The Beach Guide

A week stay or a weekend getaway, here are the spots Northern Virginians can go for a quick jaunt to fun in the sun.

A week stay, or a weekend getaway, here are the spots Northern Virginians can go for a quick jaunt to fun in the sun.

by Ryan Cornell, Tim Regan, Octavia Silva and Yuhan Xu

Sundar/shutterstock.com

 

Virginia

Colonial Beach

Stroll along the same beach where George Washington, Robert E. Lee and James Monroe likely built their first sandcastles. Nestled in Westmoreland County within a silver dollar’s throw of the George Washington Birthplace National Monument as well as Stratford Hall, “The Playground on the Potomac,” as Colonial Beach is sometimes called, is rich in both fun attractions and history. Boasting the second largest beachfront in the state and a boardwalk that stretches for a half-mile, the four square-mile town was settled by a great-great-grandfather of President Monroe and was called home by the grandfather of the telephone, Alexander Graham Bell. In fact, beachcombers can spend a night in Bell’s old place at the Monroe Bay Inn. After a refreshing stay at the inn, browse the art and listen to live music while sipping an iced latte at The Art of Coffee or attend a wine tasting at Ingleside Vineyards. You also won’t want to miss the universally loved SeaSide Thai & French restaurant, where delicious dishes range from filet mignon to Pad Kee Mao. Cap off the evening with some drinks and Keno on board the Riverboat on the Potomac. –RC

Courtesy of The Cutting Edge Cafe

EAT
SeaSide Thai & French 201 Wilder Avenue, Colonial Beach; 804-224-2410; seaside-va.com
Hunan Diner 422 Washington Ave., Colonial Beach; 804-224-8754; hunandiner.com
Dockside Restaurant and Blue Heron Pub 1787 Castlewood Drive, Colonial Beach; 804-224-8726; docksiderestaurantandblueheronpub.com


SIP
Ingleside Vineyards 5872 Leedstown Road, Oak Grove; 804-224-8687; inglesidevineyards.com
The Art of Coffee 15722 Kings Highway, Montross; 804-493-9651; theartofcoffee.biz

PLAY 
Riverboat on the Potomac 301 Beach Terrace, Colonial Beach; 804-224-7055; theriverboat.com

STAY
The Bell House 821 Irving Ave., Colonial Beach; 804-224-7000; thebellhouse.com
Monroe Bay Inn 306 Hamilton St., Colonial Beach; 804-244-0703; monroebayinn.com

Chesapeake Bay

Although the Chesapeake Bay helps shape many of Virginia and Maryland’s beaches, including Tangier Island, Cape Charles and Virginia Beach, the city named after the Bay is one of the most relaxing and diverse parts of the state. Visitors can enjoy one of the many vegan/vegetarian sandwiches such as the goat cheese roasted veg panini at The Cutting Edge Cafe or Famous Uncle Al’s famous hot dogs. Shopping in the Hampton Roads city is perfect for those stormy days with the endless choices available at Greenbrier Mall and the MacArthur Center mall in nearby Norfolk. Virginia Beach might overshadow Chesapeake much like an older brother, but it’s nearly impossible to find boredom on the Bay, with the console games at HiScore Gaming, outdoor recreational activities at First Landing State Park and the nightlife at 45 Degrees Martini Lounge and Eagles’ Nest Rockin’ Country Bar. Accommodations in Chesapeake run the gamut from cheap motels to a wide selection of luxury hotel suites. –RC

EAT
The Cutting Edge Cafe
 1434 Sams Drive, Unit 102, Chesapeake; 757-389-5754;  thecuttingedgecafe.com
Oishi Sushi 807 Botetourt Court, Suite 15, Chesapeake; 757-382-0011; oishisushi.net
Famous Uncle Al’s 3972 Holland Road, Suite 120, Virginia Beach; 757-486-8449; famousuncleals.com

SHOP
Garden Ridge 1517 Sams Circle, Chesapeake; 757-549-6747; gardenridge.com

Courtesy of CameronDavidson@CameronDavidson.com

Greenbrier Mall 1407 Greenbrier Parkway south, Chesapeake; 757-424-7100; greenbriermall.com
MacArthur Center 300 Monticello Ave., Norfolk; 757-627-6000; shopmacarthur.com

