As a convenient coastal destination for vacationers from Maryland, Washington, D.C. and southeastern Pennsylvania, Delaware thrives with summer fun and beach vibes during the warmer months. The 26 miles of waterfront from the Delaware Bay to the Maryland border are known for their impeccable cleanliness and superb water quality. In addition, the coastline along the Atlantic Ocean offers numerous recreational opportunities both in the water and along the shore. Here are some of the top beaches to find your vacation rental in Delaware.

1. Rehoboth Beach

rehoboth beach

Endearingly referred to as “The Nations Summer Capital,” Rehoboth Beach is a family friendly beach that stretches for about a mile along the Atlantic Ocean. Rehoboth Beach is located about 120 miles from Washington, D.C., making it a well-frequented summer spot for vacationers from the District. Explore the trinket-packed boardwalk with your family and friends, or stroll through the old-timey shore town and pop into one of the candy shops or ice cream parlors along the way. Better yet, pick out your favorite seaside spot and head to the water for activities from fishing to surfing.

2. Lewes Beach

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The peaceful, friendly town of Lewes adds to the charming ambiance of one of Delaware’s best coastal destinations. Ideal for those looking to avoid the crush of the crowds, Lewes Beach is a relatively secluded treasure. Take quiet strolls with your loved ones along boutique-filled streets, or uncover the nautical heritage of the old town by the sea. The beaches are usually not crowded and the gentle waves make for optimal wading.

3. Dewey Beach

dewey beach

Dewey Beach is perfect for the younger set, with tons of Bayside clubs awaiting the just-off-the-beach crowds. For days filled with watersports and nights filled with rock-and-roll, Dewey Beach offers excitement from the sun up until sundown. Spend your day parasailing, windsurfing or dolphin watching, and then hit the town as it comes to life. Whether you head out for a night of dancing at the clubs or live music at the bars, a night out on Dewey Beach will be one for the books.

4. Fenwick Island

sunset fenwick island

Family friendly Fenwick Island is just a hop and skips away from Ocean City, Maryland, another top vacation destination along the Atlantic coast. Fenwick Island State Park offers numerous opportunities for activities in the water, from fishing to windsurfing. In town, families will find kid-friendly activities such as miniature golfing and a waterpark. If you’re looking to rent a beach home and settle in for a while, Fenwick Island is the place for you.

5. Bethany Beach

bethany beach dawn

Head to Bethany Beach to find a vacation destination that will please all generations. It’s a beach town that draws families season after season, one that encourages gatherings and reunions from far and wide. The beach town is on the smaller side, compared to some of the sprawling resort towns along the coast, but Bethany has its fair share of shops and restaurants. Revel in the serenity and quaintness of Bethany Beach with your family, and find respite from the business of city life.

6. Broadkill Beach

Washington coast, Ocean Park.
Source: Flickr / Steve Johnson

Broadkill Beach is another option for vacationers looking for peace and quiet. Broadkill is located just above the more crowded Lewes and Rehoboth beaches. It comes without the fancy boardwalk and numerous accommodations, but it’s a great destination to spread your towels on the sand and settle into your next beach read. Your kids can have full run of the sand, and they’ll get to splash and play in the cool waters.

7. South Bethany Beach

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If you have a family member who loves to golf, they’’ll appreciate South Bethany’s proximity to golf courses. For the rest of the family, there are numerous dining and shopping options also nearby. Take the clan out for a casual night on the town or embark on a fishing adventure on the bay. South Bethany Beach is where families can enjoy a low key vacation without too much fuss.

8. Delaware Seashore State Park


Delaware beach

The coastline and dunes along the Delaware Seashore State Park offer relaxation on the sand or activities in the water. Visitors can stretch out on the beach for sunbathing, or take a dip in the sea. The park has designated areas for surfing, as well as services for boaters and anglers along the Indian River. Outside the water, visitors can utilize the picnic pavilions for family cookouts or participate in park programs held throughout the summer. The park is also located near Rehoboth Bay and the Indian River Bay, both of which have plenty of water recreation to enjoy.

9. Cape Henlopen State Park

Delaware Summer

Cape Henlopen State Park is where you’’ll find one of the most iconic views of Delaware: a grand lighthouse that also stands as an important historic landmark. In addition to the scenic views, the Cape boasts an incredible diversity of activities. Take your family camping within the state park, hiking trails lined with flowers or fishing from the beach.

10. Kitts Hummock and Ted Harvey Wildlife Area

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The Kitts Hummock and Ted Harvey Wildlife Area abounds with different habitats and wildlife for nature lovers. Marshes, forests and agricultural fields span the landscape. The land is home to waterfowl, deer and fish species that are fair game for those with permits. Most of the grounds are only open for hunting and fishing, making the area ideal for those looking for a great catch. In addition, the Kitts Hummock Beach is a crab sanctuary where visitors can observe the species spawning through May and June.