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July 2017

Broadkill Beach: small, quiet and welcoming

Delaware Bay

 

When we decided we were moving to Slower Lower Delaware instead of “upstate” Delaware, the kids and I drove to Sussex County and met my husband and a realtor just outside of Milton.

We had been to Rehoboth Beach twice in the nearly two decades that we lived outside of Baltimore. Although we were on Coastal Highway, I had no idea where we were.

The kids and I had to drive back to Maryland that day. It was my job to sell them on moving to Delaware. The beach would make a great selling point. I did not realize how close we were to Rehoboth Beach or Lewes’ beach. I saw a sign for Broadkill Beach and drove in that direction. We passed over Route 1, a.k.a. Coastal Highway, and headed down a country road that led to Prime Hook National Wildlife Refuge and then to Broadkill Beach, a sanctuary for the Horseshoe Crab.

It was fall, October actually, we parked the car and my kids ran up a mountain of sand and then down to the beach. They kicked off their shoes and ran into the water. It could literally be 20 degrees and these kids would go swimming in the ocean if you let them. Actually, at Broadkill Beach, you are swimming in the Delaware Bay.

We met a very nice lady and her young son. After talking to her for a while, I was convinced that moving to Delaware and living near the beach would not be so bad after all.

Since moving to Delaware, we have been to Broadkill Beach many times. It is laid back, low-key and virtually stress-free.

Want to have a bonfire on the beach? Broadkill Beach is unincorporated. Want to bring your dog? As far as we could tell, that seems to be Ok.

We have sometimes been in downtown Milton and have decided to pop over to Broadkill Beach. We don’t have to fight beach traffic. The beach isn’t crowded like some of the other beaches in the area. There is a tiny sandy lot to park across the street from the Broadkill store. We have never had trouble finding a spot. There are beach houses that line the shore. Those lucky people have peace and quiet and the bay to look out at.

If I ever had a family get together or reunion I would love to rent one of those houses. I would have a bonfire and New England-style clam bake on the beach. It really is like having a private beach. One day, I may do it just to do it.

A flag waves over Broadkill Beach, Delaware on the Delaware Bay.

Everyone at this beach is super nice. I met a lady from the Philadelphia suburbs. I believe I know her entire life’s story. She told me that the bay is not deep at all. She said that her kids walked way out and could still touch the bottom.

I will take her word for it. I am more of a float kind of gal and I will stick close to shore.

A few beach houses line the shores of Broadkill Beach, DE. The beach has a very private feel to it.

If you are looking for some laid back, seriously no hassle, kind of off the grid sort of beach fun, consider Broadkill Beach, it is as low-key as it gets.

Broadkill Beach is a horseshoe crab sanctuary. The crabs make their way onto the shore to mate.

If you, or your kids, are into science and biology. Who isn’t? Broadkill Beach is also a horseshoe crab sanctuary. Unfamiliar with the mighty horseshoe crab? No worries.

The horseshoe crab is one of the oldest animals on earth. Up close they look a little intimidating. Although they are “crabs,” they have more in common with the spider, biologically speaking, than other crabs. The horseshoe crabs also have blue blood. Weird, huh? The blood is considered valuable and used in the biomedical field.

The people who live in Milton. Love the horseshoe crab. They also like to help each other out. It comes as no surprise they would encourage beachgoers to help the crab if it gets turned over.

Horseshoe crabs tend to get tossed around by the waves and can easily get flipped over onto their backs. When they do they could die. So, be kind. If you see one struggling on its back. Flip it back over onto its belly. Just don’t touch its tale, because you will hurt it if you do.

Oh, and if you happen to flip one of the horseshoe crabs back over. You will be a hero to your kids because you saved the crab.

Want to learn more about the Horseshoe Crab?  Click here.

Want to learn more about Broadkill Beach, why not take a road trip? It is just off Route 1 South, or Coastal Highway in Milton, DE.  Enjoy!

Broadkill Beach is great. Just don’t forget to take your trash.

 

What’s on Tap?

