The Delaware Beaches are so much more than a place to spend a day lounging in the sand. Yes, there are miles of beautiful beach, but there are also world-class restaurants, great shops, arts and culture and a killer craft beer scene.Here's everything you need to know about eating, drinking and having a good time at the Delaware Beaches:
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Dogfish Head Brewings and Eats
Dogfish Head is known for infusing their brews with innovative flavors and the food at their restaurant gets the same treatment. Whether your sipping a craft cocktail made with their spirits or sharing an appetizer with friends, It's going to be delicious and unexpected. Stop by for a wood-fired pizza or burger at lunch or dig into one of their hearty entrees for dinner. They even have Sunday brunch.
This Rehoboth Beach pizza parlor has been around since 1971. Their signature is the nic-o-boli, a delicious combo of sauce, cheese and ground beef stuffed inside pizza dough and baked until it's cheesy and delicious. Their brick oven pizzas hit the spot too.
All of the ice cream at Vanderwende is handcrafted right in Sussex County at their farm creamery, so you know it's delicious. Luckily, they decided to bring their delicious treats to Dewey Beach. Their flavors range from classics like butter pecan to modern favorites like salty caramel and fruity favorites like black raspberry.
For a small state Delaware is home to a lot of great craft beer. Here are a few places to grab a pint when you're visiting the Delaware Beaches:
This craft beer giant is a household name, but it all started right here in Sussex County. Visit their brewery and distillery in Milton and see how the magic happens.
Revelation Craft Brewing
This craft brewery might not have an entire campus like Dogfish Head does, but they're producing an impressive variety of brews. From sours, to ciders, ales and gluten free beverages, they have something for every craft beer lover.
Crooked Hammock Brewery
Come for the craft beer, stay for the pub grub and backyard hangs. They've got a great line up of year-round brews and they rotate in seasonal brews and limited releases.
Bethany Beach Ocean Suites
This oceanfront hotels sits right on the Bethany Beach Boardwalk so you're just steps from the beach. Every suite has a private balcony and a kitchenette. Take a dip in the indoor/outdoor pool, unwind at The Spa on Hollywood or grab a bite to eat at 99 Sea Level.
This turn of the century home is located in the heart of historic Lewes and is within walking distance of shops and restaurants. There are six charming guest rooms to choose from and a delicious breakfast is served each morning. Unwind with a massage or center yourself with a yoga session right at the inn.
This waterfront, resort campground is a perfect option if you want to explore the Delaware Beaches without being immersed in them. It is conveniently located just 30 minutes from Rehoboth Beach, while still being a secluded oasis. Fair warning, once you lounge on the private beach or float in the resort pool, complete with swim up bar, you might not want to leave.
Visit one of the boardwalks at the Delaware Beaches and have a classic summer experience. Walk the boards and browse shops, people watch, lounge on the beach and eat all those classic beach foods.
The mile-long boardwalk in Rehoboth Beach has restaurants, amusements and The Rehoboth Beach Bandstand, which provides free entertainment all summer long
Those who want a quieter boardwalk experience can check out the Bethany Beach Boardwalk. There are still restaurants and shops, but it's also a great place for a quiet walk. Like Rehoboth Beach, Bethany Beach also has a bandstand. It hosts free concerts all weekend long during the summer.
Whether you're a kid or a kid at heart what's not to love about riding go karts or playing arcade games?
Funland on the Rehoboth Beach boardwalk is a staple. They have everything from kiddie rides to heart-pounding thrill rides. They also have a fun-filled arcade.
Jungle Jim's is a Mecca of fun in Rehoboth Beach. There's a waterpark complete with giant water slides, a lazy river and a kids splash zone. There are also bumper boats, two mini golf courses and batting cages.
At Viking Golf and Go Karts in Fenwick Island you can play a 19-hole round of mini golf, cool off at the waterpark and go racing on the go cart track.
You can bowl a strike at Lefty's Alley and Eats, but you can also do so much more. Play a game of laser tag, take on a challenge in the arcade or grab a bite to eat and a cocktail.
Catch a film at Movies at Midway and everybody in your group won't have to agree on one flick. This multiplex plays the latest films and to make the deal even sweeter all candy is just $1.
You've probably never played mini golf on a rooftop with a view of the ocean, but at Ryan's mini Golf in Rehoboth Beach you can.
The Delaware Beaches aren't just about sun, surf and amusements. There are also great outdoor opportunities.
Bike the Junction and Breakwater Trail, which follows the path of a former rail line and connects Lewes and Rehoboth Beach.
