The Lewes Beach area of the Delaware Beaches offers much to see for travelers interested in stunning natural locales, charming amusement parks, ample outdoor recreation, and an intriguing connection to Coast Guard and United States military history. In this regard, Cape Henlopen State Park provides visitors with an experience that is equal parts history and natural beauty. Read on below to learn more about this wonderful attraction in Lewes Beach!
A Scenic Attraction Close to Lewes Beach
Residing on a former military base, Cape Henlopen State Park is now dedicated to giving visitors and locals alike a space for picturesque hiking and biking, picnicking, fun days spent on the beach, sweeping ocean views, incredible annual events and festivals, and even an eighteen-hole disc golf course.
For those searching for a one-of-a-kind picture to remember their stay along the Delaware Beaches by, Cape Henlopen State Park’s observation tower—which dates back to World War II—is a fantastic place to visit. Here, you can uninterrupted views of the Atlantic Ocean, its shimmering waves undulating out across the horizon as far as the eye can see. This view is particularly beautiful if you happen to visit around sunset, as the sun sinks below the ocean and casts vibrantly-hued reflections over the water.
Cape Henlopen State Park is also home to a lovely swimming beach that also includes rentals for umbrellas and Mobi-Mats, which are thirty-foot mats designed to accommodate visitors in wheelchairs and power chairs so that they can enjoy the beach too. Additionally, this area of the park also has a bath house with changing rooms, showers, and even a concession stand. The beach is patrolled by lifeguards from Memorial Day weekend through Labor Day.
If you’re interested in getting your blood pumping while taking in the sights of the park, you can bike along the three-mile loop, or climb to the top of a former military bunker. Hiking trails include the Pinelands Nature Trail and the Seaside Nature Trail, as well as the six miles of beaches.
The park is open from 8:00am until sunset daily.
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Located on Cape Henlopen close to Lewes Beach, Fort Miles today stands as a reminder of the defensive measures our country took to protect our homeland from foreign invaders during World War II. Learn more about this intriguing historical Rehoboth attraction down below!
See this Iconic Lewes Beach Attraction Up Close
Plans for Fort Miles were first approved in 1934 as a way to defend the Delaware River and Delaware Bay, as well as to protect America’s domestic shipping from enemies. However, it would be seven years before the fort was completed on December 4, 1941—a mere matter of days before Japan attached Pearl Harbor. Fort Miles also had a controlled naval minefield in the Delaware River estuary to prevent enemy ships from entering.
Despite housing upwards of 2,200 soldiers and installing batteries, Fort Miles never saw any wartime action. In 1948, the majority of Fort Miles was labeled as surplus, though the fort continued to be partially used through the early 1990s.
Today, Fort Miles is home to picturesque views of rolling sand dunes, the Fort Miles Museum, and the Fort Miles Historical Area. The museum includes a fire control tower, an orientation building, six barracks, the Fort Miles Artillery Park, and Battery 519 (fortified underground chamber spanning 15,000 square feet). In addition, there are numerous informational exhibits on the fort’s role in our national defense from World War II through the early 1970s. The museum also elaborates on the state of Delaware’s contributions to America’s World War II efforts, from wartime heroes and civilian pilots to submarine battles out at sea.
Fort Miles also houses an art gallery, guided tours of the grounds, an armaments collection of World War II technology that was considered cutting-edge in the era, and interpretive programs.
The grounds of the Fort Miles Museum are open daily, from 8:00am until sunset. However, public access to the museum is only granted through open houses and guided tours of the facilities. The Museum Orientation Building is open between the hours of 10:00am and 4:00pm on Fridays and Saturdays from early March through early June. From mid-June through early September, the Orientation Building holds the same hours, but extends their operational days to Tuesday through Saturday.
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(Image by Jeffrey via Flickr, https://www.flickr.com/photos/jb912/9574098892/)
Nestled just north of Rehoboth Beach within the greater area of Cape Henlopen State Park, Gordon Pond Wildlife Area is a place where visitors can enjoy wildlife watching, hiking, biking, and taking in the stunning natural sights that this lovely locale has to offer. Read on for additional details on what makes a trip to Gordon Pond Wildlife Area one of our favorite Rehoboth things to do.
