Within a few feet, beachgoers have the option of entering the open ocean or being in calmer water on the inside shore.
Fenwick Island State Park is on a 3-mile (5-kilometer) barrier island that features the Atlantic Ocean on one side and a more serene arm of the ocean on the other. Choose a place amongst the sand dunes for sunbathing or relaxing without feeling crowded.
While there is no commercial boardwalk here, there are food and drink concessions. Rent beach chairs, umbrellas and rafts from one of the kiosks for a relaxing time on land and sea. Arrive early to secure a free beach wheelchair available from the state park office on a first-come, first-served basis unless you reserve 24 hours in advance.
For families in particular, swim where lifeguards are present along the length of the beach. Both sides of the island have an underwater sloping bottom, but the western side is flatter. Bring your surfboard as the park is one of the few beaches in Delaware with a designated surfing area. Rent a kayak to explore the island’s shoreline and venture into Little Assawoman Bay on the park’s western side.
Do some surf fishing for species such as sea bass and bluefish. Purchase a permit to drive your vehicle onto the beach in a designated surf fishing area. Permits are bought at the bathhouse gift shop or the nearby Delaware Seashore State Park office.
Beaches along the Delaware coast have their unique features. Birdwatch as there are a number of species that have nesting areas on the island, which are off limits to the public. Use the bathhouse that has more than just changing rooms and showers; it also has a gift shop, snack food concessions and a rental office for beach paraphernalia. Dispose of your garbage appropriately when you leave Fenwick Island State Park as it is a protected area. Pets are allowed on a leash.
Include Fenwick Island State Park with other attractions in the area such as Lewes, Cape Henlopen State Park or Rehoboth Beach. Park your car in the spacious lot, but be aware that there can be line-ups at times. An entrance fee is collected in the summer during the open hours from 8 a.m. until sunset, and on weekends and holidays in the spring and fall. Lifeguards are on duty 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. from Memorial Day to Labor Day.