PLAY 
HiScore Gaming 3353 Western Branch Blvd., Suite 102, Chesapeake; 757-486-2424; hiscoregaming.com
First Landing State Park 2500 Shore Drive, Virginia Beach; 757-412-1415; first-landing-state-park.org
The Cape Henry Lighthouse 220 Upperville Road, Fort Story, Virginia Beach; 757-422-9421; visitvirginiabeach.com
45 Degrees Martini Lounge 1400 Kempsville Road, Chesapeake; 757-410-8545; 45degreesmartini.com
Eagles’ Nest Rockin’ Country Bar 1723 Parkview Drive, Chesapeake; 757-420-9191; eaglesnestrockincountrybar.com

STAY
Hyatt Place Chesapeake/Greenbrier 709 Eden Way North, Chesapeak; 757-312-0020; chesapeakegreenbrier.place.hyatt.com
Hampton Inn & Suites Battlefield 1424 North Battlefield Blvd., Chesapeake; 757-819-5230; hamptonninn3.hilton.com
Residence Inn 1500 Crossways Blvd, Chesapeake; 757-502-7300; marriott.com

Sandbridge

Often referred to as the “Outer Banks of Virginia,” Sandbridge Beach takes up the southern part of Virginia Beach. Kissing the Atlantic Ocean 15 miles away from the resort beach, its remote location and distance from tourist attractions—note, there are no hotels on the beach—make it a favorite hideaway for locals. But fear not, there is plenty to do on the pristine five-mile shore. The crab cakes at Margie & Ray’s give Maryland’s crown jewel a run for its money. Go a step further and try a crabcake on a burger, the Surf & Turf Burger, over at Sandbridge Island Restaurant. Burn off some of those calories with surfboarding, kayaking and canoeing rentals from Surf & Adventure Co., or play a hole in the heart of the Back Bay Wildlife Refuge at Hell’s Point Golf Club, one of Golf Digest’s “Best New Courses.” Before calling it a night and retire to one of the beach’s campgrounds or bed and breakfasts like Country Villa Inn, get your basic necessities at Sandbridge Seaside Market right on the beach. Who knows? Maybe you’ll spot Governor Bob McDonnell or Nationals third baseman Ryan Zimmerman, who both own homes in Sandbridge, among the waves. –RC

Courtesy of Country Villa Inn

EAT
Back Bay Gourmet 2277 Upton Drive, Suite 714, Virginia Beach; 757-689-0771; thebackbaygourmet.com
Sandbridge Island Restaurant & Raw Bar 205 Sandbridge Road, Virginia Beach; 757-721-2899;  sandbridgeislandrestaurant.com
Lago-Mar Pizza & Subs 1756 Sandbridge Road, Virginia Beach; 757-721-2500; lagomarpizza.com
Margie & Ray’s Seafood Restaurant 1240 Sandbridge Road, Virginia Beach; 757-426-2397; margieandrays.com
Zest 312 Sandbridge Road, Virginia Beach; 757-301-8553; zestinsandbridge.com

Courtesy of Bill Crabtree, Jr. Virginia Tourism Corporation

 

SHOP
Fat Frogs Bike & Fitness 1169 Nimmo Parkway, Suite 232, Red Mill Commons, Virginia Beach; 757-427-9488; fatfrogsbikes.com
Sandbridge Seaside Market 209 Sandpiper Road, Virginia Beach; 757-426-6594; visitvirginiabeach.com
The Sandpiper Gift Shop 2509 Sandpiper Road, Virginia Beach; sandbridgebeachva.com

PLAY
Surf & Adventure Co. 577 Sandbridge Road, Virginia Beach; 757-721-6210; surfandadventure.com
Hell’s Point Golf Club 2700 Atwoodtown Road, Virginia Beach; 757-721-3400; hellspoint.com

STAY
Country Villa Inn 2252 Indian River Road, Virginia Beach; 757-721-3844; countryvillainn.com
North Bay Shore Campground 3257 Colechester Road, Virginia Beach; 757-426-7911; northbayshorecampground.net

