Top 10 Best Beaches in Delaware For Sun, Surf And Fun

Last Updated on June 15, 2023 by Nikki Jain

Serenity Awaits: Discover Delaware's Pristine Beaches, Where Tranquility Meets Coastal Bliss!

Overlooking the Atlantic Ocean, Delaware is a hotbed for amazing beach resorts. While it doesn’t get quite the same attention as some of its west coast counterparts, there are still some famous beaches in Delaware.

In fact, you probably won’t have to walk or drive along the coast of Delaware for too long before you find some of the most beautiful Delaware beaches.

On this website, our goal is to help vacationers track down the best vacations in the country. This page is no exception.

If you are looking for the best beaches in Delaware, we've done our research. We've looked through countless beach resorts in the state and compiled a list of ten of the best.

So, let's dive right on in! By the end of this page, we hope you have found the best Delaware beach vacation.

Best Delaware Beaches

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1: Rehoboth Beach

Rehoboth Beach
Dreamstime/Ritu Jethani

With Rehoboth Beach, we are getting our list of the best beaches in Delaware off to a great start, particularly if you have children in tow.

While Rehoboth offers one of the most beautiful Delaware beaches, what happens a bit inland is the real highlight.

Rehoboth is one of the top Delaware beach towns. It lives for providing beach vacations. The boardwalk is peppered with amazing stores and restaurants. During the summer, they even run a few free concerts for people to dance the night away.

Both adults and children alike will enjoy the amazingly fun Funland, a small amusement park that can be found on the Rehoboth boardwalk. It is open until late every night, so you’ll always be able to enjoy the cracking, great rides that they have there.

Of course, if you just want to while away the hours on the beach, you can do that too. The beach is very sandy, and because a lot of people spend their time on the Boardwalk, you will often have no issues finding some space to relax.

Head here, and you will see why Rehoboth Beach has won awards for offering one of the best beaches on the east coast.

Address: Rehoboth Beach, DE 19971

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2: Bethany Beach

Bethany Beach
Dreamstime/Greg Kullman

Heading south from Rehoboth, we have Bethany Beach. While it doesn't have an amusement park like Rehoboth, Bethany Beach does boast a famous boardwalk.

It is full of some superb food too. During the summer months, it always gets insanely packed with people. Although somehow, there is always space on the beach to lull those warm days away.

Bethany Beach is a vast, sandy beach. It is one of the many white sand beaches in Delaware. It is famous for its calm waters, especially during the summer months. This is all thanks to the barrier islands that exist a little bit further up north. They provide a bit of protection for Bethany.

One of the things that we love about Bethany Beach (and there is a lot to love about Bethany Beach) is the overall atmosphere.

While nearby Rehoboth Beach is famed for its party atmosphere, live music, etc., Bethany Beach has a much quainter feel to it. It always has a small-town, homely feel, even when packed with people. We think that is just the way that the residents like it.

If you want to take a break from Bethany Beach for a while, you could use a stay here as an ideal base of operations for exploring the wonderful Delaware Seashore State Park.

It offers the aforementioned barrier islands, with miles of tiny, unused beaches to explore. You'll be right out there in nature! We'll be talking about the Delaware Seashore State Park a bit later. It is good enough to get its own mention!

This is one of the most popular beaches in Delaware and a place we don't think anybody could be disappointed.

Address: Bethany Beach, DE 19930

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3: Dewey Beach

Dewey Beach
Dreamstime/Khairil Junos

Head to Dewey Beach during the off-season, and the place is deserted. It is home to just 300 people. Head here during the peak summer season? Thousands of people head here every day. The town comes to life, and the residents live for it.

While there are a few restaurants and shops around Dewey Beach, this is still a small town. The main focus is going to be the beach. If you want that crazy beach boardwalk lifestyle, you'll want to head to nearby Rehoboth. Dewey Beach is just for relaxing.

That doesn't mean that the party atmosphere doesn't kick in sometimes. Dewey Beach is great for both families and students alike. The latter group would love to come here near the end of September. This is because tons of unsigned bands play their music at the Dewey Beach Conference.

Come a little later in October, and while it will be cold, the beach hosts a large rescued greyhound gathering. Thousands of greyhounds from all over the United States!

So, yes. Dewey Beach may be a small place. Look on a map, and this one of the Delaware beaches will barely register on the radar for most people. However, it may be tiny, but no matter when you head here, there is always something happening.

Address: Dewey Beach, DE 19971

4: Cape Henlopen State Park, Lewes

Cape Henlopen State Park, Lewes
Dreamstime/Kathleenrcollins

If you prefer nature walks as opposed to the standard hustle and bustle of summer beach life, then Cape Henlopen State Park near Lewes offers something a bit different. This is one of the best beaches in Delaware for just walking and feeling at one with nature.

