Delaware Beaches Offer More Than Just Sun and Sand

Great music, great bars and great food awaits you this summer.

Most people head to the beach for the sun and sand. I head to the beach for the bars. But it’s not as bad as it sounds. My husband is in a local band that plays at places like Dogfish Head Brewings & Eats, Bethany Blues and even the Rehoboth Beach Bandstand. I’m the dutiful wife tapping my foot to the blues.

We can thank several people for bringing great music to the beach, including the Freeman family (see the summer lineup on page B34) and impresario Sydney Arzt who has been scheduling jazz greats and other artists in Rehoboth and Lewes for years. Sydney has now set her musical sights on Dover, where she is the new executive director at the Schwartz Center for the Arts. You can read about her exciting plans for the venue in a Q&A with managing editor Drew Ostroski (page 148).

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But, of course, I do more at the beach than listen to bands. I like to explore the resort towns before the gigs get started. I love that I can be there in less than two hours from my New Castle County home. As a Maryland transplant, I’m still learning about all that the Delaware coast has to offer. That’s one of the reasons I enjoy working on our summer Beach Guide. There’s always something new to learn. And since Sussex County is never static, there’s always something new happening.

Writer Pam George looks at the food, drink and shopping scene for 2015. She outlines the dramatic growth of breweries, distilleries and wine establishments around the coastal region; explores new restaurants and revisits longtime favorites; and offers a guide to shopping at the various beach towns.

Sam Calagione, a perennial James Beard Foundation award finalist, may be synonymous with craft beer with his Dogfish Head Brewery, but he’s not alone in the area. He’s kicked off an industry that has spurred several new breweries, including Crooked Hammock Brewery in Lewes, in addition to distilleries like Delaware Distilling Company in Rehoboth, where you’ll find spirits like wheat vodka and spiced rum. Wine lovers can indulge, too, whether visiting Nassau Valley Winery or one of the new wine bars popping up around Sussex.

We haven’t forgotten the kids either. Our college intern Nicole Sullivan left no seashell unturned as she scouted out family activities at the beach. Check out the fun-filled list on page B26. But, wait, what about Fido? We can’t always take our pets with us, but we can find accommodations that will leave us feeling less guilty as the sad brown eyes watch us leave. Writer Marilyn Odesser-Torpey suggests several places that cater to our four-legged friends in her story “Pampering Our Pets” (page 52).

It’s vacation season for everyone in the family. Enjoy.

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