Located less than three hours from the major cities of Philadelphia, Washington D.C., Baltimore and Norfolk, Virginia, one doesn’t need to venture very far for the simple pleasures of sand, sun and clear blue waves crashing into the shore. During the summer, Bethany Beach is hopping – vacationers drive in from all over to relax on the beach and take in the quaint local culture. Replete with fresh fish, small boutiques, golf courses, amusement parks, interesting natural wildlife and family run inns, Bethany Beach is the perfect destination for a quiet getaway.
Hit the beach! With over six miles of ocean and shoreline, this 2825-acre beach and surrounding park is the best way to spend a hot summer day. Between the two ocean swimming areas at this state park, families can swim, surf, picnic, clam or crab, fish and boat, and, on a lucky day, see some dolphins coming in from the Atlantic Ocean. It costs $8 for visitors from out of state, and beach chairs and umbrellas can be rented at the beach.
Three miles west of Bethany Beach are three sets of 9 holes for every level of golfer. Spotted with natural sand dunes to reflect the coastal tradition of the area, the Bear Trap Dunes was designed by one of the leading golf course designers in the industry. For a proper lunch break, hit DiFebo’s Bistro on the Green which offers classic bistro fare in a sophisticated dark wood atmosphere.
Three miles south of Bethany Beach and a mile north of Ocean City, Coastal Kayak offers eco-tours by kayak or paddleboard, rentals of kayaks, paddleboards and sailboats, and lessons. Go out in a group to discover the wildlife of Burton’s Island or the Bald Cypress area on a tour led by a seasoned professional, or grab a kayak and explore by yourself.
A local favorite, Off The Hook serves festive and fresh seafood and light salads, along with an an extensive wine list of California reds and whites. They work with local farms and suppliers not too far from Maryland and Delaware to ensure seasonal freshness, all year round. Noted menu items include the grilled mahi with warm artichoke and fingerling potato salad, chicory in white almond gazpacho, or for the seafood-averse (as many are), the truffle burger is topped with melted leeks, bacon and gruyére on a soft brioche bun.
The Addy Sea is a Victorian-style Bed and Breakfast situated on the oceanfront. One of the area’s notable historic landmarks, the Addy Sea was built in 1902 as a private family home. It was rented out to church groups during the Depression and has continued operating as an inn since those days. Located steps away from the beach and a short walk from the town, this adults-only bed and breakfast makes for a perfect tranquil weekend getaway for all who stay in their 13 rooms.