From West Coast to East, Great Lakes to Gulf, meet the 10 coastal towns that are sure to make you smile—for a weekend or a lifetime.
Photo: Chuck Snyder
Known as “the nation’s summer capital”— because the D.C. crowd has traditionally decamped here for vacation—this delightful and old-fashioned Mid-Atlantic town boasts a colorful boardwalk that’s a mile long and lined with food and amusements. In the off-season, though, Rehoboth Beach’s tiny size may be its greatest strength: Kids ride bikes down tree-lined streets, and everyone knows their neighbors.
Local hangout: Browseabout Books is a hub of community activities all year, and for visitors in the summer, it’s a great way to get to know the town through its gregarious staff.
Cool event: Independence Day, of course! Local bands play at the city’s charming bandstand, visitors stroll the boardwalk, and at 9:30 p.m., 4,500 fireworks burst across the Delaware sky.
Best souvenir: Fisher’s Popcorn—a handmade Delaware beach tradition since the 1930s. Keep that souvenir tub; you can refill it at discounted prices.
Stay a weekend: Nestled among lively restaurants and shops, Hotel Rehoboth has a cheery lemon exterior and crisp black awnings that give way to well-appointed rooms and suites, some with terraces and fireplaces. Rates start at $159; 877/247-7346 or