"One Last Day of Summer at the Delaware Beaches" Top 5 Page for this destination Bethany Beach by starship

Bethany Beach Travel Guide: 46 reviews and 90 photos

Bethany Beach

Labor Day Weekend always marks the unofficial end of Summer and the window of opportunity for vacations for those families with school-age children closes by this date or even earlier. With no major vacations planned for virtually all of 2009, I was more than ready to embark on a day trip even though it was already September.

Heading south over the Delaware Memorial Bridge, the good roads of Delaware moved us quite nicely into the far southeast corner of the state where we wanted to visit the seaside town of Bethany Beach, Delaware. We had planned to also visit Rehobeth Beach, and finish by taking the Cape May Ferry from Lewes. We found that seeing these two additional beach towns and taking the ferry could only be accomplished fairly by spending at least a night in each place, and planning on arriving at the ferry well in advance of its departures. Unfortunately we didn't have the time or budget for hotel nights.

In the end, we had enough time to see a decent amount of "Bethany Beach"
, have a quick drive through of Rehoboth Beach, and head home though not by the ferry. We covered approximately 350 miles--- quite a stretch for a day trip. Still it was a gloriously beautiful day and a great way to end our Summer!

Humble & Peaceful Beginnings

The tiny town of Bethany Beach began its history as a peaceful summer retreat founded by members of the Christian Church (also known as the Disciples of Christ) of the Washington DC area and Pennsylvania.

Bethany Beach was not envisioned to be a permanent town, rather it was deemed to be "a suitable tract of land for a permanent yearly seaside assembly for the Christian churches of the country."

How Bethany Beach got its name was somewhat unusual, if not unique! The founders launched a nationwide contest which was won by a Mr. H.L. Atkinson who conceived the name "Bethany," which was most probably chosen for its biblical connotation. As the contest winner, Mr. Atkinson was awarded a lot on the beach as his prize. And what a prize!!

With its unhurried pace, and hometown atmosphere, I agree that Bethany Beach seems to still reflect the aspirations of the early settlers who were looking for "a haven of rest for quiet people."

Pros and Cons
  • Pros:Lovely beach, charming town, great place to spend a Summer!
  • Cons:Small Town, Big Crowds -- not a secret anymore!
  • In a nutshell:Small town, homey feeling with a great beach!
  • Last visit to Bethany Beach: Sep 2009
  • Intro Updated Oct 24, 2013
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Reviews (12)

Comments (16)

  • Nemorino's Profile Photo
    Jan 16, 2015 at 1:45 PM

    This certainly does sound like a pleasant place, as long as you are careful about the rip tides. Reading your tips got me wondering if I have actually ever been to Delaware. I think I must have driven through the northern tip of the state, or gone through on a train, but that's about it.
    (I once went hiking at the Delaware Water Gap, but I think that's in Pennsylvania.)

    • starship's Profile Photo
      Jan 18, 2015 at 7:05 AM

      Don, thanks for visiting my Bethany Beach page! It's really a nice little town. You're right, the Delaware Water Gap is in Pennsylvania but I don't believe I've been there.

  • Yaqui's Profile Photo
    Dec 24, 2014 at 8:47 AM

    What a lovely place to visit! Great tips as always! Excellent page Sylvia!

    • starship's Profile Photo
      Dec 24, 2014 at 9:55 AM

      Thanks very much for your visit here too, Dee. This is a really nice beach town -- clean beaches, clean town, and felt very homey to me! It's lovely!

  • blueskyjohn's Profile Photo
    Dec 10, 2014 at 4:34 AM

    Great page and information. Thank you for sharing.

    • starship's Profile Photo
      Dec 10, 2014 at 5:51 AM

      Many thanks for your visit and ratings! Bethany Beach had kind of a homey feel and really different from Wildwood here on the Jersey Shore where I visit often!

  • balhannah's Profile Photo
    Jan 14, 2014 at 12:33 PM

    I've had a wonderful tour around here!

  • BruceDunning's Profile Photo
    Oct 24, 2013 at 10:55 AM

    You certainly took a long trip to see the sea on a windy day. Did the Capt Jack's golf let you win a hole or two?

    • starship's Profile Photo
      Oct 24, 2013 at 12:21 PM

      We were driving by so checked this place out but unfortunately didn't get to play one hole!! It sure is a neat mini-golf though! Thanks very much for reading and rating this page!

  • HORSCHECK's Profile Photo
    Mar 12, 2012 at 11:02 AM

    Sylvia, interesting page about this beach gem. The Bethany Beach Blue Trolleys really seem to be a good means of transport and a bargain as well.

  • ViajesdelMundo's Profile Photo
    Feb 10, 2010 at 1:43 PM

    Again! what a great page!! and such memories it brings back;I just love these East Coast beaches; of course we most often went to Ocean City,MD, which also was the last trip I had with my dear Mother.....

  • scottishvisitor's Profile Photo
    Dec 20, 2009 at 3:24 PM

    Oh I do lilke to be beside the sea side = nice page Syvia!

  • bijo69's Profile Photo
    Nov 29, 2009 at 3:32 AM

    What a lovely beachside town! Enjoyed reading your tips as always!

  • lynnehamman's Profile Photo
    Nov 20, 2009 at 3:35 AM

    This seaside town sounds great, Sylvia. Love the 'funeral' parade idea. In Australia live bands are also popular in summer (at beach suburbs)- lovely way to end a day.


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