There are few places on the US East Coast that aren’t absolutely fantastic. From the rugged, rocky shoreline of Maine to the sandy paradise of Florida, you’ve got the real pick of the litter. But there’s one hidden gem that you’ve probably not even considered, and it’s smack-dab in the Mid-Atlantic just waiting for you to discover: the best-kept secrets that are Delaware’s beaches.
Something For Everyone
Whether you’re searching for your ideal, much-needed vacation home or you’re relocating on a more permanent basis, you can’t do better than looking into the Delaware Bay area. That’s because Delaware beaches are not only breathtaking and picturesque, but they also boast such a wide variety of experiences that there’s absolutely something for everyone no matter what you’re looking for.
Does that sound too good to be true? Here’s what you can experience at just a few of the most popular and well-known of Delaware’s beach towns.
Looking for an artsy, Bohemian, and edgy, sophisticated vibe? Go no further than the outstanding Rehoboth Beach, a family-friendly environment that will leave you tickled pink with every visit. Featuring a boardwalk that would put Atlantic City to shame, Rehoboth Beach has some world-famous shops that have been enthralling visitors for generations.
Between the Funland amusement park, Dolle’s iconic saltwater taffy shop, Trasher’s world-famous french fries, or Kohr’s frozen custard shop, there’s always something new to see and do. Seasonal events held at Rehoboth Beach like sandcastle-building competitions and Halloween festivals make this boardwalk an even more incredible experience.
But relocating here means you won’t always be a tourist. So, what’s it like to live in a famous beach town known for its boardwalk and beachy vibes? Niche.com has awarded the tiny town the honor of the #11 spot on Best Places to Live in Delaware— that should tell you something! If you have kids, the public schools are highly rated. If you have leisure time, there is an abundance of cafe’s, bars, and eateries to keep you busy with a full social calendar every night of the week.
And the community is solid, too: most people own their own homes (82%) and the beachy vibe has a touch of suburban familiarity that most people find comforting and welcoming, no matter where their interests lie.
And yes, food here costs a little more than the national average but the cost of energy is eight percent lower — that will make a big difference when you’re heating your home on those cozy winter evenings by the shore!
If you look at the last U.S. Census, the population in Rehoboth Beach declined between 2000 and 2010, the last year for which U.S. Census data available. But we know that the coastal areas have been growing tremendously, especially in the Cape Region, so we’re awaiting results from the 2020 Census to verify what we already know: this is a tremendously popular area.
Family fun is great and all, but sometimes you need to cut loose and leave the kids at home. That’s why you can’t go wrong with Dewey Beach when you need a night out. Sandwiched between ocean vistas on one side and a gorgeous bay on the other, this beach is perfect for spending time windsurfing, wake boarding, parasailing, or even just watching the dolphins.
Once you’ve gotten your fill on the water, though, it’s time for the party to kick off for real — and Dewey Beach provides a fantastic choice of bumpin’ nightclubs. With names like the Rusty Rudder, Hammerheads, and the Nalu Surf Bar, you know you’re in for a great time. Looking for a more laid-back environment? Legendary bars like the Bottle and Cork and the Starboard have just what you need to unwind after a long day in the sun!
Delaware beaches offer so much more than family fun and work-hard-play-hard environments. There are gorgeous, placid stretches of the region that have become well-known for their quiet, intimate, and low-key diversions and amenities that are perfect for anyone looking to have a fun, peaceful, and laid-back experience.
The best example of this is Bethany Beach, and it’s long had a reputation for the kind of well-rounded hospitality from a well-established community with deep roots. Low-stress to the extreme, Bethany Beach offers a little bit of everything for everyone; whether it’s shopping the boardwalk at dozens of tax-free stores, working on your tan on the gorgeous beaches, grabbing a bite of legendary cuisine at world-renowned restaurants like Mango’s, DiFebos, or the Bluecoast Seafood Grille, or simply gathering with family and friends at your beach house, Bethany Beach has you covered.
Looking for something a little different? Is even the subdued hustle and bustle of Bethany Beach a bit too hectic for your tastes? Welcome to Lewes— the premier coastal Delaware town that is a polished gem of an experience. Friendly, charming, but also quiet and dignified, Lewes has what you need if you’re looking for the ultimate in escapes from the fast-paced world of today.
With a secluded location right on the bay that features loads of Colonial-era history and boutique shopping experiences, Lewes is perfect if you’re looking for a beach town to go to that’s not a typical “beach” but you still crave the sea breeze. There’s no argument here: the take-it-easy pace of the most quaint and beloved seaside town in Delaware is waiting for you with open arms.
What’s more, the public schools come highly recommended, most people own their homes, and the town of roughly 3,000 residents has a relaxed vibe that stems partly from the fact that the population here is spread out, rather than being densely packed.
