Summer isn’t over just yet — there’s still time to squeeze in one last nearby trip. Rehoboth Beach, Delaware, could be just the spot to do so. Rehoboth Beach (Rehoboth) is roughly one square mile. Situated on the Atlantic Ocean side of the Delmarva Peninsula, it offers both fun in the sun and city amenities, such as a movie theatre, good restaurants, and shopping. Located approximately 3.5 hours by car from North Jersey, it’s a smooth drive from I-95 South to DE-1 South. Read on to discover more about Rehoboth Beach, including what to do and where to go on your next getaway.
^ Penny Lane Mall
Indigenous Native American Indian Tribes, such as the Lenape, Sikkonese, Assateague, and the Nanticoke, were the area’s first known inhabitants. “From the mid-1600s to the establishment of the United States, we shared our homeland with the Swedes and Finns, Dutch and British,” according to the Nanticoke Lenni-Lenape Tribal Nation.
In the mid-17th century, Dutch and English settlers arrived in the area, forcing out many indigenous people. The British overtook the Dutch colonies, and the Duke of York ruled the region as it “transitioned into British America.” According to the City of Rehoboth, the land “became home to farmers and members of William Penn’s earliest legislatures. Later, these settlers participated in the American Revolutionary War.”
During the 19th century, most of the region was farmland. “According to the Rehoboth Beach Historical Society and Museum, Rev. Robert W. Todd of St. Paul’s M.E. Church in Wilmington purchased land from local farmers in 1873 and formed the Rehoboth Camp Meeting Association. The name “Rehoboth” means “broad places” and comes from the Old Testament of the Bible. The association had discontinued its formal meetings by 1881.
According to the City of Rehoboth, in 1891 Delaware’s General Assembly established the territory as a municipality, naming it Henlopen City. However, later that year, it was changed to Rehoboth. With the completion of a highway in 1925, traveling from Georgetown to Rehoboth Beach became easy. With so many people coming to the beach community from Washington, D.C., Rehoboth Beach soon came to be known as the “Nation’s Summer Capital.”
Rehoboth continues to be a popular vacation spot for people from Washington, D.C., and Pennsylvania, primarily. Its relaxed atmosphere brings together a diverse population, including families and the LGBTQ+ community.
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Where to Stay
Whether looking for a bit of luxury, no-frills, or pet-friendly, there are many places to choose from. (Note: Not all “pet-friendly” accommodations allow cats or animals other than dogs. Make sure to check the pet policy for each.) Weekly rentals for apartments or homes can be found on Airbnb and VRBO. Below are a few hotel and inn suggestions.
The Avenue Inn & Spa | 33 Wilmington Avenue
This family-owned and operated hotel is located just one block from the beach. Amenities include an apothecary spa, complimentary beach chairs, a complimentary wine and cheese hour daily, and an indoor saltwater pool. The Blue Hen restaurant serves American classics, local specialties, craft brews, and cocktails, and was a James Beard Award finalist.
The Bellmoor Inn & Spa | 6 Christian Street
At this Inn, guests stay two blocks from the beach in a balcony room, a suite, or The Bell House, a newly renovated three-bedroom home. The Spa has been consistently voted the best day spa in Rehoboth Beach and offers private parties and packages. Complimentary charging stations are available for all-electric vehicles.
Canalside Inn | 34 Sixth Street
This dog-friendly boutique hotel is within walking distance to the beach, and each room boasts a cozy and bright design. Guests receive complimentary beach chairs, bicycles, umbrellas, and a parking space. Upgrade experiences include a Beach Party Oasis, In-Room Massage, and Dog Walking to make your stay even more special. Voted Best of Delaware in 2021 and 2020.
Hotel Rehoboth | 247 Rehoboth Avenue
Hotel Rehoboth stands out on the avenue with its yellow exterior and black awnings. Amenities include a complimentary open-air beach shuttle with beach chairs and towels, and a nightly wine and cheese reception. The rooms are spacious, and the traditional décor is comfortable for lounging after a day in the sun.
Residence Inn by Marriott | 18964 John J. Williams Highway
This pet-friendly hotel welcomes cats as well as dogs. Located approximately four miles from the beach, it is halfway between Lewes and Rehoboth on DE-1, so guests can visit and explore both towns. It is also close – a bit too close – to the Tanger Outlet shops.
Things to Do
Hit the Beach
The actual beach sits at the end of Rehoboth Avenue, roughly a mile and a half from DE-1. The beach is wide, the sand is soft and yellow, and the water is on the cooler side. With Deauville Beach to the north and Poodle Beach to the south, there’s enough space to find your own spot in the sun.
Stroll the Boardwalk
The mile-long boardwalk is a prime place to get in your daily 10,000 and people watch. Visitors can walk day or night, play arcade games, and visit Funland Amusement Park. Then treat yourself to homemade ice cream or Thrasher’s Fries, but only after riding the Superflip 360.
