Rehoboth Beach

Delaware’s Top Beach Destinations

So you’re finally here – you’re at the beach, and the week stretches temptingly before you, waiting to be embraced and exalted.

What to do? Where to go?

Well, it depends – on who you’re with, and what adventures you crave. Here are some ideas for a great beach vacation, based on each beach resort’s most beloved qualities.

Rehoboth Beach satisfies all who seek fine shopping and fine food, all served up in a soothing atmosphere. Lewes is all about the sedate and genteel lifestyle, perfect for a quiet getaway. Dewey Beach indulges the party-hearty mindset; while Bethany Beach and Fenwick Island are ideal for friends and families vacationing together.

Then there are the places that speak to the traveler who believes that signs of civilization should be faint. Cape Henlopen State Park entrances with its natural beauty; Delaware Seashore State Park – with its access to the bayside -- is well suited to those who prefer outdoor pursuits such as fishing or boating.

Those are the kinds of places that keep the visitors returning to the Delaware beaches again and again for a vacation getaway. These are the kinds of top beach destinations in Delaware that resort regulars will tell you not to miss:

Second Street in Lewes: This quaint nautical town’s “main street” has some of the state’s top picks, full of browse-worthy boutiques and restaurants.

Tanger Outlets: Tax-free shopping, name-brand shops, deals galore (plus a shuttle to the beach). Every great beach vacation needs a nice shopping trip.

The restaurants of Rehoboth Beach: Always ahead of the culinary curve, and quite simply amazing. Don’t leave without trying Grotto Pizza, and a Nic-o-Boli at Nicola Pizza, both top dining destinations for families.

The bars and nightclubs of Dewey Beach: From the Bottle & Cork to The Starboard, these are the places to party, often with a bayside view.

Rehoboth Boardwalk and Rehoboth Avenue: These shopping streets are certainly among the top beach destinations in Delaware. No beach trip is complete without a stroll down both – for the shopping, the food, and the people-watching. Don’t miss: The art galleries; the Penny Lane shopping street; Thrasher’s French Fries (with vinegar!); Dolle’s Saltwater Taffy.

A dinner by the water: Enjoy the unmatched beauty of Delaware’s beach resorts from such waterside favorites as The Wharf and Gilligan’s (Lewes); Obie’s (Rehoboth Beach); Hammerheads Dockside (Indian River Marina); Bluecoast (Bethany); and Catch 54 (Fenwick).

Dogfish Head Brewing and Eats: The brewpub where Delaware’s legendary craft beer brand began.

Something for the kids: For many families over many generations, a trip to the Delaware beaches cannot be imagined without a trip to Jungle Jim’s waterpark; a Putt-Putt golf course; or Funland amusement center.

Baltimore Avenue, Rehoboth Beach: Besides Rehoboth Avenue, this is the place for fine food and shopping, but with edgier, artsier vibe.

Bethany Beach Boardwalk/Shopping: Even more family-oriented than Rehoboth, Bethany offers a quieter sort of charm.

Fenwick Island: Thunder Lagoon Water Park for the kids; Just Hooked seafood restaurant as a reward for mom and dad.

A drive down the coast: For a great start to a great beach vacation, chase away any remaining stress with a windows-down drive along Del. 1/Coastal Highway. You’ll be glad you did.