WASHINGTON — North of Bethany Beach, Delaware, is the final stretch of oceanfront destinations in the WTOP Summer Beach Guide: Dewey, Rehoboth and Lewes.
The three neighboring beach towns are only separated by a few miles of land, but each maintains its own sense of place.
Visitors can find beach bonfires and a legendary night life scene in Dewey; Rehoboth is home to a mile-long boardwalk and some of the area’s best restaurants; and those seeking a complete escape from the hustle and bustle head to Lewes for its quiet beaches and charming, historic town.
Best of all: The three towns are within a few minutes from each other by car.
Headed to the beaches bordering the Rehoboth/Delaware Bay and the Atlantic Ocean? Let this guide help you navigate the area’s most exciting summer activities, best restaurants and can’t-miss events.
- Drink in the salt air — and the craft beer: Beer lovers will have a ball at the beach. In Rehoboth, there’s the Dogfish Head Brewpub, Revelation Craft Brewing and Big Oyster Brewery. Lewes is home to Crooked Hammock Brewery, and Dewey has the Dewey Beer Co.
- Night life: Looking for a fun night out with live music and fresh-squeezed crushes? There’s no shortage of options — especially in Dewey Beach. The Starboard, Rusty Rudder, The Lighthouse and Purple Parrot Grill are perhaps the most well-known haunts for evening entertainment and eats. Music lovers flock to Bottle & Cork for its nightly lineup.
- Wildlife and water sports: Check out free skimboard clinics Saturdays, June 17 through July 8 in Dewey Beach, or crabbing and surf-fishing options in Rehoboth. Cape Henlopen State Park in Lewes offers calm beaches, surrounded by woodlands. There’s a great bike path from the park to Rehoboth, with fishing areas along the way. Take a tour of the Delaware Breakwater Lighthouse or catch a ferry ride from Lewes to Cape May.
- Shopping: No beach guide for Rehoboth and Dewey is complete without a mention of outlet shopping. Tanger Outlets draws a large crowd looking to take advantage of the state’s lack of sales tax — especially on rainy days. For smaller, independent stores, head to downtown Rehoboth and downtown Lewes.
- The Rehoboth Boardwalk: Rehoboth’s mile-long boardwalk (and surrounding streets) is lined with restaurants, shops and galleries. Pick up some saltwater taffy at the famous Dolle’s Candyland, grab a refreshing scoop of ice cream at the appropriately named Ice Cream Store, or spring for a slice of pizza at the iconic Grotto Pizza.The bandstand hosts free summer concerts Fridays through Sundays in the summer at 8 p.m. Read more: How Rehoboth hot spot picks new ice cream flavors
Food lovers will feel right at home in the area. Rehoboth, alone, has more than 100 restaurants, and Lewes has its share of cute and inviting eateries.
The Rehoboth Beach farmers market operates Tuesdays from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. in the summer; the historic Lewes farmers market runs Saturdays from 8 a.m. to noon, and Wednesdays from 8 a.m. to 11 a.m. in the summer.
Activities and Events
- Movies and bonfires on the beach: Dewey Beach hosts movies on the beach Monday nights June 12 through Aug. 28, and bonfires on the beach Tuesdays and Wednesdays.
- June Festival: Rehoboth is celebrating first responders with its “Beach Goes Blue … Red & White, Too” festival, complete with a 5K run, sports events on the beach, live music and more.
- Fourth of July: Catch fireworks over Dewey Bay around 9 p.m., an Old Fashioned 4th in Lewes and the annual Red, White & Blue 5K race in Rehoboth.
Don’t let bad weather get you down. In addition to outlet and boutique shopping in the area, here are some other entertaining activities:
- Peruse the selection at Browseabout Books in Rehoboth and pick out your next beach read.
- Grab a cup of coffee at The Point Coffee House and Bake Shoppe or at its sister location, Schell Brothers Coffee House.
- Explore Rehoboth’s Silver Lake neighborhood for a change in scenery. Walk along the lakefront and take in the views of the beautiful homes.
- Lefty’s: This indoor bowling alley, arcade and laser tag arena is a great hangout for adults and kids, alike.
How to Get Around
Carol Everhart, president and CEO of the Rehoboth Beach-Dewey Beach Chamber of Commerce, says metered street parking is at a premium during the summer months.
She suggests taking advantage of the town’s Park and Ride shuttle, which makes stops at the outlets, the boardwalk, and Dewey and Lewes beaches.
The Jolly Trolley runs throughout Dewey and Rehoboth Memorial Day through Labor Day, and visitors can purchase a parking permit at the visitor’s center for additional parking options.