How the Owners of Coastal Kayak Spend the Ultimate Beach Day

A morning stroll in Fenwick Island State Park, an afternoon hike, a seafood dinner and a big chocolate sundae.


Mitch Mitchell and Jennifer Adams-Mitchell see the Fenwick Island area from both sides: the land and the water. They started Coastal Kayak in 1997. Based in Fenwick Island, they lead tours throughout much of the southern beaches. They live in Frankford near the Assawoman Wildlife Area.


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The perfect day starts with taking their dog Brandi, a border collie mix, to Fenwick Island State Park. They also choose this park for lolling on the beach. “If you’re willing to walk a bit, you can always find a spot all to yourself,” Adams-Mitchell says. Brandi often takes to the water during their run. “She is having so much fun playing in the waves that it makes it fun for me as well,” Adams-Mitchell says.

Then it’s time for breakfast at Jimmy’s Kitchen, which has been dubbed “The House of Chipped Beef.” So that is what they have. The sinfully rich dish is made on the premises, and you can have it with toast, a biscuit or hash browns.

They pause at Fenwick Pet Shop to buy something for Brandi, who will “eat just about anything,” Adams-Mitchell says. After dropping off Brandi, they grab their bikes for a quick ride before the wind picks up. A ride up Coastal Highway delivers them to Made by Hand in South Bethany, a fair trade shop. “I always spend twice as long as I plan to here,” Adams-Mitchell says. “I love the jewelry, the purses, the baskets and the artwork. I don’t think I’ve ever left empty-handed, and the prices are unbelievably reasonable.”


Thirsty and hungry, they pull up to Surf’s Edge Deli & Pizzeria, where they’re known by name. They choose a Sunset Panini with Danish ham, roasted turkey, bacon, smoked cheddar cheese and roasted red pepper sauce on a ciabatta.

Along with paninis, the menu has High Tide Sandwiches, Rip Curl Salads and Island Wraps, as well as pizza, subs, burgers and dogs. They also opt for the Hawaiian, a hot croissant packed with Black Forest ham, pineapple, honey mustard and cheddar cheese.

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They decide to take a hike in Assawoman Wildlife Area, where they walk along a dirt road to the observation platform. “The view from the top of the platform is great,” Mitchell says. “You can see ponds to the north and south, as well as Dirickson Creek. We see many types of ducks, blue herons and great egrets, and there is almost always a swan in the pond to the north. And if you hike to Sassafras or Strawberry Landing, you’ll have a good chance of spotting bald eagles.”


With the sun falling, it’s time for a Coastal Kayak sunset tour to Point of Cedars Island in Little Assawoman Bay. “It’s remarkable because of all the birds that call this speck of land home,” Mitchell says. “The sounds are the most amazing—lots and lots of squawking, flapping and shuffling. It is incredibly peaceful, but it’s never quiet.”

It’s not surprising that this active couple are hungry again, so they head to Cactus Café 54 in West Fenwick. “My favorite is the fish tacos,” Adams-Mitchell says. “I can only go about a week without having them.” The café’s version features sliced batter-fried fish with lettuce, tomatoes, green onions, black olives, cheese and chipotle mayonnaise. They also split a seafood chimichanga (grill-pressed, not fried) and seafood enchiladas with “big shrimp and juicy scallops.” They know the servers—Vanessa, Jordan, Natalia and Manolo—by name, and owner Manuel Pavon comes out to shake his customers’ hands.

The grand finale: a large sundae with Chocolate Thunder ice cream, extra hot fudge, extra whipped cream, one cherry and two spoons at The Blue Scoop in Selbyville. “The perfect day,” Adams-Mitchell maintains, “is when you exhaust yourself from so much activity that you feel no guilt when you’re eating dessert.”

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