Resort Beach

Stretching from Croatan Beach to the North End beaches, the resort beach is like the downtown district of Virginia Beach: it’s where the hottest and hippest is happening. Check out the three-mile boardwalk, filled with oceanfront hotels, restaurants and shopping. During the summer months, stages on the boardwalk, which Travel+Leisure named one of “America’s Best Beach Boardwalks,” transform into nightly concerts as part of BeachStreet U.S.A., showcasing performers such as Carbon Leaf, Parachute and the U.S. Navy’s Fleet Forces Band. Check off parasailing from your personal bucket list at Rudee Inlet Parasail & Water Sports or shop around for some classic LPs at Vinyl Daze Records. Unwind the day with popcorn, in varieties such as chocolate drizzle, cheesy jalapeno and toffee, at Jody’s Gourmet Popcorn and a multiple-course dinner at Terrapin Restaurant. –RC

EAT
Sugar Plum Bakery 1353 Laskin Road, Virginia Beach; 757-422-3913; sugarplumbakery.org
Terrapin Restaurant 3102 Holly Road, Pinewood Square, Suite 514, Virginia Beach; 757-321-6688; terrapinvirginiabeach.com
Mojito Cafe 300 28th St., Virginia Beach; 757-233-6855; mojitocafevab.net

SHOP
Jody’s Gourmet Popcorn 205 Laskin Road, Virginia Beach; 757-425-5639; jodyspopcorn.com
Freedom Surf Shop 1361 Laskin Road, Virginia Beach; 757-491-0266; freedomsurfshop.com
Simply Selma’s 1860 Laskin Road, Virginia Beach; 757-428-2885; simplyselmas.com
Vinyl Daze Records 958-B Laskin Road, Virginia Beach; 757-963-6363; vinyldazerecords.com

PLAY
Beach Movie Bistro 941 Laskin Road, Virginia Beach; 757-963-6764; beachmoviebistro.com
Rudee Inlet Parasail & Water Sports 200 Winston-Salem Ave., Virignia Beach; 757-422-9600visitvirginiabeach.com
BeachStreet U.S.A. 302 22nd St., Virginia Beach; 757-425-3111; beachstreetusa.com
Virginia Museum of Contemporary Art 2200 Parks Ave., Virginia Beach; 757-425-0000;virginiamoca.org

STAY
Courtyard Virginia Beach Oceanfront South 2501 Atlantic Ave., Virginia Beach; 757-491-6222; marriott.com
Turtle Cay Resort 600 Atlantic Ave., Virginia Beach; 757-437-5565; turtlecay.com 
Hampton Inn Oceanfront South 1011 Atlantic Ave., Virginia Beach; 757-965-2300; virginiabeachoceanfrontsouth.hamptoninn.com

Virginia Beach

If you call yourself a Virginian and you haven’t been to Virginia Beach, you might want to think about revoking your state citizenship. A popular summer escape for Virginians and the most populated city in the state, Virginia Beach has something for everyone. It has authentic New York City reuben sandwiches at The Route 58 Delicatessen. It has gourmet caramel and chocolate dipped apples at The Royal Chocolate. It has rare microbrews and wine tastings at Grape & Gourmet. It even has a landfill, dubbed Mount Trashmore Park—we’ll let you say that a few more times to fully enjoy the sound—that has been turned into a skate park, bike path, playground and fishing lake. Maybe you fancy the drag shows at the Rainbow Cactus LGBT bar or maybe the music, drinks and smokes at Havana Nights Jazz & Cigar Club are more of your forte. Either way, once you go see what all the fuss is about at Virginia Beach, you’ll keep coming back. –RC

Courtesy of Cameron Davidson, Virginia Tourism Corporation

EAT
Salvatore’s Pizzeria 4876 Princess Anne Road, Virginia Beach; 757-497-7500; salvatorespizza.info
Azar’s Natural Foods Market & Cafe 108 Prescott Ave., Virginia Beach; 757-486-7778
The Route 58 Delicatessen 4000 Virginia Beach Blvd., Suite 156, Virginia Beach; 757-227-5868; 58deli.com

SHOP
The Royal Chocolate 164 Central Park Ave., Virginia Beach; 757-557-6925; theroyalchocolate.com
Grape & Gourmet 4000 Virginia Beach Blvd., Virginia Beach; 757-486-9463; grapeandgourmet.com
Quintin’s Tea Emporium 3101 Virginia Beach Blvd., Virginia Beach; 757-340-0235; quintinstea.com