Immerse Yourself in the Beauty of the Delaware Beaches
Cape Henlopen State Park has a trail known as Gordon’s Pond Trail, specifically dedicated to this beautiful region of the park. From the parking lot of Gordon’s Pond, you can hike or bike your way to Herring Point, an easy trail totaling a little over five miles roundtrip. On the way, you’ll see crushed stone, salt marshes, sandy beaches, a charming boardwalk, towering pine trees, and the species of shorebirds and horseshoe crabs that call the region home.
Gordon’s Pond Trail connects the towns of Rehoboth Beach and Lewes Beach, making it an ideal choice if you’re staying in one of these two towns and want to take a walking day trip to the other town. The trail also links up to the historic Fort Miles area, which includes a museum, buildings, and barracks that showcase the military history of the area.
Explore Gordon Pond Wildlife Area’s nearly 5,200 acres of lush greenery and breathtaking views and you’ll encounter what’s called the Great Dune, a dune that rises a staggering 80 feet above sea level.
The park is also home to a diverse range of habitats, attracting a variety of mammal, reptile, and bird species. In particular, piping plovers—a threatened species of shorebird—begin nesting in the park during the summer. The park protects these birds and will warn visitors not to enter areas closed off due to the nests of piping plovers. Other threatened shorebird species that have been sighted here include the least tern and the black skimmer. This is because Gordon’s Pond is one of only four places in North America that is considered a migration super highway for waterfowl.
Gordon Pond Wildlife Area is open from 8:00am until sunset year-round.
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Stretching out over 17,000 acres between Lewes Beach and Slaughter Beach, the Great Marsh Preserve is an immense coastal wetland located along Delaware Bay. With its diverse ecology and its variety of wildlife, the Great Marsh Preserve provides an awe-inspiring glimpse of nature for visitors brave enough to venture into its seemingly uninviting landscape. Read more below about why the Great Marsh Preserve should be on your list of things to do in Rehoboth Beach, Delaware!
Experience the Great Outdoors
The Great Marsh Preserve is one of Delaware’s few remaining wetlands, brimming with a variety of unique local fauna and wildlife. Towering pines and oaks, fields of tulip poplar, long grasses—all set the stage for sightings of red-wing blackbirds, wading birds, hawks, falcons, and more that arrive here for their summertime migration. Additionally, the vast salt marsh was once a vital resource used by locals for farming, shipbuilding, fishing, haying, roofing, insulation, livestock feed, and even artistic works.
Due to its expansiveness and its complex network of beaches, waterways, parks, and refuges for wildlife, other popular activities that visitors enjoy in the Great Marsh Preserve include fishing, bird watching, boating, hiking, and spending time on the beach. The beaches of the Great Marsh Preserve are perfect for swimming, sunbathing, kayaking, surfing, and other exciting yet leisurely recreation that allows you to experience the majesty of Delaware’s wild, untamable lands that have remained largely the same since the first days of colonization.
Being located so close to Lewes Beach, the Great Marsh Preserve is a wonderful place to visit if you’re planning a day trip to Lewes or if you’re staying close by. Take hiking trails from the Great Marsh Preserve that lead through town, then spend some time in Lewes Beach’s many museums, such as the Zwaanendael Museum on the history of Delaware, or the old-fashioned ships and lighthouses that the area is known for, such as the Lightship Overfalls and the Harbor of Refuge Light. Historic Lewes is also renowned for having won a number of awards for its gorgeous greenery and flora citywide, including the reputable America in Bloom contest.
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Situated in Rehoboth Beach, Midway Speedway Park is a family-friendly attraction that’s home to a variety of amusements and rides catering to kids and kids-at-heart. Read on below to learn more about why Midway Speedway Park deserves a spot on your “must-see” list of things to do near Rehoboth Beach—especially if you’re traveling with your family!
