t hurt you,” she says. “It doesn’t pinch, bite, or sting.” And then she holds it towards you. Tentatively, curiously, you reach out and touch it. It isn’t cuddly. It doesn’t make googly eyes at you. It isn’t remotely cute. Yet, you feel the connection.
If you met this horseshoe crab in a manner that will not damage the ecosystem, if you paid for the experience, and if your guide works for a small, locally owned company—congratulations! You took part in ecotourism!
At first glance, the Delaware beaches might seem too developed to offer many ecotourism experiences. But that is definitely not the case. Kayak, canoe, and paddle board tours explore protected shorelines. Hiking tours highlight the many ecosystems in our small area. Birding tours introduce visitors to our feathered residents in their natural habitat. And most tour businesses at the beach are small, dedicated operators who live, work and play here—important because ecotourism should have a positive impact on both the ecology and the economy of a destination.
Vacation is the perfect time to slow down. Take a few moments to hold a horseshoe crab, search out a pileated woodpecker or watch a terrapin swim through the water. Creating connections with the natural world is the essence of ecotourism. With enough education and appreciation, maybe the horseshoe crab will survive for another 400 million years!