Rehoboth Beach has long been a popular vacation spot with white sandy beaches, a mile-long boardwalk, tax-free shopping, and five-star restaurants. Located in the mid-Atlantic region, the community is only one square mile, but it is the largest beach resort in Delaware. Don’t let the small size fool you; there are many things to do in the quaint little town.
Drop your bags at your hotel and head straight to the boardwalk when you get into town. Lined with eclectic shops, restaurants, businesses, and Funland, the boardwalk is one reason Rehoboth Beach is consistently rated as one of the best beaches on the East Coast. Stroll the mile-long boardwalk to get acquainted with the town and lean into the weekend.
Next, head down the Avenue to Nicola Pizza for their famous Nic-o-boli. A Nic-o-boli is ground beef, pizza sauce, and a blend of cheeses rolled in the dough, then baked in the oven. It’s a great alternative to traditional stromboli. Their pizza and salads are also a must-try. After dinner, enjoy an evening stroll down the Avenue and pop into one of the many bars and cafes for a nightcap.
Kick off your day with a hearty breakfast at the Crystal or Robin Hood Restaurant; both offer a delicious full-service breakfast. If sit-down breakfast isn’t your style, grab a coffee and breakfast sandwich at Rise Up Coffee, which pours one of the best cups of coffee in the area. Now you are ready to hit the beach!
One of the most popular beaches is right downtown. It is free to access, though you’ll have to pay for parking if you aren’t within walking distance of the sand. Parking can either be done through a permit or a meter. The beach backs up to the boardwalk and Rehoboth Avenue, so there are plenty of fun options for lunch and the afternoon if you want a break from the sun. If you have time and are a true beach lover, venture to Dewey Beach and Bethany Beach. They have nice stretches of public sand and are often less crowded than downtown Rehoboth.
After a few hours on the beach, you will probably want a snack. You can’t leave Rehoboth without trying Thrasher’s French Fries, complete with some salt and vinegar, not ketchup! Fried in peanut oil, these are the tastiest treat for any beach-goer to enjoy while visiting Rehoboth. Don’t feed the seagulls if you take your bucket back to your beach blanket. Save the fries for yourself. If you are in the mood for something more filling, try a hot dog from Gus & Gus Place or a slice of pizza from Grotto Pizza, both are local favorites.
Now that you’ve had your fill of the sun head back to the hotel, shower, and dress for an afternoon and evening of fun! Your first stop should be for your appointment for your couples massage at the Avenue Apothecary & Spa. Enjoy two simultaneous massages performed side by side in a peaceful and soothing environment. Book your appointment about a month in advance to be sure to take advantage of this magnificent treat while visiting Rehoboth. My favorite time slot is around 2:30 or 3:00. It leaves me plenty of time for the beach in the morning, and after the massages, we can head straight to the Blue Hen for a handcrafted cocktail. They make a delicious Old-Fashioned, and the Crossbar is very refreshing on a hot summer day.
As day turns to night, head across the street to the Henlopen City Oyster House. The oysters here are of the highest quality, and the happy hour is legendary. The raw bar serves oysters, samplers, middleneck clams, and oyster shooters. The restaurant also has a variety of excellent craft microbrew beers—even keeping a cask on hand for Old World-style beer—and standard domestic and imported beers, innovative mixed drinks, and an extensive wine list. After your oyster appetizers and cocktails, stroll down Wilmington Ave. to Penny Lane. Penny Lane is a quaint European-inspired, open-air mall featuring a diverse selection of shops and treats. Walk around and pop in a few shops before you head to dinner.
Don’t shop for too long because you don’t want to be late for your dinner reservation at Salt Air. Located in the heart of Rehoboth Beach, this is my top choice for dinner and drinks. It offers farm-to-table cuisine, an upscale atmosphere, and great hospitality. The bar is very cozy, with seasonal decor, featuring a diverse selection of spirits, including plenty of bourbon and whiskey. This is a can’t-miss dining experience; you won’t be disappointed.
Before returning to your hotel, take an evening stroll on the boardwalk or beach. Experience the timeless charm, the salt air smell, and the sound of the ocean and the sand in your toes.
Since Sunday is a travel day, I suggest having brunch at Egg on Rehoboth Ave. It’s considered one of the best brunch spots in the area. They have a wide selection of sweet and savory breakfast choices and a well-rounded cocktail menu.
Just down the street from Egg, you’ll find one of the best independent bookstores on the east coast. Browseabout Books is known for its books and wide selection of unique gifts, puzzles, and stationery. Their staff picks offer broad and eclectic picks that will help you select your next read. Allow at least an hour or two to browse in this serene sanctuary.
There’s no denying Rehoboth Beach’s appeal in the summer, the beach, the boardwalk, and the sun-but it has evolved into a year-round resort. It’s a perfect getaway any time of year.