Originally founded as a religious vacation destination, Bethany Beach has retained its laid-back atmosphere, earning it the nickname, the “Quiet Resort.” It offers extensive beach access and small-town charm and has become one of Delaware’s most popular oceanfront destinations.
Most of the town’s activities center on its public beach. The one-mile (1.6-kilometer) length offers a clean shorefront that is perfect for sunbathing, swimming and playing volleyball. On sunny days, the Atlantic Ocean attracts people for kayaking, windsurfing, boating and surfing. Even if you don’t want to risk getting wet, you can look for dolphins and enjoy beautiful sunrises and sunsets from the boardwalk, which runs parallel to the beach.
During the summer, the beach is a prime spot for entertainment, hosting concerts, movies and other events. Free Bandstand performances are a weekly tradition.
The quaint downtown is packed with souvenir stores and antique shops where visitors can enjoy tax-free shopping. Bethany Beach is famous for its seafood restaurants, which pair the fish of the day with ocean views. If you want to catch your own dinner, charter a boat and spend the day deep-sea fishing.
The commercial area is very close to the beach, so join other visitors exploring by bike or on foot. From Memorial Day to September, you can also ride in style, courtesy of the town’s old-time trolley.
Take a fun daytrip, driving a few minutes south, to Fenwick Island Lighthouse where you can explore the celebrated structure and learn about its history in the onsite museum. Delaware Seashore State Park and Fenwick Island State Park are popular favorites for their campgrounds, pristine shorefront and extensive networks of walking trails. Children will delight in the Bethany Beach Nature Center, which hosts educational programs and has a variety of short nature trails. Adults can enjoy a round of golf at one of the many courses in the area.
Route 1 runs directly through Bethany Beach, making the town easily accessible by car. The nearest major airport is Baltimore/Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport, located 120 miles (190 kilometers) northwest.