The day is made for sunny fun and the nights are made for revelry in Dewey Beach, which has always been proud of its rock-and-roll soul and its young-and-restless attitude. Blessed with ocean beaches on one side and a broad bay on the other, Dewey Beach is perfectly suited to those adventurous travelers whose idea of fun leans more toward jet-ski rides or a brisk game of volleyball on the beach. Others spend their days enjoying watersports, including boating, parasailing, wake boarding, water skiing, windsurfing, or even dolphin watching.
This small coastal Delaware village is known for its scenic beach, exciting nightlife and proximity to nature reserves and state parks.
The town lies on a small strip of land between the Atlantic Ocean and Rehoboth Bay, is about one mile long and only two blocks wide. No matter where you are in this compact Delaware village, with a population of less than 500, the beach is always just a short walk away.
Dewey Beach is known for its nightlife and public events, including live music and festivals. Spend an evening hopping between nightclubs and bars after enjoying a seafood meal at restaurants that line the town’s street. During the summer Dewey Beach hosts a range of activities from outdoor movies to community bonfires. Come in late September for the Dewey Beach Music Conference, which brings up-and-coming artists to the area for a weekend of concerts.
Stroll a few minutes up the waterfront to the picturesque village of Rehoboth Beach, which is defined by its relaxed atmosphere and variety of restaurants and brewpubs. Save room in your suitcase for what you may bring home after a trip to Rehoboth’s Tanger Outlets. Dozens of factory stores here offer discounted prices. If you’re looking for a more boutique shopping experience, the village of Dewey Beach offers souvenir shops and locally run stores.
Enjoy some peace and quiet a few minutes south of Dewey Beach at Delaware Seashore State Park, which features 6 miles (10 kilometers) of pristine beaches. Bird watchers will relish an excursion to nearby Prime Hook National Wildlife Refuge. The protected area is widely considered to be the best wetland habitat along the Atlantic. Cape Henlopen State Park, about 20 minutes’ drive north of Dewey Beach, has a World War II-era observation tower where you can get panoramic views of the surrounding landscape. The park also offers activities such as disc golf on an 18-hole course, kayaking and horseback riding.
Dewey Beach is a two-hour drive from Philadelphia. Come by ferry from New Jersey. Rent a car to explore the nearby beaches and wildlife parks.
The beach was one of four beaches nation-wide to be awarded SUPERSTAR BEACH STATUS in 2011 by the Natural Resources Defense Council, and continued to receive the award as one of 13 beaches nation-wide in 2012, 2013, and 2014 as announced in the NRDC.
The climate in this area is characterized by hot, humid summers and generally mild to cool winters. According to the Köppen Climate Classification system, Dewey Beach has a humid subtropical climate, abbreviated “Cfa” on climate maps.
The town was likely named for Admiral George Dewey, who became a war hero after the Battle of Manila during the Spanish-American War in 1898. But it was not incorporated until 1981. Meanwhile, Dewey became the coast’s nightlife capital. In the 1960s, The Bottle & Cork and The Starboard, then a dive bar, were always hopping, and there was a bonfire on the beach at the end of many streets.
The scene is still electric in the evening and bonfires are allowed with the proper permit. But now you’re just as likely to see parents with strollers as you are college students.
In 1868, “Rehoboth City” first appeared on a map of Lewes Rehoboth Hundred in Beer’s Atlas of Delaware. It is believed that the name was changed to Dewey Beach following the 1898 Battle of Manilla (Spanish–American War) when Admiral George Dewey became a national hero.The Rehoboth Beach Lifesaving Station, located at the end of Dagsworthy Street, was commissioned in 1878. It became the Rehoboth Beach Coast Guard Station in 1915. In 1921 citizens objected to the closing of the station, and it was recommissioned in 1926. The station was decommissioned in 1937 and abandoned in 1946. The original structure was moved to Lewes and became a residence. A replica of the station was built in 1988 which stands today. Dewey Beach was incorporated as a town in 1981. Dewey Beach is governed by a Town Council and Mayor. The town’s first mayor, Bruce Vavala, reportedly spent his first day in office surfing. We hold elections each year to fill the positions of Commissioners who have come to the end of their two-year terms. Town meetings are held each month at the Lifesaving Station.
