In the coming weeks, the tiny state of Delaware is going to get a lot of attention with its “favorite son” running for President. And, although Joe Biden lives in Wilmington, DE he also has a vacation home in one of the Mid-Atlantic’s most popular beach towns – Rehoboth Beach. That popularity may be exploding with the attention the town will get at least in the short term. Biden and family have visited Rehoboth more than once during the summer of 2020.
The City of Rehoboth Beach is a little over an hour’s drive south of Wilmington in Sussex County, the largest county in Delaware (there are only three). It draws its clientele from within the state and also from Washington, DC, Maryland, Pennsylvania, New Jersey and New York. Stringent Covid-19 guidelines have been in place during 2020 in an effort to keep people and the economy as healthy as possible during the seemingly endless pandemic.
The crown jewel of Rehoboth Beach is – well – the beach. It stretches from Cape Henlopen State Park (home to the Biden Nature Center) to the north and Dewey Beach to the south.
A mile-long boardwalk fringes the main portion of Rehoboth’s section of the beach and is dotted with the usual pizza parlors, candy shops, ice cream venders, T-Shirt shops, and a a Tiki bar or two. Masks are required on the boardwalk, and all public places including the main commercial areas, to combat the Coronavirus. They are “suggested” on the beach. The popular free weekend concerts at the Rehoboth Ave bandstand have been shuttered during summer 2020 due to the virus.
Away from the bustle of the boardwalk lie majestic homes some of which overlook tranquil Silver Lake and the Atlantic Ocean. But Rehoboth is not ALL posh and is now home to many who consider themselves “average Americans” who like a casual lifestyle and a recreational environment where they can enjoy the water, bike, hike and play golf at affordable courses.
Rehoboth also is home to an eclectic array of eating establishments that range from the ever popular Thrashers french fries stands to various Brew pubs such as Thompson Island Brewery, Dogfish Head, and Revelation to funky casual such as Blackwall Hitch and “fine dining” like Eden and Fable. As of mid-August, restaurants are operating at 60% capacity, a guideline that could change as determined by the state’s Governor’s office. Many have outdoor seating. On Tuesdays, locals and vacationers flock to the outdoor Farmer’s Market for fresh produce and fruits. Masks are required.
Cultural venues are plentiful although some events and activities have been curtailed or forced to operate virtually during summer 2020. Clear Space theater boasts one of the best repertory companies anywhere with many New York-oriented performers offering up Broadway shows in a newly-configured social distancing layout. Rehoboth Art League operates a stellar gallery and offers art lessons all year-long.
To the south Dewey Beaches linked closely to Rehoboth and offers a variety of music venues plus its own public beach that overlooks Rehoboth Bay. It’s a great place to watch the sun set and catch a band. All in all, the area provides vacationeers and year-around residents with music, theater and the arts.
North of Rehoboth, Lewes (the first town in the first state) provides a unique element of history and looks more like a small New England village rather than a Mid-Atlantic seaside town. The Lewes-Cape May Ferry makes for a pleasant day trip to Cape May, NJ.
Possibly due to its close proximity to several large cities and also because of favorable tax laws, Rehoboth and Lewes are attracting year around residents at a healthy pace. Restaurants are open year-around and the winter months are busier than ever.