Transportation tips for Delaware beach travelers

Getting around at the Delaware beaches doesn’t have to be tricky – in fact, you don’t even need a car in many cases.

Here are some transportation tips for traveling to the Delaware beaches:

Consider taking a bus to the beaches. The state’s bus service, DART First State, has a Beach Connection bus (Route 305) that runs from Wilmington and cities in between to Rehoboth Beach and back on Friday nights, Saturdays, Sundays and holidays from Memorial Day weekend to Labor Day weekend. Cost is $19.20 one way. The Route 305 bus connects with the state’s beach-wide Resort Transit service (see below) at the Rehoboth Park & Ride lot. Travel Tip: Note that seating is limited, with no reserved seating.

Washington DC-based BestBus has weekend service to the Delaware beaches (Rehoboth and Dewey) from Washington (DuPont Circle and Union Station) and from New York City (Times Square). Rates are $40 for DC-to-Delaware and $46 for NYC-to-Delaware.

When driving to Rehoboth Beach, consider parking your car at the Resort Transit Park & Ride lot, located on Shuttle Road, just off Coastal Highway/Delaware 1. The $8 fee includes up to four transit passes, which let the whole family ride DART First State buses all day for free. Buses stop at the shopping outlets, the boardwalk and beaches, and go as far as Dewey Beach, Lewes, and Long Neck. Travel Tip: Once the daily $8 fee is paid, travelers who do need to use their cars during the day can drive out of the lot and return without having to pay again.

Here are some transportation tips for getting around the Delaware beaches:

Once you hit the beaches, consider using DART’s Resort Transit buses, which serve a variety of locations from Lewes all the way south to Fenwick Island, extending as far west as Georgetown, Long Neck and Pot Nets. It operates May-September. All buses have bike racks. Fares range from $2.30 for a one-zone ride to $19.20 for an all-day pass (kids 46 inches and under ride free). Tip: The Resort Transit Park & Ride lot near Rehoboth is a hub for the Resort Transit bus routes.

When you are thinking about a tax-free shopping trip to the Tanger Outlet Centers along Coastal Highway/Delaware 1, hop aboard the free shuttle service and ride in style.

Travel Tip: In Rehoboth Beach, keep in mind that bike rentals are available.

Avoid parking tickets in town by downloading the Parkmobile ( mobile app before arriving at the beaches, the app allows pay-by-phone parking at metered spaces in Rehoboth Beach, Dewey Beach, Lewes or Bethany Beach.

Travel Tip: Remember that there’s free parking in Dewey Beach during events such as Movies on the Beach and bonfires, Mon.-Wed. from 5p.m.-11 p.m. 

When you’re heading from Lewes to Dewey (and back) for some Friday night revelry, consider leaving the car at  home and taking a refreshing, stress-free trip aboard the Cape Water Taxi, which departs Fisherman’s Wharf in Lewes each Friday at 6 p.m. (5:45 p.m. Aug. 21-Sept. 4), arriving at the Ruddertowne dock in Dewey at 7:15 p.m.  The return trip leaves Dewey at 9:15 p.m. and arrives in Lewes at 10:30 p.m. Cost is $22 round trip.

Or, consider taking a taxi or trolley when you’re heading out for fun. The beach area’s Jolly Trolley is a local legend for fun, open-air trips between Rehoboth Beach and Dewey Beach, and has convenient stops around the town. Jolly Trolley operates mainly between Memorial Day weekend and Labor Day, but has weekend routes before and after the summer season. In summer, routes run daily from 8 a.m.-2 a.m., and cost $3 for one-way, $5 for round-trip, with children 5 and under riding for a dollar one-way. Travel tip: Cash only.