Beaches & Islands - 11 min read

12 Best Family-Friendly Beaches in Delaware (With Fun Activities)

Margaret Carter

Margaret Carter, Updated March 1, 2023

Delaware has a lot to offer! From family-friendly beaches to beautiful sunrises, you’re sure to find the perfect place to play in the waves and bask in the sun.

Nestled along the northeastern coast of America, this state has soft sand, fun boardwalks, lavish vacation rentals, and more. Many Delaware beaches are listed in the top ten beach vacation spots in America many times over. 

Just read ahead to find out which beach is perfect for you and your family. We’ll even mention a few sights to see if you head inland for a break!

We’ll also let you know everything you need to know before you go, like when the best time to visit is and which restaurants are worth the hype!

1. Rehoboth Beach

Rehoboth Beach isn’t just a stretch of sand. It’s that and so much more! It has an amazing boardwalk and plenty of family-friendly resorts along the edges of Delaware Bay and the Atlantic. The local stores boast tax-free shopping, too, making this great for every family. 

The boardwalk is a mile long, with an amusement park feel that never gets old and is open year-round. Many festivals are hosted through the spring and fall, while the atmosphere is lively during the summer with live music. 

You’ll find thirty miles of coastline, too, adorned with opportunities for kayaking, ferry rides, paddle boarding, or just playing in the sand.

Regardless of where you choose to stay, you’ll find why Rehoboth is one of the top beaches in the nation. Be sure to check out Henlopen City Oyster House and DiFebo’s Restaurant if you’re looking for fantastic eats! 

Fun activities nearby: Funland, Gordon’s Pond, Jungle Jim’s, Silver Lake, St. Edmond’s Catholic Church

Address: 1 Rehoboth Ave, Rehoboth Beach, DE 19971
Phone Number: 302-227-6181
Best Time to Visit: May and August
TripAdvisor Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️½

2. Deauville Beach

Credit: Lawrence Crayton / Unsplash

As part of the Rehoboth Beach area, you’ll get all the perks of the larger tourist town with a more relaxing and secluded feel. It’s the perfect place to go if you want to step off the beaten path and just enjoy the sun and the sand.

Even better, many excursions are available, such as a guided kayak tour, a Cape May whale and dolphin cruise, a birding by boat experience, and a sunset Safari. 

Once you’re done for the day with excursions and beach time, you’re sure to be hungry. Just a short half-mile walk from the sand, you’ll find restaurants such as Frank & Louie’s, La Fable, Blue Moon, and Grotto Pizza. 

Fun activities nearby: Rehoboth Art Gallery, Lake Gerar Tot Lot, Clear Space Theatre, and the Verrazzano Monument

Address: N Surf Ave, Rehoboth Beach, DE 19971
Phone Number: (302) 227-6181
Best Time to Visit: May and August
TripAdvisor Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️½

3. Fenwick Island Beach

Fenwick Island is a town in Delaware right near the Maryland border on the coast. It has beautiful bay views to the west and a vast ocean to the east. The local Fenwick Island State Park is the perfect place to take the family for the day or even a weekend getaway. There are three entire miles of sandy shoreline to explore! 

The area offers excellent fishing, fantastic water sports opportunities, and dozens of beachside restaurants with yummy eats and drinks. While you’re there, check out Nantuckets Restaurant, Our Harvest, Just Hooked, and Mancini’s! 

Fun activities nearby: Discoversea Shipwreck Museum, Fenwick Island Lighthouse, Assawoman Wildlife Area, and Viking Golf & Go-Karts

Address: Route 1, Fenwick Island, DE 19944
Phone Number: (302) 227-2800
Best Time to Visit: May, September, and October
Yelp Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️½

4. Cape Henlopen Beach

Located on a former military base, Cape Henlopen Beach is the southernmost cape within Delaware, right where the Bay meets the ocean.

While this beach lacks the fun family activities close by, it’s a great place to go for a calm day out in the water. The sand is clean and beautiful, and there are public restrooms and parking close by!

You’ll also see a lighthouse and many decommissioned military pieces, such as tanks, nestled along the sand. Keep in mind that this isn’t a great place to go shelling. It’s more for sand crabs and sandcastles. Still, if you’d like to go fishing, there’s a great pier. 

