Delaware Towns

Take some time to browse through the wonderful small towns of Delaware

BETHANY BEACH


Located directly on the Atlantic Ocean with nearly a mile of beachfront open to the public, Bethany Beach is a very family-oriented. You’ll know you’ve arrived when you see Chief Little Owl — the 24-foot-tall wooden sculpture paying homage to the Nanticoke Nation -standing at the intersection of Route 1, the coastal highway, with Route 26, the main access road from the west.

While there, note the octagonal shape of the Town Hall roof, which mirrors that of the nearby Church, which was established by the Town’s founding citizens. Town Hall houses our Town Museum and Children’s Theatre and provides a venue for our Town Council to work out amicable solutions to our public policy issues. Be sure to take time to observe the beautiful flowers brightening the median and surrounding locations.

Bethany’s boardwalk is only 3/8 of a mile long but, as the Town’s annual Events Calendar stresses, “it provides us and our many visitors miles and miles of fun and exercise.” The Boardwalk presents opportunities both for walkers and for those who want to join in the seasonal morning exercise classes, as well as the chance to buy a variety of beach food treats and Bethany-themed T-shirts.

At the Boardwalk’s center is the renowned Bandstand, the site during the summer of weekend and other evening performances by a variety of performers — some famous, some not; some alive, some not- all of whom provide free entertainment all summer long! A sadder event is the famous Labor Day late afternoon New Orleans style Jazz Funeral, lamenting the “death of summer.”

Getting around is made easier by the two quaint trolley cars that run throughout our small town all summer (and charge only 25 cents a ride!) and the available handicap-friendly big-wheeled beach-access chairs. Things you may want to see near the beach are the summer Sunday morning Farmers’ Market and the two Arts/Craft Festivals. Slightly further away is the historical marker and peaceful park at the Loop Canal, where a hundred years ago a steamboat, after dropping off those who had arrived by train in Rehoboth, made its circular turn to head back north (it couldn’t back up).

Bethany Beach Real Estate
Farther away are the excellent South Coastal Library (on Kent Avenue), where you can participate in varied educational programs for all ages, and the tranquil Nature Center (out Route 26), where you can walk along an elevated boardwalk out into a wetlands area. Throughout the Town is a full range of eating experiences, from the best beach fries to elegant fine dining and everything in between. Of course, if you are here over the 4th of July you can watch, or participate in, our delightful Annual Parade – it features not only the usual bands, fire trucks and dignitaries but also informal entries of all sizes and kinds, from hundreds of kids on decorated bicycles to numerous floats that reflect the enthusiasm and imagination of our residents, visitors and businesses. And what would the 4th be without our superb fireworks launched from the beach at dusk?
 

SOUTH BETHANY


South Bethany is a really great place to spend your time. Offering the best of both worlds – Oceanside with sunning, swimming, surfing, and all good beach things with seventeen public access walkways – and Bayside with boating, fishing, crabbing, canoeing, and kayaking.

Because the beaches are large and uncrowded, everyone gets a “front row” seat to set up their chairs and umbrellas. Plenty of room to play ball, including volleyball! (But please get Lifeguard’s permission first.) South Bethany is the only beach that permits alcoholic beverages. (But please – no glass containers, they’re prohibited.) Vendors for many services on the beach include: chairs & umbrella rentals, Italian ice, hot dogs, snacks, etc. The Beach Patrol lifeguards are experienced and fully certified with CPR, First Aid, and other certifications.

The canals lead to the Little Assawoman Bay for boating, crabbing, fishing, waterskiing, and windsurfing. The canals also lead to the Assawoman Wildlife Refuge and to the Assawoman Canal – great places for paddling or just quietly drifting along and watching deer, foxes, osprey, eagles, and lots of other wildlife. Kayaks and canoes and other small craft can easily be launched from the dock at your rental house – or they and bigger boats and jet skis can be launched at ramps nearby.

