Ready for some Beach Life? You don’t want to miss our 4 Southern Delaware Road Trip Beach Picks. Plus the 411 on the Eats, Sites and Events for this 2013 Memorial Day Weekend and beyond at the Delaware Beaches!
Roll with us thru the treasures, secrets and fortunes of the First State. You might want to book mark this page…
Memorial Day Weekend kick starts the summer and what’s better than an early arrival? Pondering heading south maybe for a quick getaway, an overnight or just a day trip? Head to Southern Delaware where the sun, sand and sea are always the ultimate attractions and the people watching is out of this world. Our Delaware Beaches are best-in-class award winning recipients to: Americas Best Boardwalks, SuperStar Beaches & Best Secret Beaches on Earth! How lucky are we to be so close? Just 90 miles from pure bliss!
P.S. If you are a local Delaware beach goer, don’t skip this post, you might find a thing or two unique or new for your next adventure. Take it from us, we put some time in it and we’ve got a little extra LOCAL know!
4 Hottest LOCAL Southern Delaware Road Trip Picks
First stop LEWES! You’ll meet Lewes (please pronounce as “Lewis” not “Lews” the locals will thank you for it) at the 5 points intersection, hang a left on Rt 9 and head east. Well known as the “The First City in the First State” and my birthright. It’s said to be a quiet yet progressive town. Lewes has so much local character, many very friendly natives, plenty of historical heritage, breath-taking views, a plethora of beaches - it’s where the ocean meets the bay - and all with minimal commercial distractions. Beware you might not want to leave. 2nd street, like main street, is located just before the draw bridge of the Lewes-Rehoboth Canal offering many quaint shops including one of my favorite LOCAL artists “Abraxus“, fantastic eating establishments and lots of historic attractions all within walking distance. Take a stroll down First Street which turns into Pilottown Road with fantastic views the marina including the Lightship Overfalls, one of only 17 remaining lightships of the 179 built from 1820 to 1952 - designated a National Historic Landmark in 2011, it is one of 7 lightships in the US still open to the public.
Ahh and the beaches –you have your choice of beaches – 1) the bay, due east from the bridge, has free access to the public(meters are in force), minimal waves for the little tikes and it offers fabulous views of the Delaware Bay including the Lighthouses, the Point, the Cape-May Lewes Ferry – on a windy day you might even catch the kite boarders here - or venture on to 2) the Cape Henlopen State Park just south of the Bay, where the Atlantic Ocean meets the Delaware Bay. The Delaware State Park requires a miminal admission fee but has so much to offer, its totally worth your while…camping, hiking, the Great Walking Dune, a nature center, swimming, bathhouse, concessions, a fishing pier, drive on beach and observation towers are just a few of the most admired attractions. In the early evening, we’ve even seen albino deer roaming about the grassy fields.
Sit back and relax – you have arrived at the beach. TIP – this is a walking and bike friendly town – yield graciously to all pedestrians and bikers please. The Lewes Police Department are on high alert during summer.
Lewes Favorite Restaurant & Entertainment Picks
- Irish Eyes on the Canalfront over the bridge. 3rd times a Charm! With fantastic views of the canal(inside & out), awesome Live entertainment & love those fried pickles! Looking for a great place for a meeting or event, check out their 2nd floor banquet area – amazing!
- Striper Bites , one awesome nautical atmosphere serving great seafood & tapas. (BIG note: Closed on Sundays & they don’t take reservations)
- Kings Homemade Ice Cream Shop on 2nd street. 32 years serving scoops in Lewes – definitely doing sweets right!
- DQ(Dairy Queen) Who doesn’t love a DQ blizzard on a hot summer’s day? Grab it, head to the beach to park and take in the bay views or head towards the Ferry terminal and watch the take-off from the pier.
- Lazy Susan’s, just outside of town on Route 1 (The Maryland HOT FAT Blue Crabs ROCK! & the lazy atmosphere can’t be beat. Find on FB @Lazy Susan’s Hot Fat Crabs)
Lewes Memorial Day Weekend Events
- Friday, May 24 – Sunday, May 26th 5pm – 7:30pm | Kalmar Nyckel Sets Sail at the Lewes-Ferry Terminal-Public Pier
- Friday, May 24, 6pm | 75th Birthday Party for BIG RED Annual Party & Auctions, Virden Center at Univ of Delaware College of Earth, Ocean & Environment, Lewes
- Saturday, May 25, 8am until Noon | Historic Lewes Farmer’s Market open in Shipcarpenter Square 8am to 12pm
- Saturday, May 25, 11am | Seining the Bay At Cape Henlopen State Park. Search the shallows of Delaware Bay with a seine net looking for fish, crabs, & other creatures. For more info, call 302-645-6852
- Saturday, May 25, 10am to 4pm | Delaware By Hand Members’ Day Show at Zwaanendael Park, Lewes. Free. Delaware By Hands Artists and Artisans will host the 8th Annual Outdoor Show in Lewes the Zwaanendael Park. A wide array of unique and original artwork will be for sale.