A short drive away, you’ll find On the Rocks Dockside Grill, Grain On the Rocks, and the Pig and Publican. All of these restaurants are family friendly with amazing food. 

Fun activities nearby: Zwaanendael Museum, Fort Miles Museum, and Seaside Nature Center

Address: 15099 Cape Henlopen Dr, Lewes, DE 19958
Phone Number: (302) 645-8983
Best Time to Visit: Fall
Google Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️½

Related Read: 15 Best Hiking Trails in New Jersey

5. Delaware Seashore Beach

Credit: Tracy Jentzsch / Unsplash

Another excellent option for fun without the tourist flair is Delaware Seashore Beach. Located on a 2,800-acre State Park, this is a great place to bring everything you need for sand castles and water exploration!

You’ll find access to the Atlantic Ocean, Indian River Bay, and Rehoboth Bay. The best thing about this area is that it isn’t normally crowded, and it’s just a hop, skip, and a jump from the Rehoboth Beach area, so you get the absolute best of both worlds.

You’ll also find ample camping on both sides of the inlet! While you’re there, be sure to try South Inlet Bug Chill Beach Club, Hammerheads Dockside, and Shorebreak Lounge. 

Fun activities nearby: Funland, Jungle Jim’s, and Midway Speedway Park

Address: 25039 Coastal Hwy, Rehoboth Beach, DE 19971
Phone Number: (302) 227-2800
Best Time to Visit: Late April through Mid May and September
TripAdvisor Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Related Read: Ultimate Foodie Road Trip: East Coast Maps!

6. Bethany Beach

Nestled between the Delaware Seashore and Fenwick State Park is a charming beach by the name of Bethany. You’ll get the perfect small town feel with charming shops, eateries, and sand galore!

As far as locals are concerned, this is the best beach in Delaware. There’s a bandstand with live music from Memorial to Labor Day, and the boardwalk is just as extensive as Rehoboth without all the fuss.

Keep in mind that this secret beachfront park has become very well known and tends to get crowded during the summer months. 

For great eats with the family, try Bluecoast Seafood Grill, 14 Global, PIE, the Baja Beachhouse Grill, or Mickey’s Family Crabhouse.

Fun activities nearby: Indian River Inlet Bridge, South Coastal Library, Bethany Beach Nature Center, and Captain Jack’s Pirate Golf

Address: Bethany Beach, DE 19930
Phone Number: (302) 539-8011
Best Time to Visit: Spring
TripAdvisor Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️½

7. Sea Colony Resort Beach

Credit: Sea Colony Resort

Not all the beaches in Delaware are a public experience. SeaColony Resort Beach is just south of Bethany Beach and boasts a beachfront resort property perfect for family fun!

You’ll get sand between your toes, a drink in hand, and plenty of excitement for the kids. There’s even a pool area right along the edge of the water. If you’re looking for a beach vacation in Delaware with amenities and rooms, this is the top-rated choice by far.

Even better, you’ll have access to one of the top beaches in the area. Family-friendly restaurants include the Cottage Cafe, Bethany Boathouse 6, and Fins Alehouse. 

Fun activities nearby: Sharks Cove Marina, Heather Blair Photography, Arnie’s Playland, Ba Roos Ice Cream, Northside Park, and Nick’s Beach Ball Golf

Address: 2 Edgewater House Rd, Bethany Beach, DE 19930
Phone Number: (302) 537-8888
Best Time to Visit: Late Spring and Early Fall
Google Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️½

8. Slaughter Beach

Credit: Barth Bailey / Unsplash

While the name can be a bit off-putting, don’t let that deter you from checking out Slaughter Beach. Voted one of the best-kept secrets in the States by Reader’s Digest, this lovely stretch of sand makes for the perfect day out with family. 

While it looks like any other beach from photos online, it’s actually a horseshoe crab sanctuary! As spring becomes summer, thousands of horseshoe crabs flock to the sand to breed, creating a once-a-year spectacle that is sure to be fun for the whole family. 

There isn’t much available nearby as far as food and fun go, but if you bring a picnic lunch, you’re bound to have a great time!