The small shopping center has nice shops, restaurants, a gourmet market, pizza parlor, award-winning Japanese restaurant, and excellent bait and tackle shop with all the info and gear you need for bay or surf fishing. The beach adjoins an undeveloped State Park – fishing only – no concessions. Great place to just walk in and enjoy the beach and dunes in their pristine natural state.

www.visitdelaware.com
 

LEWES BEACH


Since Lewes was first settled by the Dutch in 1631, the townspeople have taken great pride in their historic and seafaring heritage and enjoy the opportunity of sharing both with visitors.

You can find Lewes situated where the Delaware Bay and the Atlantic Ocean meet (Cape Henlopen). This location provides both bay and ocean beaches for swimming as well as all types of sportfishing and pleasure boating opportunities.

In the over 4,013 acres of preserved lands in Cape Henlopen State Park, you find beautiful beaches, miles of nature trails, bird sanctuaries and an education center.

It is considered part of the Eastern Shore and the Mason–Dixon Line is just 34 miles west of Lewes. This central location has made Lewes an attractive tourist destination, weekend get-away, and a home base for those commuting to their jobs in larger cities.

Lewes is a walking town. Within an area approximately a half-mile square, you will find the Historical Society’s complex and the historic district, containing many of the older preserved homes, museums, over 40 full-service shops that provide a wide selection of unique goods, ranging from antiques to modern gallery art, many fine restaurants where you can take time out and have a relaxing meal and several inns, B&Bs and motels where you can enjoy a comfortable night’s rest after a day on the town.

Lewes is a year-round community. Fun-filled days, relaxing nights, history and natural beauty everywhere you look…that’s Lewes!

www.visitdelaware.com
Lately, it is becoming more popular for those retirees who wish a more relaxed lifestyle. Lewes, through wise planning and self-determination, has maintained the balance between modern living and historic preservation. Growth, both in the business and residential areas, has been encouraged but controlled, so that Lewes continues to be the family-oriented town that has attracted many people over the years.
 

FENWICK Island


Watch the sunrise over wide beaches with soft sands and gentle surf. Stroll through the many shops and dine at more than a dozen restaurants along the one-mile stretch of Ocean Highway between Fenwick Island State Park and Ocean City, Maryland. Then enjoy a sunset over the bay.

Chartered by the Delaware Legislature in 1953, the Town of Fenwick Island sought to set itself apart from Ocean City by establishing family-friendly and “quiet” standards. The Fenwick Island Lighthouse has warned mariners of dangerous offshore shoals since 1859. It is a conical 87 foot tower featuring a Fresnel lens and is situated just feet from the Transpeninsular Marker which divides Delaware from Maryland. The light is still operational but it was decommissioned in 1978 by the U.S. Coast Guard. A volunteer citizens group maintains it and welcomes visitors.

The island was a remote and seldom-visited outpost until the 1920’s. From that time until the 1940’s, modest cottages with no heat or indoor plumbing began to show up on the unmarked state land. The Department of Transportation ushered in a new era with the establishment of Coastal Highway and the requirement that Fenwick Island be properly surveyed and lots sold to tax-paying settlers of the “town”.

Vestiges of those first modest cottages remain. In many instances, though, homes have been remodeled with all of the modern conveniences and enough room for an extended family to enjoy a luxurious vacation week in this quiet resort. Detailed web-based listings of homes for rent throughout the year, as well as four motels for short term visits, are easy to find from the comfort of your home or office – wherever you may be.

Watch the sunrise over wide beaches with soft sands and gentle surf. Stroll through the many shops and dine at more than a dozen restaurants along the one-mile stretch of Ocean Highway between Fenwick Island State Park and Ocean City, Maryland. Then enjoy a sunset over the bay.

www.visitdelaware.com
Chartered by the Delaware Legislature in 1953, the Town of Fenwick Island sought to set itself apart from Ocean City by establishing family-friendly and “quiet” standards. The Fenwick Island Lighthouse has warned mariners of dangerous offshore shoals since 1859. It is a conical 87 foot tower featuring a Fresnel lens and is situated just feet from the Transpeninsular Marker which divides Delaware from Maryland. The light is still operational but it was decommissioned in 1978 by the U.S. Coast Guard. A volunteer citizens group maintains it and welcomes visitors.
 