A Fun-Filled Attraction for All Ages
As you can imagine from its name, Midway Speedway Park has an exhilarating racing track for what the park touts as the fastest go-karts not only in Rehoboth Beach, but on the Delaware, Maryland, and Virginia Peninsula as well. Visitors who choose to race go-karts will have ten styles of go-karts to pick from, in addition to a selection of four tracks, including a course specially designed for children.
However, Midway Speedway Park has even more to offer visitors outside of its go-kart tracks! Fire Mountain Golf is an eighteen-hole mini-golf course themed around volcanoes, while White Water Mountain Water Park has water slides, an Olympic-size swimming pool, an activity pool, and a lazy river. Furthermore, Midway Speedway Park has amusement rides and obstacle courses like the Climbing Wall, the Gravity Storm, and the Bumper Boat Lagoon.
Midway Speedway Park has varying operational hours and days according to the season. The go-kart racing portion of the park is open on the weekends year-round, in addition to being open daily from the beginning of April through mid-September.
During the spring, Midway Speedway Park and Fire Mountain Golf are open from 10:00am until dark. From early April through early June, the two parks are open from 10:00am until 10:00pm depending on the weather.
Then, from late May through early September, White Water Mountain is open from 10:00am until 5:00pm to 7:00pm. Midway Speedway and Fire Mountain Golf are open from 10:00am until midnight during these same months.
Prices for go-kart racing are broken into “Rookie” for those under 54 inches tall and “Pro” for those above 54 inches tall. Rookie prices range from $7.00 for one ride to $30.00 per person for an eight-ride arm band. Pro prices range from $8.00 for one ride to $40.00 per person for an eight-ride arm band.
Fire Mountain Golf costs $8.00 for players under 42 inches tall and seniors, while tickets for those above 42 inches tall are $10.00.
White Water Mountain Park’s prices range from $14.99 for twilight water park hours after 4:00pm for those under 42 inches tall to $24.99 for an all-day ticket for those over 42 inches tall.
Combination tickets for multiple parks range from $12.00 to $39.99.
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Tucked away near the town of Milton, the Prime Hook National Wildlife Refuge is a gorgeous natural attraction in the Rehoboth Beach area that deserves a spot on your “must-see” list of things to do in Rehoboth Beach. Read on down below to learn more about the Prime Hook National Wildlife Refuge.
See the Wildlife of Delaware’s Beaches Firsthand
In Prime Hook National Wildlife Refuge, visitors come for the breathtaking beauty of the great outdoors. Oftentimes, they capture the stunning panorama that the park has to offer through their camera lens. However, many more visitors still like to either take to the road on a scenic drive through the four state roads that pass through the refuge, or take to the six miles of walking trails that run through the park.
Other recreational activities that visitors enjoy in the park include fishing, crabbing, and hunting. Visitors looking for a taste of the hunting action can try their hand at taking down webless migratory birds, waterfowl, upland game, and deer according to regulations on the state and federal levels.
The ample fishing in Prime Hook National Wildlife Refuge includes species such as crappie, pickerel, white perch, and largemouth bass. Fleetwood Pond has a fishing pier that can accommodate visitors with disabilities, and sections of the refuge are open to both saltwater and freshwater fishing.
Prime Hook National Wildlife Refuge is open from daily all year long, with park hours operating from a half-hour before sunrise until a half-hour after sunset. Additionally, the visitor center—which has videos and displays educating the public on the natural habitat and wildlife that reside within the refuge—is open from 9:00am until 4:00pm daily, on a year-round basis. There is also a gift shop for those wishing to remember their time in Prime Hook National Wildlife Refuge with a souvenir that also supports park operations.
When you visit Prime Hook National Wildlife Refuge, it’s extremely helpful to bring water and bug spray—especially during the warmer months of the year. Poison ivy, deer flies, and ticks are potential hazards in the park, so keep an eye out.