Address: 611 Bay Ave, Milford, DE 19963
Best Time to Visit: May through June
TripAdvisor Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

9. Woodland Beach

Woodland Beach is a small bayside stretch of land that used to be a thriving town. Sadly, a tidal wave destroyed everything directly inland, including a roller coaster over the water and most businesses.

What it left behind was miles of pristine sand and a town being slowly rebuilt by friendly people. It’s great for beach fishing and spending hours alongside the waves, though swimming is questionable with no lifeguards on site.

Still, if you’ve tried the other beaches and want a calm day by the water with the kids, this is a great place to go.

Most restaurants will be a decent drive away, but that doesn’t mean you need to go hungry. Just hop in the car and head to Boondocks Restaurant, Brick Works, or Pit Daddy’s BBQ. 

Fun activities nearby: Woodland Beach Wildlife Area and Fifer Orchards

Address: Lower Alloways Creek, DE 19977
Best Time to Visit: Fall
TripAdvisor Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Related Read: 50 BEST Things To Do in New Jersey

10. Lewes Beach

Credit: Joel DeMott / Unsplash

Lewes Beach in Lewes, Delaware, is one of the most family-friendly beaches on our list. With the shallow water, white sand, and available bathroom facilities, it’s the perfect place for the whole family to have fun!

Many beach-goers find themselves heading back time and again while recommending it to any family with young children due to being bayside with a lack of large waves. 

Bring your beach chairs, canopies, coolers, and sand toys for the best experience! If you get hungry, there are many restaurants close by with great food and family-friendly environments, including Agave, Touch of Italy, Wheelhouse, Kindle, Striper Bites, and Mr. P’s. 

Fun activities nearby: Hopkins Farm Creamery, Cape May-Lewes Ferry, Lewes Lighthouse, Pirates of Lewes, Doors of Fame, and Cannonball House

Address: 206 Bay Ave, Lewes, DE 19958
Phone Number: (302) 645-7777
Best Time to Visit: May through June
Google Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️½

11. Broadkill Beach

Credit: Max Shein / Unsplash

Broadkill Beach is one of the best places to go if you want fewer tourists, beautiful water, and simple fun. It borders the Prime Hook National Wildlife Refuge and only has one entry road, keeping it private and secluded, unlike many of Delaware’s beaches.

Here you won’t find the fanfare of places like Rehoboth, but it has its own charm that Delaware holds dear. You’ll see dolphins, crabs, beach birds, and more! 

You’ll find that Broadkill is bisected by a delightful beach store that has all the necessities you might need, with a north and south beach front on either side. Many reviews suggest heading towards the southside if possible, as it’s more remote.

As far as family-friendly restaurants go, you’ll need to head towards Lewes for The Surfing Crab and Striper Bites. The Broadkill Store has a few treats and eats if you don’t want to leave the beach. 

Fun activities nearby: Prime Hook National Wildlife Refuge and Kids Ketch

Address: Broadkill Beach, DE 19968
Best Time to Visit: June through September
TripAdvisor Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️½

Related Read: 25 Best Romantic Winter Getaways in the Northeast

12. Dewey Beach

Credit: Allen Dewberry Jr / Unsplash

Like Deauville, Dewey Beach is close enough to Rehoboth to enjoy the festivities without spending the day or weekend inundated with tourists crowding the beach.

Even better, there is an excellent selection of nightlife fun with many restaurants available as well. For family fun, there are water sports such as skimboarding and kayaking! 

While this isn’t the best beach for the youngest of the bunch, if your kids are 12+, you’ll find it has everything to keep them off their phones and excited about what’s next!

While you’re there, check out Two Seas Restaurant for great food, Northbeach for dancing, the Rusty Rudder for live concerts, and Nalu Dewey for a taste of Hawaii on the east coast. 

Fun activities nearby: Funland, North Boardwalk, Jungle Jim’s, Midway Speedway Park, Alley Oop Skim, and Zelky’s Beach Arcade

Address: 105 Rodney Ave, Dewey Beach, DE 19971
Phone Number: (302) 226-6363
Best Time to Visit: September, November, and January
TripAdvisor Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️½

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