It sounds cliché but there really is something for everyone in Rehoboth, Lewes and Dewey Beach, Delaware. No wonder the population in these resort towns explodes from 350 (in the case of Dewey Beach) and the low thousands (for Rehoboth and Lewes) to tens of thousands during the season. They are popular summer destinations for people from nearby Washington DC, Virginia, Maryland and Pennsylvania, so know that Delaware Route 1, also known as the Coastal Highway, can become pretty jammed up at the beginning and end of weekends, particularly the section that heads in and out of Rehoboth.
Fortunately this busy thoroughfare is lined with outlet stores, restaurants and lots of shops that sell all kinds of seashell-inspired souvenir items and more. Shell We Golf and Sea Shell Shop provide the necessities for kids (in the form of mini golf and cool knickknacks), while the Royal Farms Store & Gas are sure to offer welcome relief to moms and dads. (There’s no sales tax in Delaware, which gives you one more reason to shop here.)
Before even hitting the ocean, you might want to cool off at Jungle Jim’s River Safari Water Park, an aquatic play land that always offers a good time. Love that lazy river.
Once in Rehoboth Beach, you’ll marvel at The Rehoboth Beach Boardwalk, a mile-long wooden boardwalk just off the beach that allows great access to more shops, restaurants, a variety of attractions, terrific views and some of the best people watching around. If you’re lucky, you can catch some music at The Rehoboth Beach Bandstand, a wonderful open-air venue that offers all kinds of entertainment throughout the summer. The beach here and others within in the region are known to be some of the cleanest in the United States.
If you’re looking for a fine dining experience in Rehoboth Beach, the Henlopen City Oyster House is a must. Casual diners love to devour gooey slices at Grotto Pizza. (Thankfully they have a few locations in Rehoboth.) But those in the know go to Nicola Pizza! for the nic-o-boli, a sort of calzone that you can have stuffed with everything from the fridge. And while you’ve got that carbo load going, make sure you have some oh-so delicious salt and vinegar French fries from Thrasher’s on the boardwalk. They’ve been serving them up in seaside communities on the east coast since 1929, so go ahead and take some nibbles of this long-standing tradition. You won’t regret it.
You’ll see a kaleidoscope of rainbows in Rehoboth Beach because this is one of the friendliest mid-Atlantic destinations for members of the LGBT community. At the south end of the boardwalk, near Queen Street, Poodle Beach ranks as a favorite among gays whereas lesbians gather in North Beach in Cape Henlopen State Park. Don’t be surprised if you see some bare-breasted servers here–male not female–a cheeky, beach-y look that adds to the freewheeling atmosphere of some of the restaurants, bars and concessions within this gay-friendly area.
Historic Lewes is family-oriented as well as popular among retirees. There’s no doubt that their beach is immensely enjoyed by young and old. You can choose to be among the throngs of beachgoers right off the E. Savannah Road access point or walk five or ten minutes north or south for a remote experience within a more natural setting of beach grass, low level dunes and your own sweet swath of sand. Gaze out onto Delaware Bay mid to late afternoon to see dolphins feeding off shore and frolicking in the water. Stay until late and watch the sun set, which is dreamy from this vantage point.
The Lewes Town Beach is placid and great for children. If you like boats, you can take in all the comings and goings of the Cape May Lewes Ferry whose dock is located just beyond the most southern end of this sweeping sandy beach.
Be sure to visit historic Lewes, a town center only a few blocks long that’s loaded chock-a-block with charming shops and restaurants.
The small strip of land between the Atlantic Ocean and Rehoboth Bay that makes up Dewey Beach becomes party central during the summer months for vacationers young and old. Lots of bars and restaurants line the Coastal Highway here, just a short stroll away from one of the best beaches on the east coast. Now doesn’t that sound like the perfect formula for a great getaway? The Rusty Rudder on Rehoboth Bay rates as a terrific place to go, sip a cocktail or two and while away an afternoon.