20 Fun Things to Do in Rehoboth Beach

The coastal town of Rehoboth Beach in southern Delaware is a retreat for people looking to enjoy the outdoors, indulge in great food, and have fun at the local parks. This popular resort town bursts at the seams in the summer as visitors from across the East Coast return year after year to experience the nostalgia of the boardwalk and the other fun things to do in Rehoboth Beach.

From midway games and go karts to excellent seafood and shopping, the “Nation’s Summer Capital” keeps visitors entertained. Whether you’re spending the day on the beach or checking out an art gallery, there is plenty to see here. We visit as often as we can and love finding new and unexpected spots. Here are some of our favorite attractions and things to do in the area.

Hang out at the beach

Wooden fences along a sandy path to the beach and ocean.
Rehoboth’s pristine beach

It goes without saying that the most popular thing to do in Rehoboth Beach is to visit the beach and its lively boardwalk. Free to visit and family-friendly, it is the place to be on a nice day. We love it because of the wide expanse of perfect sand. While it gets busy in the summer, visiting in the off-season is a dream.

The boardwalk runs right along the sand and stretches for over a mile. It is lined with stores, kiosks, and food stands selling all kinds of merchandise and some delicious food. You can grab a bucket of fries at Thrasher’s and a burger at the iconic Gus & Gus’ Place before playing a few games at one of the three Zelky’s Beach Arcades–staples of the boardwalk for over 30 years.

During the summer season, there are regular free concerts at the bandstand. From local up-and-comers to fun cover bands, every weekend features talented artists.

See the Rehoboth Beach Museum

Yellow building with a red sign for "Dolle's Salt Water Taffy."
The city’s museum marked by the iconic Dolles sign

Dive into the town’s past at the Rehoboth Beach Museum. This charming museum at the historical society features exhibits on local landmarks, the town’s history and development, and residents and visitors over the years. From its beginnings as a Christian retreat to its present day, there is much more to Rehoboth’s story than we imagined.

All kinds of memorabilia are on display. There are 19th-century bathing suits, mementos from historic hotels, and even a uniform from the days when the beach had a mounted patrol on horseback. When we visited, there was lots of art and an exhibit with creative signage from local businesses.

The museum has donation-based admission and offers special programs and activities for children. It’s worth a visit, especially if the weather isn’t great.

Take a walk at Gordons Pond

Reeds beside a pond with grass and trees.
Gordon’s Pond in the spring

The area around Gordons Pond is ideal for nature lovers. With just over 5 miles of hiking trails, the terrain is easy, but there is a lot to see along the way.

The wildlife area around the pond spans 5200 acres and is considered a migration “super highway” for waterfowl (it’s only one of four in North America). There are lots of opportunities for bird watchers and photographers to spot cormorants, herons, egrets, kingfishers, and dozens more species, especially around the massive saltwater lagoon. There is ample parking, and the state park fee is required to enter.

Visit a local brewery

Pint of Dogfish Head beer and basket of pretzel bites on a table.
Dogfish Head Brewing is a Delaware classic

Rehoboth has an excellent group of craft breweries to choose from. The most well-known is Dogfish Head, which was founded here in 1995. One of the best places to eat in Rehoboth, their brewpub and restaurant serves a variety of beers, including some that are exclusive to the location. Their pizzas and seafood dishes are popular, and we love the pretzels that come with beer cheese made using their 90 Minute IPA. The brewpub also hosts regular live music, so there are plenty of reasons to stop in.

Just a few miles away in Lewes, Big Oyster Brewing Company is another popular option making IPAs, Belgian wheat beers, and lagers. They have a full-service restaurant, and Big Oyster beers are also served in the Fins Ale House restaurants. Nearby, Crooked Hammock Brewery is a fun stop known for hazy IPAs and sours. Their brewery and beer garden are family- and dog-friendly. We loved hanging out in the hammocks and enjoying the lawn games. Plus, there is a playground for kids.

Browse the galleries at Rehoboth Art League

Circular sign: "Rehoboth Art League, Est. 1938) amidst trees and plants.
The serene setting of the Art League

Secluded and serene, a visit to the Rehoboth Art League (RAL) couldn’t feel further away from the activity of the beach and boardwalk. One of the more unexpected attractions, the art league is set among the trees on a wooded campus that spans more than three acres. At its heart is the Homestead Mansion that dates from 1743 and the formal garden behind it. They are open for tours from May 1 through October 31.

Every year, the art league hosts dozens of special exhibitions in the six galleries around the property, so there is always something interesting on display. We’ve seen colorful graphic prints, pop art with a beach theme, and surreal landscapes, just to mention a few. In the summer, they also put on large craft and fine art exhibits that draw people from around the region.

If you’re looking to do something really unique, RAL offer classes for artists of all skill levels, including photography, ceramics, watercolors, and other specialties. Several of the galleries are open year-round and all are free to visit.