According to the United States Census Bureau, the town has a total area of 0.3 square miles (0.78 km), all of it land. As of the census of 2000, there were 301 people, 161 households, and 83 families residing in the town. The population density was 876.6 people per square mile (341.8/km²). There were 1,369 housing units at an average density of 3,986.9 per square mile (1,554.6/km²). The racial makeup of the town was 91.69% White, 0.33% African American, 0.33% Native American, 3.65% Asian, 2.66% from other races, and 1.33% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 5.32% of the population. Of the 161 households, 9.3% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 44.1% were married couples living together, 5.6% had a female householder with no husband present, and 48.4% were non-families. 40.4% of all households were made up of individuals and 13.0% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older.
The average household size was 1.87 and the average family size was 2.45. In the town the population was spread out with 8.3% under the age of 18, 5.6% from 18 to 24, 23.3% from 25 to 44, 34.6% from 45 to 64, and 28.2% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 52 years. For every 100 females there were 106.2 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 110.7 males. The median income for a household in the town was $79,471, and the median income for a family was $97,505. Males had a median income of $56,563 versus $39,583 for females. The per capita income for the town was $51,958. None of the families and 1.9% of the population were living below the poverty line, including no under eighteen and 5.8% of those over 64.
Dewey Beach, Delaware, lies just south of Rehoboth and straddles both sides of Route 1, with the Atlantic Ocean to the east and the Rehoboth Bay to the west.
The Delaware ocean is a haven for swimming, surf fishing, skimboarding, beachcombing and just plain relaxing. Sailing, windsurfing, jet skiing, water skiing, boating and fishing are just a few of the recreational opportunities available on the bay.
Restaurants and night clubs dot the highway and the bay as college-aged kids hop from one hot spot to the next on weekend nights. Accomodations range from cottages to motels.
The Resort Area hosts many events for fun-seekers of all ages. Shoppers can find shore bargains at the spring and fall Sidewalk Sales held in May and October. During the spring, Dewey Beach hosts several music festivals and during the summer you will enjoy the free Monday night movies and Wednesday night bonfires on the beach at Dagsworthy Avenue. Other fun activities on the Beach and Bay include: junior lifeguard program, environmental outreach program, yoga on the beach, skimboarding, surfing, kayaking, paddle boarding & SUP yoga classes, jet ski, pontoon boat & water craft rentals, surf fishing, crabbing & sport excursions, sailing, windsurfing, kite boarding and 5K runs/walks. The fun doesn’t stop there! The fall brings events such as the Music Festivals, Greyhounds and the Sea Witch® Festival.
You would expect a town known for its nightlife to have multiple music venues, and you won’t be disappointed. The Bottle & Cork dates back to 1937 when Ginger and Harry Shaud purchased property in Dewey for $7,500. They opened Jack’s Café, which offered dinner, sundries and gasoline. After a few years, the couple shucked the gas, candy and gewgaws. The café became the Bottle & Cork.
In the 1950s, the Bottle & Cork was the hotspot in town during the summer. Shaud had to institute an “intermission” in the afternoon so the staff could restock the bar for the next jam session and the patrons could sober up. People wore their good shoes and pressed clothes for a night out.
Today the Bottle & Cork is owned by Highway One, which brings in national headliners, including Dave Matthews and Matchbox 20. Many consider it one of the greatest rock ‘n’ roll bars in the country.
There is an interesting mix of Dewey Beach real estate available, but it typically includes cottage-like structures and condominiums with sandy landscapes. This is an historic spot in Delaware, and some of the housing style reflects that fact; about half of the homes were built prior to 1950.
This is also a seasonal community, and most of the beachfront single-family cottages and larger multi-floor structures are converted into vacation homes. Buying property in Dewey Beach, Delaware can be a business investment as much as a place to live, and it is common for homeowners to live on one level and rent out the others to vacationers during the season.
If you are thinking to start a business in Dewey Beach you should consider First Down Funding.