Wow! August is almost upon us. It is time to make the rest of summer count. Hope that you have been enjoying the beach, the sun and all that Delmarva has to offer. This week so far has been gorgeous. If you were lucky enough to be down on the Virginia side of Delmarva earlier in the week, you could have seen the pony swim. We had to work. Que the sigh. Next year, we will plan ahead. It is probably just as well. My daughter would have wanted to adopt one of the ponies. But enough of that, this is what is going on this coming weekend on Delmarva.

Delaware

Saturday, July 29th, Joe Jack Talcum of the Dead Milkmen at Dogfish Head Brewpub 320 Rehoboth Ave, Rehoboth Beach, Delaware 19971. Joe is the guitarist and vocalist from punk rock icons The Dead Milkmen. Show starts at 10 p.m. No cover. I cannot go to this. Please go for me. The Dead Milkmen’s guitarist?! This is going to be a fun show.

Sunday, July 30th, Free family photo sessions for Law Enforcement Officer Families.  The photo sessions start at 10 a.m. and end at 6 p.m. The sessions are being held at the Delaware Law Enforcement Memorial located at 114 Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd. N., Dover.

Sunday, July 30th, Funday Group Ride, hosted by Revelation Craft Brewing Company. The event is from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. This is not for kids. But, if the grandparents are watching the children, this sounds like a lot of fun. Meet at 4 p.m. at Cape Henlopen High School for a 20-mile loop that includes Junction and Breakwater Trail, Revelation Craft Brewing Co., Gordon’s Pond Beach and Cape Henlopen State Park.

Maryland

Friday, July 28th, Discover the night sky from Assateague Island National Seashore at the north end – Berlin, Maryland. The event will begin with auditorium presentations followed by stargazing with telescopes and binoculars (weather permitting). The event starts at 7 p.m. at the Assateague Visitors Center Auditorium.  For details:
www.nasa.gov/centers/wallops/visitorcenter.

Saturday, July 29th, “Back to the Future,” Outdoor movie night in Berlin. 8:30 pm to 11 pm at Stephen Decatur Park at Tripoli St. and Rt. 113 in Berlin. Bring a blanket and some Mike & Ike’s.

Friday through Monday, July 28th through July 31st, The 2017 Greek Festival. The festival is free. The festival is in its 28th year at the Roland E. Powell Convention Center. The center is located at 40th Street & Bay. This is Delmarva’s largest Greek festival. It starts at noon. Opa!

 

Virginia

Friday, July 28th, Rocketry, Learn about the suborbital sounding rockets and see the principles in action by launching model rockets, straw rockets or bottle rockets.* Approximately 30 minutes. The event starts at 2 p.m. All Ages.  Route 175  Wallops, VA 23337  

Saturday, July 29th, Pirate Day, at Chincoteague Island KOA, 6742 Maddox Boulevard, Chincoteague, Virginia 23336.  Pirate Day will feature a pirate photo booth, walking the plank, searching for your booty, dress-up, site decorating contest and a water balloon battle. You won’t want to miss this adventure; so bring your best pirate voice, costume, and peg leg (optional) to this campground-wide event! The event starts at noon and ends at 6 pm.

Sunday, July 30th, at 8 a.m. enjoy Baygulls and Coffee: Bird watching with a historical twist. It costs $5 to get into the park. IThe event will be on-site at Kiptopeke State Park’s Fishing Pier located at  3540 Kiptopeke Drive Cape Charles, VA 23310.

 

Welcome to The Nation’s Summer Capital

Welcome to the Nation’s Summer Capital

As you drive into Rehoboth Beach, DE., a sign greets you letting you know this is “The Nation’s Summer Capital.” Yup. Think the Hamptons for the Washington, D.C. crowd. This vibrant beach town is growing in popularity and is no longer the sleepy destination it once was. It has become pretty cosmopolitan.

Rehoboth Beach is located about a two and half hour drive from Philadelphia, Baltimore and Washington, D.C. If you are not interested in driving, you can pick up a DART bus in Wilmington, DE and avoid the beach traffic altogether. If you are heading down from New York or New Jersey, you can take your car on the Cape May-Lewes Ferry, which drops you off in Lewes, six miles from Rehoboth Beach. It really is easy to get here.

