The Weekender: Delaware Beaches

Just a hop, skip and a jump from the DMV (i.e., the Washington, DC, metro area), the coastal beach towns of Rehoboth and Lewes, DE, cater to families, foodies and adventure travelers alike. Here’s what to pack for a weekend on the scenic Delmarva Peninsula.


Check In to the Dog-Friendly Dogfish Inn

Dogfish Inn, The Weekender: Delaware Beaches
Dogfish Inn

This 2-story boutique motel in quiet Lewes has a clean, modern and beer-centric vibe — thanks to its nearby brewery and brewpub. Relax in one of Dogfish Inn’s retro American beach chairs on the shore during the day, and retire to the Cowboy Cauldron fire pit at night. The best part? Fido doesn’t have to stay home! Call in advance to ask about dog-friendly rooms.

Pack: A beach-friendly, Atlantic Ocean-blue nylon tote.

Be Beach-House Chic at Nectar Cafe and Juice Bar

Nectar Cafe and Juice Bar, The Weekender: Delaware Beaches

Whether you’re craving a breakfast that’s hearty or healthy before the beach, it’s hard to beat Nectar Cafe and Juice Bar in Lewes, where both options abound. Try the spinach-lavender omelet and fluffy blueberry pancakes, which are to die for. Before you go, grab one of the refreshing pressed juices and some kale chips for the road.

Wear: A striped tunic dress over your favorite swimsuit.

Drive Onto the Beach at Cape Henlopen State Park

Cape Henlopen State Park, The Weekender: Delaware Beaches

Of all the Delmarva beaches, Cape Henlopen State Park wouldn’t necessarily be characterized as the prettiest or most popular, but the former military base turned peaceful preserve is a haven for camping, hiking, bike riding, surfing and fishing. Climb to the top of the WWII observation tower, let your pup run along the shore, play a round of disc golf or drive right onto the beach (after securing the proper surf-fishing permit).

Bring: A cute cooler with a shoulder strap (and the day’s supplies).

Saddle Up to the (Raw) Bar at Henlopen City Oyster House

Henlopen City Oyster House, The Weekender: Delaware Beaches

Known for craft brews, fancy cocktails and delicious food, the rustic yet elegant Henlopen City Oyster House is a must-visit when you’re in Rehoboth. Come early for happy hour, when you can grab a spot at the bar and sip on a seasonal cocktail — the watermelon margarita is our favorite — before noshing on such specialties as spiced peel-and-eat shrimp, lobster mac ’n’ cheese and, of course, oysters.

Add: An attention-grabbing nautical cord necklace.

Find Old-Fashioned Family Fun on the Rehoboth Boardwalk

Rehoboth Boardwalk, The Weekender: Delaware Beaches

Boardwalk or beach? Rehoboth’s quaint wooden benches boast 2 views; just pick a side for oceanfront vistas or people-watching. As you stroll along the quaint, mile-long boardwalk, enjoy local delicacies (such as Thrasher’s french fries doused in Old Bay), Funland’s amusement rides and the requisite kitschy souvenir shops.

Take home: Your canvas beach bag stuffed with boxes of saltwater taffy.

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