Don’t let the size fool you – although Delaware is the second smallest state in the U.S., this list of the best beaches in Delaware has an unforgettable resume.
From fun-filled boardwalks, movies on the beach, amusement rides, and summer concerts to parasailing, kayaking, windsurfing, and jet skiing – there is so much to be explored in these coastal towns. Keep reading to learn all you need to know about the best beaches in Delaware!
Bethany Beach, DE
When searching for the best beaches in Delaware, no list is complete without Bethany Beach. This charming beach town is small in size, yet big in presence! Each year Bethany Beach welcomes thousands of beachgoers eager to experience all that this seaside town has to offer. Wander around on foot or take a ride on the Bethany Beach Trolley!
The town’s main feature is the wide boardwalk that stretches half a mile down the beach’s coast. The boardwalk is home to lots of restaurants, shops, and other attractions that make life at the beach a breeze. Foot washing stations are available to help remove sand before putting your shoes back on after a stroll along the coast.
Special events include Bonfires on the Beach and Movies on the Beach that take place on select nights throughout the summer season. The Bethany Beach Bandstand has a summer concert series that offers a wide range of music genres that are guaranteed to be fun for the whole family!
Bethany Surf Shop is a classic stop that’s great for all things boards – surfboards, skimboards, bodyboards, and stand-up paddleboards are available for purchase or rental. The shop even offers stand-up paddleboard tours, as well as souvenir apparel!
After a fun-filled day by the water, head over to the Bluecoast Seafood Grill for some outstanding fresh seafood. This restaurant offers weekly specials, an extensive wine selection, creative cocktails, and even a kid’s menu for younger guests. With so much to do, there’s no doubt Bethany Beach is one of the best beaches in Delaware!
South Bethany Beach
South Bethany, DE
Just over 2 miles south of its bustling neighbor, South Bethany Beach is the calmer sibling of Bethany Beach. If you’re looking for pure rest and relaxation, South Bethany is certainly one of the best beaches in Delaware.
While still close enough to easily enjoy all of the fun attractions in Bethany Beach, South Bethany is mostly residential, therefore it’s rather quiet and not nearly as jam-packed with tourists and beachgoers. If you’re looking for a tranquil walk along the sand, peaceful sunbathing, or prefer to enjoy the sun with a good book, you won’t want to miss this beach.
If you’d like to remain separated from the crowds, the South Bethany Seafood Market can be a great place to pick up some fresh fish for a homemade seafood dinner. Just down the street, you’ll find Ocean Air Produce – a quaint market great for picking up fresh fruits, veggies, or other meats and cheeses for a snack or delicious meal.
For a local favorite, check out Grotto Pizza – a delightful pizza joint that serves up plenty of delicious favorites during the beach season. For a life on the quieter side of things, South Bethany Beach is definitely one of the best beaches in Delaware!
Rehoboth Beach, DE
Nicknamed the “Nation’s Summer Capital”, there’s no debating that Rehoboth Beach is one of the best beaches in Delaware. Each year this beach receives a grand influx of visitors looking to soak up the sun. Plenty of waterfront hotels line the beach, and tax free-shopping and unique boutiques draw in eager shoppers.
Rehoboth Beach has a mile-long boardwalk jam-packed with souvenir shops, restaurants, candy stores, bars, and much more! Open since 1962, Funland Amusement Park is home to 20 rides as well as an arcade featuring classic favorites like Skee-Ball and Ring Toss. The park is free to enter, but rides cost a small fee.
Also located in Rehoboth Beach is Jungle Jim’s – Delaware’s largest waterpark that is also home to batting cages, mini golf, and more! The Rehoboth Beach Bandstand hosts a free summer concert series, an inviting attraction for music lovers.
Whether you’re looking for a fun-filled getaway with the kids, someplace to visit with friends, or even a solo trip with endless activities – Rehoboth Beach definitely has something for you!
Delaware Seashore State Park
Rehoboth Beach, DE
Delaware Seashore State Park is a nature lover’s dream. The park is 2,825 acres of pure outdoor heaven. Multiple beaches with summer lifeguards span the park, and there are modern shower houses and concession stands conveniently located nearby. With 6 miles of ocean coast and 20 miles of bay shoreline, there are infinite things to enjoy here.
This park has some of the best beaches in Delaware for water activities including windsurfing, kayaking, sailing, fishing, crabbing, and clamming. The park also holds an annual sandcastle-building contest, even offering prizes for the best displays!
Over seven miles of nature trails stretch throughout the park, which are ideal for hiking, biking, or learning about the nature that surrounds you via self-guided tours. To really soak in the outdoors, Delaware Seashore State Park has two campsites that allow you to wake up right by the water!
The Big Chill Beach Club is located right next to the two campgrounds and is the perfect spot to grab a bite or a drink and enjoy the ocean view. What better way to wind down after spending a day at one of the best beaches in Delaware?
Dewey Beach, DE
Dewey Beach is a lively destination nestled between the Atlantic Ocean and Rehoboth Bay – double the water means double the fun!
Dewey Beach Watersports is a popular rental company that offers kayaks, jet skis, bicycles, and even pontoon boats for rent. Guests may also choose to take a sunset cruise along the bay. Dewey Beach Parasail is another reputable company that offers thrilling parasailing rides over the sparkling water!
