So this is our crazy time of year here in Coastal Delaware - the beach towns are hopping and brewery tours and tasting room are moving & grooving!
Sam & I hit the brewery for a tour last Saturday. The rain was coming down hard, and the beaches were deserted - but people on vacation need something to do... so the movie theater, the brewpub and the brewery were packed (and I am sure the local outlet shopping malls were too - but they weren't part of our day).
We get questions from lots of folks asking about visiting our fair sliver of the world. They are coming through to hit the brewery tour and want to know what else our area has to offer. The answer? Lots!!!
In addition to a visit to our downtown Rehoboth Beach brewpub for some beers, spirits and tasty eats, and our Milton brewery for a tour (tours are free, but check out the schedule because they DO fill up - especially this time of year), we do have some other thoughts on a visit to coastal Delaware to share.
First off - getting here...
Sadly, public transport options to our beach towns are few and far between.
Amtrak goes as far as Wilmington, DE. There are some DART buses that come from the train station to the beach during the summer (the Beach Connection, route #305), but they run only on Friday, Saturday, Sundays & holidays.
If you are coming from DC, you may be able to hop on the new DC2NY's Beach Bus to Rehoboth Beach.
From the Jersey side, a ride on the Cape May-Lewes Ferry is always a fun time. It is a 70-minute cruise across the Delaware Bay. There is Dogfish beer available onboard, or you can enjoy a burger and a Dogfish at the outdoor grill 'On The Rocks' while waiting at the Lewes ferry terminal.
If you are flying into the area, the closest airport is Salisbury, MD (SBY), but you may not find many direct flights. We usually use either Philly (PHL) or Baltimore (BWI) - both are about a 2-hour drive from us.
Where to sleep...
I always recommend folks stay either in downtown Lewes or downtown Rehoboth Beach. There are options out on the highway (Route 1), but staying there means you have to drive everywhere and really doesn't give you a good feel for the area.
For hotels/motels/B&Bs in downtown Rehoboth Beach, Check out the accomodations page at Rehoboth Beach Main Street. Rehoboth Beach is a great little beach town with ocean beaches, a boardwalk (Funland is... well, fun!), lots of great restaurants, boutiques and a great brewpub!
If Rehoboth isn't your scene, check out downtown Lewes - a quaint, historic harbor town. Lewes is in between Rehoboth (where the brewpub is) and Milton (where the brewery is). For a list of accommodations in downtown Lewes, check out the accommodations page of the Lewes Chamber of Commerce's list.
Lastly, there are some great campgrounds in the area. Cape Henlopen State Park is the closest campground and is right near the beach! Trap Pond Sate Park is a bit further drive, but it is a great spot on a cypress swamp (and Trap Pond has cabins and yurts too).
What to do...
After you brewery/brewpub visits (or perhaps *before* might be a better idea if you'll be sampling a bit of beer!), you'll want to check out some of the other parts of the area!
The most obvious thing to do is - get out on the water! Playing in the waves at one of our beaches, kayaking the bays, taking a Dolphin Watch cruise or just sitting on a deck enjoying a beer while watching the sunset - all are great ideas! In particular, we have a Pints & Paddles tour with our friends at Quest Kayak which combines a paddle on the Broadkill River and a brewery tour.
Shoppers? We can scratch that itch! Both downtown Lewes and downtown Rehoboth Beach have tons of fab small shops & boutiques. There are also a slew of outlet malls out on the highway (don't forget about Delaware's tax free shopping!).
There is an awesome bike path called the Breakwater-Junction Trail connecting Lewes and Rehoboth Beach - check it out. We also have a few water parks, many mini-golf courses, a disc golf course, great fishing, and quite a few small museums.
Finally, just this year the breweries and wineries in Delaware banded together to create the Delaware Wine & Ale Trail to help visitors make their way around the state.
Here are some links:
Now, I know there are a million more things to do in the area. When I think of more, I'll add them. If you know and love coastal Delaware and want to share some more ideas, please make a comment at the bottom of this post.
By the way... if you want to avoid the July/August summer crowds, my personal favorite time of year here is autumn (weather is great, water is still warm, crowds have thinned). Late spring is also pretty darn nice.
We hope to see you in coastal Delaware soon!
Cheers - mariah