See a show at Bottle & Cork

Building with primary color geometric designs and a sign: "Bottle & Cork, the greatest rock n roll bar in the world."
Bottle & Cork is a local institution

The tiny town of Dewey Beach is home to one of the best places to see live music in Delaware. For nearly 90 years, Bottle & Cork has welcomed local favorites and nationally known performers to its colorful building, which it calls the “greatest rock ‘n roll bar in the world.”

Everyone from Philly-natives The Bacon Brothers to Dave Matthews Band, Cyndi Lauper, and Eric Church have played in the intimate, indoor/outdoor venue. In addition to headlining acts, one of the biggest draws at Bottle & Cork is their Jam Sessions. During the summer season, several bands from across the area take the stage on Saturdays at 5pm for a mini music festival, which is always a good time.

If you’re headed to Bottle & Cork, be aware that there is no seating and bring cash. There are ATMs available, if needed.

Play around at Funland

Generations of families count going to Funland as one of the best parts of summer in Rehoboth Beach. Right on the boardwalk, this charming amusement park offers affordable fun for kids and adults.

Whether the Sea Dragon swinging ship is calling your name or the helicopter ride is more your speed, there are lots of options here. Check out the Haunted Mansion or try to win a prize at one of the fun midway games. For us, it’s not summer without a turn on the bumper cars.

The entertainment starts at Funland on Mother’s Day weekend and continues through mid-September. Pro tips: ride tickets never expire, so you can use them whenever you come back, and, if you visit 1:00-4:30pm, you can get a wristband to ride unlimited rides for just $23.

Relax at Delaware Seashore State Park

Waves hitting a golden sand beach.
Peaceful beach at Delaware Seashore State Park

Just south of the city center, Delaware Seashore State Park has about six miles of oceanfront and 20 miles of bay shoreline. Because of the state park fees, it is often a quieter alternative to the beach downtown, which we appreciate, and the golden sandy beach is unmatched in the area.

Visitors can swim, kayak, and fish on the peaceful, undeveloped coastline. There are opportunities for windsurfing and water skiing, and clamming and crabbing are also allowed in some sections of the bays.

For food, don’t miss the Big Chill Beach Club—the oceanfront restaurant—or the Dockside Marina Bar & Grill, a full-service outdoor restaurant with the best view of the marina, great live music, and a killer lobster roll.

Visit Indian River Life-Saving Station Museum

Orange building with red trim and a sign: "U.S.L.S.S. Indian River Inlet."
The Life-Saving Station’s bright exterior

Driving south on Coastal Highway, you can’t help but notice the distinctive orange and red building that is the Indian River Life-Saving Station Museum. Built in 1876, the museum is set in the former life-saving station—a facility staffed by men who patrolled the beach and saved sailors whose boats ran into trouble on the shoals of the Delaware coastline.

One of the historical places in Rehoboth Beach, the museum houses items and equipment that were used by the surfmen who manned the station for its 90 years in use. It’s daunting to imagine the boats and carts on display being dragged by hand in the middle of storms while lives were at stake. You’ll also see one of the first telephone lines in Delaware, which the men used for communication, as well as where the staff ate and slept during the months they lived at the station.

Now a National Historic Landmark, the museum is a fascinating place to learn more about coastal history and the people who saved others from harrowing shipwrecks. The site is open year-round.

Go to a culinary event

If you like music, food, and unique experiences, check out the pop-ups and special events from Paul Cullen. A local chef and sommelier, Cullen was also a guitarist for the group Bad Company. He combines all his interests by hosting special dinners with a concert component at his venues in Lewes.

Whether it’s a four-course wine dinner with a special performance by a rock singer or pizza on the patio followed by music and dancing, the events offer a range of price points and experiences. There are also occasional cooking and wine classes for people who want to learn more. See the event calendar if you’re looking for a unique thing to do near Rehoboth Beach.

Try taffy at Dolle’s

White building with blue roof and a red sign: "Dolle's Salt Water Taffy."
Dolle’s, just off the beach

It’s not summer at the beach without a visit to Dolle’s. Delaware’s oldest candy maker, the iconic shop has been a boardwalk staple for nearly 100 years. Visit to stock up on handmade chocolates, caramel corn, nut brittle, and over 20 flavors of salt water taffy—peppermint and orange are our favorites.

Take a ride on the Junction and Breakwater Trail

In an area full of biking and walking trails, the Junction and Breakwater Trail is one of the most popular. The 6-mile trail from Rehoboth to Lewes mainly follows in the tracks of the former Penn Central Railroad. Along the way, it passes forests, wetlands, fields, and a 100-year-old bridge, taking visitors to some of the prettiest parts of the local landscape.

