33 Things to do in Bethany Beach: Activities, Food & Events

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Planning a trip to Bethany Beach to get some well deserved R&R?

When it comes to the Delaware Beaches, Bethany is sometimes overshadowed by the more popular towns of Rehoboth, Lewes, and Dewey because the Delaware Seashore State Park separates them.

However, this gives Bethany the chance to provide a calmer, less crowded escape to the seaside with a more family and community oriented feel than the touristy experience found at the better known locations – perfect things to do in Bethany Beach!

Bethany Beach is grouped with South Bethany and Fenwick Islands as the “Quieter Resorts” and usually appeals to families with young children, retired couples, and anyone looking to enjoy the beach but avoid the party scene.

Your trip to Bethany will be filled with delicious seafood, beautiful nature, local treasures, and lots of outdoor adventures no matter what time of year you visit. 

Not sure which Delaware beach to visit for your next day trip or vacation? Check out this guide to learn about them all.

Fun Things to do at Bethany Beach

Bethany Beach Activities

When you visit in the summer, you’ll want to stay outdoors as much as you can, and thankfully there are so many things to do in Bethany Beach, Delaware, to keep you out in the fresh air.

You’ll probably want to spend most days lazing on the sand or swimming in the ocean, but if you need a little more excitement, there’s plenty of that too. 

Bethany Beach

Known for being one of the quietest of the Delaware beaches, Bethany Beach is a free public beach where you can kick back and relax on the gorgeous sand and clear water and avoid some of the more touristy spots in the area.

To keep Bethany chill, there are some rules including no fires, tents, canopies, tarps or cabanas.

No drinking alcohol, smoking or vaping, use the smoking areas if you do need to smoke.

Leave the balls and kites at home.

Dogs can’t use the beach from May 15th – September 30th.

Swimming at Bethany Beach

Some days the waters at Bethany Beach are in favor of swimmers, other days the surfers win.

The good news is that there are lifeguards on hand to ask for professional advice before taking a dip.

Bethany Beach Boardwalk

Smaller than the better well known Rehoboth Beach Boardwalk, Bethany Beach Boardwalk doesn’t have any rides.

However, it does have several shops, restaurants, and spots to get ice cream with easy access to the beach.

Bethany Bike Shop

Want to cruise around town?

Head to Bethany Bike Shop, where you can rent, purchase, or get your own bike tuned up so you can explore in style. 

Models include beach cruisers and kids bikes and the shop offers maintenance services too.

Bethany Beach Surf Shop

For all of your surfing, bodyboarding, skimboarding, and paddleboarding needs, Bethany Beach Surf Shop is the place to go.

You can get the rent the equipment and even take lessons and tours. 

Indian River Inlet Bridge

In the Delaware Seashore State Park, the Indian River Inlet Bridge is a popular bridge to walk over for its amazing views and fish underneath. 

Bethany Beach Attractions Near Town

While the top attraction at Bethany Beach is definitely the beach, there are many other things that people love to experience when they visit to find a little adventure, a bit of relaxation, or just a fun day at the seaside.

Bethany Beach Nature Center

With hands-on fun for kids of all ages inside, a beautiful nature walk, and various programs Bethany Beach Nature Center (807 Garfield Pkwy) makes for a great afternoon activity.

Fenwick Island State Park

Just south of Bethany, Fenwick Island State Park is Delaware’s southernmost beach and makes for a beautiful winter’s walk, especially if you can catch a sunset on the Assawoman Bay.

Thunder Lagoon Waterpark, Fenwick Island

With a 400 foot Lazy River, six slides, a huge activity pool, a kiddie pool, go-karts, and Viking mini-golf, Thunder Lagoon Waterpark will be a day of fun for the whole family.

Bear Trap Dunes

Bear Trap Dunes (7 Club House Dr, Ocean View) is a 27-hole course that appeals to golfers at all skills levels on a beautifully manicured course with a top-notch bar and grill for a few well-earned drinks and meals afterward.

Rainy Day Activities in Bethany Beach

There’s nothing worse than bad weather when you’re on a beach vacation; luckily, Bethany Beach has indoor activities to make the most of the inclement atmosphere — especially if you travel a bit to the surrounding areas. 

Plus, if you’ve got kids in tow, there are many family-friendly options where everyone can have a great time escaping the rain.

Blue Room Fine Art Gallery

For souvenirs you’ll actually want to display in your home, visit the Blue Room Fine Art Gallery and pick up everything from vintage-inspired wall decor to quirky beach-themed soft furnishings.

Captain Jack’s Pirate Golf

If it’s too overcast for the beach but not too rainy to stay cooped up indoors, Captain Jack’s Pirate Golf, Bethany Beach’s only mini-golf course, is an excellent choice for the whole family. 

Discoversea Shipwreck Museum, Fenwick Island

Just a short 10 minute drive south to Fenwick Island, you can get hands-on at the Discoversea Shipwreck Museum (708 Coastal Hwy, Fenwick Island).

Here you can see one of the largest collections of shipwreck and recovered artifacts in the Mid-Atlantic.

Tanger Outlets

One of Delaware’s biggest attractions is tax free shopping!

A short 20 minute drive to Rehoboth will bring you to the three Tanger Outlets, where you can find everyday and designer items.

