Rehoboth Beach. The annual pilgrimage begins on Memorial Weekend and ends just after Labor Day. Here are some of reasons why we come back year after year. And feel free to share your favorite things in the comments.
Pizza is Life: Grotto Pizza is an institution. The pizza chain opened in Delaware 60 years ago and has so many loyal followers that I’ve actually known people who drive down there just to get a pie. Then there’s Nicola Pizza, another longtime Rehoboth restaurant opened in 1971, though they’re widely beloved for the Nic-o-boli’s. The Grotto slice has cured many people during the late night munchies. If you love fresh seafood try Fins. The shrimp and grits are divine and they have a fabulous collection of local craft beer on tap.
Dessert Town: A new vendor that popped up this season in Rehoboth is Making Whoopie Pies. This store opened on Rehoboth Avenue and is associated with suppliers from Amish Country in Lancaster for their fresh products. Like your typical fast casual restaurant, you go through line and build your whoopie pie by choosing a cookie base, ice cream or frosting, and any inserts inside like sprinkles. The owner is a Veteran from Afghanistan. There are lots of familiar and established dessert shops in Rehoboth, like the old school Cafe Papillon Crepes in Penny Lane. The Fractured Prune has custom designed donuts with dozens of sweet options; they taste more like cake than a donut. Kohr Bros. is the ranking ice cream king on Rehoboth Boardwalk with three locations and lines for miles. Everyone loves their Frozen Custard cones.
Candy Store Mania: We all have our favorites. Some visitors are partial to the grandfather of candy stores, Candy Kitchen. But the smaller, family owned businesses sometimes offer better prices and always personalized service. Snyder’s collects oddball candy that you can only get in other countries along with their usual multicolored string licorice.
Many visitors say Dolles Candyland has the best taffy. The adorable Edie Bee’s in Lewes is by far the most irresistible candy store in DelMarVA with marvelous displays of candy in what looks like an art gallery. Kilwins doesn’t sell hard candy, but they excel in the world of hand-dipped chocolates, candy apples and fudge.
Battle of the Popcorn Vendors: Whose kettle corn reigns supreme? We always buy a huge bag of Olde Salty’s Kettle Korn from the kiosks at the Rehoboth Outlets. Some are addicted to Dolles’ sweet, crisp caramel corn. Many people say Fishers is the freshest and you can buy in the new XL size! DelMarVa Popcorn sells theirs in multiple flavors and colors. Real Raw Organics adds salted popcorn as a side dish to their many vegetarian sandwiches.
Amusements: How long have the rides been there? Some for more than 50 years! A combination of old school rides for young kids and seriously crazy scary ones that go upside down and spin simultaneously like the new Super Flip 360. I took my kids on the rides at Funland in Rehoboth every time we visited. They also loved Jungle Jim’s, a water park where you can take the heat off with their slides and lazy river. There are lots of interesting stories behind the operation of beach amusement parks. Maybe you have one?
What’s new to do in Rehoboth? Nature and Beer Tours: Sea Otter is a tour company in Rehoboth/Dewey area that gets people off the beach and into the natural parks around the area. They teach visitors about marine ecology, like spotting turtles, and nocturnal wildlife in Trap Pond State Park; they even offer a behind the scenes tour of Dogfish Head Brewery.
Who will you see in Rehoboth? When my husband went to Starbucks on Rehoboth Avenue one morning last week, he ran into Joe Biden. The Biden’s have a house
in downtown Rehoboth. He joined other luminaries like Hoda Kotb, Denzel Washington and Kathie Lee Gifford who have homes in Delaware Beach towns. You might see Dave Grohl on the beach with his kids. Bill Nye and G Love are often spotted around town. There are plenty of high powered, yet not necessarily recognizable folks hanging out at the beaches too. This summer, leave early stay late, to avoid the masses of crowds that come to enjoy this All American beach town!
Freelance writer and photographer specializing in vivid, deeply reported stories about food, travel and family.