I’ve lived in the Bethany area for about 12 years after living in Upstate NY for over 40 years. So, it was a bit of a change, sort of a culture shock. This part of Delaware is called “Slower Lower” and for a very good reason.
Here are a couple of facts to get your barrings. Delaware is the second smallest state, nicknamed the Small Wonder. There are only three counties in this state as opposed to 62 in NY. We live in the southernmost and largest of the counties, Sussex County. Wilmington, the largest city, is about 110 miles north of Bethany. Dover, the capital, is about 60 miles north. Dover is also famous for its 3-day Firefly Music Festival and the International Speedway.
Back in Bethany, where we are considered The Quiet Resort, we are beach-loving, outdoorsy, active people. There is so much that Bethany has to offer.
The summers here are warm with a gentle ocean breeze, which is perfect for our outdoor activities. Kayaking and SUP (Stand Up Paddleboard) is a very popular thing to do here. The bay offers minimal waves and wind, so even the beginner can feel confident in the water. It’s a great family activity, too. Many kayak rental companies have tandem kayaks, perfect for a family or a romantic outing. We have several, friendly locals that own tour companies. They provide all levels of tours and include a lot of information about our ecosystem, and about the native plants and animals, you’ll see along your adventure. Www.ecobaykayak.com or call Lisa Daisey at 302-841-2722, she is the best!
Another fun outdoor activity is bike riding. In southern Delaware, we have no hills, maybe the occasional bridge incline. So, bike riding is easy and fun for the entire family. There are so many State Parks and trails in our area to ride bikes. Cape Henlopin and Lewes Bike Trails are located a little north of Bethany but can be reached within a 20-minute car drive. There is also a beautiful National Park just south of us, called Assateague. This is where the wild ponies roam. If you haven’t been to Assateague, then you are in for a real treat! This park has walking trails along the bay, bike trails throughout the park and miles of pristine beaches. The ponies tend to roam in the morning when it’s the coolest time on the island. They are beautiful animals and an awe to behold. We’ve seen them gallop down the beaches or walk through the brush or just mosey on down the roads. This is a fun day for everyone. Www.destateparks.com and www.assateagueisland.com
We are so fortunate to have an events center located just down the road from The Salisbury House. The Freeman Performing Arts Center is within a 10-minute car ride. It’s an outdoor venue that has had some big acts performing, like Jay Leno, Blondie, ABBA, ballet groups, philharmonic groups, Big Bad VooDoo Daddy, Southside Johnny, Pat Benatar, Melissa Etheridge, Huey Lewis, and The News, Sheryl Crow and so much more. Every year brings a superb list of artists. Visit www.freemanarts.org for the latest events schedule.
Another fun place to experience performing arts is at the Dickenson Parlour Theater, just down the road from us in Clarksville. This venue offers world-class magicians and comedians. Their new location is in the garden at Good Earth Market, one of the area’s best restaurants! This makes a great combination for a dinner and shows evening. Www.goodearthmarket.com
READ A BOOK ON THE BEACH
This is probably one of the most popular things to do while on vacation, especially if you have a fabulous little book store located on the boardwalk. Bethany Beach Books offers a large variety of books, puzzles and book-related gifts. They have all the best sellers, a children’s section, and many local interest books, too. The staff is friendly and very knowledgeable. While in Bethany, make it a point to stop by the bookstore for a quintessential small-town experience. Www.bethanybeachbooks.com
INDIAN RIVER LIFE SAVING STATION EVENTS
Just north of the Indian River Inlet Bridge, or the Blue Bridge is a historical building once used as the Life Saving Station. Built in 1876 for use by the United States Lifesaving Service, it is a fully restored station featuring maritime exhibits and historic reenactors who periodically demonstrate the turn-of-the-century techniques used to rescue sailing ships in distress. They offer tours of the building and the grounds during the day. At night they have some pretty cool events, like searching for ghost crabs, or full moonwalks. Www.destateparks.com
There is always a fun event going on at The Bandstand. Performances are scheduled for June through Labor Day Weekend. They take place every Friday, Saturday, and Sunday, with an occasional mid-week event. The shows offer something for everyone. You’ll enjoy everything from dancing and singing, to comedians and magicians and all genres of music. In addition to their Summer Concert Series, they also host movies and bonfires on the beach! Bethany Beach has all the popcorn, ice cream, french fries, and candy you’ll need to help you enjoy your evening on the boardwalk. Bethany is the perfect place to spend your summer evening. Www.townofbethanybeach.com
YOGA ON THE BEACH
Nothing is as perfect as Yoga with an ocean view. Bring your matt and get ready to completely relax. The instructors welcome all levels of yoga students, even if this is your first time. If Pilates is your thing, they offer that too. There is even a Boot Camp for those who need a more vigorous way to start their day. All these schedules can be found on the Town of Bethany Beach website. Www.townofbethanybeach.com
There is so much to do in our little neck of the woods/beach. You can be as active as you want or as relaxed as you need. Bethany Beach, Delaware offers it all.