Dewey Beach: A Special Hidden Coast on the Eastern Seaboard

It was 10:00 P.M. in Dewey Beach, and my group’s night was just beginning.  My sisters, their friends and I decided to travel to this small, yet exciting beach town on the east coast for her bachelorette party during the second weekend of September.  After a long car ride and sitting on a cozy white deck overlooking the Rehoboth Bay and indulging in some of my favorite grown-up beverages, my sisters, their group of friends, and I set off just down the road in sights of a bar that would fit all of our needs.

We arrived at the Starboard to see not only men and women of the same age, but many others older than us, and more importantly, just in time to see a Bruce Springsteen cover band.  The Starboard is a place where people of all ages unite in order to have a good time while bonding over beaches, Bruce and beers.

Fast forward to the morning after, we made some eggs and greasy bacon to ease our stomachs after our night out.  After chowing down, our group headed to the salty white beach across the street in tow with our palm tree cooler filled with beer, hard seltzers, and some snacks. 

Differently than most Jersey beaches that I am used to, the beaches in Dewey were extremely clean and populated with friendly and welcoming people who were willing to share floats, drinks, snacks, and it did not reek of either dirt or sea life.  For September, we could not have asked for a better beach day. There was not a cloud in the sky, and it was not too crowded. As a result of this spectacular weather, I am sure a beach day in July or August would be hard to beat in Dewey Beach.  After basking in some successful September sunshine, listening to the rough, yet relaxing ocean waves, and dipping our toes into the sea-green water, we headed home just across the street to begin no-shower happy hour. 

Thankfully, no-shower happy hour does not mean no-nap happy hour, so before we began our trek to find more impelling and intoxicating bars other than The Starboard, we spread out around our condo and took naps in our swimsuits. Soon enough, our cat naps were over. We donned our “bride and bride squad” fanny packs and t-shirt and headed out to start the night, but this time at 6:00 P.M. instead of 10:00 P.M. 

We began at the restaurant and bar called Rusty Rudder, built on some creaky wooden boards and overlooking the Atlantic Ocean.  Illuminated with string lights and surrounded by the scent of snow crabs and shellfish, we ordered our first round of drinks, which included green tea shots.  (Life hack: wear bride and bridesmaids’ t-shirts everywhere, and the welcoming Delawareans will buy you a round of drinks.)  This is also the place to go to for all seafood lovers – from fried shrimp to crab cakes to lobster that can be smelled from a mile away, the Rusty Rudder has it all plus more. We snacked on some loaded fries and crab nachos, and then we headed off to our star point of Dewey Beach, Bottle & Cork. 

In its truest form, Bottle & Cork is a concert venue, but since no concerts were scheduled for the night, a small cover band played on the stage and aimed to entertain. Bottle & Cork seemed dark and dingy in the light, but as soon as these lights dimmed and the neon lights came on, the venue turned into a blast from the past like a scene from a rock concert. Servers and bartenders walked around and surveyed the area with the goal of providing their guests with the best experience possible.  

In one corner, a large screen projected pictures that guests sent in while at the bar. Let’s just say that some of the images were a sight for sore eyes.  The party scene was crazy as is, and people even threw their empty glasses and beer bottles on the floor with no care in the world. Beers cost about $4 each, while mixed drinks and cocktails will cost about $7 each plus tip.  Bring lots of cash with you, for this is the average pricing for most of Dewey Beach’s bars. 

Our night ended earlier than the previous night because check-out was early Sunday morning. However, an early night does not mean a boring night. We made friends with middle-aged parents, older grandparents, and young college kids, who all desired to have the time of their life for one night only.

Dewey Beach, Delaware sits between the Atlantic Ocean and Rehoboth Bay and is willing to welcome both younger and older adults, or for anyone who enjoys the sensations of alcohol. Named after American war hero, Admiral George Dewey, Dewey Beach is a clean and quaint yet inviting and invigorating small town of only 211 acres that is a must visit for its bars and beach.  

According to Dewey Beach’s official website, the year round population is only around 340, as compared to at least 30,000 tourists that visit the small town during the summer months.  However, for only 211 acres of a town, there are plenty of places to visit while in town, but most importantly tourists have to hit Rusty Rudder, The Starboard, and Bottle & Cork if they are looking for a good time with adults of all ages.

Our group of young adults ranging from ages 21-31 decided to rent an Airbnb for the weekend, which cost ten girls $200 each for three nights.  However, there are also hotels in Dewey Beach, such as The Hyatt Place or Hotel Dewey that average around $126-$139 a night during peak months from May to August.  Both of these hotels are surrounded by restaurants and bars such as the ones I recommended above.

If you are looking for something more family oriented, Rehoboth beach, just about 10 minutes away, is the place for you, but Dewey Beach is a must for anyone who likes to party and drink some beers with both the young and the old.

By Kiley Barker. Kiley, a senior, is indecisive about life, yet confident when it comes to her love for the English language, especially during “Words with Friends” games.