PLAY
Havana Nights Jazz & Cigar Club 4517 Commerce St., Virginia Beach; 855-301-2822; havananightsvb.com
Mount Trashmore Park 310 Edwin Drive, Virginia Beach; 757-473-5237
Rainbow Cactus 3472 Holland Road, Virginia Beach; 757-368-0441; therainbowcactus.com

STAY
Homewood Suites Virginia Beach Norfolk Airport 5733 Cleveland St., Virginia Beach; 757-552-0080; homewoodvabeach.com
Hilton Garden Inn Virginia Beach Town Center 252 Town Center Drive, Virginia Beach; 757-326-6200; virginiabeachtowncenter.stayhgi.com
Westin Virginia Beach Town Center 4535 Commerce St., Virginia Beach; 757-557-0550; westin.com/virginiabeachtowncenter

Chincoteague Island

Nature has Assateague. Humankind has Chincoteague. This island also has ponies, but they’re rounded up and driven across the channel each year on the last consecutive Wednesday and Thursday in July during an event the locals call Pony Penning Day. The event only occurs once a year, but Chincoteague’s legendary equines may be viewed, ridden and fed at the Chincoteague Pony Centre. The facility also houses a museum dedicated to the 1961 film “Misty,” which was shot on the island and launched the sleepy fishing village into the national spotlight. Though the island has all the creature comforts of modern hotels, the real experience lies in its bed and breakfasts such as the Channel Bass Inn, a cheery hotel that supplies its guests with complimentary backpacks, beach towels binoculars and bicycles. In the mood for a beach picnic? The chefs at Woody’s Beach BBQ fire up the smokers each day and churn out racks of ribs, whole chickens and pulled pork. Before leaving, visitors can pick up a souvenir from Chincoteague Traders, a gift shop that retails display-worthy duck decoys, real oyster cans and other locally-sourced artifacts. –TR

Courtesy of Bill Crabtree, Jr, Virginia Tourism Corporation

EAT
Woody’s Beach BBQ 6700 Maddox Blvd., Chincoteague Island; woodysbeachbbq.com

SHOP
Chincoteague Traders chincoteaguetraders.com

PLAY
Chincoteague Pony Centre 6417 Carriage Drive, Chincoteague Island; 757-336-2776; chincoteague.com/ponycentre

STAY
Channel Bass Inn 6228 Church St., Chincoteague Island; 757-336-6148

Cape Charles

Founded in the late 19th century, Cape Charles combines old world charm with modern relaxation and shopping. Its original purpose was industrial, but now it’s now a tourist hotspot. Laid out in a close-knit grid, the bayside town is perfect for walking, biking and short, scenic drives through historic streets. Viable beach space is limited, but the real claim to fame in Cape Charles is its expansive, free-to-use fishing pier. Other amenities include the newly-constructed Hotel Blue, which accommodates guests within the confines of six trendy rooms bedecked in red bricks and sleek fixtures. When hunger strikes, the chefs at The Shanty offer up bounties of blue crabs—Jimmies as they call them—freshly culled from the neighboring Chesapeake. What beach trip would be complete without a little boating? SouthEast Expeditions equips amateur kayakers with all they need to set out on the water on self-guided and led tours alike. Not everything in Cape Charles revolves around the ocean, however. The staffers at Drizzles stock huge metal containers with a wide variety of artisan olive oils and aged balsamic vinegars in their store room, perfect for edible souvenirs. –TR

EAT
The Shanty 757-695-3853; shantycc.com

SHOP 
Drizzles 16 Strawberry St., Cape Charles; 321-747-3042; drizzlesolives.com

PLAY 
SouthEast Expeditions 239 Mason Ave., Cape Charles; 757-331-2680; southeastexpeditions.net

STAY
Hotel Blue 239 Mason Ave., Cape Charles; 757-377-4222; capecharlesblue.com

Tangier Island

Stepping off the boat onto Tangier Island is like stepping into another world entirely. The people there live their lives the way their forefathers did—slow, simple and rich with tradition. The island didn’t get high-speed internet until 2010. Many of its residents still fish for a living. And if it seems as though the locals sound different, it’s because they do. The island has its own dialect that resembles the language of their ancestors, Restoration-era English settlers. Surrounded by so much history, it’s best to get the full experience. The Bay View Inn, with over 100 years of history, is the perfect place to start. Without big city lights, the accommodation has a front-row seat to the stars of a pre-settlement night sky. Fisherman’s Corner serves up never-frozen soft shell crabs, and to prove it, can even ferry visitors out to the very crab shanties where they’re caught. Though you won’t find Chanel here, the island has a few shops, most notably Wanda’s Gift Shop, which includes a museum dedicated to soft shell crabs. After a long day, kick back and relax on a sunset cruise of Tangier Island by the guides at Hilda Crockett’s Chesapeake House. –TR

