Rehoboth Beach: Delaware’s Largest Beach Resort Offers Small Town Feel, Year-Round FuN

Rehoboth Beach is well known as the largest, most active, and most visited resort in Delaware.  It offers fine dining, well-maintained beaches, and ocean water as clean as any in the country. Along its pristine beach runs a mile-long elevated boardwalk lined with resort staples like cotton candy, velvety ice cream, salt-water taffy, novelty stores, miniature golf, and carnival rides. Step off the boardwalk onto boulevard style Main Street and you find block after block of tax-free retail shops, boutiques, restaurants, the independent Browseabout Books bookstore and even the town library.

Rehoboth’s 1.6 square miles of area is sandwiched between 4,000-acre Cape Henlopen State Park to the north which offers four miles of secluded beaches with forested camping, recreational facilities and paths for hiking and biking; and the 2825-acre Delaware Seashore State Park to the south, a seven-mile strip of land separating Indian River and Rehoboth Bays from the open ocean. Seashore State Park is ideal for swimming, surfing, fishing, or horseback riding in scenic solitude. These two parks plus an inexpensive nearby ferry ride to Cape May have gained the region a growing reputation for ecotourism. Of course for year-round residents, the diverse and changing coastal vegetation and marine life can be viewed adapting to each of the seasons.

Summer in Rehoboth Beach

Each summer, Rehoboth Beach's attractions draw visitors from across the country boosting the population to more than 40,000 sun-loving tourists. Then, beginning on Labor Day, the visitors, like the migratory birds that descend on the region in spring and summer, begin to drift away, and the town’s 1,105 year-round residents retake their town.

Of course, also like the birds, the visitors never completely leave and many return for events like the October Sea Witch Festival, the Rehoboth Beach Jazz Festival and Independent Film Festival in November and the Polar Bear Plunge in February. Fall and spring also bring sidewalk sales by merchants clearing out inventory for the new season. Even the dead of winter does not darken spirits in this beach town as Rehoboth and surrounding areas feature tree lightings, sing-a-longs, holiday parades, art and craft shows, boutiques, book fairs, live shows, and house tours. Enough of its world-class chefs remain to make Rehoboth’s popular foodie tours possible into November.

Despite efforts to make Rehoboth the year-round beach town, there is a “back to normal”. For homeowners here it means a return to the pleasures of small town living in a community of tree-lined streets, familiar faces, and available parking meters.

Living in Rehoboth Beach

The ocean stays, along with the manicured beaches, but lifeguards eventually depart and the police force dwindles back to its year-round core of 24 from summer’s 46.  Crime, which is almost always against property and not people, drops, and residents with children prepare them for the new school year. In Rehoboth that often means a short trek out to Route 1 (The Coastal Highway) for a visit to Tanger Outlets where top brands can be bought at discount prices.

Schools in Rehoboth are excellent. Rehoboth Elementary ranked 14th out of 103 elementary schools in Delaware; Beacon Middle School ranked 7th out of 48 middle schools in Delaware, both according to SchoolDigger.  Cape Henlopen High School earned a bronze award from U.S. News and World Reports, ranking it among the best high schools in the country.

The climate in Rehoboth is pleasant with temperatures averaging in the 70s. Because of the ocean, temperatures here are far more moderate than its neighbors to the north. Fall is warm and sunny, ideal conditions for the aforementioned outdoor events. Winters are generally mild, with daytime temperatures often in the mid-40s. Snowfall is typically light and with most days above freezing, it doesn’t linger. Locals can book a tee times at several area golf courses which are open year-round. By late March, temperatures are usually in the 60s and the community is preparing for the annual Rehoboth Easter Promenade.

Statistically, resident here skew older, with a median age of 59. The ratio of men to women is 1:1. As is typical of resort areas, the cost of living index is almost twice as high as the national average, but most of that bump is in the cost of housing. Every other index is close to the state average and only slightly above the national index.

The Rehoboth Beach Art Scene

What may not be as well known is that Rehoboth is ranked among the 100 Best Small Arts Towns in America. The Rehoboth Art League, which promotes an annual Cottage Tour, craft displays, and informal teas on their lawn, is at the center of organizations which have secured the city’s arts reputation.  In the summer, the Outdoor Fine Arts Show is held at the League during the second and thirds weeks of August. It also provides edible art during the Chocolate Festival. The biggest League event is the Rehoboth Beach Jazz Festival where top-rated artists perform at the Convention Center. The Festival features 30 different indoor and outdoor venues and 75 other events. During winter the League sponsors a series of lectures, workshops, plays, a fashion show, and the Delmarva Piano Festival. The League also supports other arts groups such as the Rehoboth Beach Writers Guild.

Rehoboth Beach Home Renovations

Lane Builders develops custom homes, preplanned homes, and specializes in home renovation and additions as well.