Southern Delaware is home to some of DC’s favorite beach destinations. With five family-friendly destinations to choose from, it can be hard to narrow the choices and pick which beach town is just right for your family. From kid-friendly eats to rainy day fun, we rounded up the best family activities in each destination to help you make the best choice. Once you settle on your home base, be sure to check out our guides to nearby Lewes, Rehoboth Beach, Bethany Beach and Fenwick Island for more fun things to see and do in Southern Delaware.
Things to Do in Dewey Beach, DE
Walk two to three blocks east or west of Rt. 1 and you’ll hit the water in this narrow little hamlet. With the Rehoboth Bay on one side and the Atlantic Ocean on the other, this thin strip of a town has an almost island feel. Lending to the laid-back atmosphere are a number of outdoor restaurants and bars and the popular East of Maui where you can rent kayaks, surf boards, skimboards and more. While this hamlet has a party town reputation during summer months, there are plenty of family-friendly perks (and off-season, it’s a family paradise).
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Where to Play in Dewey Beach, DE
The public beaches in Dewey are wide, soft and free. The water can be rough so if you have little ones in tow, head south of town to Tower Beach in Delaware Seashore State Park where the water is tamer and waves are rare (there is a $10 for out-of-state vehicles). Bay beaches are another option for parents with children not old enough to enjoy body boarding or skimming ocean waves. If you want to hit the water at high speed, there are jet ski rentals in town and for bay front home renters, kayak rentals dropped off at your front door by Delmarva Board Sport Adventures.
photo: Alley Oop Skim
Fun Beach Activities in Dewey Beach, DE
If you want to experience the beach the way a local does, try skimming! Dewey is famous for being home to the longest running world championship for skimboarders. While this small town does not get large waves, it is known for the type of crests you need to skim. Jason Wilson, owner of Ally Oop Skimboards, is the championship’s event director. He’s also an instructor. Learn how to ride Dewey Beach’s famous linear waves with this pro that has over 25 years of experience. Kids 5 & up can try this sport (no swimming experience needed).
photo: Delmarva Discovery Center
Rainy Day Fun around Dewey Beach, DE
If the weather takes a turn, it’s time for a road trip! Just over an hour away, Delmar Discovery Center in Pocomoke City, MD will fill your day with hands-on fun and live animal interactions. Imagine what life was like in the 1800s while you wander through a two-story steamship replica complete with a coal pit or crawl into a real beaver lodge that has been reassembled inside the museum. Be sure to stop by the otter exhibit when Mac and Tuck are fed. They love visitors and like to put on a good show. The museum opens at 11 a.m. Thurs.-Sun.
RELATED: Family-Friendly Things to See and Do in Lewes, DE
Where to Eat in Dewey Beach, DE
The Point near-by Rehoboth makes claim to the best sticky buns at the beach and we’re here to tell you, those are facts. We guarantee breakfast runs here will quickly become a family tradition. In town, Nalu’s has a kitschy tiki vibe that will give you island feels while dining. You’ll find poke bowls, street tacos, burgers and wraps at this restaurant that has both indoor and outdoor dining. Live music starts every night at 8 p.m. except Wed. when they crank it up starting at 5 p.m.
Where to Stay in Dewey Beach, DE
The Bay Resort offers budget-friendly rooms with kitchenettes and onsite amenities like an outdoor pool and kayaks to rent. For those that want a little more space, this VRBO rental is perfect for a family (or two). Located at the southern most tip of town, you can’t beat this property’s location—easily walk to the public beach, restaurants and shops. Or stay tucked away and enjoy the private stretch of beach (yes, completely yours!) and the stunning views of the sun setting over Rehoboth Bay.
For more information: townofdeweybeach.com
RELATED: The Best Kid-Friendly Eats and Attractions in Rehoboth Beach