 

Courtesy of Bill Crabtree Jr., Virginia Tourism Corporation

EAT
Fisherman’s Corner 757-891-2900; fishermanscornerrestaurant.com

SHOP
Wanda’s Gift Shop 16139 Main Ridge Road, Tangier; 757-891-2230

PLAY
Hilda Crockett’s Chesapeake Tours 16243 Main St., Tangier Island; 757-891-2331; chesapeakehousetangier.com/tours/

STAY 
Bay View Inn 16408 West Ridge, Tangier; 757-891-2396; tangierisland.net


Delaware

Middlesex Beach

Located on the lower Delaware coast of the Atlantic Ocean between South Bethany Beach and Sea Colony, Middlesex offers a great escape from the hustle and bustle. With its proximity to an undisturbed private beach hidden in pine groves, you’ll feel peaceful and relaxed. No luxury chain hotels or crowded resorts are found here; instead, there are many rental homes in the area to fit vacations of all types and all budgets. With numerous year-round golf courses, bike trails, museums and entertainment in the towns close to the area, you’ll never feel bored. And for the shopaholics, the tax-free outlet malls in the nearby Rehoboth Beach will keep you occupied all day long. –YX

EAT
South Bethany Seafood Market Routhe 1; Seaside Village Shopping Center, Bethany Beach, DE; 302-537-1332; southbethanyseafood.com

PLAY
Bethany Bay Golf Club 37464 Pettinaro Drive, Ocean View, DE; 877-292-9006; bethany-bay.com

STAY
Wyndham Vacation Rentals 33546 Marketplace, Bethany Beach, DE; 888-500-4261;  wyndhamvacationrentals.com

Woodland Beach

Quiet and simply charming, you can barely find a beach anywhere like Woodland—an “undiscovered treasure” along shore of the Delaware Bay, about eight mile s east from Smyrna. With only a few visitors on most days, Woodland Beach is the perfect place to lie down and enjoy the sunshine with a good read, or to take a walk while hearing the waves and birds singing. You can go fishing, crabbing and boating as well. It is home to fishermen, families and the retired. Upon your arrival, take the kids to the nearby Woodland Beach Wildlife Area, which consists of three large land tracts totaling about 6,320 acres of coastal prairie and tidal marsh. You’ll see many waterfowls on a 60-acre waterfowl refuge. As Woodland Beach is an underdeveloped area, you can drive to the nearby town Smyrna to eat, shop and stay. –YX

Courtesy of Delaware Tourism

EAT
Trevi Ristorante 53 E. Glenwood Ave., Smyrna, DE; 302-653-6800; tripadvisor.com
Main Street Market 140 S. Main St., Smyrna, DE; 302-653-8837; mainstreetmarketsmyrna.com

SHOP
Sayers Jewelers and Gemologists 19 S. Main St., Smyma, DE; 302-653-9456; sayersjewelersandgemologists.com

PLAY
Woodland Beach Wildlife Area Smyma, DE visitdelaware.com

STAY
Best Western Smyrna Inn Gateway North Plaza, 190 Stadium St., Smyrna, DE; 302-659-3635; book.bestwestern.com

Lewes

Courtesy of Delaware Tourism

Identified as “the first town in the first state,” Lewes Beach wears its history proudly. This quaint small town is very walking-friendly and most of the must-see spots are within short distances. Much quieter than larger DelMarVa beach destinations such as Ocean City and Rehoboth, Lewes is characterized by an inviting neighborly warmth and uncanny ability to relax all of its visitors. Something else setting it apart from the rest is that it lies on the DelMarVa Peninsula, north of Rehoboth Beach.