- Saturday, May 25 & Sunday May 26 | Cape Water Taxi. Unwind and enjoy the ride along the Lewes-Rehoboth Canal. Head to the Fisherman’s Wharf in Lewes and take the 11:30 am or 2:30pm Water Taxi to Dickinson Street in Dewey Beach. BYOB. Take the water taxi from Dewey back to Lewes 4pm or 7pm. Reservations Recommended. www.capewatertaxi.com
Rehoboth is next in route just south of Lewes about 5 miles. Rehoboth(note: spelled RehobOth not bEth) is well known as the Nation’s Summer Capital. My brother was even reminded of this when he lived in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida. Believe it! Rehoboth offers something for everyone from toddlers to elders - lifeguarded FREE access beaches with beach umbrella & chair service, a mile long wood boardwalk, a plethora of restaurants and bars, a bandstand featuring LIVE music and celebrating 50 years, amusement rides for the kids, fabulous shopping plus just outside of town enjoy more fabulous shopping - one glorious mile of Tanger Outlets just north of the town limits, Delaware’s largest waterpark, Jungle Jims (water slides, bumper boats, batting cages, mini golf and more), and a Jolly Trolley ride that will take you where you need to go between Rehoboth & Dewey Beaches operating 8am to 2am Memorial Day to Labor Day. There’s even select evening Trolley service to/from Bethany Beach.
Rehoboth Favorite Restaurant & Entertainment Picks
Conch Island Key West Bar and Grill on Rehoboth Ave – brings a Key West vibe to Rehoboth. Daily live music in the summer. Key West Favorite, Matt Avery, is here every Friday & Saturday night thru June 14th. Trust us you don’t want to miss Matt or the libations.
Dog Fish Head Brewing & Eats on Rehoboth Ave. The infamous Delaware brewery & the state’s only legal distillery where they make lots of hand-crafted spirits, upstairs in the Brewpub. Plus live music everynight over the weekend starting at 10pm
Fins Fishhouse & Raw Bar on Rehoboth Ave – raw, steamed, baked, fried…they have it all.
Arena’s Famous Deli & Bar 3 locations – on Rehoboth Ave, Coastal Hwy & Lewes. The best for the ultimate sandwich creations! And more than 90 beers in the Hall of Foam!
- CLAWs Seafood House - on Rehoboth Ave. Want crabs, lobster and more seafood? Here’s your downtown seafood-fiesta! Fresh & delicious with early bird specials you can’t beat!
Nicola’s Pizza 2 locations on Rehoboth Ave & 1st Street take your pick. The home of the Nic-O-boli, great pizza & plenty of fun, Bring the kids! Odds are you’ll get a warm welcome from owners Joan or Nick or ask for my sister-in-law, Marye, she serves up one incredible experience on Rehoboth Avenue location and is working all weekend thru!
- Victoria’s Restaurant - For fine dining, this is the best around! An intimate setting in the Boardwalk Plaza Hotel overlooking the beach and boardwalk. The 3-tiered dining room affords a view of the Atlantic from every table with outdoor dining on the boardwalk patio. For light fare and cocktails, move to the Plaza Pub, an oceanfront lounge with a cozy walnut bar and comfy leather chairs. A local favorite!
- Big Fish Grill just outside of town on Coastal Hwy – the freshest catches at the beach! This is the original location, a premier spot for casual dining in the region -kids are welcome!
AMERICA’S BEST BOARDWALKS 2012
American Profile Magazine split the vote for America’s Best Boardwalk between Bethany Beach and Rehoboth Beach.
Best boardwalk Delaware beaches have the best boardwalks, both of our experts agree. Leatherman describes Rehoboth Beach as “quintessential in the sense that it’s a wood boardwalk. A lot of places that they call boardwalks now are concrete.” He adds, “There’s just something about that boardwalk—the smell of the saltwater taffy and the popcorn. It’s just, to me, the all-American boardwalk.”
Hughes doesn’t stray far; her choice is Bethany Beach, Del., just south of Rehoboth.