Cape Henlopen State Park offers a 3.2-mile trail through nature. You’ll get to set your sights on beautiful habitats, majestic animals, and more.

This may be one of the best beaches in Delaware for families who are the more outdoorsy type. There is a bit of camping around here and a great nature center where you can 'touch' some of the marine creatures that live in this area.

If you love fishing, there is a fishing pier that operates 24/7. Nearby, you can climb Point Overlook and have great views over the area. It is often frequented by birdwatchers, so you may want to have your binoculars or camera handy if you do the climb.

While there is some sand to relax on around the state park, it isn’t really one of the best Delaware beaches for that. Although luckily, a stay at Cape Henlopen State Park will still put you within easy reach of plenty of more sun-kissed vacation beaches in the area.

Address: 15099 Cape Henlopen Dr, Lewes, DE 19958

5: Lewes Beach

Lewes Beach
Flickr/Lee Cannon

Very close to Henlopen State Park, you have Lewes Beach. This quaint beach town is a firm favorite among those that want a quiet vacation but still want to enjoy one of the prettiest beaches in Delaware.

The town of Lewes claims that this is one of the most tranquil beaches in Delaware, and vacationers claim that it is a hidden gem. We agree with both these statements.

While Lewes Beach does offer a few shops and restaurants, the main focus of the town is on the beaches. You aren’t going to find tons and tons of activities happening throughout the year. It is just about the beach.

Luckily, the beach is fantastic. It is one of the clear water beaches in Delaware and incredibly calm. In fact, we think Lewes Beach may offer one of the most tranquil beaches in the state, so it could be great to bring the younger kids along (make sure that you keep a watchful eye on them!)

If you do feel like pulling yourself off the beach for a while, Lewes Beach offers a few options. You have kayaking trips, nighttime safaris through the Henlopen State Park, and even dolphin trips out there on the water.

We think Lewes Beach is a very family-friendly area for those who want a quieter beach life. There is not enough going on here for groups of students who want to party the night away, and we don't think the residents of Lewes Beach really want that to happen either. They just want to provide fantastic family getaways.

Address: Lewes Beach, Lewes, DE 19958

Also Read: The Best Beaches in the United States

6: Fenwick Island State Park

Fenwick Island State Park
Flickr/Lee Cannon

Fenwick State Park is one of the good beaches in Delaware for those that aren't craving the beach resort lifestyle. They want a beautiful beach but avoid the hustle and bustle of stores and restaurants. They just want to relax.

Fenwick Island State Park offers the most southern beach in the state of Virginia. While there are a few shops nearby (including a small boardwalk), this place is mostly about the beach lifestyle on the Atlantic Ocean.

If you head to Fenwick State Park, we highly recommend you take a trip to Assawoman Bay when the sun sets. A lot of people seem to agree that this is one of the best places in Delaware to watch the sunset. The area is completely undeveloped too, so you can feel like one with nature.

While sunbathing, swimming, and beach combing are the main things on the agenda when in Fenwick Island State Park, they aren’t the only thing to do.

There are kayaking trips, paddleboarding adventures and an exciting nighttime crab chase which, weirdly, offers exactly what it says on the tin. That’s probably one for the kids.

Those with more adventurous spirit could sail and surf on the waters, with plenty of places close by to rent the equipment if you didn't bring it along. You may even find a few places to catch some lessons if you are trying things for the first time.

Address: Fenwick Island, DE 19944

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Also Read: The Best Delaware Attractions You Must Visit

7: Broadkill Beach, Milton

Broadkill Beach, Milton
Dreamstime/Robert Crow

Broadkill Beach in Milton is our first beach with a name that may sound scary but also offers one of the most lovely beaches in Delaware (of which there are many).

This is another place that is billed as a ‘hidden gem’, and it truly is. We can’t think of many people that would make a beeline for Broadkill Beach, not with other good beaches in Delaware, but we also can’t think of that many people who have headed to Broadkill Beach and would never return.

Broadkill Beach is in the center of the Prime Hook National Wildlife Refuge and can be found on the mouth of Delaware Bay. It is a very long strip of land where you can see all sorts of birds, wildlife, and sea life.

We can't help but feel that this may be the perfect place to head if you are looking for a snorkeling adventure. There are rentals for kayaks and paddleboards in the area if you know how to use them.

One of the best times of the year to head to Broadkill Beach is on the 4th of July. The small town offers a great 4th of July parade.

