Delmarva beaches expect crowds for Memorial Day

WASHINGTON — Perhaps not officially, and especially not when you were still wearing jackets just a couple of days ago, but as far as many people are concerned, summer has arrived.

“I’m sure everybody in Baltimore, Washington … they’re all at work thinking about how early they’re going to be able to get away on Friday and how they’re going to take advantage of that holiday on Monday, “said Ocean City Mayor Rick Meehan, who will see his town of less than 10,000 people swell 20 times or more in size.

“You’re looking probably anywhere from 200 to 250,000 people over Memorial Day weekend. And that’s just in Ocean City, Maryland,” Meehan said.

Farther up the coast you will have difficulty finding many vacancies anywhere along the Delaware Coast, from Fenwick Island to Lewes.

“We cater to people from the Baltimore-Washington area,” said Rudolph “Bunky” Dolle, whose family has been running candy shops along the boardwalks in Ocean City and Rehoboth since he was a child.

“They make it a point to come here because it is such a destination,” said Dolle.

The forecast at the beach looks great for relaxing on the sand and enjoying the waves, but water temperatures in the 60s will make it way too cold for some people to go swimming.

“Everybody wants to be here for the beach,” Meehan said. “They’ll enjoy the boardwalk or some of the other activities if the weather isn’t perfect.”

In fact, while Meehan calls it “the first official summer type of weekend,” the reality is it won’t be until around July 4 that summer kicks into full swing. July and August are, of course, the busiest months.

But Meehan said September, which offers visitors great weather and warmer oceans, has passed June to become the third busiest month at the beach.

Meehan said that means this weekend and the next few weeks are “kind of like a warm-up for the rest of the summer.”

Check each Thursday morning through Labor Day for a new “Beyond the Bay Bridge” feature, where WTOP will explore the goings-on at all the Delmarva beach towns. From new restaurants, events, to music and more, WTOP will bring you fun tips and information to make your trip to the beach more enjoyable. Be sure to bookmark the Summer Tips and News page as well as the Beach Traffic and Weather page to stay updated throughout the summer.

John Domen

John started working at WTOP in 2016 after having grown up in Maryland listening to the station as a child. While he got his on-air start at small stations in Pennsylvania and Delaware, he's spent most of his career in the D.C. area, having been heard on several local stations before coming to WTOP.

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