 

Where to stay

Rehoboth Beach is unlike other beach towns because there are not a lot of hotels. If you are planning a trip here, you need to rent a house. The town is a series of charming cottages and beautiful estate-like retreats. House tours are very popular here. If you are looking for a beach rental check with Jack Lingo Real Estate. They handle most of the beach rentals in Rehoboth Beach. Although probably not the most kid-friendly option, The Boardwalk Plaza Hotel is magnificent. If you are doing a couples-only vacation, this hotel offers beautiful views and a Victorian setting. You will feel pampered. The Bellmoor Inn and Spa is also a good option.  Both hotels are upscale with a historic feel. If you are looking to unwind with children and beach house rental is your best bet.

Where to eat

Rehoboth Beach is a foodie’s town. This is the town where sous chefs from D.C. come and open their own restaurants. You really cannot go wrong with almost any restaurant you pick, but most of the restaurants are catering to sophisticated pallets. If you traveling with kids, here is a list of kid-friendly places to eat:

  • Arena’s offers burgers, salads and other fare in a relaxed atmosphere.
  • Louie’s Pizza. My kids love their pizza and fries. They are also less than a block from the boardwalk.
  • GrandPa (Mac) offers whatever kind of pasta you can dream up, and of course, everybody’s favorite Mac and Cheese.
  • The Green Turtle offers pub fare and beach views. Your kids can be kids here. So you can relax.
  • Obie’s by the Sea. We are talking burgers, hot dogs and fries and steamed shrimp. If you go here, you are going for the ocean view and a quick escape if you have cranky kids.

If it is just you and your significant other, you can’t really go wrong with just about any restaurant in downtown. But, here are some romantic spots to consider.

  • Victoria’s at the Boardwalk Plaza. I plan on taking my husband there for his birthday. You can sit outside while you listen to someone play steel drums or the guitar. Think white linens and water goblets. It oozes romance.
  • DiFebo’s on Baltimore Avenue offers Italian fare in a street café setting. It lacks ocean views, but the open-air setting will make you feel like you are at a café in Paris or New York.
  • Fin’s Fish House & Raw Bar on Rehoboth Avenue because who comes to the beach and doesn’t eat fish? Vegetarians. Sorry. Go to Fin’s if you would like seafood.

What to do

You can ride bikes on Rehoboth Beach Boardwalk in the morning. Great way to start your morning.

The better question is what can’t you do in Rehoboth Beach? You can, of course, play on the beach. Rehoboth Beach is one of the cleanest beaches in the country. Rehoboth Beach and nearby Dewey Beach have been recognized by the National Resources Defense Council, an environmental advocacy group, as being among the top 13 Superstar beaches for their perfect swimming water quality.  You can rent bicycles right on the boardwalk at Atlantic Cycles. Rehoboth Beach allows bikes to be ridden on the board walk between the hours of 8 am and 10 am. May 15th through Sept. 15th.

You can check out the beach arcades. Skee Ball is plentiful on the boardwalk. You can see a show at Clear Space Theatre. It is one block away from the boardwalk. Each summer, the theatre brings in actors and actresses from New York City to perform shows such as “A Chorus Line,” “The Little Mermaid,” and “Legally Blonde.” They even offer one-week theatre camps for kids. My daughter did the 101 Dalmatians camp. She loved it.

If you have a YMCA membership, stop by the Sussex Family YMCA for some pool or gym time. They even offer yoga on the beach, Monday through Friday, at 8 a.m. in front of the Boardwalk Plaza Hotel.

No trip to Rehoboth Beach would be complete without visiting Funland. Funland has it all: Skee ball, bumper cars, a haunted mansion, Superflip and boats and similar rides for smaller kids. Tickets for rides are 35 cents each. You can pick up a book of 50 tickets for $15. We rode the bumper cars the other night. It cost of 5 tickets per person, or $1.50 each. If you have multiple kids, Funland is a bargain.

Whatever you decide to do, enjoy yourself. As they say in Rehoboth, “Relax, you are at the beach.”