The 10 Best Beach Towns for Families 2013
Parents Magazine Voted Rehoboth Beach, Delaware #10 Best Beach Town for Families. These destinations deliver all the ingredients for a magical stay with the kids: pristine ocean water, nature activities, and a boatload of inland fun. Oceanfront Fun Replenished with sand and beach grass, the 1½-mile stretch of guarded beach attracts a sea of families. But there’s plenty of space to build sand castles and fly kites.Inland Hot Spots On the boardwalk, kids can ride on the carousel, the Ferris wheel, and antique wooden boats. “My kids love the haunted mansion from the 1940s,” says frequent visitor Christy Hume, a mom of four in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania. “It’s so cheesy, it’s fun.” But just a couple of blocks away, in this 1-square-mile town, there are more than 200 boutique shops.Castles in the Sand Steps from the beach, the Avenue Inn & Spa recently finished a face-lift of its breakfast room and lobby, where you’ll find free cookies for the kids and wine and cheese for you at nighttime. (Rooms with two queen beds start at $219 per night; avenueinn.com.) The Hotel Rehoboth offers free shuttle service to the beach, including chairs and towels, free breakfast, and a heated outdoor pool. (Rooms with two double beds start at $249 per night; hotelrehoboth.com.)Originally published in the June 2013 issue of Parents magazine. Read more http://www.parents.com/fun/vacation/10-best-beach-towns/?page=4
Rehoboth Beach Memorial Day Weekend Events
- Thursday, May 23 | Children’s Beach House Golf Classic, 11:30am followed by a Poolside BBQ Buffet at 5:00pm, The Peninsula on the Indian River Bay, Long Neck. Event format will be Scramble 2 net best balls of 4. Call 302-655-4288 or visit www.cbhinc.org.
- Thursday, May 23 | Book Launching Party, 4-7pm, Rehoboth Art League’s Corkran Gallery, Henlopen Acres. The public is invited to the “Doors of Fame”-A History of the Rehoboth Art League, Book Launch. The doors will be on view during the reception and authorJann Haynes Gilmore will be available to sign purchased copies of the book. Hors d’oeuvres, wine and music will be avaiable. Tickets on sale at the door for $20. An R.S.V.P. is appreciated by calling 302-227-8408 or go to www.rehobothartleague.org.
Just a sneeze past Rehoboth over the Lewes-Rehoboth Canal bridge, 1 mile and you’ll land in my absolute favorite town of Dewey Beach, Delaware. Dewey is “A Way of Life” without a doubt. You’ll understand after you’ve spent a few days wandering about the town. Whether you are single, married, familied, divorced or widowed, you can find fun & sun here guaranteed and all within walking distance! If not, blame US. Ladies please leave the stilettos at home - break out the cutsie flip flops here – most of the bars are sloshy, boardwalk-style or sand bottom. The people watching is without a doubt the numero uno best attraction in Dewey - morning, noon or night. Perfectly situated amidst the Delaware Bay and the Atlantic Ocean – Dewey is about 1 mile in length and 2 city blocks wide – Dewey may be small but it’s BIG in character. The beaches are incredible – complete with sand, sun & fun – recreation is permitted here but smoking on the beach this year is NOT - leave your butts in the ash tray – don’t risk it, fines are enforced. Plus you can walk effortlessly from the north end to south end. Better yet park your car on Friday and claim it on Monday – just remember where you parked it AND most importantly get a parking pass! There are very few meters in Dewey and street parking requires a permit which you can get daily, weekend or season passes at the Dewey Beach Police Department, 105 Rodney Ave. There are newer additional meters near Ruddertown. Then walk or grab the Jolly Trolley for all your traveling needs!
Dewey Beach Favorite Restaurant & Entertainment Picks
- The Starboard | You’ll find nothing but sweet LOVE in the heart of Dewey Beach at The Starboard! Morning, Noon & Night. NO cover ever! There’s live music, DELMARVAlus breakfast & a Bloody Mary Bar that can’t be beat. Be careful here, it’s magnetic. You’ll understand what I mean once you visit.
- Ed’s Chicken & Crabs | Walk off the beach type casual, shack-ish, plenty of outside seating, a few umbrellas, off-street parking and the only BYOB in Dewey, FabUlous large BLUE CRABS & juicy grilled BBQ Chicken – great people watching and kid-friendly.
- Rusty Rudder | THE biggest DECK in Dewey, live Reggae daily & live music every night, libations that insist you relax.
- The Bottle & Cork | The Greatest Rock and Roll Bar in the World offers Jam Session all weekend long – just follow the fire siren come 5 O’clock. Don’t wear good shoes - it gets a little sloshy down below. Great Dance bar with cover bands. No food here.
