Delaware is situated on a peninsula and is nearly surrounded by the Atlantic Ocean, Delaware Bay, and the Delaware River, making it a perfect destination for beach-goers. From nature trails at Delaware Seashore State Park to dolphin watching and mini golf at Rehoboth Beach, Delaware and its beaches have everything necessary for a perfect holiday in the sun. Certain attractions may be temporarily closed or require advance reservations. Hours/availability may have changed.
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Located in the small town of Bethany Beach on the coast of the Atlantic Ocean, this sandy beach has a swimming area, lifeguards on duty, and a wide sandy area as well as a boardwalk. It is known for its peaceful atmosphere, and in fact the town of Bethany Beach is one of three areas in Delaware known as the "Quiet Resorts." Near to the beach is the town of the same name where visitors can find shops and restaurants. Dogs are not permitted on the beach from May 15 through September 30.
214 Garfield Pkwy, Bethany Beach, DE 19930
2.Delaware Beach: Cape Henlopen State Park
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Cape Henlopen’s two swimming beaches are part of Cape Henlopen State Park, a 5,000-acre park with hiking and biking trails, an 18-hole disc golf course, and a basketball court. The beaches both have lifeguards on duty from Memorial Day until Labor Day, and the North Beach has a changing area with showers. Mats are available to allow access to the beach from the boardwalk for guests in wheelchairs or with other disabilities. Cape Henlopen is also home to a pavilion area for picnics and a large building perfect for parties and gatherings that is available for daily rental.
15099 Cape Henlopen Dr, Lewes, DE 19958
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3.Delaware Seashore State Park
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Delaware Seashore State Park is a gorgeous area of land that includes six miles of picturesque shoreline. On the east, visitors will find the gigantic Atlantic Ocean, and to the west they will see the waters of Rehoboth Bay and Indian River Bay, making it the perfect destination for beach bums looking for a wide array of stunning views. The beaches at Delaware Seashore State Park are equipped with swimming areas, lifeguards, concessions, and umbrella, chair, and raft rental. Surfing, sail boating, fishing, and boating are all popular pastimes on the water, and visitors looking to do more than sunbathe will find nature trails on Burton’s Island and Thompson Island.
39415 Inlet Road, Rehoboth Beach, DE 19971
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4.Beaches in Delaware: Dewey Beach
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At Dewey Beach, visitors can dip their feet in the ocean on one side and feel the waters of Rehoboth Bay on the other side. Pets are permitted at this sandy beach where beach-goers are likely to find games of beach volleyball on the sand, and jet-skiers and parasailers in the water. The beach is easily accessed by use of the Jolly Trolley, which will come as a relief to visitors if parking proves difficult. After the sun goes down, visitors can enjoy the many nightclubs in the area, or enjoy a drink at one of the Dewey Beach’s rock and roll bars.
Dewey Beach, DE 19971
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5.Delaware Beach: Fenwick Island State Park Beach
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On a three-mile strip of barrier island between the Atlantic Ocean and Little Assawoman Bay, Fenwick Island State Park is full of sandy, sunny spots to relax. Fenwick Island State Park’s beaches offer changing areas, showers, a gift shop, and a concession stand for snacks. During the summer season between Memorial Day and Labor Day, lifeguards are on duty during certain times, and chairs, rafts, and umbrellas are available for rental. The park is one of only a few in Delaware that offers a designated surfing area, and vehicles with a fishing permit may also use the park’s three dune crossings for fishing access.
DE-1, Fenwick, DE 19971
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6.Beaches in Delaware: Lewes Beach
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The town of Lewes is charming, peaceful, and picturesque, making Lewes Beach one of the most desired spots on this list for visitors who want a relaxing, quiet holiday. Because of its tranquil and laid-back atmosphere, Lewes Beach has earned the reputation of being the perfect beach for those looking to get away from the beach, where they can relax in the sand with views of the Breakwater Lighthouse or enjoy a swim and some watersport activities in the ocean. Lewes Beach is open daily from 6am until midnight. Nearby in the town of Lewes, visitors can enjoy restaurants, shops, and the history of this small town that looks as though it has been pulled from the pages of a travel brochure.
