One of the natural consequences of being a top East Coast beach resort is congestion on the highways into and out of the Delaware beaches.
These easy-to-use travel tips will get you from all points west to the Delaware beaches for a carefree vacation. So whether you’re coming from Washington D.C., Maryland, Virginia, New York or Pennsylvania, make smart travel strategy part of your trip planning.
• Visitors who plan vacations that start and end mid-week – rather than on the busier weekends – miss the heaviest beach traffic days on Delaware 1. Plan drive times that avoid southbound rush-hour traffic on Delaware 1 on Friday evenings, as well as northbound traffic mid-day Sunday.
• For trips south of the Lewes/Rehoboth Beach/Dewey Beach areas, using US 13 or US 113 allows drivers to miss the traffic signals and the mix of local and visitor traffic on Delaware 1. Be aware, however, that US 113 at Delaware 24 is a frequent pinch-point for traffic.
• For trips east and west to and from Delaware, consult a map to identify routes other than the recommendations provided by GPS-based services. Some routes may be longer in miles driven, but knowing several ways to reach the beach can be helpful if traffic is especially heavy or slows down in response to an accident.
• Download DelDOT’s free traffic app from the Apple App Store or Google Play by searching for “DelDOT.” WTMC 1380 AM also broadcasts traffic information from DelDOT and streams the same audio feed to the DelDOT app. DelDOT’s Twitter (twitter.com/DelawareDOT) and Facebook (www.facebook.com/delawaredot) feeds are also updated in real time.
• Be aware of major summer events that can cause heavy traffic, including the NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Dover International Speedway (May 30-June 1); and the Firefly Music Festival at Dover International Speedway (June 19-22). DelDOT, Dover International Speedway and local authorities jointly issue traffic information via partner social media platforms.
• Avoid traveling during hotel check-in/check-out times of 10 a.m.-2 p.m. on Saturday.
• Ask your agent about alternative weekly rental dates – Sunday-to-Sunday or Monday-to-Monday – instead of Saturday-to-Saturday.
• Day trippers and travelers staying just outside of downtown Rehoboth can ease their trip by pre-registering with Parkmobile (us.parkmobile.com) for pay-by-phone parking at metered spaces in downtown Rehoboth.
• Utilize the Resort Transit Park & Ride lot, located on Shuttle Road, just off Delaware 1, north of Rehoboth Avenue. $8 fee includes free daily transit pass.
• Shoppers visiting the Delaware 1 outlets should take advantage of the Tanger Outlet shuttle service to get from center to center.
• In Dewey Beach, take advantage of free parking 5 p.m.-11 p.m. Mon.-Wed. during events such as Movies on the Beach and bonfires.
• Wait times are less for early bird diners.
• 11 a.m.-3 p.m. is the busiest time on the beach. For more space on the sand in Rehoboth Beach, set out your blanket a little north or south from Rehoboth Avenue.
Travel tips courtesy of Delaware Department of Transportation and the Rehoboth Beach-Dewey Beach Chamber of Commerce.