Vacationers have flocked to Bethany Beach, Delaware, for more than 100 years to escape the heat of the cities.
Part of the "Quiet Resorts", Bethany boasts a simpler, less crowded family vacation than larger resorts like Rehoboth Beach and Ocean City, Maryland.
Bethany is particularly attractive to families with school-age children, who can stay in the relative peace and quiet of Bethany but still make quick trips to Ocean City and Rehoboth to let the kids expend their excess energy at the boardwalk arcades and rides in those towns.
Bethany is virtually surrounded by water, with the Atlantic Ocean to the east, the Indian River Bay and Assawoman Bay to the west, and the Indian River Inlet to the north.
Bethany's guarded beaches provide swimming, sun bathing and beach combing during the day.
In the evening, you can go surf fishing and kite flying on the beach, watch performances on the bandstand, shop in the downtown stores, and take a leisurely stroll on the quarter-mile boardwalk.
Fishing, crabbing, clamming, kayaking, sailing and windsurfing are the main activities in the nearby bays.
Indian River Inlet, with head boats and charter boats, offers some of the best in-shore and deep-sea fishing in the Mid-Atlantic region. The rockpiles at the Inlet are also popular fishing grounds.
Services provided by the Town of Bethany Beach include rest rooms at Garfield Parkway and the boardwalk behind the bandstand and foot washing faucets at several boardwalk entrances.
Bethany has also become more popular for empty nesters in the spring, winter and fall months, when the beaches are far less crowded and offer quiet, relaxing walks, plus outstanding beachcombing opportunities.
Although some of the shops and restaurants close for the winter, many remain open for visiting without the crowds of summer.
With generally moderate temperatures, you can still enjoy walks on the beach and boardwalk, as well as beach combing.
Tips: If you're renting a vacation home in Bethany Beach, your property may come with a parking pass that will entitle you to park in unmetered spaces in town. If you don't have access to a parking pass, you'll need plenty of quarters to feed the meters, although the town did start a bill-changing service last year at Garfield and Atlantic Avenue.
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