However, the highlight is that Broadkill Beach is in a prime location to watch fireworks displays from surrounding towns, including Rehoboth Beach. Barely anybody will be here, so just pull up a chair (and maybe a BBQ) and relax while watching those pretty lights in the sky.

Address: Broadkill Beach, Milton, DE 19968

8: Slaughter Beach, Milford

Slaughter Beach, Milford
Flickr/Kyle Hartshorn

Next up on our list of the best beaches in Delaware is Slaughter Beach. Yep. Another name that seems terrifying, but the truth couldn't be anywhere more opposite.

The area around Slaughter Beach has long past its heyday. In the 1950s, when larger places such as Rehoboth Beach started to become more popular, Slaughter Beach began to close down its booming beach resort. Very little of it remains. Now, Slaughter Beach has under 200 residents. Although, we feel that it is more than enough reason to go there.

Slaughter Beach isn't going to offer a party atmosphere. It isn't going to provide a fine dining experience or stores that you spend hours and hours browsing through. Slaughter Beach is purely a beach and a very calm one at that. It barely has anybody here.

Slaughter Beach has started to market itself more as a sleepy fishing village in recent years. During the summer, you will often find people using Slaughter Beach as a base of operations for fishing adventures in the Atlantic Ocean.

Slaughter Beach is 100% a perfect place to head if you feel like escaping the real world for a while. It is often frequented by solo travelers for that reason.

Address: Slaughter Beach, Milford, DE 19963

Also Read: Most Beautiful Small Towns in Delaware

9: Delaware Seashore State Park, Rehoboth Beach

Delaware Seashore State Park, Rehoboth Beach
Flickr/Andrew Parlette

We mentioned Delaware Seashore State Park earlier when we discussed Rehoboth Beach. As we said back then, this place deserves its own mention on a list of the best beaches in Delaware.

It may be close to Rehoboth Beach but has nowhere near as much planned excitement. Delaware Seashore State Park is where you plan your own fun.

This area offers 6 miles of ocean to explore (plenty of boat trips, or you could rent a boat yourself) and 20 miles of coastline.

So, plenty of wildlife to run loose in. This is a great place for hikers, those who want to dabble in fishing, or those that want to lie down, close their eyes, and just hear the sound of nature around them.

During the summer months, you will often find surfers heading to Delaware Seashore State Park to enjoy some great surf. They then hop on over to Rehoboth Beach in the evening to party the night away.

You will likely love camping at Delaware Seashore State Park if you have an adventurous family. Do bear in mind that it gets booked up really early, though!

Address: 39415 Inlet Rd, Rehoboth Beach, DE 19971

10: Holts Landing State Park, Dagsboro

Holts Landing State Park, Dagsboro
Dreamstime/Nflane

We will wrap up our list of the best beaches in Delaware with Holts Landing State Park. This is one of our favorite state parks in Delaware. This is partly because not many people know it exists.

You aren't going to be getting your traditional beachfront experience here. No relaxing on beaches or anything like that. Instead, it is all about recreational activities.

For example, Holts Landing State Park offers the only crabbing pier for blue crabs. A walk along the Seahawk trail will have you looking at hawks, herons, and much more.

During the summer, there is a lot of fun for kids here. This includes family fun nights, picnics, and more. Sometimes, around a great bonfire. In other cases, some tremendous live music concerts (often free to attend) may be thrown into the mix.

Holts Landing State Park is great for couples and families.

Address: 27046 Holts Landing Rd, Dagsboro, DE 19939

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Also Read: 25 Best State Parks in the United States

FAQs about Delaware beaches

Which is the clearest water beach in Delaware?

Most of the beaches in Delaware are very clear. However, Rehoboth Beach is often cited as having the clearest waters.

What is the prettiest beach in Delaware?

It depends on what you are after. In our opinion, Cape Henlopen State Park offers the most beauty. This is because it is surrounded by nature.

Does Delaware have white sand beaches?

Yes. Delaware has plenty of white sand beaches. In fact, most of the beaches have white sand. Broadkill Beach is one of the best.

What is the cleanest beach in Delaware?

Bethany Beach in Delaware has won several awards for its cleanliness, which is remarkable considering how crowded the beach can get at times.

What is the best time to visit Delaware beaches?

Many of the major beach resorts have events throughout the year. If you want to enjoy the waters, then May to September is probably the best time.

Wrapping up - Best Delaware Beaches

If you are looking for beautiful beaches in Delaware, we have given you ten amazing options, each great in its own way. Honestly, when it comes to the best Delaware beaches, we could have shared dozens more. This place really is fantastic for those who want a beach vacation a bit different from other beach vacations on the east coast. Why not look into a few of these places a bit more? You'll probably find a place that you must visit.

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