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
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.”