With its relaxed, family-friendly atmosphere and breathtaking natural beauty, Bethany Beach and the surrounding towns have been a popular vacation destination since the 1950s. Most homeowners do not live here all year, so there are always a wide variety of Bethany Beach vacation rentals available. Each town has its own character and conveniences, so you can find one that matches your vacation preferences. Here are some of our favorite places to stay near Bethany Beach.

1. Bethany Beach

bethany beach
Source: Flickr/Mike Mahaffie

Known as one of the Quiet Resorts, the town of Bethany Beach is considerably more family-friendly than many other beach towns. The old-fashioned boardwalk is lined with top-notch seafood restaurants and cute little shops, and the beautiful sandy beaches are big enough to spread out even during busy times. This town was originally developed as a planned vacation community in the early 1900s, so there are some beautiful historic homes mixed in with newer condos and houses.

2. Fenwick Island

fenwick island lighthouse
Source: Flickr/Geoff LMV

Fenwick Island has the same family-friendly atmosphere as Bethany Beach, but its proximity to Ocean City, Maryland, gives it a bit more of a modern feel. In addition to great restaurants and shopping, the town also has some more exciting attractions such as a water park and a go-kart track. The main attraction is Fenwick Island State Park, which borders both the Atlantic Ocean and Little Assawoman Bay. The park is popular among kayakers, windsurfers, and fishermen, as well as people who simply want to lounge on the beach and go for a swim.

3. Wilgus Subdivision

townhouse

Due to its close proximity to the ocean and Bethany Beach boardwalk, the Wilgus Subdivision has become one of the most popular neighborhoods in the area. It lies just off of Coastal Highway, the main highway that connects all of southern Delaware’s beach towns, so it’s easy to explore other towns and nearby parks. Many newer vacation rentals are available here, particularly luxury condos and townhouses, although some older homes and luxury single-family homes are available as vacation rentals as well.

4. White Creek

white creek

If you want to be right on the water, consider staying in White Creek. Although it isn’t on the ocean, homes in this newer subdivision are located on the shores of White Creek, which connects with Salt Pond and offers miles of kayaking and boating opportunities. You can keep your kayak in the garage of your vacation rental and launch right from your backyard at some houses, and a community kayak and boat launch are also available.

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5. North Bethany

beach front

This upscale community is the place to be if you want a luxury vacation rental. As the name implies, it lies just to the north of Bethany Beach. Many of the houses are within easy walking or biking distance of the boardwalk along the pedestrian-friendly Route 1. Homes in this area tend to be newer, and many cater to vacationers. If you want a beachfront mansion, check out the exclusive Gulls Nest subdivision.

6. Ocean View

road street

For a quieter, more small-town atmosphere, head a few miles west of Bethany Beach the charming community of Ocean View. The name can be a bit misleading, as you can typically only see the Atlantic from buildings that are at least two stories, but you’re still just a few minutes away from the beach. Explore the many parks and walking trails, and enjoy plenty of community events, such as the summer concert series.

7. South Bethany

sunset fishing

South Bethany may be the quietest of Delaware’s Quiet Resorts. It isn’t as famous as Bethany Beach to the north, so it attracts fewer visitors, but it is buffered by Fenwick Island to the south, so the party atmosphere of Ocean City doesn’t affect it. Most recreational activities center around the beaches, with kayaking, crabbing, fishing, and swimming as some of the main attractions.

8. Millville

river bank

This small community’s easy access to Indian River Bay, along with the numerous lakes and rivers that run through the town, makes it a great place to stay that’s a little off the beaten path. Neighborhoods in Millville vary from older cottages to the luxury development of Millville by the Sea. An increasing number of restaurants and stores are springing up in the community as it becomes more popular among vacationers, and it’s still just a few minutes away from Bethany Beach.

9. York Beach

york beach

If you want to spend some time hiking as well as hanging out on the beach, York Beach might be a good choice. This small, unincorporated community lies on Route 1 between South Bethany and Fenwick Island State Park. It also lies just east of the Assawoman Wildlife Area, where you can wander through salt marsh trails and explore coastal forests.

10. Dewey Beach

dewey beach
Source: Flickr/Jennifer Murawski

The Quiet Resorts are charming, but they may be too quiet for some. For a more party-like but still family-friendly atmosphere, head up to Dewey Beach. Plenty of large, sandy public beaches draw in visitors of all ages, as do family restaurants and shops. In the evening, a thriving club scene offers live music and dancing. Dewey Beach is also close to the popular vacation destination of Rehoboth Beach.

11. Calhoun Landing

calhoun landing

On the shores of Indian River Bay lies the small, unincorporated community of Calhoun Landing. This area is home to a mix of stunning beachfront mansions and more modest single-family homes, all of which offer quick access to the bay, as well as excellent hiking in Holts Landing State Park. Cripple Creek Golf and Country Club is also nearby if you’re looking to practice your swing.

 
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