- Que Pasa Kick back on the beach and BE SERVED with Mexican Cuisine and bay views. Take Dewey all in here.
- Nalu Surf Bar | Get “Lei’d Back” in Dewey Beach’s only Open Air Hawaiian Surf Bar & Grille. Delicious Hawaiian/American cuisine, island atmosphere, and top-notch live entertainment. Nachos have been famous since Day #1 and are large enough for 4-6 people to share as well as our 144oz Wipe-Out Rum Punch Souvenir Bucket (Listen for the special sound that plays through-out the restaurant when you order one…)
- Two Seas Restaurant – This IS the LOCALS best kept secret(shhh don’t tell) this place is amazing! Fab food & the best views of DEWEY – hint check out the roof top deck!
Don’t worry about dragging your umbrella or chairs to Dewey Beach ~ Dewey Beach Service, aka “LYNAM”, has you covered! You can rent all apparatus on the beach and the Dewey Beach Service Staff will even position your chair & umbrella exactly where you’d like — ahhhh…doesn’t get much better than that! Plus DBS offers refreshments(hotdogs, drinks, candy, snacks) And watch for the Planet Ice water ice golf cart – a must have treat before you leave the beach. WELCOME to DEWEY BEACH!
Dewey Beach Memorial Day Weekend Events
- Monday, May 27 8am | The Highway One Pictures 5K kicks off the 11th race season of Seven Sisters & Two Brothers of Dewey Beach. This race begins at the Rusty Rudder, 113 Dickinson St., Dewey Beach. Race-day registration is $25. Runners start at 8 a.m. A benefit for Home of the Brave A Pump and Run Event
Prizes for the most Patriotic Costume (Single, Couple and Family). Check out the whole series of races at www.sevensistersdeweybeach.com
In June 2011, National Resources Defense Counsel awarded “Superstar Beach” status to four U.S. beaches featured in their 5-star rating guide. These beaches deserve special notice for not only receiving a 5-star rating this year, but for having perfect testing results for the past three years, indicating a history of very good water quality. The top 2 of those beaches are:
- 1 Delaware: Rehoboth Beach-Rehoboth Avenue Beach, in Sussex County
- 2 Delaware: Dewey Beach, in Sussex County
Read the Press Release: NRDC’s star-criteria system awards up to five stars to each of the 200 popular beaches in our ratings guide. Stars are earned for exceeding health standards less than 5 percent of the time last year and over the last three years, and for the following best practices: testing more than once a week, notifying the public promptly when tests reveal bacteria levels exceeding health standards, and posting closings and advisories both online and at the beach.
Bethany Beach Aerial Photo by Kevin Fleming, De Art Gallery
A small hike south of Dewey about 15 miles, Bethany offers a wide array of recreation and relaxation. Just look for the famous Totem pole and hang a left! Nestled between the Atlantic Ocean and inland Bays, Bethany is known as the Quiet Resort. Quiet maybe but not absent of activity – there’s one incredible 1/2 mile boardwalk with a bandstand, plenty of good eats, great golf courses, tennis courts, swimming, fishing, boating, volleyball and more.
Bethany Beach was named one of the 15 “Best Secret Beaches on Earth” by Travel and Leisure Magazine in March 2012, and its boardwalk was also named one of the best in the country by Forbes Magazine. Check out the Article here
Bethany Beach Favorite Restaurant Picks
- Bethany Blues Just off Main Street on Penn Ave (good ol’ finger lickin Ribs & Chix BBQ – the best in DE(Lewes location too) their smoker is completely wood fired and was built for BB in Mesquite, TX, where BBQ is more than food; it’s a religion. Just follow your nose.
Cottage Cafe Coastal highway – fine dining in a fine atmosphere, Live music Fri & Sat
Misaki Sushi Nor’easter rolls are incredible we hear! call (302) 539-0500
Bluecoast Seafood Grill Owned my Matt Haley – BSG serves fresh, delicious, simple seafood. Located in an incomparable natural setting and boasts the colors, flavors and warmth of East Coast cuisine, complemented by big-city quality, service and value.
Bethany Beach Memorial Day Weekend Events
Saturday, May 25 7:30pm |British Invasion performing at the Bandstand
- Saturday, May 25 7:30am| 5th Annual Justin’s Beach House 5k run/3k walk, Bethany Beach at Garfield Parkway and Atlantic Avenue. 5k race begins at 7:30am with 3k walk starting at 7:35am. Click here for more information.
Sunday, May 26 7:30pm | Bond & Bentley(Rock) performing at the Bandstand
Above ALL, wherever you spend it, have a wonderful,
fun and SAFE holiday weekend!
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