Summertime means beach season and lucky for us Washingtonians, we have a plethora of locations to choose from that are within half a day’s driving reach. The coastal tundra accompanying the Outer Banks beaches in North Carolina are a family favorite, but so are the bustling piers in Ocean City, MD and Virginia Beach, VA. Then there’s Delaware. The country’s second smallest state might not have length of coastlines in comparison to its neighboring states, but it does feature a handful of spots worth checking out. These Delaware beaches are great alternatives if you’re looking for lesser crowds.
Delaware Beaches: Summer 2017 Must Visit
Dewey Beach – the Party Beach
Located only two and half-hours away from Washington, D.C., by rental car, is the hip and happening Dewey Beach. Beach goers will have plenty of water-related activities to choose from swimming to water skiing. Adventurers will also have the opportunity to try parasailing, wake boarding and windsurfing along the mile-long coast. If your idea of beach holiday is merely spending some relaxing time on the beach with a good book, Dewey has you covered as well.
What sets Dewey apart from the other Delaware beaches however, is its nightlife. With a reputation as a party town, particularly during the summer months, Dewey Beach becomes “the” place to be when the sun sets. Its bayside nightclubs like North Beach, Nalu Hawaiian Bare and Grille and the Rusty Rudder will definitely get you up and on the dance floor. If you’re looking to party it up all night, head over to The Starboard, voted as “Best Nightspot in the State of Delaware” and make sure to grab yourself a bloody mary (or two). The live music is great. It has plenty of bars. The best part however, is that there’s no cover charge. The beer is priced reasonably too.
Bethany Beach – the Quiet Beach
Tucked between the northern Delaware beaches and Maryland’s Ocean City Beach is the quieter town of Bethany Beach. Those who are looking for a true beach getaway, primarily to listen to the waves crash on the shore or simply lay on the sand with a captivating book in hand, will find themselves at home at Bethany Beach. Stay at one of the ocean front properties and catch the sunrise from your balcony. Take a walk or jog on the beach. Bethany prides itself with the designation as Delaware’s “quiet beach” where beach-house gatherings at night with family and friends are the norm.
That doesn’t mean that it’s completely devoid of other activities. Shopping in one of its boutique stores is a treat. Cycling is another common activity suitable for everyone in the family. Though it’s necessary for you to have a rental car to get here; you’ll find that you won’t have to use it as often. One of the advantages of Bethany being such a small town is that everything you can possibly need is within one-mile radius of the main Boardwalk. There are also gourmet eateries nearby such as Off the Hook.
Lewes Beach – the Romantic Getaway
Those looking for that perfect beach getaway might just find themselves at Lewes Beach. Located at the northern part of the state, this quiet and dignified, charming and friendly town is possibly the favorite of the Delaware beaches by locals and frequent visitors alike. In addition to its white sandy beach and calm waters, Lewes is also a town with a deeply rooted history. Founded in 1631 as a whaling town by Dutch settlers; it remained largely stagnant until the English made it part of the Maryland colony. The town was also involved in the Battle of 1812 and was a key stop in the Underground Railroad during the American Civil War. Visitors can take a self-paced town tour that features a number of historic homes including the oldest house in the state.
Lewes Beach is also a great place for bird watchers. The nearby Cape Henlopen State Park features miles of undeveloped coastal shores that’s perfect for swimming and sunbathing. There’s also a short hiking trail that provides visitors with unparalleled scenic views of the Delaware shore. Just note that the park charges an $8 fee for each out of state licensed vehicle. It’s well worth every penny.