Bethany Beach vs. Rehoboth Beach

Deciding between Bethany Beach and Rehoboth Beach for your next vacation can feel like a tricky task. Both beach towns have their unique appeal, offering sun, sand, and plenty of attractions. Is it the serene atmosphere of Bethany Beach or the bustling vibe of Rehoboth Beach that will win your heart? Keep reading to find out!
Bethany Beach vs. Rehoboth Beach

Table of Contents

Hey there, beach lover! So, you’re torn between Bethany Beach and Rehoboth Beach for your upcoming getaway, huh? Well, buckle up, because we’re about to dive into the ins and outs of both destinations to help you make the perfect choice. Read on and let’s uncover the treasures of these two fantastic beach towns!

History & Culture

Alright, first things first, let’s chat about the history and culture of Bethany Beach and Rehoboth Beach. Trust us, getting to know their unique backgrounds will add extra depth to your beach vacation experience.

Bethany Beach, founded in 1901, has always been known as a peaceful and family-oriented destination. This charming small town has preserved its quaint atmosphere, making it a perfect escape for those who crave tranquility.

On the other hand, Rehoboth Beach, established in 1873, has a more vibrant history. This lively town quickly became a popular resort destination and has a thriving arts scene today.

While both towns have a rich past, their cultural vibes differ quite a bit. Bethany Beach’s laid-back atmosphere attracts visitors looking for relaxation and a slower pace. If you’re into art, Rehoboth Beach won’t disappoint – it’s home to a variety of galleries, and it hosts several arts and cultural events throughout the year.

Now, when it comes to architecture, both beach towns showcase a mix of classic beach cottages and modern structures. However, Rehoboth Beach takes the lead with its charming downtown area, lined with historic buildings and tree-lined streets.

In terms of community involvement, both towns take pride in their local events and festivals. Bethany Beach hosts family-friendly events like outdoor movies and concerts, while Rehoboth Beach offers a wider variety of events, including film festivals and art shows.

So, if you’re seeking a serene environment with a focus on family-friendly activities, Bethany Beach is your go-to destination. But, if a bustling town with a strong arts scene and historic charm is more your style, Rehoboth Beach might be the perfect choice for you.

Attractions & Activities

Now, let’s talk about what you can do when you’re not lounging on the beach. We know, it’s hard to imagine, but both Bethany Beach and Rehoboth Beach have more to offer than just sun and sand. Let’s dive into the attractions and activities that make each town unique.

Starting with Bethany Beach, nature lovers will find their paradise here. The town is surrounded by beautiful parks and nature reserves. For instance, the Delaware Seashore State Park and the James Farm Ecological Preserve are perfect for hiking, bird-watching, and admiring local wildlife.

If you’re into water sports, Bethany Beach has you covered, offering kayaking, paddleboarding, and even surfing opportunities.

Rehoboth Beach, on the other hand, is all about the lively atmosphere. The Rehoboth Beach Boardwalk is an iconic spot that you simply can’t miss. This mile-long wooden boardwalk is perfect for strolling, biking, or just people-watching. And when you’re done with the boardwalk, head to Funland, an amusement park that has been entertaining visitors for decades.

For some cultural attractions, Rehoboth Beach has the upper hand. The town is home to the Rehoboth Art League, which hosts art classes and exhibitions throughout the year. If you’re a history buff, don’t miss the Rehoboth Beach Museum, where you can learn about the town’s past and its transformation into a popular resort destination.

For outdoor enthusiasts, both towns have fantastic biking trails. Bethany Beach offers the scenic Assawoman Canal Trail, while Rehoboth Beach has the Junction & Breakwater Trail, which takes you through beautiful coastal landscapes.

When it comes to golf, you’ll find excellent options in both towns. Bethany Beach boasts the Salt Pond Golf Club, a challenging 18-hole course. Rehoboth Beach is home to the Old Landing Golf Course, which offers stunning views of the Rehoboth Bay.

In summary, Bethany Beach is an ideal destination for nature lovers and those seeking outdoor activities. Rehoboth Beach, with its bustling boardwalk, amusement park, and cultural attractions, is perfect for visitors looking for a lively vacation experience. So, whether you prefer a laid-back atmosphere or a vibrant beach town, both destinations have plenty to offer.


Okay, let’s get down to the main reason you’re probably considering these two destinations: the beaches! After all, both Bethany Beach and Rehoboth Beach are known for their stunning shorelines. Let’s see how they stack up against each other.

