Beach Wear & Gear in Bethany Beach.
Lewes Mercantile Antiques.
The Tanger outlet shops that line Del. 1 between Lewes and Rehoboth have welcomed some newcomers, including Vera Bradley, which offers handbags, luggage, stationery and baby items. The Limited clothing store also opened recently, as did Ecco, a Danish shoe company. Coming soon: Francesca’s, Bath & Body Works, and Sperry, which sells active wear. Also new is a second location of the yogurt shop TCBY.
The renovation at Tanger Surfside (formerly Tanger Midway) is complete. Tanger is also considering makeovers for Tanger Bayside and Tanger Seaside, possibly within the next year or two. For a list of store locations, visit www.tangeroutlet.com/rehoboth/directory.
The outlet centers have plenty of familiar casual and fast-food restaurants. For a locally owned lunch option, pop into El Dorado for fish tacos and burritos. The owner, Aquiles Demerutis, will likely take your order and greet you as an amigo. (18776 John J. Williams Highway, Rehoboth, 645-1596, www.eldoradorehoboth.com)
Cool off and enjoy a movie at the Movies at Midway (202 DE-1, Lewes, 645-0200) or take a dip in the water park at Jungle Jim’s (36944 Country Club Road, Rehoboth Beach, 227-8444, www.funatjunglejims.com)
Shoppers stroll in Rehoboth Beach.
While downtown Rehoboth features well-known shops, such as White House Black Market, boutiques rule. Consider The Lilypad Children’s Boutique for clothes, accessories, toys and gifts. (149 Rehoboth Ave., Rehoboth Beach, 227-4464, www.shoplilypad.com)
Ladies have numerous options, including Downtown Cowgirl, which has everything from vintage clothes to new duds to mugs, books and home decor. (146 Rehoboth Ave. No. 3, Rehoboth Beach, 227-1917, www.downtowncowgirl.com)
For women and men, Carltons has been an institution since 1960. (31 Rehoboth Ave., Rehoboth Beach, 227-7990, www.carltonsapparel.com)
No matter where you are downtown, you’re a stroll away from the boardwalk for a quick bite or a spin on a ride at Funland. If you’d like a more leisurely lunch, consider Hobos Restaurant, which is celebrating its sixth year. The restaurant accommodates special dietary needs, including gluten free and vegan. (56 Baltimore Ave., Rehoboth Beach, 226-2226, www.myhobos.com)
On the way out of town, stop at the Rehoboth Beach Museum, located in the old icehouse. In addition to displays, there are walking tours. (511 Rehoboth Ave., Rehoboth Beach, 227-7310, www.rehobothbeachmuseum.org)
Downtown Bethany Beach.
The accessible streets of Bethany’s shopping district make Rehoboth look like the big city. And that’s fine by the shop owners who embrace the Quiet Resorts, which also include Fenwick Island. Kevin McCourt and daughter Mary Liz McCourt recently opened Lizzy’s Beach Wear & Gear partly because they both live in nearby Ocean View and also because Kevin McCourt is a marketing consultant who’s primarily focused on this area. The partners bought an existing custom T-shirt shop and its inventory, and they’ve added such resort wear brands as Mud Pie and Luv Surf (100 Garfield Parkway, No. 4, Bethany Beach, 581-9190, www.lizzys.net)
The summer opening of the 112-room Bethany Beach Ocean Suites Residence Inn will make the town more of a year-round destination. (99 Hollywood St., Bethany Beach, 539-3200, www.marriott.com/hotels/travel)
The oceanfront hotel will have a full-service restaurant. Or head to the boardwalk for a quick lunch. You can also hop in the car for an easy drive across Del. 1 to dine at Off the Hook, whose menu is peppered with innovative dishes using local ingredients. Don’t miss the roasted corn-and-jalapeño crab bisque or the crab cake. (769 Garfield Parkway, Bethany Beach, 829-1424, www.offthehookbethany.com)
Bring your swimsuit to any of these destinations. When the sun comes out, you can head to the state park beaches, which run from Cape Henlopen State Park to Fenwick Island State Park. Delightful sea breezes can sweeten a good day of shopping. (www.destateparks.com)