Cool off at Jungle Jim’s

Tiki style sign over an arch with "Jungle Jim's" in red and yellow letters.
Entering Jungle Jim’s

Jungle Jim’s River Safari Water Park is the place for lovers of water slides and wave pools. The largest water park in Delaware, it is full of wildlife-themed water attractions from a lazy river to a kiddie pool. They have several fun water slides of different kinds–Anaconda is our favorite. When you’re done in the water, you’ll find batting cages and mini-golf. Plus, the River Café has a broad selection to keep you fueled for the day’s adventures.

Admission is discounted after 3pm. Crowds also thin in the afternoon, which makes it even easier to ride the slides multiple times. Bring your own water bottle for easy refills (no other outside food or drink is allowed).

Shop at Tanger Outlets

Shopping center.
The shops at Tanger Outlets

With no state sales tax, Delaware is always a popular place for shopping, which makes a stop at Tanger Outlets a must-do for many visitors. There are three separate sections of the outlet mall—Seaside, Bayside, and Surfside—with over 100 shops and restaurants to visit among them. From Michael Kors to Cole Haan to Loft, there are plenty of great stores here to find a good deal. It’s a particularly popular place during inclement weather.

Try out the water sports

The beaches in Delaware offer lots of opportunities for water sports. Check out Delmarva Board Sport Adventures for renting paddle boards, renting kayaks, and windsurfing lessons. They also offer fun guided kayak tours, including a sunset tour and the full moon kayak tour that happens several times during the summer.

You can learn to surf with group or private lessons at RB Surf Boarding School. They’re patient and particularly good with kids (and anyone else trying to get their feet under them!). For jet ski rental or pontoon boat rental, check out Dewey Beach Water Sports. The helpful staff gives you all the information you need for safety and, if you’re renting a boat, they’ll tell you the best spots to anchor and swim.

Browse Penny Lane

Brick and painted storefronts of businesses on a pedestrian mall.
Penny Lane Mall

Down a little lane not far from the boardwalk, Penny Lane Mall is a stretch of stores that seems like something from small-town Europe. The alleyway is lined with charming boutiques, an art gallery, one of Rehoboth’s best bakeries, and more. Whether you’re looking for fine art, local spirits, or spa gifts, you’ll find it here. 

Putt putt at Shell We Golf

Hole on a mini-golf course including a fake treasure chest.
Treasure chest-themed hole on the golf course

The challenging mini-golf course at Shell We Golf invites families and friends to negotiate water features and navigate around dolphins, tiki idols, treasure chests, and other obstacles under the trees. Watch out for the invisible fish while you play, and stop in for beach-themed gifts or a sample of fudge at the Sea Shell Shop next door. 

The golf course can get busy in the summer, but the wait is usually short, and there are places to sit around the golf course.

Explore Cape Henlopen State Park

Large piece of World War II artillery on display outdoors.
Artillery at Fort Miles Historical Area

At the mouth of Delaware Bay, Cape Henlopen State Park has six miles of coastline and lots of interesting things to see. In addition to lighthouses, viewpoints, and lovely trails, some of its main attractions are the beaches. We enjoyed Gordons Pond Beach, which has two World War II lookout towers right on the sand, and Herring Point, a dog-friendly beach, is popular with visitors who have a pup in tow.

Within the park, we like visiting the sites of the Fort Miles Historical Area, a place where 2500 soldiers were tasked with the important job of defending the coastline from the German navy during World War II. Visitors can tour the underground museum in Battery 519 and see lots of heavy artillery and original buildings around the grounds.

On the north side of the park, the Seaside Nature Center is also a popular stop. Its exhibits explain the various animal and habitats within Cape Henlopen State Park, but its two-level touch tank is the main attraction. Visitors can see stingrays, horseshoe crabs, and other wildlife up close.

Go wine tasting at Nassau Valley Vineyard

Glass of wine on a picnic table.
Enjoying a glass at Nassau Valley Vineyard

In an unexpected spot off Coastal Highway, Nassau Valley Vineyard grows 7.5 acres of grapes that turn into their award-winning wines. 

A tasting gets you samples of four of their wines, or you can enjoy a bottle with friends at one of the picnic tables. Our favorites are Meadow’s Edge White, a semi-dry combination of Seyval Blanc and Vidal Blanc, and Laurel’s Red, a semi-dry wine made from Chambourcin. 

The vineyard is particularly popular for the farmer’s market it hosts every Sunday from mid-May to mid-October. In addition to the vendors, there is live music and even a sangria bar. 

Race go-karts Midway Speedway Park

Go karts stopped on a tracks with two small planes displayed in the background.
Go-carts at Midway Speedway Park

If you’re wondering what to do in Rehoboth Beach beyond the beach itself, Midway Speedway Park is always a top choice for families. It offers water activities and plenty of adventures. 

Tucked behind a strip mall along Route 1, Midway Speedway Park has everything from an 18-hole volcanic themed mini-golf course to a climbing wall and lazy river. The bumper boats are particularly fun. The real attraction is the go-karts you can race on 4 different tracks, including one just for kids. Some drivers can be a little aggressive, so younger kids are probably best off sticking to the family track.

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