Bethany Beach, known as the “Quiet Resort,” boasts a serene and family-friendly atmosphere—

The beach stretches for about 1 mile (1.6 kilometers) of pristine sand, offering plenty of space for sunbathing, swimming, and building sandcastles. The gentle waves make it an ideal spot for those who prefer calmer waters. Plus, with lifeguards on duty during the summer season, you can enjoy the ocean with peace of mind.

Rehoboth Beach, on the other hand, has a more bustling vibe. The beach here spans around 1.5 miles (2.4 kilometers) and tends to attract a larger crowd, especially during peak season. With a wider variety of beach activities, such as beach volleyball and surfing, Rehoboth Beach caters to a more energetic crowd. However, just like Bethany Beach, lifeguards are present to ensure your safety.

If you’re looking for a more secluded beach experience, both destinations have you covered. Near Bethany Beach, you can explore the less crowded shores of Fenwick Island State Park. Rehoboth Beach offers the tranquil Delaware Seashore State Park, just a short drive away, where you can escape the crowds and enjoy the natural beauty of the coastline.

In conclusion, if you’re searching for a quiet, family-friendly beach, Bethany Beach might be the perfect fit. However, if you prefer a lively atmosphere with more activities and people, Rehoboth Beach is the way to go. No matter which destination you choose, you’re bound to enjoy the beautiful Delaware coastline.

Eating, Drinking & Nightlife

Now, let’s talk about one of the most important aspects of any vacation: food and drink! Whether you’re a foodie or just enjoy a good meal, both Bethany Beach and Rehoboth Beach have something to offer. Let’s see how their dining scenes compare.

Bethany Beach is known for its cozy, laid-back dining options. You’ll find a variety of delicious local restaurants, cafes, and eateries serving up fresh seafood, comfort food, and more. While the dining scene here is relatively small, the quality of the food and the charming atmosphere more than make up for it.

Rehoboth Beach, in contrast, has a more extensive and diverse dining scene. With a wide array of restaurants, ranging from casual beachside cafes to upscale dining establishments, you’re sure to find something to satisfy your taste buds. Seafood, of course, is a staple, but you’ll also find international cuisine and innovative culinary creations.

When it comes to nightlife, Bethany Beach is pretty low-key. Most entertainment options revolve around laid-back bars and pubs, perfect for unwinding after a day in the sun. Live music and karaoke nights are common at these venues, but if you’re looking for a wild night out, you might be better off elsewhere.

Rehoboth Beach, however, boasts a more vibrant nightlife scene. Along with lively bars and pubs, you’ll also find a variety of clubs and entertainment venues. Live music, DJs, and dancing are all part of the mix, making Rehoboth Beach a great spot for those who enjoy a lively evening out on the town.

So, if you’re after a relaxed, intimate dining experience with a low-key nightlife, Bethany Beach should be your top choice. On the other hand, if you’re seeking a more diverse culinary scene with a lively evening atmosphere, Rehoboth Beach is the way to go. No matter which destination you choose, you’re in for a treat!


Now, let’s dive into the world of retail therapy! If you’re the type who loves to bring home souvenirs or just enjoy browsing unique shops, both Bethany Beach and Rehoboth Beach have you covered. Let’s take a look at what each destination offers in terms of shopping.

Bethany Beach has a charming, small-town shopping vibe that’s perfect for leisurely browsing. You’ll find a variety of local boutiques, art galleries, and specialty shops where you can pick up unique gifts, beachwear, and handmade crafts. While the shopping scene might not be as extensive as in some larger cities, the relaxed atmosphere and friendly shop owners make it a truly enjoyable experience.

Rehoboth Beach, on the other hand, offers a more diverse shopping experience. In addition to charming local shops, you’ll also find several shopping centers and outlets where you can score great deals on clothing, accessories, and more. The Tanger Outlets, for instance, are a popular destination for bargain hunters looking to score some major discounts on popular brands.

So, when it comes to shopping, your choice between Bethany Beach and Rehoboth Beach depends on your preferences—

If you’re after a laid-back, small-town shopping experience with a focus on unique, locally made items, Bethany Beach is the way to go. However, if you’re more interested in a wide variety of shopping options, including brand-name outlets and more extensive choices, Rehoboth Beach is the better option.


Now, let’s chat about where to lay your head after a long day of beach fun and exploration. Both Bethany Beach and Rehoboth Beach have a range of accommodation options to suit different budgets and preferences. Here’s a little rundown of what to expect in each destination.

Bethany Beach offers a cozy, home-away-from-home feel with its selection of vacation rentals, charming bed and breakfasts, and smaller hotels. You’ll find accommodations that cater to families, couples, and groups of friends, ensuring that there’s something for everyone. The laid-back vibe of the area is reflected in its accommodations, which often prioritize comfort and relaxation.

