We just got back from Rehoboth Beach, Delaware. It was just a weekend trip, with each of us taking Friday off to make the four hour trip worthwhile. It was also planned last minute, as I got an email from my manager with my “use it or lose it” tally of vacation days I’d yet to use!

We stayed at the Crosswinds Motel, which was technically three blocks away from the beach. Unfortunately those are the longest three blocks on the planet! It had to be a solid half-mile from our room to the boardwalk. At least it was a pretty walk, with all manner of mom-and-pop stores to keep our eyes occupied.

I really enjoyed the cleanliness of it all. Every shop seemed extremely tidy and I saw almost no derelict buildings. I suppose I just don’t know where to look to find them! The loitering was also kept to a bare minimum, but that could be a side effect of our de facto curfew on account of having the kids along with us. For most nights we were back in our room by 8:30 PM in order to start the bedtime routine.

The boardwalk itself was impressive and to the point. It is only a mile long, making it the perfect distance for an evening walk. With such a short space to work with, it seems like all the junk businesses were pushed out, further down the highway. It was like night and day compared with our experiences in the Kitty Hawk and Virginia Beach areas, where you see cheapo beach storefronts every other block. In their place is a varied arrangement of eateries and clothing companies offering some legitimately cool stuff. Dolles, a taffey and fudge place, occupies the best location of all of these and also sports the biggest signage. It’s been there since the 20s making sweets on premises, which I’m sure cements its status as a must-see (despite it really being a can’t-miss).

The beach itself was crowded, as expected. We got th stink eye from one family, only to have them realize our respect for their boundaries wasn’t shared by other beach-going families. Before the end of the day three more groups of people had squeezed into the “personal space” we’d initially given them. It became so congested that we had to snake our way through all sorts of umbrellas and towels just to reach the beach not more than 20 feet in front of us! Once we eventually did reach the water, the kids didn’t want to leave. It was an exercise designed to test our vigilance, and it was exhausting. All I wanted to do was sleep or read my book, but I had to keep my eye on the kids.

The dinners were nice and relatively inexpensive. The first night we went to Nicola Pizza, where the kids had pizza by the slice and the adults had nic-o-bolis. After having two people independently recommend this place, I can safely add in my support as well. The place was clearly a classic, the food was tasty, and the service was fantastic. I’ll definitely pay them a visit next time.

The second night we wanted to get some seafood, so we did a quick check on Yelp via the hotel’s wifi (side note: cell phone reception in the area is atrocious). Good reviews led us to the Purple Parrot Grill & Bar, but a bad attitude towards strollers and kids led us across the street to another seafood place called Claws. The latter location not only set us up quickly inside the building (the Parrot would have relegated us to the side alleyway), but also had designated stroller parking painted onto their bounding fence. Nice! Bonus points for kid friendliness. Oh, and their food was great too. Kristin and I split some shrimp amongst ourselves and couldn’t even finish.

When I go back to Rehoboth, I suspect it will be during a somewhat off-season time of year. The crowds were absolutely insane, making the beach real estate slim-pickings. All the people also add a certain level of ambient noise into the mix, making that peaceful “ahh, I’m at the beach” feeling somewhat hard to find. Despite these things I think it is still a lovely place to visit. There’s lots to do in a quite compact area, and it is within a short drive of the DC Metro area. We will certainly be back!