 

 

 

 

 

What’s On Tap?

DiscoveringDelmarva.com

 

Last week, we became the tourists and headed out of Delmarva and on up to the Pocono Mountains in Pennsylvania. Sometimes, you just have to discover something else besides Delmarva. Our apologies. We also experienced a few technical difficulties. Summer is in full swing, and if you are in need of some ideas to get the most out of it here are just a few coming up this week on Delmarva. We are going to include some events that are happening through the week, because, well, why not?

Delaware

Saturday, July 22nd, The Seafood & Arts Festival is from 10 am to 6 pm at Delaware Seashore State Park at 39415 Inlet Road, Rehoboth Beach.

Sunday, July 23rd, Darrius RuckerDelaware State Fair. The show is from 7:30 pm until 9:30 pm I have only heard Darrius Rucker’s country stuff a few times, but I once saw him play with Hootie and The Blowfish at Elon University. It was a great show.

Monday, July 24th, Gabriel Iglesias,  Delaware State Fair at 8 pm to 10 pm 18500 S Dupont Hwy, Harrington, Delaware 19952. Go see Gabriel Iglesias in case you are in need of a laugh.

 

Maryland

Saturday, July 22nd, The Peach-Fuzztival. Get it? Hosted by the Ocean Pines Farmers’ Market 239 Ocean Parkway, Berlin, Maryland 21811. The event will also feature music and other entertainment.

Sunday, July 23rd, Greese, the movie starts at 8:30 pm at Stephen Decatur Park and Town of Berlin Maryland. The park is located at Tripoli St. & Route 113 in Berlin. Long for simpler times? Go see Greese.

 Thursday, July 27th,  Next Generation at Richardson Maritime Museum.
This is a historical event. The event is from 6 pm to 7:30 pm. The Richardson Maritime Museum is located at 401 High St., Cambridge
Virginia

Sunday, July 23rd, The 92nd Annual Chincoteague VFD Carnival and Pony Penning. The carnival is from 7 am until 11 pm

Monday, July 24th, at 6 am Pony Beach Walk in Chincoteague. In preparation for Wednesday’s Pony Swim, at day break, the Saltwater Cowboys will move the ponies from the Northern Corral out to the beachfront then south along the Atlantic Ocean. Be at the Assateague Beach by 6 am Park in the beachfront parking lots and follow the crowds.

Thursday, July 27th, The Pony Auction. The auction begins at 8 am. The auction takes place at the Chincoteague Volunteer Fireman’s Carnival.

 

Disney classics, the boardwalk and Rehoboth beach

Hand Drawn by Hannah Bellistri

One of the things that amazed me when we moved to Delmarva was just how vibrant the arts community is. People on Delmarva really love art. Who knew there was so much culture at the beach?

In Dover, the Biggs Museum is a must-see stop. They recently had an Ansel Adams exhibit. It has more furniture than paintings, but it is still an unexpected gem in the middle of Delmarva. Sadly, the Schwartz Center closed in downtown Dover. I was fortunate enough to tour the building before it did. It is magnificent. Hopefully, someone with an entrepreneurial mind and spirit will reopen the Schwartz and turn it into an enterprise that matches the grand building.

Pinocchio and Snow White at Clear Space Theatre at Rehoboth Beach

Further South, Sussex County has art galleries, a film society, craftsman who make furniture and jewelry, photographers who take some of the most amazing wildlife still photographs I have ever seen and live theatre. Sussex County has a lot to offer in the dramatic arts department. In the western part of the county, there is Possum Point Players in Georgetown. Then, there is the Rehoboth Children’s Theatre. Last, but far from least, there is Clear Space Theatre. Full disclosure, I am partial to Clear Space. I have ties there. The work they do is well-regarded and the people involved in the theatre are nothing short of amazing. The theatre also is located on the same block as the Atlantic Ocean in Rehoboth Beach. That is not too shabby.

So what’s my point? Well, this blog is about discovering fun things to do for families either living on Delmarva or for families who are just visiting.