Rehoboth Beach, on the other hand, provides a broader array of accommodation options. In addition to vacation rentals and bed and breakfasts, you’ll find larger hotels and resorts that cater to a wider variety of tastes and budgets. If you’re looking for more amenities and a livelier atmosphere, Rehoboth Beach might be more up your alley.

In summary, when it comes to accommodations, Bethany Beach is perfect for travelers seeking a quaint, intimate setting, while Rehoboth Beach offers a more diverse selection for those who prefer a wider range of options and amenities. Choose the destination that aligns best with your accommodation preferences and get ready to enjoy your beach getaway!

Family-Friendliness & Children’s Activities

Taking the kiddos along for a beach vacation? No worries! Both Bethany Beach and Rehoboth Beach have got you covered when it comes to family-friendliness and children’s activities. Let’s dive into what each destination has to offer for the little ones and the whole family.

Bethany Beach is known for its quiet, family-oriented atmosphere, making it an ideal choice for families looking for a peaceful beach getaway—

There are plenty of children’s activities to keep the young ones entertained, from mini-golf courses and playgrounds to family-friendly events and outdoor movie nights during the summer months. The relaxed environment makes it easy for families to unwind and enjoy quality time together.

Rehoboth Beach also offers a family-friendly vibe but with a touch more excitement. The bustling boardwalk is a popular spot for families, featuring an array of children’s activities such as amusement rides, arcade games, and even a small water park. Family-friendly events and festivals are also held throughout the year, adding to the fun atmosphere.

Rehoboth Beach strikes a balance between relaxation and entertainment, making it a great choice for families seeking a bit of both.

To sum it up, Bethany Beach is the go-to destination for families in search of a tranquil, low-key vacation, while Rehoboth Beach caters to those who want a lively family experience with plenty of activities to keep everyone entertained. Whichever destination you choose, you’re sure to create lasting memories with your loved ones.

Getting There & Getting Around

Ready to plan your trip to either Bethany Beach or Rehoboth Beach? Let’s take a look at how to get to these fabulous destinations and explore the transportation options once you arrive. This way, you’ll be well-prepared to make the most of your beach vacation.

Getting to Bethany Beach is pretty straightforward. If you’re flying, the closest major airport is Salisbury-Ocean City Wicomico Regional Airport (SBY), approximately 45 miles (72 kilometers) away. From there, you can rent a car or take a shuttle to reach your final destination. Driving to Bethany Beach is also an option for many travelers, as it’s conveniently located near major highways.

Rehoboth Beach is also easily accessible by various modes of transportation. The nearest major airport is also Salisbury-Ocean City Wicomico Regional Airport (SBY), about 45 miles (72 kilometers) from Rehoboth Beach.

Similar to Bethany Beach, you can rent a car or use shuttle services to reach your beach getaway. If you prefer to drive, Rehoboth Beach is well-connected to major highways, making it a convenient destination for road trippers.

Once you’ve arrived at either destination, getting around is a breeze. In Bethany Beach, walking and biking are popular ways to explore the quaint town and its beautiful shoreline. If you prefer a more leisurely mode of transportation, consider renting a bike or using the local trolley service during the summer season.

Rehoboth Beach also offers plenty of options for getting around. The bustling boardwalk is perfect for strolling, while bike rentals are available for those who want to cover more ground. Additionally, the Jolly Trolley runs between Rehoboth Beach and nearby Dewey Beach, making it easy to explore both areas without a car.

In conclusion, both Bethany Beach and Rehoboth Beach are well-connected and easy to get to, with similar transportation options for exploring once you’re there. Whether you choose to walk, bike, or ride the trolley, you’re sure to have a fantastic time at either destination.


Now, let’s chat about the weather, shall we? After all, it plays a significant role in how much you’ll enjoy your beach vacation at either Bethany Beach or Rehoboth Beach. So, let’s dive into the climate differences between these two delightful destinations.

Bethany Beach boasts a moderate climate with warm summers and cool winters. In the peak of summer, you can expect average high temperatures around 85°F (29°C), perfect for a day at the beach. Winter temperatures, on the other hand, can dip to an average low of 32°F (0°C), making it more suitable for cozy indoor activities.

Rehoboth Beach shares a similar climate to Bethany Beach, with warm summers and cool winters. During the summer months, average high temperatures hover around 84°F (29°C), just a smidge cooler than Bethany Beach. Winter temperatures are also comparable, with average lows near 32°F (0°C).

