I grew up going to the vibrant ocean town of Rehoboth Beach, Delaware. My grandma owned a candle shop on Rehoboth Ave for almost 15 years from the late 70s to the early 90s and had a ramshackle cottage next to city hall that we went to every summer.
This place holds so many memories. It’s the place where my dad taught me to ride the waves, where my mom helped me empty sand from my bathing suit after body surfing, where I competed in Pokemon tournaments at the local card shop (hah!), and it’s the place where I started my period! No joke – my mom and grandma sat on the floor of the cottage bathroom and coached me as I used my first tampon!
When my grandma died a few years ago, this place lost a bit of it’s magic for me. But being with Darrell, Hadley, and Olive in Rehoboth this last week really brought back the sparkle. And we visited with my parents which was even better! I know what you’re thinking: cut the nostalgia and give me the deets on the dog friendliness. Okay okay.
Depending on how dog friendly you want your trip to be, timing is important. Dogs are prohibited on the boardwalk and in certain swimming areas on the beach from May 1-September 30, but before and after that it’s fair game! Dogs are always allowed on the trails and beach at Cape Henlopen State Park. We took our trip the last week in April and were able to take Olive with us just about everywhere. The perfect, dog friendly, weekend itinerary in the shoulder seasons is:
- Check in and get delivery from Nicola’s Pizza (the nic-o-boli is classic!)
- Breakfast at Cafe Papillon
- Walk on the beach
- Thrasher’s French fries for lunch
- Salty Paws ice cream bar for the pups (see Olive’s birthday cookie below!)
- Hike in Cape Henlopen State Park and the Gordon’s Pond Trail (this goes all the way to Lewes which is another adorable seaside town!)
- Dinner at Dog Fish Head brewery (the fish and chips is great!)
- Catch the sunrise over the Atlantic Ocean
- Pastries at Pasqualinis
- Walk on the beach (in the opposite direction!)
One of my favorite things about Rehoboth is that the beach goes on for miles both to the north and south. You can easily walk five miles in a single direction (and even longer if you walk south!). Pods of dolphins swim south each morning (think 9ish) and north in the evening (think 5ish). Keep your eyes peeled if you’re on the beach at those times because chances are you’ll see them!
The gem of Rehoboth is Cape Henlopen State Park and the Gordon’s Pond trail to Lewes. Think pine trees, sand dunes, and marshlands as far as the eye can see. This is a great place to hit with the pups or you can rent bikes and go out on your own. Darrell and I left Hadley and Olive with my parents and did the bike ride as one of our dates, but I know they both would have loved it.
The food in Rehoboth is delicious and if you have an opportunity to head out without your dog, Henlopen City Oyster House is the best seafood restaurant I’ve ever eaten at. We ordered crab cakes, oysters, and shrimp and they were all 10/10 perfection!
Rehoboth is family friendly to all and you can read about it’s history as an LGBTQ-friendly vacation spot here!
WHERE TO STAY
We stayed at Cooper Cottages which is a block from the beach but there are plenty of dog friendly accommodations around town. Here are some additional places I found that are in prime locations – walkable to downtown Rehoboth and the beach:
- Bright, beautiful, contemporary
- Private backyard, walkable to beach
- Condo close to the avenue
- Townhouse with pool
- Heart of downtown
If camping is your cup of tea, there are RV and tent sites available at Cape Henlopen State Park!
WHERE TO EAT
There are plenty of dog friendly restaurants with outdoor seating to check out:
- Purple Parrot Grill Haus & Biergarten
- Zogg’s Raw Bar & Grill
- Dogfish Head Brewery (the fish and chips are delicious!)
- Thompson Island Brewing Co
- Iron Hill Brewery and Restaurant
- Azzurro Italian Oven & Bar
And for the best desserts and snacks on the planet, check out:
- The Ice Cream Store
- Thrasher’s French fries
- Candy Kitchen (for all of the gummy candy and fudge your heart desires!)
Questions, comments, thoughts? Let me know! How would you spend a weekend in Rehoboth Beach?