REHOBOTH BEACH


Located on the Delaware Shores, the Rehoboth Beach & Dewey Beach Area is known for its award-winning boardwalk, awesome hotels, specialty stores, amusements, beautiful homes, tax-free shopping and some of the finest restaurants anywhere.

Enjoy exploring 30 miles of unspoiled Delaware coastline, and many passive park areas. Nature based activities include State Parks, kayaking, nature cruises, ferry rides, walking trails, surfing, skimboarding, paddleboarding, sailing or exploring the water’s edge. Adding historical venues and live performing arts will make your stay in the “Nation’s Summer Capital” a perfect one.

Neighboring Dewey Beach is just a short walk from Rehoboth Beach and sits between the Atlantic Ocean and Rehoboth Bay. Dewey offers beach sports and activities as well as great restaurants, majestic sunsets, live music, dancing, and nightlife that is world famous. During the summer, Dewey offers family activities including movies and bonfires on the beach. The Resort’s Gateway (Highway One), offers a “mile of style” at the famous Tanger Outlet Center as well as additional restaurants, bars, shops, rides, and attractions.

The area hosts many events for fun-seekers of all ages…all year round! Spring and fall sidewalk sales are held in May and October and the Annual Sandcastle Contest is held the first Saturday of August. If you like fun, costumes & parades, the annual Sea Witch Festival held in October will appeal to you. More fun events include 5K Races, Elvis Festival, Pet Events, Jazz Festival, Film Festival and holiday tree lightings and happenings.

 

DEWEY BEACH


Nestled between the Atlantic Ocean and the tranquil Rehoboth Bay, Dewey Beach is a gem along Delaware’s “gold coast.” Young and old alike have come to make Dewey Beach “a way of life.” More than ever, people are enjoying the peaceful months in the spring and fall.

As the First State’s youngest town, Dewey Beach is continually growing, offering more and finer accommodations to residents. But while progress makes its mark, Dewey retains her charm with the older cottages and houses, giving the town a character all its own. Along with its beaches, Dewey offers some of the finest dining and entertainment with its variety of restaurants and nightspots. An added attraction which enhances the atmosphere of Dewey Beach is the assortment of quality shops and stores offering everything from unique handcrafted collectibles to casual beachwear.

For those who love the water, Dewey Beach offers everything. As a unique stretch of real estate, Dewey is only two blocks wide and surrounded by water. One block to the east of Route One is the wide sandy beach overlooking the Atlantic Ocean, while to the west lies the quiet shore of the Rehoboth Bay. From fishing to sailboarding and water skiing, outdoor enthusiasts can quench their active appetites either on the Rehoboth Bay or in the Atlantic.

Flanked by the popular resort of Rehoboth Beach to the north and the scenic Delaware Seashore State Park to the south, Dewey Beach provides the visitor with the best of both worlds. Located only 125 miles from the nation’s capital, Dewey Beach is easily accessible. In addition, Delaware’s Atlantic Coast is within a few hours’ drive from Baltimore, Philadelphia and Wilmington. So if the thought of ocean sunrises, pastel sunsets, cool bay breezes and just plain relaxing appeals to you, Dewey Beach just might be the place.

 

OCEAN VIEW


The Town of Ocean View is located one mile inland from Bethany Beach and the Atlantic Ocean. Founded in 1688 and incorporated on April 13, 1889, Ocean View was originally known as Hall’s Store and was part of a 500 acre tract of land known as “Middlesex.”

For centuries, the citizens of Ocean View made their living as farmers or as seamen who worked the waters of the Atlantic Ocean, Delaware Bay and Chesapeake Bay. The Town is best remembered as the site where the chicken broiler-fryer industry began. In 1923, Ms. Cecile Long Steele raised the first flock of commercial broiler-fryer chickens.

Newcomers to Ocean View often ask how the Town got its name. Legend tells that during the nineteenth century residents could see the ocean from to the second floor of their homes.

