North of Bethany Beach, Delaware, is a triple-town stretch of oceanfront Delaware destinations: Dewey Beach, Rehoboth Beach and Lewes Beach.
The three neighboring beach towns are only separated by a few miles of land, but each maintains its own sense of place.
Headed to the beaches bordering the Rehoboth/Delaware Bay and the Atlantic Ocean? Let WTOP’s Guide to Rehoboth, Dewey, Lewes help you navigate the area’s summer activities, best restaurants and can’t-miss events.
How do Dewey Beach, Rehoboth and Lewes differ?
Visitors can find beach bonfires and a legendary night life scene in Dewey; Rehoboth is home to a mile-long boardwalk and some of the area’s best restaurants; and those seeking a complete escape from the hustle and bustle head to Lewes for its quiet beaches and charming, historic town. All three are home to a growing craft brewery scene.
Best of all: The three towns are within a few minutes of each other by car.
Rehoboth Beach restaurants you need to try
Food lovers will feel right at home in the area. Rehoboth, alone, has more than 100 restaurants, and Lewes has its share of cute and inviting eateries.
Go to: Henlopen City Oyster House on Wilmington Avenue in Rehoboth. It’s hard to pick just one oyster joint, and if you’re OK with spending lots of money, you have a ton of choices in Rehoboth that won’t let you down. WTOP went with this one this year because it has all the seafood you could want, including an extensive raw bar, as well as the ambiance you look for in a nice restaurant. Plus, it’s the kind of cuisine you think about when you go to the beach.
Take your kids to: Nicola Pizza. Come on, Nicobolis are iconic. You always find a way to get at least one. And then you scheme how to get some frozen ones home. Nicola has two locations on 1st Street and Rehboth Avenue.
Go here for the first time: The Pines just opened on Baltimore Avenue Rehoboth. It’s an Italian restaurant that opened over the winter. One of the owners is a former minor league player with the Baltimore Orioles from the area. The Rehoboth Foodie, who knows the restaurant scene there as well as anyone, rates it highly.
You probably haven’t tried this place, but you’ll wish you did: Justin Thyme, on the Forgotten Mile between Rehoboth and Dewey. Just trust us.
Get breakfast at: Surf Bagel in Rehoboth or Lewes. Outstanding bagels and sandwiches. Chill vibe. The kind of place you want to walk into to start your day.
Need a pizza? Casa Di Leo on Rehoboth Avenue in Rehoboth will find a way to make everyone happy.
Love coffee? Grab a cup of coffee at The Point Coffee House and Bake Shoppe.
Breweries and nightlife in Rehoboth Beach, Lewes and Dewey Beach
- Drink in the salt air — and the craft beer: Beer lovers will have a ball at the beach. In Rehoboth, there’s the Dogfish Head Brewpub, Revelation Craft Brewing and Big Oyster Brewery. Lewes is home to Crooked Hammock Brewery, and Dewey has the Dewey Beer Co.
- Night life: Looking for a fun night out with live music and fresh-squeezed crushes? There’s no shortage of options — especially in Dewey Beach. The Starboard, Rusty Rudder, The Lighthouse and Purple Parrot Grill are perhaps the most well-known haunts for evening entertainment and eats. Music lovers flock to Bottle & Cork for its nightly lineup.
Family fun in Rehoboth Beach, Dewey and Lewes
- Wildlife and water sports: There are tons of activities planned at Dewey Beach through out the summer, or check out crabbing and surf-fishing options in Rehoboth. Cape Henlopen State Park in Lewes offers calm beaches surrounded by woodlands. There’s a great bike path from Cape Henlopen State Park to Rehoboth, with fishing areas along the way. Take a tour of the Delaware Breakwater Lighthouse or catch a ride on the Cape May-Lewes Ferry and spend a day in Cape May, New Jersey.
- Shopping: No beach guide for Rehoboth and Dewey is complete without a mention of outlet shopping. Tanger Outlets draws a large crowd looking to take advantage of Delaware’s lack of sales tax — especially on rainy days. For smaller, independent stores, head to downtown Rehoboth and downtown Lewes. New to Rehoboth in 2019 is Ish Boutique, which is popular in Ocean City, Maryland. In addition to outlet and boutique shopping in the area, here are some other entertaining activities: Peruse the selection at Browseabout Books in Rehoboth and pick out your next beach read.
- The Rehoboth Beach Boardwalk: Rehoboth’s mile-long boardwalk (and surrounding streets) is lined with restaurants, shops and galleries. Pick up some saltwater taffy at the famous Dolle’s Candyland, grab a refreshing scoop of ice cream at the appropriately named Ice Cream Store, spring for a slice of pizza at the iconic Grotto Pizza or some hot fries from Thrasher’s. There are free concerts at the Rehoboth Beach bandstand at 8 p.m. Fridays through Sundays during the summer. And the kids will love the rides and games at Funland in Rehoboth.
- Dewey Beach movies and bonfires: Dewey Beach hosts free movies on the beach Monday nights June 24 through Aug. 19, and bonfires on the beach Wednesdays, June 26 through Aug. 21.
- Rehoboth’s 4th Annual Beach Goes Red, White & Blue Event: On June 8, the Rehoboth Beach-Dewey Chamber of Commerce will celebrate Delaware’s police officers, firefighters, paramedics and military members. Entertainment and programming takes place around the Rehoboth bandstand, beginning at 11 a.m.
- Fourth of July: Catch an Old Fashioned 4th and fireworks (beginning at 9 p.m.) in Lewes. Dewey also has fireworks starting around 9 p.m.
- Fresh fruits and veggies: The Rehoboth Beach farmers market operates from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Tuesdays in the summer. The historic Lewes farmers market runs from 8 a.m. to noon Saturdays at George H.P. Smith Park and from 8 a.m. to 11 a.m. Wednesdays at Crooked Hammock Brewery in the summer.
- Go bowling: Lefty’s is an indoor bowling alley, arcade and laser tag arena is a great hangout for adults and kids alike.
- Visit Silver Lake neighborhoods: Explore Rehoboth’s Silver Lake neighborhood for a change in scenery. Walk along the lakefront and take in the views of the beautiful homes.
How do you get around Rehoboth, Dewey and Lewes?
Parking is at a premium during the summer months in Rehoboth Beach and Dewey.
Take advantage of the Rehoboth Beach Park and Ride shuttle, which makes stops at the outlets, the boardwalk, and Dewey and Lewes beaches. The DART Beach Bus runs frequently.
In Lewes, you will need a car to get around.
Where do you stay in Rehoboth, Dewey and Lewes — Rehoboth, Dewey and Lewes hotels, Rehoboth, Dewey and Lewes rentals and Rehoboth, Dewey and Lewes condos?
For Dewey Beach, Delaware’s tourism website has tons of options whether you’re looking to stay near the town’s hot spots or the beach.
For more beach news, traffic and weather, visit WTOP’s Summer Beach Guide section.
WTOP’s Rachel Nania, John Domen, Will Vitka and Colleen Kelleher contributed to this report.