Looking to get back to nature while also enjoying the exquisite Delaware beach environment? Look no further than Fenwick Island, a unique beach town that has everything you need. Bordering both the bay and the state park that bears its name, Fenwick Island might be just across the border from Ocean City, Maryland but you’d never know it judging on its sedate, secluded beach houses and bed and breakfasts.
The outdoor activities offered by the park in the form of fishing, sunbathing, swimming, and windsurfing are complemented nicely by the more exciting family fun fare thanks to nearby Viking Amusements, a one-stop-shop for mini golf, go-kart racing, and a thrilling water park to boot.
Even More Reasons Delaware Beaches Are Perfect For You
By now it should be crystal clear that Delaware beaches have something for everyone. Whether it’s family fun, high-octane entertainment, thrilling nightlife, a real back-to-nature experience, or just some languid rest and relaxation, you can find it all on Delaware’s shores.
The state’s many gorgeous beach towns aren’t the only fantastic thing about Delaware, though. Here are the rest of the benefits of living in this perfect little
Mid-Atlantic state. A Central, Convenient Location
Delaware happens to be in one of the most convenient locations ever due to how it’s smack-dab in the center of the Atlantic Seaboard. In fact, whether you’re looking to escape the hustle and bustle of nearby cities, you’re downsizing from their surrounding suburbs, or if you want to relocate to a convenient area that will still let you commute to work with ease, you can’t do better than Delaware.
No matter where you are in the state, some of the biggest cities in the United States are no more than a few hours away. Philadelphia is just a scant 30 miles to the north up the Delaware River, making it the closest major city to anyone living in the northern reaches of the state.
Meanwhile, both Baltimore and Washington DC are due east on the other side of the Chesapeake, and even New York City is just a quick two hours away if you take the ultra-fast Acela Amtrak, which deposits you right at Penn Station.
Living History Like None Other
As one of the original 13 colonies, Delaware is rich in American history. The reason it’s known as The First State is because it was the first to ratify the Constitution all the way back in 1787. It’s a distinction that anyone living in Delaware is incredibly proud of, and for good reason.
There are more than a hundred recognized historical sites in this modest little state, all of which tell the tale of America’s founding and growth over the centuries. From colonial times through the Civil War and beyond, so many historical events have taken place either in Delaware or nearby that it’s an American patriot’s dream. From Old Swedes Church and the Hagley Museum to Fort Delaware and Fort Miles to even the very first marker for the Mason-Dixon Line, Delaware’s historical heritage can’t be beat.
Looking to Retire? You Won’t Find a More Senior-Friendly State
Delaware has a well-earned reputation for being one of the most retirement-friendly states in the Union. There’s a good reason for that: your retirement income just stretches that much farther than in many other places. In fact, the state offers plenty of attractive bonuses to retirees, such as the $12,500 retirement income exclusion on your state taxes. This exclusion applies to not just your pension but also to your IRA or 401(k) as well.
Not only that, but if you’re over 65, you’re entitled to an additional $2,500 standard deduction as well. Combine that with Delaware’s mild seaside climate — and, yes, it’s gorgeous beaches — and you’ve got a winning recipe for relaxed, comfortable retirement living. Combine that with Delaware’s low cost of living and you’re in a great time.
The Best Place for Any Business, Ever
Not even close to retirement age? Delaware has something for you, too. This state is, hands down, the best place for any business, period. In fact, more than one million businesses in the US make their legal home in Delaware, and that includes two out of every three Fortune 500 businesses as well.
What makes the state so special? Delaware’s laws are the most business-friendly ever, and the advantages of either working out of Delaware or at least incorporating a company under Delaware law offers business owners the types of advantages that you can’t get anywhere else.
For entrepreneurs, business owners, and startups there really is no substitute. Combined with its close proximity to other major cities (and, yes, it’s gorgeous beaches), this makes Delaware just that much more an attractive choice as a place to live and work.
A Shopper’s Paradise
With all the money you’re saving from doing business in Delaware (or maybe even living there), you’d think this would be more than enough to live a happy life. Well guess what— there’s even more to celebrate about this Mid-Atlantic state.
That’s because Delaware offers tax-free shopping everywhere within its borders. With no sales tax being added to all your purchases, you’ll save a bundle on everything you buy in Delaware, and that means your dollar goes further than anywhere else you can shop.
That’s even more extra cash in your pocket that you can spend on amazing experiences that you’ll never forget (you know, like regular weekends down at the beach). It’s just a little thing, but having no sales tax makes the quality of life for people both living and visiting Delaware just that much better.
Delaware: There’s No Place Like It
Delaware has always been a perfect little state. A great place to visit and an even better place to live, there’s so much to recommend The First State that even all the above seems inadequate to get the point across. Between its close proximity to a number of major East Coast cities, its abundance of historical sites, the financial advantages of working, living and shopping there, and its incredible array of gorgeous beaches that offer a full spectrum of fun to couples, families, and adults alike, there’s nothing left to say, is there?
Well, there’s maybe one last thing: we’ll see you when you get here!