Since the 1970s, Ocean View has undergone a transformation from a farming community to a retirement community. Ocean View has 1882 year round residents. During the summer season, the population doubles with tourists and part-time residents. In the last decade, Ocean View was one of the fastest growing municipalities in Delaware.

While Ocean View’s population has grown in the last decade, it continues to offer a small town atmosphere, and attracts people from many areas of the nation.
Among Ocean View’s hidden gems is John West Park. Located between West Avenue and Central Avenue, the park offers recreational opportunities for all ages. During the summer, the park is a Mecca for children and families to play, picnic and just relax.

The Town sponsors three major events in the park. The first event is the summertime Concerts in the Park. The second event is the annual Christmas time Carols in the Park. The third event is the Ocean View Homecoming. With the assistance of the Homecoming Events Committee, Homecoming is held each year on the second Saturday in May. The homecoming event recreates the annual activities that existed during the former part of the twentieth century when former residents returned to see friends and family.

www.visitdelaware.com
Ocean View also has an active Historical Society with over 100 members. Organized in 2008, the Ocean View Historical Society is dedicated to preserving the history of Ocean View and surrounding coastal communities. Presently, the historical society is raising funds to establish a new museum, restore the old Tunnel-West House, and relocate for restoration a nineteenth century post office building.

Ocean View has three active churches, an elementary school, a first class golf course, several restaurants and commercial establishments. Adjacent to Ocean View is the Town of Millville where Ocean View residents have access to two grocery store chains and several restaurants.

Neighboring Bethany Beach offers its board walk and Ocean for recreation.

www.visitdelaware.com

MILLVILLE


Millville is a small municipal community in Sussex County, Delaware. The Town of Millville was incorporated in 1906 and celebrated its Centennial in 2006. The area is known for its small town atmosphere and quiet way of life contrasted with the larger resort Towns like Rehoboth and Bethany Beach. It’s thought the name of the Town came from a lumber mill, west of Railway Road, owned by George F. Townsend.

A Council type government with a Mayor and four Council Members who are elected to two-year terms every March govern Millville. Nestled between Ocean View and Dagsboro on Route 26, Millville is home to six banks, two large grocery stores and numerous other retail locations. Millville also has several communities with new homes and town homes being built daily within town limits like Bishop’s Landing, Coventry, Millville By the Sea, and Windhurst.

 
 

SELBYVILLE


The Town of Selbyville has long been one of the main service areas for local residents and tourists who live and recreate on the Eastern Shore of Delaware. Food stores, lumber mills, railroad shipping area for strawberries, and a source of employment in the poultry industry were available in Selbyville many years ago.

Today Selbyville has a different look, but still offers some of the same pluses and many more services to the local and beach areas. Being just a short eight mile ride from the beaches of Fenwick Island on the north side of Route 54 and Ocean City Md. on the south side of Rt. 54,
Selbyville is now a place where many newcomers choose to live and work as well as recreate. Selbyville has had a spurt of new homes and presently is in the process of building 200 homes in four separate developments in town, with another to start soon with another 120 homes of quality to be built. Selbyville also has Title I award winning schools boasting an elementary, middle and a School of the Arts for the most talented of local area children.

A quiet, warm place to live with an exceptional town philosophy for future growth allowing the relaxed style of country living to continue in a market place where many towns are looking for massive growth in lieu of smart growth. Come visit Selbyville and experience the difference.  The Town of Selbyville, your gateway to the beach.

www.visitdelaware.com
 

MILLSBORO

Millsboro offers a unique shopping experience downtown, where you will find antique shops. They have several great restaurants downtown to tempt your” inner foodie”, including seafood, southern style food, Irish specialties and good old fashioned home cooking.

Need to just relax? Visit Cupola Park where you can fish, crab or just relax while the kids run off energy on the playground. Pack a picnic lunch to enjoy while you are there.

There are also several restaurants and shopping centers on Rt. 113. They offer grocery stores, box stores, medical centers, hair and nail salons and much more. Whether you’re interest is in business, employment, housing, education, family recreation, or retirement, the possibilities are here.

www.visitdelaware.com
 

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