In a nutshell, the weather at both Bethany Beach and Rehoboth Beach is quite similar, with warm summers perfect for beach activities and cool winters for enjoying some downtime indoors. No matter which destination you choose, you’re sure to have a fantastic beach experience in these lovely coastal towns.


Safety is always a top concern when planning a vacation, right? So let’s explore the safety aspects of both Bethany Beach and Rehoboth Beach to ensure you have a worry-free getaway. No one wants to stress about safety while trying to unwind at the beach!

Both Bethany Beach and Rehoboth Beach are known for their family-friendly atmosphere and low crime rates, making them ideal destinations for a safe and enjoyable vacation. Petty crimes like pickpocketing and theft can happen anywhere, but they’re relatively rare in these beach towns. Just remember to keep an eye on your belongings and use common sense, as you would in any other destination.

In terms of unique safety concerns, Bethany Beach and Rehoboth Beach both require a bit of caution when swimming in the ocean. Rip currents can be a concern at times, so always pay attention to posted warnings and lifeguard instructions. It’s important to know how to react if caught in a rip current – don’t panic, swim parallel to the shore, and conserve energy by floating if necessary.

Aside from these ocean-related safety concerns, both beach towns are considered safe and welcoming destinations for travelers of all ages. Just remember to exercise caution and common sense, and you’ll be set for a fantastic beach vacation at either Bethany Beach or Rehoboth Beach.


When planning a beach vacation, it’s always a good idea to consider the cost, right? Let’s take a look at how Bethany Beach and Rehoboth Beach compare when it comes to expenses. We all want to have a great time without breaking the bank!

Bethany Beach, known for its quiet and upscale atmosphere, tends to be slightly more expensive than Rehoboth Beach. Accommodation prices can range from $150 to $300 per night, depending on the season and location. Dining out can also be a bit pricier, with an average meal at a mid-range restaurant costing around $25 to $40 per person.

On the other hand, Rehoboth Beach offers a wider range of budget-friendly options. Accommodations can range from $100 to $250 per night, while dining out is generally more affordable, with an average meal at a mid-range restaurant costing between $20 and $35 per person.

Additionally, Rehoboth Beach has a more extensive selection of affordable shopping and entertainment options, making it an excellent choice for travelers on a tighter budget.

In conclusion, while both destinations offer amazing beach experiences, Rehoboth Beach is the more budget-friendly option of the two. However, if you’re looking for a more luxurious and tranquil getaway, Bethany Beach might be worth the extra expense.

Which Is Better – Bethany Beach or Rehoboth Beach?

After comparing these two lovely beach destinations, it’s time to decide: Bethany Beach or Rehoboth Beach? Both have their unique charms, so let’s break it down based on the categories we’ve discussed.

In terms of history and culture, Rehoboth Beach is the more prominent destination, offering more opportunities to explore its rich past and local art scene. However, for attractions and activities, both locations offer a variety of exciting options, so it’s more about personal preferences.

When it comes to beaches, Bethany Beach’s serene and uncrowded stretches of sand make it an excellent choice for those seeking tranquility. Rehoboth Beach, on the other hand, boasts a livelier atmosphere with a bustling boardwalk, perfect for those who crave more excitement.

As for eating, drinking, and nightlife, Rehoboth Beach takes the lead with its diverse selection of restaurants, bars, and nightspots. Bethany Beach, while offering a smaller selection, maintains its reputation for high-quality dining options.

For shoppers, Rehoboth Beach is the clear winner with its mix of boutique shops, outlet malls, and unique stores. In the accommodation category, Rehoboth Beach offers more budget-friendly options, while Bethany Beach caters to those looking for a more upscale experience.

Regarding family-friendliness and children’s activities, both destinations provide fun and engaging options for kids of all ages. However, Bethany Beach’s quieter atmosphere may be more suitable for families seeking a peaceful vacation.

When it comes to getting there and getting around, both destinations are relatively easy to access and navigate. Still, Rehoboth Beach provides more public transportation options, making it easier to explore the area without a car.

Weather-wise, both locations boast beautiful beach weather, with only slight differences in temperature and precipitation. For safety, both Bethany Beach and Rehoboth Beach are considered safe destinations, though it’s always essential to exercise caution and common sense.

Finally, in terms of cost, Rehoboth Beach is the more budget-friendly option, while Bethany Beach offers a more luxurious experience at a higher price point.

So, which is better? It ultimately depends on your personal preferences and priorities. If you’re looking for a quieter, more upscale beach experience, Bethany Beach is the place for you. However, if you prefer a lively atmosphere with more budget-friendly options, Rehoboth Beach is the way to go. Whichever you choose, you’re sure to create lasting memories on your beach vacation!