If you’re planning a visit, there are a few lodging, dining and shopping options worth considering. Restaurants Half Full and Touch of Italy have been well-reviewed and offer dining experiences on both sides of the budget spectrum. The same goes for Hotel Blue and Savannah Inn, two good lodging options in the Lewes area. The best stores in Lewes focus on local art and handicrafts, courtesy of Stepping Stone and Cape Artists’ Gallery. If you’re looking for something to do other than spending a day at the beach, Cape Henlopen State Park comes highly recommended. –OS

EAT
Half Full 113 Market St., Lewes, DE; 302-645-8877; halffulllewes.com
Touch of Italy 101 Second St., Lewes, DE; 302-827-2730; touchofitaly.com

SHOP
Cape Artists’ Gallery 110 W. Third St., Lewes, DE; 302-644-7733; capeartists.org
Stepping Stone 107 W. Market St., Lewes, DE; 302-645-1254; steppingstonelewes.com

PLAY
Lewes Beach Lewes, DE; lewes.com
Cape Henlopen State Park 15099 Cape Henlopen Dr., Lewes, DE; 302-645-8983; destateparks.com

STAY
Hotel Blue Suite 107, 110 Anglers Road, Lewes, DE; 302-645-4880; hotelblue.info
Savannah Inn 330 Savannah Road, Lewes, DE; 302-645-0330; savannahinnlewes.com

Rehobeth

If you’re looking for a beach experience to remind you of college and life back home, Rehoboth Beach is the destination. Unlike a quieter setting easily found in Lewes, Fenwick Island or Bethany, Rehoboth is high energy and always happening. It is like one big oceanfront resort with open arms for newcomers and perma-visitors alike. Dining, lodging, shopping and things to do are plenty here, so finding something that fits your mood or budget is as easy as taking a short stroll down the famous Rehoboth boardwalk. Espuma and Henlopen City Oyster House are just two dining options, both well-received. Good shopping can be found anywhere, from the tax-free, discounted designer options at Tanger Outlets off the Coastal Highway to the unique produce and local goods available at the Rehoboth Farmer’s Market, held weekly. Lodging options are everywhere as well, but the Avenue Inn & Spa and Hotel Rehoboth are the two with guaranteed satisfaction. –OS

EAT
Espuma 28 Wilmington Ave., Rehobeth Beach, DE; 302-227-4199; espuma-restaurant.com
Henlopen City Oyster House 50 Wilmington Ave., Rehobeth Beach, DE; 302-260-9193; hcoysterhouse.com

SHOP
Rehoboth Beach Farmer’s Market 501 Rehobeth Ave., Rehobeth Beach, DE; rbfarmersmarket.com

Courtesy of Funland

 

PLAY
Funland at Rehoboth Beach 6 Delaware Ave., Rehobeth Beach; DE; 302-227-1921; funlandrehoboth.com
Jungle Jim’s 36944 Country Club Road, Rehobeth Beach, DE; 302-227-8444; funatjunglejims.com
Junction and Breakwater Trail railstotrails.org

STAY
Avenue Inn & Spa 33 Wilmington Ave., Rehobeth Beach, DE; 1-800-433-5870; avenueinn.com
Hotel Rehoboth 247 Rehobeth Ave., Rehobeth Beach, DE; 302-277-4300; hotelrehoboth.com

Fenwick Island

North of Ocean City and south of Bethany Beach is the small beach town community of Fenwick Island. Fenwick Island is one of the quieter area resorts, which is perfect if you are looking for a more low-key vacation getaway to connect with your fellow travel companions. Though not an actual island, Fenwick is a narrow peninsula.

The Fenwick Island lighthouse is a popular, essential tourist spot worth visiting and the Fenwick Island State Park, located on a narrow strip of land between Little Assawoman Bay and the Atlantic Ocean, can make you feel pleasantly lost in a combination of sea and bay breezes. Accommodations in Fenwick Island proper are not quite as bountiful as larger coastal Delaware towns, but the Atlantic Coast Inn and Fenwick Islander Motel will provide you with a cozy, clean room and friendly service. Restaurant options are fewer as well, but high in quality. Surf’s Edge Deli & Pizzeria and Jimmy’s Kitchen are just two dining options that have been satisfying more than just Fenwick Island visitors. They serve good, affordable food the whole family will enjoy. –OS