This area tends to draw in a vibrant younger crowd, making Dewey Beach one of the best beaches in Delaware for bustling nightlife. The Starboard is a well-known spot for grabbing dinner or a drink, as well as breakfast and lunch! You name it, The Starboard has got it. Besides delicious food, the restaurant often offers live music and special events. For craft beer fans, Dewey Beer Co. is a must-visit destination that’s sure to have a brew you’ll enjoy!
If you’re seeking pure relaxation, Dewey Beach Yoga offers tranquil yoga classes right on the sand, perfect for taking in the serenity of the sea. Whatever it is you’re looking for, Dewey Beach is certainly one of the best beaches in Delaware!
Broadkill Beach, DE
If you’re looking for a more tranquil destination, Broadkill Beach is surely one of the best beaches in Delaware. Located on Delaware Bay, this quaint beach is an official horseshoe crab sanctuary. With so many of these crabs in the area, it’s easy to spot them as you go for a stroll along the water’s edge!
The water is generally calm and shallow, making this one of the best beaches in Delaware for children or people who would like to avoid more intense waves. The beach is rather secluded, so it’s best to come prepared with things you’d like to have with you for a beach day.
However, the small Broadkill Store is located nearby and sells general items such as snacks, drinks, plenty of sunscreen, and even apparel and beach toys for younger beachgoers.
Fenwick Island State Park
Fenwick Island, DE
Located on a barrier island, Fenwick Island State Park Beach stretches for three miles along the Atlantic coast, with Little Assawoman Bay just a short distance away on the other side. This peaceful destination is one of the best beaches in Delaware for swimming, sunbathing, birdwatching, and spending time out on the water.
Stand-up paddleboards, kayaks, and sailboats are all available for rent, as well as chairs and beach umbrellas for those who would prefer to relax on the sand. Lifeguards are on duty during the summer and a shower house with changing facilities is located nearby. Concession stands are available for a quick bite to refuel while enjoying the sea air.
Little Assawoman Bay is known for stunning sunsets that make a visit to this beach well worth the trip. Once the sun goes down, try grabbing a flashlight and hunting for ghost crabs, sneaky little critters that like to hang around this beach at night!
For some fun that goes beyond the beach, Viking Golf and Go-Karts can be a delightful place to bring the family for some mini-golf, go-karting, or taking a spin down some slides at the waterpark! Viking Golf also has a small boardwalk with an arcade and plenty of delicious treats such as pizza, burgers, hot dogs, ice cream, funnel cakes, and more!
Lewes Beach lies along Delaware Bay and is a charming town great for families. With a calm surf, the waters are very safe – making Lewes Beach one of the best beaches in Delaware for children. The water is also great for fishing and boating!
Located right next to the coast, East of Maui is a surf shop that offers rentals such as bodyboards, skimboards, surfboards, paddleboards, kayaks, windsurfing gear, bicycles, and more! The shop even offers private or group surfing and kiteboarding lessons.
The beach has restroom facilities and an outdoor shower for convenience and is located close by to many boutiques, bars, and restaurants. A bit further inland but still near to the beach sits Hopkins Farm Creamery, a family-owned and operated ice cream shop that lies right on the farm – it doesn’t get much fresher than that! The creamery has a wide range of delicious flavors, even including dairy-free and sugar-free options.
With so many things to do in this quaint town, Lewes Beach is definitely one of the best beaches in Delaware!
Cape Henlopen State Park
Cape Henlopen State Park consists of 5,193 beautiful acres that are absolutely filled to the brim with activities sure to be enjoyed by all ages.
The park has over six miles of coastline fantastic for swimming, fishing, kayaking, boating, paddleboarding, windsurfing, and even clamming. The water is calm, making this one of the best beaches in Delaware for casual wading or floating around with young ones. The park is also home to an 18-hole disc golf course!
There’s an on-site picnic pavilion perfect for having lunch, as well as a shower house and changing facilities nearby. With so many beautiful trails waiting to be explored, visitors to Cape Henlopen State Park are welcome to participate in the Borrow-A-Bike program, where guests may rent a bike for up to two hours – completely free of charge!
In addition to biking the trails, the paths make for a stunning hike filled with wildlife views. If you’d like to get a bit more up close and personal with the wildlife, the Seaside Nature Center is a great place to visit at Cape Henlopen State Park. Guests can learn more about a wide range of local fish, discover new habitats, as well as meet horseshoe crabs in the touch tank, and find an awesome souvenir to take home from the gift shop!
For history lovers, make sure to visit the Fort Miles Museum. This museum showcases the grand importance of the land Cape Henlopen State Park now sits on. During World War Two, the land was occupied by Fort Miles – a U.S. defense base!
With so many things to enjoy at the park, there’s no doubt Cape Henlopen State Park is one of the best beaches in Delaware. To enjoy the maximum amount of time possible, the park has a campground with space for tents, as well as various two-room cabins that have an outdoor spigot and fire ring for cooking!
Visiting the Best Beaches in Delaware
With so many wonderful options to choose from, you can’t go wrong when visiting the best beaches in Delaware. No matter what you’re looking for, these beaches definitely have something for you!
Curious about beaches in other northern states? Check out our post on the Best Beaches in Michigan!