Coastal Delaware - Fenwick, Bethany, Dewey, Rehoboth & Lewes - Vacation Travel Guide

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Coastal Delaware Area Features

Day Trips Along the Delmarva Peninsula


While there’s plenty to do at the Delaware beaches, there’s also much more to see and experience in some of the neighboring areas in Delaware, Maryland and Virginia. These places aren’t even far away—just take a leisurely drive, and you’ll feel as though you’re in a completely different region. Here are some ideas to get you out and about.

Lewes, DE

Just north of Rehoboth is the historic town of Lewes. With buildings from yesteryear, this beautiful town is worth a visit. Most people stop to explore it while taking the ferry to Cape May, New Jersey—which is also a scenic adventure—but Lewes definitely has a charm that makes it a destination in its own right. If you go, be sure to try one of the local restaurants or stop to see the Life-Saving Station and the Lightship Overfalls. This lightship is one of the few that remain in the United States—and even fewer, like this one, are open to the public. Built in 1938, this floating lighthouse was one of the last of its kind to be constructed. It was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1988 and was painstakingly refurbished in recent years. Other historic structures include the Zwaanendael Museum, Captain Johnston Home, the Trader Home, and the Cannonball House, which is appropriately named for the ammunition scar from the War of 1812 lodged in the building’s foundation.

Ocean City, MD

Immediately across the southern Delaware state line is Ocean City, MD—a place of nostalgia and relaxation, and also excitement and entertainment. The draws are numerous, but Ocean City is ultimately famous for its wide, beautiful beach and award-winning boardwalk. Energetic day-trippers may enjoy the non-stop adrenaline pulsing through this area. Children’s shrieks of amusement are heard as they play the arcade games or experience a thrilling ride. Meanwhile, the aroma of pizza, candy and deliciously greasy boardwalk food fills the air, attracting hungry beachgoers. You can’t help but feel nostalgic while strolling the wooden planks of this scenic promenade. And though it has been rebuilt since its conception in 1910, the historic feel remains—almost taking you back to when the 2.5-mile boardwalk was only 5 blocks long.

Assateague & Chincoteague (MD & VA)

South of Ocean City and just off the coasts of Maryland and Virginia lies a 37-mile-long natural barrier island that is shared by both states. Indians who first discovered this beautiful site called it “Assateague” which means “place across” and it has remained a crossing point for the famous horses that annually swim across the channel to Chincoteague, Virginia. As part of the National Park Service, Assateague Island National Seashore has some beautiful beaches and unspoiled natural settings including sand dunes, wetlands, and marshes. Nature lovers adore the wildlife that is present and birds that find sanctuary on the island. Though the Maryland and Virginia sides of Assateague do not connect, there are two ways to access the island with an entrance in Maryland and another by way of Chincoteague, VA. In Chincoteague, more comfortable amenities can be found for those looking for an island getaway. Waterfront restaurants offer fabulous seafood entrees and tropical drinks while local shops have pony souvenirs, handmade gifts, and locally made works of art. It’s a quaint town to walk around and a nice spot to visit after a day in nature.

Berlin, MD

On one visit to Berlin, Maryland, it’s easy to see why this town has been recognized nationally and won so many awards including: “Best Small Towns in America” in 2018 by Architectural Digest; the “Absolute Cutest Town in Maryland” by Huffington Post in 2017; “20 Best Small Towns to Visit in 2016” by Smithsonian.com; and “The Coolest Small Town in America” recently by Budget Travel. Just west of Ocean City, Berlin is a gem of a small community with friendly people, beautiful sights and history around every corner. Not only does Berlin have nearly 50 buildings on the National Register of Historic Places, but it was home to Stephen Decatur (a heroic Naval commander during the War of 1812), Man o’ War (believed to be the best racehorse of all time), and the 1937 Triple Crown winner, War Admiral—a direct descendant of Man o’ War.

Journey down the tree-lined main street of downtown Berlin to discover an eclectic mix of businesses. You’ll find a few antique stores with some retailers carrying modern conveniences sprinkled in, shops with handmade gifts, and delicious dining options in the locally owned restaurants. Berlin is also home to museums such as the Calvin B. Taylor House Museum, gorgeous golf courses, and stunning natural scenery just waiting to be explored.

Take time to discover these beautiful areas that are just a short drive from the Delaware Beaches. There’s a ton to explore, gorgeous views, and unique events happening all the time. These places make wonderful day trips that offer different environments and new experiences. Follow your wanderlust and have a Sunny Day!

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