If you have kids and you happen to live or visit Sussex County, Clear Space Theatre has a neat program on Saturdays throughout the summer. They are offering kids’ shows for $5. Children are encouraged to come sit on stage while they watch the show.

hand drawn coloring page by local artist Hannah Bellistri

  • Every Saturday at 11 a.m., the theatre will perform either Pinocchio or Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs. The company will alternate shows. Admission is $5. 

I have three kids. That is a steal. I cannot get out of a movie theater for less than $100. I am very excited about the prospect of taking my kids to these shows. Here is what I plan: Pack up the car, or maybe give DART a try, go see the show, afterward get a little lunch on the boardwalk, then play at the beach.  If we take the bus, I do not have to worry about driving or parking in Rehoboth Beach. Win, Win, Win. Here is a link to the bus schedule. If you have driven in beach traffic, the bus may just save your sanity.

Clear Space also has children’s summer camps. The kids in the camps also will perform free shows on Friday throughout the summer. My daughter is signed up for 101 Dalmatians. Those performances also are at 11 a.m. on Fridays. My sons watched my daughter at rehearsal this week. They wanted to stay and watch the show. I was impressed. They wanted to stay and watch the show.

Here is the lineup of  the free shows:

July 14:  101 Dalmatians  11:00 am and Noon
July 21:  The Lion King Experience  11:00 am and Noon
July 28:  Witches Britches Rings & Things 11:00 am and Noon
August 4:  High School Musical 11:00 am and 12:30 pm
August 11: Hairspray 11:00 am and 12:30 pm

The Little Mermaid Musical is performed at Clear Space Theatre in Rehoboth Beach

The Little Mermaid also just opened at Clear Space. We missed opening night, but we saw the second performance on July 6th. It was amazing. My three kids sat quietly through the entire show and that is saying a lot. They were thoroughly entertained. The show is visually stunning. The eels light up and Ursula is spot on. If you are visiting and have kids or grandkids, I would recommend taking them to this show. They also will have a chance to meet Ariel after the show, where she will hand out coloring pages for The Little Mermaid, Pinocchio, and Snow White. The coloring sheets were hand drawn by a local artist, Hannah Bellistri.

Hannah Bellistri, Sussex County artist.

If you are looking for something to do with the little ones while visiting the beach, this is worth checking out.

 

What’s on Tap?

It is Friday night. We are way, way behind in posting what is going on this weekend. Summer is most assuredly in full swing. A LOT of people are visiting this week. We are starting to wonder if this is really slower lower. It’s been a little busier than usual. Perhaps that is because half of New Jersey decided to visit. We don’t blame them. The beaches here are beautiful. They are open and they are free. Nope. You don’t need badges here. We also have a great governor. He is really very nice. No lie. We have met him. Anyway, if you procrastinate or you just want some ideas of different things to do during your visit here are some options.

Delaware

Saturday, July 8th: The 37th Annual Sandcastle Contest. The contest starts at 9:30 p.m. and lasts until 2 p.m. at Delaware Seashore State Park. The park is located between Bethany Beach and Dewey Beach. The annual Sandcastle Contest at the South Inlet Day Area. There will be a professional sand sculptor demonstration, beach-themed crafts and activities for children, the 50th-anniversary park history exhibit, and a special demo put on by the State Park Beach Patrol! The whole event (including contest entry) is free to the public with paid park entry! For more information, call (302) 227-6991. This is a bargain and your kids will love it.

Saturday, July 8th: The 23rd Annual Nanticoke Riverfest. This is an all day event in Seaford and it sounds like fun. It starts at 9 a.m. and wraps up around 9 p.m. There are canoe and kayak races, float-ins, a car show and a youth fishing tournament. It seriously sounds like there is a bit if something for everyone. We may have to check this out.

Sunday, July 9th, Moon Circle is being hosted by Dimitra Yoga.  Yoga, Singing Bowls, Shamanic Ceremony, Meditation, and Bonfire. This event is $35. It runs from 7 p.m. until 10 p.m. at Lewes Beach on Savannah Road, just across from the Dairy Queen. The special Moon Circle gatherings are timed with the phases of the moon so you can experience first-hand the transformational energies of our celestial neighbor. Attuning yourself to the phases of the moon can become a powerful touchstone for setting intentions, navigating the stresses of tumultuous times, and for discovering NEW actions that you can to support yourself and the world you so deeply care about.