Lewes Beach, Lewes, DE 19958
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7.Delaware Beaches: Rehoboth Beach
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Rehoboth Beach is a five-star beach that has won many awards as a perfect place for relaxation and play. Besides the sandy shores that are great for sunbathing and the water where visitors can watch for dolphins, Rehoboth Beach also offers miniature golf, arcades, and an amusement park. Shoppers will enjoy the "mile of style," an outlet mall filled with luxury brand names, or the many unique boutiques in town. After a day at the beach or in town, visitors will also enjoy an evening dining at one of Rehoboth Beach’s many delicious restaurants. Rehoboth Beach is open to the public 24 hours a day, although sleeping on the beach is prohibited from 5am until 1am.
N Boardwalk, Rehoboth Beach, DE 19971
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Located on Delaware Bay, north of the Broadkill River, Broadkill Beach is a popular vacation destination which offers a nice quiet beach perfect for water sport enthusiasts. The calm waters of Delaware Bay offer near-perfect conditions for swimming, kayaking, SUP and surf fishing, and the beach is relatively undeveloped, which adds to its charm. The beach is long, broad and sandy, making it ideal for families. You are also allowed to bring along your (leashed) dog. There is limited parking available close to the Broadkill Store, which does limit the number of day trippers – most of the people on this beach will come from holiday homes and rentals in Broadkill Beach village.
Slaughter Beach is a small town which has become popular as a seasonal holiday destination. The beach (which has the same name as the town) is perfect, if you enjoy peace and quiet and prefer not to have to share your beach day with thousands of other visitors. Mostly, visitors will just find a few fishermen and dog walkers enjoying the peace and tranquility. The beach is a horse-shoe crab sanctuary and dogs are not permitted on the beach from May through September when the crabs come onshore. The beach is also home to many migratory sea birds so birders will feel right at home.
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10.South Bethany Beach
When you choose South Bethany Beach for your next vacation you can look forward to spending relaxing days on a beautiful mile-long stretch of soft sand, lapped by the Atlantic Ocean. The beach is quiet and intimate, with few day-visitors due to very limited public parking. You can enjoy sun bathing and castle-building as well as swimming and surfing from the beach or take to the inland bays to enjoy kayaking, SUP, canoeing and wildlife watching. You can also enjoy activities like boating excursions on the bay and fishing expeditions. There are plenty of great places to sample fresh fish and sea food.
11.Holts Landing State Park
Once the private paradise of the Holt family, Holts Landing State Park now offers a wonderful waterfront recreational area where everyone can enjoy exploring a variety of shore habitats. While there is no actual beach in the park, there is a great fishing and crabbing pier, a boat launch and lovely hiking trails to explore. You are welcome to bring along a picnic or a BBQ to enjoy in the picnic area, which has tables and grills. The park is very popular with bird watchers – be sure to bring along your binoculars when you hike the Seawalk Trail, which passes maritime forest, salt marsh and freshwater habitats, home to osprey, herons and hawks.
Holts Landing State Park, 27046 Holts Landing Road, Dagsboro, DE 19939, 302 227 2800
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11 Best Delaware Beaches
- Bethany Beach, Photo: Courtesy of Mac - Fotolia.com
- Delaware Beach: Cape Henlopen State Park, Photo: Courtesy of junej - Fotolia.com
- Delaware Seashore State Park, Photo: Courtesy of CBH - Fotolia.com
- Beaches in Delaware: Dewey Beach, Photo: Courtesy of gravescreative - Fotolia.com
- Delaware Beach: Fenwick Island State Park Beach, Photo: Courtesy of FocusPhoto1 - Fotolia.com
- Beaches in Delaware: Lewes Beach, Photo: Courtesy of jonbilous - Fotolia.com
- Delaware Beaches: Rehoboth Beach, Photo: Courtesy of Chee - Fotolia.com
- Broadkill Beach , Photo: Rafal Olechowski/stock.adobe.com
- Slaughter Beach, Photo: JudithAnne/stock.adobe.com
- South Bethany Beach, Photo: emkaplin/stock.adobe.com
- Holts Landing State Park, Photo: Norm/stock.adobe.com
- Cover Photo: Courtesy of sergojpg - Fotolia.com
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