Bethany Beach Trip Report

Sep 6th, 2009, 08:18 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 121
Bethany Beach Trip Report

My wife, two sons (ages 4 and 2), and I enjoyed a relaxing one-week family vacation at the Sea Colony Resort in Bethany Beach, DE. It's a very kid-friendly resort with the beach, kiddie pool, and access to other amenties including tennis courts and a stand-alone fitness center complex with a basketball court. Since Labor Day occurred after the first day of classes for public schools in MD and DE, we were able to enjoy the resort during the first week of September without "peak season" crowds.

Highlights for dining in the area included the following:

1. McCabe's Gourmet Cafe (excellent coffee in the morning with fresh pastries, cookies, croissants, and sandwiches). there's a small seating area if you'd like to read while enjoying your coffee and pastries.
2. Bootsie's BBQ (roadside stand for pulled pork sandwiches, baby back ribs, and chicken) - it's worth the wait but you can call ahead to place carryout orders (there's no place to sit on the premises, so everything is carryout)
3. Harpoon Hannah's (in Fenwick Island, very good seafood with a scenic outdoor setting along the bay; easy access to a path overlooking the bay was great for 2 restless boys who cannot sit still during dinner). Also, service was kid-friendly.
4. Five Guys/Baja Grill (in Bethany Beach, reliable lunch if you're travelling with kids).
5. Northeast Seafood Kitchen (in Bethany Beach, menu looked outstanding. They offer a kid's menu, but it's best to go early before it gets crowded).
6. Catch 54 (in Fenwick Island, menu looked delicious, but it does not seem like a kid-friendly restaurant because of the spacing and location on the 2nd floor).
7. Big Fish Grill (in Rehoboth Beach on Route 1, this was an amazing restaurant. Not only did it provide delicious seafood and excellent service, but it had paper tablecloths and crayons for the kids, models of sharks and fish displayed everywhere). My wife and I felt this restaurant was worth the trip because of the kid-friendly atmosphere, easy & free parking, and location convenient to the outlets on Route 1). It was our favorite!

Lowlights for dining were:

8. Grotto's Pizza (in Bethany Beach, we made the mistake of ordering the margherita pizza which did not taste great - they use canned tomatoes and canned mushrooms. The best choice is a plain cheese pizza).
9. Royal Zephyr Restaurant (in Ocean View, the kids' meals were fine, but the pasta combination platter was a disaster - the ziti was old and should have been discarded. The trains have been around since 2004, but the ownership of the restaurant has turned over 3 times - the new owners have been in operation since June 2009). I'm guessing this restaurant will go out of business in a year or two.

Sightseeing Highlights included:

A. Beach at Sea Colony Resort (this was clean with easy access to the kiddie pool and Edgewater House where we stayed). Ocean temp was a comfortable 75 degrees F.
B. Assateague National Seashore (about a 45 minute drive to the south - very scenic and pretty with natural beaches, a marsh trail with boardwalk, and wild horses that are visible from the car). We flew a kite and had a lovely picnic on South Ocean Beach.
C. Ocean City Boardwalk (fun for the kids to play in the castles on the beach, shopping at the Kite Loft, picking up a lemonade while strolling on the boardwalk)
D. Rehoboth Beach Outlets (tax free shopping - need I say more?) it's a great choice if you're tired of the beach, or want a rainy day option.
E. Fenwick Island State Park (we visited here on our last day after getting "kicked out" of the resort on Saturday at 10am - very clean beach with a convenient bath house).

In short, Bethany Beach is a great destination if you have kids! We're planning to return next year at the end of August. Didn't have time to visit Lewes or downtown Rehoboth Beach. Are these places worth visiting if you're travelling with 2 kids?
gilber20 is offline  
Sep 7th, 2009, 02:55 AM
Join Date: Oct 2005
Posts: 3,912
Lewes, Bethany, Rehoboth, to my knowledge, remain kid friendly. These are the beaches my family took us to when we were kids and are the beaches my siblings prefer to take their children to. As an adult I have spent more time at Rehoboth than the others and think it is a great, family friendly place.

Did you experience black flies at Assateague? We were there in June and had to move three times to get away from the worst of them. May not have been so bad if they didn't bite. Otherwise, we loved the beach and water there as well as seeing the horses.

Thanks for the trip report--glad you enjoyed a nice vacation!
AnnMarie_C is offline  
Sep 9th, 2009, 08:22 AM
Join Date: Feb 2009
Posts: 64
Yum! Heath bar cookies at McCabe's have been a Bethany favorite of my family for years! There are plenty of mini-golf places in the area - good cloudy day activity with kids. Also check out the bay-side activities, such as boat rides, or for the adults (or if you come back when your kids are a little older) parasailing and jet-skiing.

I'm not a seafood person, by my family's favorite seafood joint is Tom and Terry's... you can have them prepare the food, or you can take stuff home to cook. Glad you enjoyed the beach!
Jess_M is offline  
Sep 9th, 2009, 08:50 AM
Join Date: Apr 2007
Posts: 11
Your report brings back memories of about 6 or 7 times between 1995 and 2006 when our family rented a beach house in BB for one week. In fact, we almost ended up there last week, but, at the last minute, decided on a more ambitious vacation. We started going to BB when our younger son was 7 months old. We are partial to a housing development called Bethany West. It is on Route 26, across from Grotto Pizza. We always found comfortable and affordable housing there.
If you go back to BB next year, I strongly encourage you to check out the boardwalk and downtown part of Rehoboth. They have a wonderful, old-fashioned arcade and rides there as well as some good dining options. As our kids got older, we found ourselves spending several nights of the week driving up to Rehoboth. We also started to explore Lewes, which seemed to have some good restaurants and shops, but might not be that interesting to young children.
One thing that I like about Bethany is that it is not that far from Rehoboth, but that you can go in the opposite direction to Assateague, fairly easily. and if you really want excitement, you can go to Ocean City, MD, which seems to go on for miles and miles. I think that the Delaware beaches are really lovely. I am glad that you discovered them.
Drus is offline  
Sep 9th, 2009, 09:05 AM
Join Date: Feb 2009
Posts: 64
Drus, my grandparents own a house in Bethany West, and so that's where I've usually stayed too! In fact, this is the first summer that I did not make it down to BB, which I am very upset about
Jess_M is offline  
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