Visit Cape Henlopen State Park
Located about eight miles north of Rehoboth Beach in Lewes, DE, Cape Henlopen is a coastal habitat that sits at the point where Delaware Bay meets the Atlantic Ocean. With more than six miles of coastline, the beaches and water allow boating, fishing, kayaking, and swimming. Gordons Pond Trail, a 3.2-mile trail within the park, cuts through dunes, forests, and wetlands and is a prime place for biking, walking, and wildlife watching.
Ride the Cape May – Lewes Ferry
The ferry shuttles across the Delaware Bay between Cape May, New Jersey, and Lewes, Delaware. It runs year-round and transports bikes, cars, and motorcycles, in addition to passengers. Adult tickets are $14 round-trip, and discounts are available for AAA members, military, and senior citizens. Food and beverages are available onboard.
See a Movie
If you’re too sunburned to be outside again, cool off at this cinema, which shows first-run, blockbuster, and superhero movies. Besides the cool air, you’ll love the cheaper ticket price.
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Where to Eat
Big Fish Grill | 20298 Coastal Highway
This casual seafood restaurant offers plenty of fish and seafood prepared in various ways. Pasta with seafood, land and sea dishes, flash-fried seafood, and a cold seafood tower (that serves from two to six people) are just some entrees to choose from. And you can’t go wrong with a pot ‘o mussels and French fries.
Mason’s Famous Lobster Rolls | 67 Rehoboth Avenue
With a casual atmosphere, Mason’s offers possibly the best lobster roll ever. According to founder Dan Beck, “Our lobster rolls are prepared according to tradition. With no bells, no whistles, and no pretension. And we serve them with only the basics: Lemon. Butter. Mayo. Maybe a little celery.” Mason’s reopens for the season in early March.
Eden | 23 Baltimore Avenue
The warm colors, subtle lighting, and translucent curtains draped throughout this elegant restaurant make Eden deserving of the “Most Romantic Atmosphere” award by Delaware Today for many years. The bold American cuisine doesn’t disappoint, and Wine Spectator has recognized Eden’s expansive wine list for more than 10 years. So, save one night of your getaway for a nice dinner here.
Lupo Italian Kitchen | 247 Rehoboth Avenue
This dressy casual restaurant located in Hotel Rehoboth serves cuisine that pairs Mediterranean flavors with locally caught seafood and local produce. The staff are amiable, knowledgeable, and will help order a satisfying dish. In 2021, Lupo received the Wine Spectator Award of Excellence for the fifth year in a row.
The Point Coffee Shop & Bakery | 37140 Rehoboth Avenue
This slice of breakfast heaven is situated where Rehoboth Avenue meets DE-1, approximately a mile and a half away from the beach. The store sources a large variety of Certified Organic and Fair-Trade coffees and brews six to eight different coffees daily. The food, including bagel sandwiches and various pastries, is suitable for breakfast or lunch, and the chocolate chip cookies will keep you coming back for more.
Where to Shop
Coastal Hobo | 200 Rehoboth Avenue
The main attraction at this store is Turkish towels, blankets, and beach robes, hand-crafted by skilled artisans in Turkey. Other luxury beach accessories at this family-owned shop include vegan soaps, soy candles, and distressed vintage trucker hats. The products are all-natural, with no animal fats and no chemicals.
The Shops at Rehoboth Mews | 40 Baltimore Avenue
This cobblestone street is lined with cute shops. Check out Sea Bags, which reuses sails from boats to create new bags. Across the way, Stoneworks Lapidary carries anything your favorite geologist might want. Grab a pick-me-up at either The Coffee Mill or The Mill Creamery while strolling. Penny Lane Mall on the other side of Rehoboth Avenue is a similar quaint shopping venue with 14 boutique shops.
South Moon Under | 120 Rehoboth Avenue
From swimwear to loungewear to date-night-ready wear, this shop offers comfortable and stylish clothes for both men and women. Brands include Billabong, Free People, and Pretty Garbage. Find any outfit you need for the beach or home.
The Spice & Tea Exchange | 10 Rehoboth Avenue
Just steps away from the boardwalk, this shop makes its own blends of spices, sugars, and teas, and carries a variety of brewing and cooking accouterment. The Chocolate Chai and Milk Oolong Teas are must-tries, as are the Cardamom Sugar and savory Umami. Various samples are given out at the back, and anything in this store would make a delectable gift.
Tanger Outlets | 36470 Seaside Outlet Drive
Who doesn’t love a good outlet mall? The shops are situated along the highway and offer something for everyone. Stores include Le Creuset, LOFT Outlet, Samsonite, Sperry Sunglass Hut, The North Face, Tommy Hilfiger, Under Armour, and Vineyard Vines. There is no sales tax in Delaware, so any bargain you find will be that much more affordable.