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Relaxing at Bethany Beach.

Beautiful Bethany Beach.

by Deirdre Frost

Bethany Beach has smooth, white sand and surf.

Bethany Beach, on the Atlantic.

If there is one destination on the Atlantic that has frothy waves and soft, sandy beaches, young people and adults will find it at Bethany Beach in Delaware. This beautiful spot offers a peaceful setting that not only is family-friendly, but also the elixir to a quiet getaway, unpretentious, and carefree. It’s a way of life that allures beachgoers who want to escape from the crowds, but is still within easy access to the bustling seaside resort towns of Lewes, Rehoboth Beach, Dewey Beach, and Ocean City.


For those looking for a more subdued experience, this  is an ideal escape for a few days at the ocean. There is a sense of therapeutic release in watching the waves in the privacy of one’s own beachfront suite.


That dream came true after checking into the luxury Bethany Beach Ocean Suites Residence Inn by Marriott that overlooks a long expanse of shoreline. My spacious suite opened up to a veranda with fabulous ocean views.

Bethany Inn Residence Suites

Bethany Beach Ocean Suites has a prime location on the boardwalk.

The resort’s prime location on the boardwalk provided convenience to the beach and to the boutique shops and restaurants along the oceanfront. After a swim in the ocean, I relaxed at the resort’s salt water pool chatting with other guests before taking a yoga class near the spa.


99 Sea Level Restaurant

Dining at the resort’s 99 Sea Level Restaurant also proved to be an uplifting experience as Chef Paul Hajewski has introduced innovative cuisine with local seafood and creative vegetarian selections to his eclectic menu offerings. The spectacular oceanfront setting complemented the fresh Chesapeake Bay Broadwater clams and wild Columbia salmon proved to be exceptionally well-prepared and delicious. Savoring delectable fare in such an inviting atmosphere proved to be a high point of my getaway.


99 Sea Level Restaurant at Bethany Beach Ocean Suites offers oceanfront dining.

Despite my brief stay, I had a chance to visit a variety of attractions, including the Nassau Valley Vineyard in Lewes.


Chincoteague and Assateague Islands

But by far, my most enjoyable trip was driving through the Virginian countryside to see the famous Wild Ponies on Chincoteague and Assateague Islands on Barnacle Bill’s Boat Tour.


My fascination led to my visit to the Assateague Island National Seashore to have a closer look at these small, shaggy ponies and the tall lighthouse within the Chincoteague National Wildlife Refuge.

Steve Aprile’s ‘Last One In’ says it all about the thrill of seeing these wild ponies.

For those who desire an easy getaway, Bethany Beach’s fabulous waterfront location with its laid-back beach vibes offers a memorable stay. This popular beach resort town provided me with just about everything I desired — white, sandy beaches, great casual restaurants and boutique shopping. Yet, what I enjoyed most was the easy access for day trips providing me with the perfect base for exploring the Atlantic shoreline.


For further details:

Bethany Beach Ocean Suites Residence Inn by Marriott – tel: (302) 539-3200;

99 Sea Level Restaurant – tel: (302) 539-0299;

Nassau Valley Vineyard – tel: (302) 645-9463;

Barnacle Bill’s Wild Pony Boat Tours;

tel: (757) 894-3746

Chinoteague National Wildlife Refuge;

Chincoteague Wild Ponies;

Assateague Island National Seashore and Lighthouse;


Getting there:

The Cape May Lewes Ferry provides service between the towns of Cape May, NJ and Lewes, DE and is an alternative option to driving the entire way to the Delaware coast. The 17-mile ferry ride across the Delaware Bay takes about 85 minutes, one way.

Cape May Lewes Ferry is a relaxing and exciting way to travel.

Taking the ferry is a delightful way to reach the coastal areas of Rehoboth, Dewey and Bethany Beach, especially when it provides an opportunity to view wildlife and a scattering of lighthouses in Delaware Bay. Frolicking dolphins, silvery fish and a variety of sea gulls and cormorants amaze the passengers. The vivid scenery creates such a relaxing journey that in some instances the passengers feel the experience is like taking a cruise. Other activities occupy many individuals and families who seem to enjoy each other’s company, while playing cards or video games.  Throughout the trip, visitors can purchase snacks and beverages at the outside grill and listen to live music in the bar areas on weekends. Onboard, there is plenty of seating for children and adults. Enjoy the free Wi-Fi and television.


Overall, this ferry service provides seasonal convenience to reaching destinations in the region, serving as a major link between Cape May and Lewes and a base to explore the many attractions and activities in the area. The ferry carries all sorts of vehicles and bikes along with passengers and pets.  The terminals offer many amenities including free parking, a shuttle service in summer, and free miniature golf at the Cape May terminal.


Schedules change seasonally so it is best to call customer service for information or reservations on the toll-free number (800) 64-FERRY or book online via

Cape May – Lewes Ferry – tel: 1-800-643-3779; email:;



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