Rehoboth Beach, Delaware is a quaint, coastal town that bills itself, “The Nation’s Summer Capital”, and from the look of the crowds that converge on this seaside resort in the summer, it is just that. Rehoboth Beach is a charming town whose front yard is the expansive Atlantic Ocean. This coastal community has not yet been tainted by big industry: The beach hotels are mostly independently owned as well as the many beach restaurants that dot the neighborhoods of this township.
Rehoboth Beach has a population of roughly 1,500 from September to May, but once May 15 hits, the population increases to about 25,000 people all wanting a piece of Americana and relaxation. What draws so many vacationers to this charming oasis? The pristine beaches, the wooden, historic Rehoboth boardwalk (named one of the “best in America” in Reader’s Digest), numerous art galleries, a variety of activities such as canoeing, fishing, sailing, cycling, and a diverse lifestyle beckon the traveler to this town’s shores. A generous amount of beach hotels and beach restaurants are a definite plus and make this a favorite destination for travelers.
There is definitely something for everyone in this historic hamlet. For the art lover there are many art galleries that line the streets. Some recommended art galleries include Aerie Art Gallery (fine art from the 19th century to the present), Philip Morton Gallery (original paintings and sculptures), and Gallery 50 (contemporary art in all mediums). In August, the Outdoor Art Show is a must, and the art lover can enjoy a multitude of works from local and national artists. This outside art gallery is held the second and third weekends in August and admission is free.
For the outdoor traveler, fishing, canoeing, biking (Breakwater Trail is a favorite) , surfing, dolphin watching (late July through early October) and berry picking (Blueberry Lane Farm is a good place) offer a variety of activities.
And then there is the famous wooden boardwalk that is the hub of this town. Funland amusement park (great for the whole family), ice cream places, henna tattoo shops, gift shops, hot dog kiosks, and shops that sell hermit crabs line this mile of wooden planks. Many beach restaurants share the boardwalk with the eclectic array of vendors. Some favorite beach restaurants are Victoria’s Restaurant, Obie’s By the Sea, and Grotto Pizza.
Accommodations in Rehoboth Beach abound. There are inland hotels and beautiful beach hotels from which to choose. Some popular beach hotels for the visitor are Hotel Rehoboth, Atlantic Oceanside Suites, Beach View Motel, and the Summer Place Hotel. Each establishment offers a variety of amenities, views, charm, and prices.
Beach festivals and events signal the change of seasons. From the patriotic Fourth of July celebration complete with fireworks to the Sea Witch Halloween Festival, Rehoboth Beach does not have a shortage of events and beach festivals. The Rehoboth Beach Autumn Jazz Festival is an annual event not to be missed as well as the Rehoboth Beach Independent Film Festival.
For the traveler who loves music but cannot make one of the beach festivals, there are concerts and other musical events held during the summer at the nostalgic bandstand on Rehoboth Avenue. Band concerts begin nightly at 8:00 in the evening under a starry sky.
Rehoboth Beach is also known as a popular getaway for a diverse lifestyle due to a large number of gay-owned and operated businesses. Two of the popular gay beaches are Poodle Beach (located at Queen and Prospect Street) that is mostly men, and North Shores Beach (about one mile north of the boardwalk) that is primarily women. After a day at the beach, the traveler can go to the gay bar, Purple Parrot for a cold drink. Several beach hotels and inns cater to the gay community such as the Lighthouse Inn B&B and Lazy L at Willow Creek. There is also the annual beach festival and event, Delaware Pride, every September.
No matter what the vacationer’s preference, Rehoboth Beach has something to offer everyone. From wonderful beach hotels and restaurants to exciting beach festivals and events, this coastal resort will not disappoint. The nightlife, the boardwalk, the diverse lifestyle, and the numerous art galleries make Rehoboth Beach an enchanting town.