If you’re dreaming of walking in the sand, sandals in hand, you’re not alone. When it’s not beach season, our thoughts naturally turn to the pure pleasure that visiting the seaside brings. It’s an absolutely amazing way to de-stress and spend some time alone in quiet reflection or the company of our loved ones.
Great memories are made in these environments, and Delaware certainly has some of the most beautiful beaches around. The state has a spectacular shoreline for every taste and activity. Whether you’re planning a family picnic, a walk along a boardwalk with your significant other, or catching a few waves, there’s the perfect beach for that.
Many of the spots featured here offer on-site amenities to add to the enjoyment of your experience. Other locations have nearby attractions such as amusement parks and museums. And, if you want to extend your stay, there’s a variety of overnight accommodations—everything from upscale hotels to house rentals.
Whether you want to plan that future trip to the ocean or just want to spend time reminiscing, read on for the details of Delaware’s delightful beaches.
1. Bethany Beach
Bethany Beach has a long wooden boardwalk hugging the sand dunes and wide stretch of beach. There are even foot-washing stations along it. This is a fairly quiet resort beach and a fantastic family destination. Lifeguards keep watch, as there are some big waves to be aware of. Enjoy summer-long weekly beach bonfires and movie nights while sampling food from local vendors. You can also spend time playing minigolf or renting surfboards and Jet Skis.
2. Broadkill Beach
If you’re a nature lover or bird watcher, you might enjoy this location. It’s Delaware’s first horseshoe crab sanctuary, and it’s surrounded by Prime Hook National Wildlife Refuge. The beach itself is not as crowded as some others. The on-site amenities consist of several portable toilets and a nearby store where you can buy cold drinks and a few snacks. Swimming, paddleboarding, kayaking, and surf fishing are popular pastimes here.
3. Cape Henlopen State Park
Located within the 5,193-acre Cape Henlopen State Park is a wonderful wheelchair-accessible beach with 6 miles of shoreline. The bathhouse includes showers and bathrooms. There’s a snack bar available, and you can also rent beach umbrellas, kayaks, and small boats. From biking or hiking the trails, to exploring the Fort Miles Historical Area, to camping in the park, there are lots to choose from.
4. Delaware Seashore State Park
Here’s another favored state park to consider. This one has several lifeguarded beaches, fully equipped bathhouses, beach chair and umbrella rentals, and 6 miles of shore. The 2,825-acre park has nature trails, environmental educational programs, and dune crossings open to four-wheel vehicles. In addition, it has a few designated spots ideal for surfing.
Dewey is a lively beach resort where the small permanent population can swell to tens of thousands in the summer. It’s well liked by both families and young people, offering the annual Sea Witch Halloween and Fiddlers’ Festival, live music every summer evening, and movies and bonfires on the beach. With parasailing, wakeboarding, beach yoga, environmental education, a junior lifeguard program, and a wide variety of watercraft rentals, it has something for everyone. Restaurants, bars, hotels, and cottage rentals welcome visitors.
6. Fenwick Island State Park
The 3-mile-long beach at 344-acre Fenwick Island State Park is a barrier island, with two coastlines allowing for different activities. You can surf and fish on the ocean side or go crabbing or clamming on the bay side. Swimming is wheelchair accessible. There are lifeguards, a bathhouse with change rooms and showers, a gift shop, and a snack concession. Plan to rent a paddleboard, kayak, or sailboat, or you can take in one of the local eco-tours.
7. Lewes Beach
Here’s another family-friendly beach. Lewes has wide sand bars and a gentle slope into shallow calm waters, perfect for little ones learning to swim. The beach has lifeguards, a convenient bathhouse with restrooms and showers, and inexpensive parking. It’s only a short walk to buy ice cream and browse through small shops or marvel at Lewes’ two iconic lighthouses.
8. Rehoboth Beach
Rehoboth is home to an exciting arcade and amusement park, the Sea Witch Festival, and the Rehoboth Beach Autumn Jazz Festival. Tourists flock to this summer town to wander through unique boutiques and art galleries—and to luxuriate at one of the ocean-facing hotels. The 1.5-mile-long beach sports a wooden boardwalk and bathhouses outfitted with showers and change rooms. Rehoboth is a terrific place for family fun and watersports.
While these eight are some of the most sought-after beach destinations in the state, Delaware definitely has many more to choose from.