Blog Archive

Friday, June 27, 2008

Delaware Seashore Surprises, Indeed.

CNN online is running a feature about one of Delaware's pride and joys: Lewes. See below.


When I moved from Delaware to New York City in 1986, I quickly learned that for all the glories the Big Apples held for me, one key thing was missing: a decent beach. Oh sure, there are very clean and lovely beaches such as Jones Beach and the Hampton Beaches are fine too; however, none of them hold a candle to what Delaware beaches offer in conjunction with the nearby beaches of South Jersey and Ocean City, Maryland.

I've had friends travel to the Carolinas and luxuriate on the Barren Island and Hilton Head. I've been there too. It's much cheaper to rent a house or some other property there for a week on the beach than it is here in Delaware or even South Jersey. I might do that once or twice but nothing beats a Kersey Beach Day starting in my native Delaware.

My routine starts off the same as many others on a Saturday morning: pack up and stop off at Wawa where everyone else in Delaware stops before going down to the shore via Route 1, Routes 13 or 113 or the back road Route 9.

What the hell is a Wawa you ask?

Wawa is an institution, a franchise found all over my state, Maryland, Jersey and parts of Pennsylvania, is a bright, sparkling, inviting convenience store where you can get cups of ice, cheap ice buckets and containers, basic groceries, ice cold drinks, iced coffee, delicious coffees of all kinds, candy and very good sandwiches made while you watch. However, negotiating the parking lot at a Wawa in Delaware on a Saturday morning will see you perform some of the most skillful driving you'll ever do in a parking lot. Everyone descends on this store on Saturday mornings. Those who have places down at the beach descend on Friday afternoon and Friday night before making the hour trek downstate to the many beaches, including my favorite Cape Henlopen located just outside of Lewes. Lewes has a shore side where you can enjoy the bay without the waves. Henlopen's beach is the Atlantic Ocean and also has a roomy bath house to wash up and change after being in the salty water and sandy beach. They have a nice little store for hot dogs, water ice, hamburgers and drinks. It's very good junk food.

I don't visit Rehoboth Beach that much because the parking situation is miserable. There is a nice boardwalk with some kiddie type rides and lots of fun stores and good junk food, including Grotto's Pizza to eat while looking out at the water. I prefer Cape Henlopen where I pitch my wide umbrella, set up the chairs and run into the water. Yep, I do the raft riding thing on the crashing waves. Sometimes I crash too. Sometimes a wave will hit me so hard my freckles fly off.

After a few hours of that and sitting on the beach, I go shower and change into dry clothes, head to the car and then to the Lewes-Cape May Ferry. The 45 minute crossing to Cape May is very relaxing, the food on the ferry is lousy. Don't plan to eat on this ride. The best part is that you can take your car on the ship.

Once in Cape May, I drive to Wildwood where it is a mile or two of boardwalk. These are great rides. These are not the rides of Six Flags: you are not risking death or injury or illness on the great Water Flume ride. The wood roller coaster is fantastic as are many of the attractions. You will not snap your neck on any of these. Again, this is where you get the best high quality junk food. The elephant ears, custard, water ice, caramel corn, etc. is the best you will have anywhere. If you get to the boardwalk before 6 p.m., you pay about $15.00 to go on all the rides for the rest of the day. After 6 p.m., you have to buy tickets and this can get a little costly - plan to spend about $50 for two adults to go on about six or seven "popular" rides or so. It's worth the money. Day goes into night at the beach (and everywhere else) and it's quite relaxing and beautiful. The shops are great fun too. Many friends who visit me I take there. When I lived in NYC I took people visiting me there down to Wildwood.

I cannot recommend this kind of day enough. I never found anything close to it in New York. The Hamptons are lovely about half a day of Hamptons is enough for me and I certainly don't ever get the hankering to go there. They do not have anything Delaware doesn't have except maybe celebrities and rich people. I don't go to the beach to see celebrities. I have plenty of friends who are rich and know enough so-called celebrities without stepping out the door, not that I would step out the door for such things in the first place.

1 comment: said...

I had the pleasure of visiting almost all of the locations you mention on a trip in August 1996, just before my son turned a year. How we got there is a story in and of itself. Anyway, my husband's godparents lived about 15 minutes from Rehoboth, and we went to visit them. I have photos stashed in storage somewhere, us along the boardwalk (which I loved). When we didn't go to Rehoboth, we went to Henlopen. These were the first times I'd ever swam in the ocean, and I'd do it again in a heartbeat. Just wanted you to know someone outside your local circle had some visuals.