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(Image by U. S. Fish and Wildlife Service – Northeast Region [CC BY 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0) or Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons)
When you’re planning your stay in a beautiful locale like Rehoboth, it’s hard to imagine that anything could possibly make it any better. However, there’s something to be said for taking the time out for a spa day by the sea, elevating your vacation relaxation levels to a blissful state. Read on below to learn more about the top Rehoboth spas!
Treat Yourself to a Spa Day in Rehoboth Beach
Whether you’ve been craving a massage or you’re looking for someone to take care of not only your body but your appearance as well, there is an excellent selection of Rehoboth spas perfectly suited to your needs.
Avenue Apothecary & Spa is a family-owned and operated spa that specializes in everything from massage therapy and facial treatments to waxing and makeup application, with spa package options available in multiple categories. Massages range in price from $110.00 for a one-hour custom herbal therapeutic massage to $195.00 for an herbal poultice massage for an hour and a half, while facials vary from express organic facials at $75 for half-an-hour to a two-hour nirvana facial for $250.00.
Stephan & Co. is both a beauty salon and a spa with options for facial treatments ranging from $50.00 for an express facial to $135.00 for micropeel or dermapeel treatments. Massages range from $50.00 for a half-hour reflexology session to $95.00 for a therapeutic massage. Other services that Stephan & Co. provides include spray tanning, men’s and women’s haircuts and styling, manicures and pedicures, waxing, and packages that combine elements of these services.
Made Ya Look! Salon & Day Spa focuses on body and skincare through massage, body treatments such as wraps and scrubs, facials and facial peels, pedicures and manicures, hairstyling and cutting, waxing, and makeup application. The spa also has its own sauna for maximizing the effectiveness of facials and body treatments, as well as combination packages that combine services. Prices for these spa packages range from $123.00 for the “Stress Be-Gone” package including an hour-long Swedish massage and a half-hour sauna session to $314.00 for the “Look at Me!” package’s hour-long facial, massage, manicure, pedicure, conditioning treatment, shampoo, and blow-dry session.
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Other fun activities in Rehoboth to enjoy:
Bethany Beach is one of many small beach towns along the coast of Delaware. Although the year-round population is only around 1000 residents, this quaint town comes to life in the summer months with an influx of visitors. Between the welcoming locals and the beautiful scenery, Bethany Beach has a lot to offer as a vacation destination. During your stay here, be sure to check out some of the unique Bethany Beach restaurants that set this town apart. Below are some of the best restaurants in Bethany Beach!
Off the Hook
Ask a local where the best restaurant in Bethany Beach is, and they are sure to respond with Off the Hook! This Bethany Beach restaurant focuses on a New American style of locally sourced food, and along the East Coast that means plenty of seafood options! Their lunch menu feature classics such as a grilled chicken BLT sandwich and a burger, but also surprisingly upscale options such as garlic gnocchi and roasted corn and jalapeno bisque soup. For dinner, choose from many great options such as seared scallops or three day chicken. Although they focus on high quality, modern cuisine, they are still family friendly and offer a children’s menu. Off the Hook is a must-visit restaurant in Bethany Beach!
Another local standout in Bethany Beach is 14 Global. Established in 2012, they focus on quality ingredient and their menu will change to highlight foods that are in season. Just because they focus on handcrafted cocktails and tapas doesn’t mean that 14 Global can’t also serve up some great entrees! Go with a large appetite to enjoy their seafood pasta or mac and cheese. Their menu also features a wide variety of options, including a gluten free menu, vegetarian options, and a children’s menu. Their oceanside patio makes for great views while you dine! 14 Global is a popular spot, so you may want to make a reservation in advance to avoid a long wait.
Bethany Blues BBQ
For a more casual dining experience that still offers up delicious food, be sure to visit local joint, Bethany Blues BBQ. Like many restaurants along the coast, they offer great seafood options, but their specialty is all-American BBQ! Since their Bethany Beach restaurant first opened in 2003, they have been a local staple! Be sure to try their award-winning brisket and their famous Pig on the Wing. They also have a Sunday brunch menu that combines their delicious BBQ with breakfast classic for a result that is unlike anything else!