Hike or bike along the trail at Gordon's Pond. It runs along the pond, through a forest, through wetlands and over dunes with beautiful views of the Atlantic Ocean.
There are tons of great spots for a night out on the town at the Delaware Beaches, but Dewey Beach is the epicenter of nightlife in the area.
Catch both local and national acts at Bottle and Cork. This fun and funky partially open air bar and venue is a great place to see live music.
If you're looking for good food, great drinks and a fun time head to The Rusty Rudder. They have a great line up of live entertainment and special events throughout the year and their deck stage is a great place to see a show.
For local music and delicious food breakfast, lunch or dinner stop by the The Starboard. They kick off each season with a legendary St. Patrick's Day party, but they've got fun events and acts through out the summer season.
Delaware is famously known for its tax free shopping. So take advantage while you're in the First State and load up on purchases.
On top of tax free shopping, you can save a little extra money by shopping at the Tanger Outlets in Rehoboth Beach. They've got great stores like Coach, J. Crew, Michael Kors and Old Navy.
It doesn't get more adorable than Penny Lane Mall. Browse the boutiques and food stalls in this open air market and you'll feel like you've taken a side trip to a European village.
Collectors will love Lewes Mercantile Antiques. This quaint shop is tucked away in downtown Lewes and is packed with unique finds.
It's always nice to learn more about an area when you're visiting. Check out these local museums and get a deeper understanding of the Delaware history.
The Zwaanendael Museum commemorates the first Dutch settlers of Delaware and covers the military, social and maritime history of Lewes.
Tour the Lightship Overfalls in Lewes. A light ship is a boat that acts as a lighthouse in waters that are unsuitable for a lighthouse. Overfalls is one of just 17 left in the country.
Learn about the maritime history of Delaware at the DiscoverSea Shipwreck Museum in Fenwick Island.
There are so many options when it comes to having a day in the sand at the Delaware Beaches. You can spread your towel just steps from the action of the boardwalk, set up camp on a stretch of undeveloped beach in a park or walk straight out of a vacation rental and on to the sand.
The picturesque town of Lewes is home to two public beaches both have bathrooms and showers and you can watch the Cape May-Lewes Ferry sail by as you lounge on the beach.
Cape Henlopen State Park
This gem has a little bit of everything. Visitors can enjoy the beach, go boating, fish, kayak or paddle board and hike or bike trails. The Seaside Nature Center has a huge touch tank and you can learn about the park's history as a military base at the Fort Miles Museum.
Rehoboth is perhaps the most well known of all the Delaware Beaches. Visitors can stroll along the boardwalk, watch a concert at the bandstand or just lounge on the sandy beach.
Dewey Beach is known for its nightlife scene and fun, funky events, but it is also home to a long stretch of sandy beach. Keep these regulations in mind when visiting.
Delaware Seashore State Park
There's so much to see and do at Delaware Seashore State Park. This barrier island park has two swimming areas on the ocean with showers, bathhouses and concession stands. There are two campgrounds, a marina, two restaurants and a museum. That's all on top of great outdoor recreation like fishing, crabbing, clamming, kayaking, boating, six trails for hikers and bikers and trails for horseback riding.
Bethany Beach is known for having a quieter, slower pace of life among the Delaware Beaches. It's a great place for families to lounge on the beach or walk on the boardwalk. Keep these regulations in mind when hanging out on the beach.
Fenwick Island State Park
This park offers both ocean and bay side beaches on the narrow barrier island of Fenwick Island. There are bathhouses, a concession stand and umbrella and chair rentals in the summer.
There are so may great festivals and events at the Delaware Beaches that are worth planning a trip around. Here are a few major events worth checking out. Check out even more local events.
APRIL 27: 30TH ANNUAL OCEAN TO BAY BIKE TOUR
Cycle through beautiful Sussex County.
MAY 17-19 VEGFEST
This festival celebrates everything vegetarian and vegan with speakers, tastings and exhibitors.
JUNE 23: RUNNING OF THE BULL
Put on your most ridiculous outfit and get ready to run, although it's only from two people in a bull costume.
OCTOBER 17-20: REHOBOTH BEACH JAZZ FESTIVAL
See jazz artists from far and wide perform at this epic festival.
OCTOBER 25-27: SEA WITCH HALLOWEEN AND FIDDLERS FESTIVAL
Celebrate the Halloween season at this witchy festival with a costume parade, trick or treating and performances by fiddlers and banjo players.