EAT
Surf’s Edge Deli & Pizzeria 100 Costal Highway #4, Fenwick Island, DE; 302-537-5565
Jimmy’s Kitchen Route 1, Fenwick Island, DE; 302-537-2423; facebook.com/Jimmy’s-Kitchen-Fenwick-Island-DE

SHOP
Seaside Country Store 1208 Coastal Highway, Fenwick Island, DE; 302-539-6110; seasidecountrystore.com

PLAY
Fenwick Island State Park Route 1, Fenwick, DE; 302-227-2800; destateparks.com
Shark’s Cove Marina Madison Ave., Fenwick Island, DE; 302-436-8500; sharkscovemarina.com

STAY
Atlantic Coast Inn 37558 Lighthouse Road, Fenwick Island, DE; 302-539-7673; atlanticcoastinn.com
Fenwick Islander Motel Fenwick Island, DE; 302-539-2333; fenwickislander.com

Bethany

Just a little bit north of Fenwick Island is a beach town community so small, a road trip napper may miss it with the blink of an eye. Mostly a residential town, Bethany is also much quieter compared to the bustle and liveliness of Ocean City or Rehoboth Beach. It still has a boardwalk, though there is no public beach parking available. Because of this, the beach is rarely crowded, even on the days when finding a spot seems impossible just a little further down the coast.

2265524729/shutterstock.com

Considering the privacy of this beach, lodging options outside of renting private homes are limited: The Sea Colony Resort offers a large variety of vacation rentals and the Westward Pines Motel is the best option if you are planning on only staying for a night or weekend. Shopping is also limited, but two good options are the Blooming Boutique and independent bookstore Bethany Beach Books, if you’re looking for that quintessential beach read. Restaurants like Off the Hook and Sunshine Crepes offer great food, service and are fine dining or casual experiences. –OS

EAT
Off the Hook 769 Garfield Parkway, Bethany Beach, DE; 302-829-1424; offthehookbethany.com
Sunshine Crepes 100 Garfield Parkway, Bethany Beach; DE; 302-537-1765; sunshinecrepes.com

SHOP
Blooming Boutique 107 Second St., Lewes, DE; 302-644-4052; bloomingboutique.com
Bethany Beach Books 99 Garfield Parkway, Bethany Beach, DE; 302-539-2522; bethanybeachbooks.com

PLAY
Bethany Beach Boardwalk 214 Garfield Parkway, Bethany Beach, DE; 302-539-8011; townofbethanybeach.com

STAY
Westward Pines 33309 Kent Ave., Bethany Beach, DE; 302-752-4962; westwardpinesmotel.com
Sea Colony Resort Sea Colony Beach Shoppe at Marketplace, 33548 Unit 4 Marketplace, Bethany Beach, DE; seacolonyrecreation.org

Dewey

For those of you that are looking for a Rehoboth Beach type of energy but lack the energy yourselves to keep driving, Dewey Beach is a good stopping point when you’re going northbound from Ocean City. Also, it has the bay and beach combination that Rehoboth lacks. Dewey Beach has gotten a partying reputation since its incorporation in 1981, but has also become a highly visited destination for families thanks to its large selection of fun activities, restaurants, stores and accommodations. It is one of the most city-like of the Delaware beach towns.

If you are looking for something other than Grotto Pizza to satisfy hunger cravings, Port and Nalu Hawaiian Surf Bar & Grille will give you unique worthwhile experiences. These restaurants are two of Dewey’s visitors’ favorites and are definitely worth trying if you’re looking for something new. Aside from the great beach Dewey boasts, East of Maui offers options like kayaking and windsurfing, to take a day at the beach one step further. If you’re looking for something to do in the evening, Bottle and Cork is a popular Dewey hotspot that can be a great intimate venue for musical performances. –OS

EAT
Port 1205 Highway One, Dewey Beach, DE; 302-227-0669; portdewey.com
Nalu Hawaiian Surf Bar & Grille 1306 Coastal Highway, Dewey Beach, DE; 302-227-1449; nalusurfbar.com

SHOP
Jeremiah’s 1707 Highway One, Dewey Beach, DE; deweybeach.com/jeremiah
Sea Shell Shop 119 Rehobeth Ave., Rehobeth Beach, DE; 302-227-6666