Related Attractions on Coastal DE:
The seaside Delaware town of Rehoboth Beach is famous as one of the best beach destinations along the east coast. This small community has grown into a year-round destination, and it has a reputation of being the place to go for family-friendly fun. However, everyone needs to let their hair down every once in a while, and there is a great nightlife and bar scene in Rehoboth. For those like want to great a great cocktail and have a fun night, be sure to check out some of the best bars in Rehoboth Beach!
Rehoboth Ale House
Located just steps from the beach, on the trendy Wilmington Avenue, the Rehoboth Ale House serves up great brews along with delicious eats. A modern gastropub, they offer 20 craft brews on tap, and many more are available in cans and bottles. Not a beer fan? Their wine and cocktail list is sure to delight as well! Their food menu offers a great variety of shareable plates and small bites, but also has larger entrees for those with an appetite. On weekend nights, expect to hear great live music, always with no cover charge at this Rehoboth bar!
The owners of 208 Social carefully chose its name in order to reflect their ideal atmosphere: a fun, informal gathering of friends. This atmosphere is perfectly reflected in the staff and ambiance of this restaurant and cocktail bar in Rehoboth Beach. During dinner service, the high-end entrees are sure to delight, but happy hour is where 208 Social truly shines, serving smaller versions of their appetizers and shared plates at amazing prices. Happy Hour also features drink specials which change daily, so be sure to ask your waiter. Their cocktail menu combines classic cocktails with more modern creations, and they pride themselves on creating their juices and syrups in house. 208 Social is a fun and unique cocktail destination!
Dogfish Head Brewings & Eats
For the passionate beer lover, Dogfish Head Brewery is one of the nation’s premier craft breweries. Began in 1995, they started as the smallest commercial brewery in the country! Now, they have expanded greatly, but they keep the original spirit alive. At Dogfish Head Brewings & Eats, enjoy over 20 beers on tap in a fun atmosphere with great food! Featuring live music and exclusive beers on tap, this is the only location in the nation, so be sure to check the bar in Rehoboth!
During the day, Bethany Beach is quaint, seaside town where locals and visitors alike flock to the beach to enjoy the sandy shores and warm waters. However, once the sun goes down, the fun in town truly begins! Although Bethany Beach is a family friendly vacation destination, there are still some great places to let your hair down and have some fun. Below are some of our best bars in Bethany Beach.
What could be better than cold brews, great wine, and delicious food? Luckily, Pie offers all three. Their gourmet pizza is available with a variety of high quality toppings, and they also offer gluten-free crust. A wide selection of beers, wines, and handcrafted cocktails perfectly pairs with their pies. Friendly staff and a brand-new remodel make this a must-visit in Bethany Beach!
During the day, Bethany Boathouse is a family-friendly grill that even features a play pirate ship to keep the little ones entertained. A great happy hour menu from 4pm to 5pm kicks off the fun Then, this late-night hotspot transforms after dark into a lively Bethany Beach bar and entertainment venue. Stop by on a Friday or Saturday night and you are sure to hear great live music to go along with a cold beverage and a fun atmosphere!
Mangos may be the perfect quintessential bar in Bethany Beach right on the beach! Its great location is steps away from the ocean, so you can sip and snack while enjoying amazing views. Classic bar food, such as chicken wings and nachos, are featured on the menu alongside some surprising options, such as shrimp and scallop kabobs. During their happy hour, which runs daily from 1pm to 6pm, you will find some of the best drink specials in Bethany Beach! Overall, this is fun place on the beach to grab a cold drink and quick bite!
99 Sea Level
Located inside the small local hotel, Bethany Beach Ocean Suites, 99 Sea Level is a bar and grill that is easily a hidden gem of Bethany Beach! Between the ocean views from the bar seating, delicious food options, and incredibly friendly staff, 99 Sea Level will have you coming back again and again!
These are just a small selection of amazing nightlife locations and bars in Bethany Beach! Be sure to check out these and more during your stay at Bethany Beach.