The Blonde Bakers

Escape the rain AND indulge your sweet tooth with homemade fudge, gourmet chocolate, and freshly made waffle cones with ice cream from Vanderwende’s Farm Creamery at The Blonde Bakers (108 Garfield Pkwy).

Shell We Bounce

If you’ve got little ones to entertain, Shell We Bounce in Lewes (32295 Lewes Georgetown Hwy) is a perfect family-friendly spot where everyone can play, bounce, and eat all year round.

Shore Fun Family Center

Don’t let a rainy day ruin the fun! The Shore Fun Family Center (108 Garfield Pkwy) has fun for everyone, from classic old-school games for adults to lots for kids and teens.

Things to do in Bethany Beach in Winter

Some people love to visit the beach in the winter to escape the crowds (and amped up prices), but many coastal towns close down in the off-season, so it may feel there’s less to do.

Luckily, there are some things to do around Bethany Beach for the little ones and the grown ups making your long weekend winter beach getaway possible. 

Holiday Happenings

Join in the Holiday Happenings around Bethany and Fenwick for the first three weekends in December.

Enjoy tax-free holiday shopping, photos with Santa, a Cocoa Crawl, and the Elf On the Shelf Scavenger Hunt.

Heat Up at a Beach Spa

Book a stay at a hotel with an on-site spa or day spa options at Bethany Beach.

Check out Oceanova-Spa At Oceanview or Bethany Beach Ocean Suites Residence Inn by Marriott.

If you prefer not to visit a hotel, consider the local Bethany Massage & Healing Arts.

Nassau Valley Off Season Vineyard Tour

Nassau Valley is Delawares only award-wining winery and it located 30-minutes drive from Bethany.

Tours are limited to one day per week during winter so check their website before you add to your itinerary.

Bethany Beach Books

For over 30 years, Bethany Beach Books has been a beloved independent bookstore with dedicated children and adult sections and in-person events with some of your favorite authors.

Why not pick up a Christmas gift for a book fan?

See The Year’s Christmas Movie

Just because you are on winter vacation it doesn’t mean you have to miss this year’s Christmas smash hit!

Book tickets at the Midway at Rehoboth Beach to see the next Elf or Home Alone.

Clear Space Theatre for Festive Show

Head to Rehoboth for an evening of entertainment at Clear Space Theatre (20 Baltimore Ave, Rehoboth Beach) and watch a professional theatre performance of your favorite play or musical. 

Bethany Beach Restaurants

If you visit Bethany Beach, you cannot leave without having some of the seafood they are so famous for! Luckily, you’ll be spoiled for choice with all of the fantastic dining establishments in town. 

And if seafood isn’t for you, try some of the diners and cafes that pride themselves on local and fresh ingredients to give you one-of-a-kind wholesome meals. 

The Blue Crab

The Blue Crab is a locally owned, family friendly seafood restaurant and oyster bar known primarily for its blue crabs and oysters.

Bluecoast Seafood Grill and Raw Bar

For fresh, delicious, simple seafood complemented with waterfront sunsets and breathtaking, vibrant views, Bluecoast Seafood Grill and Raw Bar is the place to go.

Sunshine Crepes

If you live for brunch, you have to get to Sunshine Crepes and try their many different sweet and savory options, and if you don’t like crepes, they also have açai bowls, freshly squeezed juices, tea, coffee, and more.

The Penguin 

Try The Penguin for original Eastern Shore cuisine using fresh, organic, and locally sourced ingredients for breakfast, lunch, or dinner. They’re especially conscious of common allergens and created a family friendly environment for everyone to enjoy.

99 Sea Level

 99 Sea Level offers oceanfront dining with a creative contemporary menu with local ingredients, strong seafood influence, and a daily happy hour that is perfect for a romantic date night.

Looking for date night ideas in Delaware? This guide can help.

Bethany Beach Bars

No beach vacation is complete without an ice-cold drink in hand after a hot day on the sand, and when you visit Bethany Beach, you won’t have to look too hard to find a good spot.

Grab a cocktail, a bourbon, or one of the famous Crushes that Delaware is known for and enjoy some of the local nightlife or find a cozy spot for two.

14 Global

14 Global highlights the best ingredients from around the world in both their food and drink.

The seasonally changing bar and eclectic wine list and craft beers on tap, can, or bottle will give you something new to try and experience with each visit.

Bethany Blues BBQ

If you love bourbon, you have to go to Bethany Blues BBQ and try one of their 120 options — but if you prefer wine, beer, or other spirits, they have plenty of those to try to complement each of them their daily special events and offerings.

Summer Salts Beach Grill

Grab a cocktail, enjoy the live music, and casual dining at Summer Salts Beach Grill, located just a short walk away from the beach.

Ropewalk Bethany Beach

After a day on the beach, take the short stroll to Ropewalk Bethany Beach and enjoy an ice-cold drink; be sure to try a Crush – a local Delaware libation specialty.

Fins Ale House & Raw Bar

If you’re a Happy Hour aficionado, Fins Ale House & Raw Bar will quickly become your favorite spot; grab a beer and a 1/2 dozen raw oysters or clams to start the night off right.

Final Thoughts

If you’re looking for things to do near Bethany Beach, here’s all the best tips for a great day in Rehoboth and how to have the best time in Lewes, and if you need a place to stay, try this guide for the all the top beach resorts in the area.

While you’re visiting the beach, take advantage of how small the state is and take a little trip north to see the best of Dover and most popular spots in Wilmington.

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