PLAY
East of Maui Dewey Beach, DE; 302-227-4703; eastofmaui.com
Bottle and Cork 1807 Highway One, Dewey Beach, De; 302-227-7272; deweybeachlife.com

STAY
Atlantic View Hotel 2 Clayton St., Dewey Beach, DE; 302-227-3878; atlanticview.com
Bay Resort Motel 126 Bellevue ST., Dewey Beach, DE; 302-227-6400; bayresort.com


Maryland

Ocean City

Swimming, sunning, surfing, fishing, kayaking—the fun never stops on the 10-mile beach in Ocean City. Located in Worcester County, Md., Ocean City is one of the most popular destinations for vacationers. Take a stroll on the famous three-mile boardwalk in the morning and watch the sunrise. At the southern most point of the boardwalk, there is a unique Life-Saving Station Museum providing a glimpse of Ocean City’s past, including swim suits from yesteryear and treasures from the deep sunken shipwrecks. And, of course the amusement parks and arcades. Head to the beach and enjoy all kinds of family-friendly activities during the day, including concerts, movies and even a beach Olympics. The evening starts with delicious seafood, then spices up with music and dances in nightclubs. Besides, there are shopping malls, golf clubs and casinos for you to spend an unforgettable vacation. –YX

EAT
Liquid Assets Wine & Martini Bar 94th & Coastal Highway, Ocean City, MD; 410-524-7037; la94.com
Mother’s Cantina 28th St. Plaza & 2310 Philadelphia Ave, Ocean City, MD; 410-289-1330; motherscantina.com
The Hobbit Restaurant 81st & Bay, Oceant City, MD; 410-524-8100; thehobbitrestaurant.com

SHOP
Candy Kitchen 402 S. Boardwalk, Ocean City, MD; 410-289-9003; candykitchens.com
The Kite Loft 511 Boardwalk, Ocean City, MD; 410-289-7855; kiteloft.com
Kokkinos Creations 11805 Coastal Highway, Ocean City, MD; 443-397-9691; kokkinoscreations.com

PLAY
Jolly Rogers Amusement Parks 30th St. & Coastal Highway, 2901 Coastal Highway, Ocean City, MD; 410-289-3477;  jollyrogerpark.com
Seacrets 117 W. 49th St., Ocean City, MD; 410-524-4900; seacrets.com
Casino Ocean Downs 10218 Racetrack Road, Berlin, MD; 410-641-0600; oceandowns.com

STAY
Carousel Resort Hotel and Condominiums 118th St. on the Ocean, 11700 Coastal Highway, Ocean City, MD; 410-524-1000; carouselhotel.com
Fenwick Inn 13801 Coastal Highway, Ocean City, MD; 800-492-1873; fenwickinn.com
Days Inn Oceanfront On the Boardwalk at 23rd St., & 2200 Baltimore Ave., Ocean City, MD; 1-800-926-1122daysinnboardwalk.com

Courtesy of National Park Service

Assateague Island

Somewhere off the coast of DelMarVa lies a paradise full of pristine beaches, untouched forests and roving bands of wild ponies rumored to have escaped from a Spanish galleon in the 18th century. Sound like a legend? It’s actually Assateague Island, the very-real, very-beautiful island known for its abundant wildlife and its incredibly close proximity to the Chesapeake Bay. Visitors here don’t stay in hotels, they camp a stone’s throw away from the beach. Assateague State Park features plenty of space for camping, biking and picnicking. Nearby North Beach Campground is also a great place to pitch a tent, but also only a short distance from the beach. Though the island is devoid of human settlement, visitors looking for shops or restaurants can trek just 20 minutes to nearby Ocean City for restaurants such as The Shark on the Harbor, an eatery most known for a daily-changing menu of fresh catches. If the splendors of nature fail to impress, Assateague guests can also visit Frontier Town’s old-timey theme park, which includes land and water attractions, a fishing pier and plenty of shopping and dining. –TR

STAY
The Shark on the Harbor 12924 Sunset Ave., Ocean City, MD; 410-213-0924

STAY
Frontier Town 8428 Stephen Decatur Highway, Berlin, MD; 410-641-0880; frontiertown.com

STAY
Assateague State Park; North Beach Campground 7307 Stephen Decatur Highway, Berlin, MD; 410-641-2120; dnr.state.md.us/publiclands/eastern/assateague

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