About three hours away from D.C., give or take some traffic, lies Bethany Beach, Delaware, a haven for low-key vacationing. It’s a place for wasting away an afternoon by the ocean or an evening on the boardwalk. If you've got plans this summer to check out Bethany Beach, we are here to help you figure out where to stay, what to eat and how to pass your days (when you need a beach break) to create those memorable moments every trip deserves!
Note: A beach replenishment project is underway, so be sure to stay updated on what portions of the beach are affected, if any, during your stay.
Where to Stay
The name of the game in Bethany is vacation rental, but if hotels are more your speed, try:
Addy Sea Bed and Breakfast: A Victorian mansion by the water, Addy Sea provides breakfast, a light lunch (on request) and afternoon tea, as well as beach chairs and towels.
Bethany Beach Ocean Suites Residence Inn by Marriott: This modern hotel sits right along the beloved Bethany Beach boardwalk and offers free breakfast, a pool and the Oceanova Spa.
Where to Eat
Beach Break Bakrie and Cafe: Sample the muffins at this charming spot serving breakfast all day, along with a variety of sandwiches, salads and wraps for “linner.”
McCabe’s Gourmet Market: This market, in business for more than 30 years, is the place for sandwiches, fresh baked goods and imported items.
Pie: Whether you’re craving a pizza pie or the dessert variety, Pie has got it. Selections include the Summertime pizza (served with fresh crab and pesto) and the Better Than Pepperoni (made with sliced soppressata).
14 Global: As its name suggests, this relatively new restaurant specializes in international cuisine, from za’atar spiced lamb chop T-bones to sweet potato ricotta gnocchi.
Bethany Blues: For about 15 years, this barbecue destination has brought popular dishes (Pigs on the Wing unites chopped St. Louis ribs with buffalo hot sauce and blue cheese) to Bethany, with plenty of bourbon on the menu as company.
Bluecoast: For elegantly presented seafood, look no further than Bluecoast, serving raw-bar selections as well as savory indulgences such as lobster cavatappi and Old Bay cheddar crab tots.
Off the Hook: This small(ish) farm-to-table restaurant serves elevated seafood options with hints of the South. Choose from pan-seared scallops with cheddar grits and buttermilk-battered calamari among other seafood-meets-comfort food selections.
What to Do
If you need to get your Fitbit up and running after lolling on the beach, rent a bike and take it out on any of Bethany’s bike paths. You can also give your credit card some cardio at some of the town’s best shops, including new clothing and home goods boutique Alice and Laila, longtime clothing and gift shop Japanesque and “coastal general store” S.A.L.T. Provisions.
Enjoy some live music at the Bethany Beach Bandstand, featuring loads of tribute bands, and the Freeman Stage (hosting Bruce Hornsby, Boyz II Men and Pat Benatar) in nearby Selbyville. Or see some stars under the stars with Movies on the Bandstand, with a roster of family favorites playing through the summer.
Our Analysis: If you’re looking for a spot to kick back with your family or snag a laid-back break from the daily demands of D.C., Bethany Beach is the place.