Maryland

Sunday, July 9th, Maryland Dove visits the Chesapeake Bay Maritime MuseumThe Maryland Dove, Historic St. Mary’s Floating Ambassador.   This event is from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum at213 N Talbot St, Saint Michaels, Md. The Maryland Dove arrived at the Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum on Thursday, July 6, and can be seen out on the Miles River and dockside through Monday, July 10. Local school groups will be touring the ship, with Dove open for boarding to all CBMM guests from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. July 8 – 10. Free public access will be available on July 8 from 5 – 8:00 pm.

Sunday, July 9th, Berlin Concert on the Lawn _ Chesapeake Brass Band. This event is hosted by the town of Berlin. The concert is being held at 6 p.m. to 7 p.m. at the Calvin B. Taylor House Museum at 208 N. Main St., Berlin.

Sunday, July 9th, Full Moon Yoga.  Hosted by Assateague Island Alliance (AIA) The event is being held from 8 p.m. until 9 p.m. at Experience Assateague’s peaceful surroundings, clear your mind and exercise your body while the full moon rises over the ocean. Practice is led by our amazing instructor Chrissy Ehrhart of Zenna Wellness Studio. Free but park entrance fees are in effect. All levels welcome! BYO beach towel, insect repellent is recommended just in case. Meet at the shade pavilion in North Beach parking lot. 6633 Bayberry Dr. Berlin, MD 21811 If you can’t make it this Sunday they will have two more sessions this summer! August 7 at 8 pm and September 7 at 7 pm. Very zen.

Virginia

Saturday, July 8th, Chincoteague Island KOA, Christmas in July, noon until 6 p.m. Spend time with Santa poolside and snap your holiday vacation photo. Trim a palm tree to make him feel at home while he’s away. Enjoy a fireside Christmas story with S’mores for the kids, and decorate your campsite for the Christmas decorating contest. All in all, this will be a great family fun weekend to help spread the yuletide cheer this summer while Santa is on vacation! KOA will be collecting canned foods to donate to a local charity this weekend as well!

Saturday, July 8th, Star gazing at Wise Point Boat Ramp! Hosted by Eastern Shore of VA and Fisherman Island NWR. This event is from 8 p.m. to 10 p.m. Telescopes will be provided for visitors to view stars and planets. Feel free to bring your own. Bring bug spray as well. This event is Free and open to all ages. The event is going to be held at 32205 Seaside Road, Cape Charles, Va.

Sunday, July 8th, Art in a Barn by Experimental Film Virginia. Hosted by Art Soaked Weekends.   This event is from 6 p.m. to 11 p.m. This is being held at Bill Parr’s Seaview Creek Farm at 24021 Seaside Road, Cape Charles, Va. 23310.  Live Music & Performances with special guests. Local Food, Wine, Beer for purchase. Tickets $10, free admission 18 and under (includes performances, one drink ticket, and free wine tasting). Rain or Shine. 6 PM-10 PM (757.331.GEAR)

This is a casual event, takes place at a 100-year-old restored barn. Come ready to enjoy picnic-style food with local wines and beers featured at our cash bar. Meet people from the Virginia Oyster Trail, the Virginia Film Office as well as special guests. Performances happen throughout the evening featuring the international and local talent of Experimental Film Virginia including Art Bridgman and Myrna Packer (presenting the interactive media and dance film piece called “Truck”), Italian artist Stefano Giorgi, Virginia Opera’s Ann Carolyn-Bird, Italian dance company Balletto Teatro di Torino and harpist Federica Magliano.

It is a great chance to mix and mingle with all the artists of Experimental Film Virginia, in residence for two weeks making films in and around Cape Charles on Virginia’s Eastern Shore.

So, if you are looking something that goes beyond the boardwalk or the beach here are but a few suggestions. Have a great weekend.