Every year, new restaurants, stores and other attractions pop up on the Delaware shore. This year is no exception. The list below is a sampling of some of the more interesting places that have recently opened their doors, as wel as some beach standbys.
Little Egg Harbor Soap, 129 Rehoboth Ave., lehsoap.com. This is the third location and the first in Delaware for the New Jersey-based fancy-soap retailer, founded in 1997. The shop sells blocks of house-made soaps in attractive colors and scents, as well as sugar scrubs, lip balms and lotions, all made with all-natural, nonanimal ingredients.
Fusion Fitness Apparel, 149 Rehoboth Ave., fusionfitnessapparel.com. In March, Ellen and Jim Bradford opened this store selling fitness apparel and accessories for men and women, including items for running, cycling, golf, tennis and yoga.
Rehoboth Beach Power Yoga, 18977 Munchy Branch Road #5, rehobothbeachpoweryoga.com. Owner Jamie Woods says power yoga is a "great workout" that combines cardio, strength and flexibility benefits. His new Rehoboth Beach studio offers classes every day of the week and for all levels.
Joss II, 19470 Coastal Highway Unit 5. Looking for gifts, house decorations or just something cheerful? Follow the sign with the yellow sun to Joss II, opened in 2011 by employees of the original Joss store, which was at the corner of First Street and Baltimore Avenue until it closed in 2000.
Root Gourmet, 19724 Coastal Highway. The management team behind Nage Restaurant is opening a deli next door. Root Gourmet is using fresh, local ingredients for its soups, salads and sandwiches. Vegan, vegetarian and gluten-free snacks and meals are on the menu.
What's tried and true
Funland, funlandrehoboth.orbs.com, 302-227-1921. Owned by the Fasnacht family since 1962, this amusement park right on the boardwalk retains an old-fashioned charm. Funland has grown over the years, but not by much. In addition to arcade and midway games, it now has 18 rides, including a carousel, bumper cars, a haunted mansion and SuperFlip, installed in 2008, which is just as stomach-churning as it sounds.
Dogfish Head Brewing and Eats, 320 Rehoboth Ave., 302-226-2739, dogfish.com. Local brewer Dogfish Head opened its first brewpub — and the first in Delaware — in Rehoboth Beach in 1995. With great food, excellent beers and spirits made on-site and plenty of indoor and outdoor seating, this restaurant and bar is a must-visit even for people (if there are any out there) who are not fans of the brewery's excellent IPAs. Live music on Friday and Saturday nights adds to the appeal.
The Bandstand on Rehoboth Avenue, rehobothbandstand.com, 302-644-2288. This has been the site of free summertime entertainment since 1963. More than 50 bands perform each year, and if that's not enough, there are also movies and variety shows. Concerts start at 8 p.m.
Turquoise Restaurant & Bar, 116 Market Place. Greek and American fare made from scratch and open for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Also offering entertainment at its new bar, including live music, belly-dancing and karaoke nights.
Thrasher's French Fries, Garfield Parkway, thrashersfrenchfries.com. The famous Ocean City french fries, greasily, saltily addictive since 1929, are now available on the Delaware shore.
What's tried and true
The Blue Crab, 210 Garfield Parkway, 302-537-4700. A local landmark since the mid-1990s, this restaurant serves steamed crabs and crab cakes, of course, but also entrees like fried shrimp and baby back ribs. Blue Crab is also known for its "all you care to eat" feasts with shrimp, blue crab or both.
Bethany Beach Boardwalk Arts Festival, http://www.bethany-fenwick.org. Held every year on the Saturday after Labor Day, this event brings more than 100 artists together for an outdoor festival on the Bethany boardwalk and surrounding streets. The artists, selected by jury, are both local and national, and work in a variety of mediums. The event is free and open to the public.
Whiskey Beach BBQ & Saloon, 1306 Coastal Highway, 302-227-3119. This restaurant serving down-home favorites like fried chicken and barbecued brisket opened in March. Warm up your pipes for karaoke on Friday and Saturday nights, and test your skills with Thursday night shuffleboard.
What's tried and true
The Starboard, 2009 Highway One, 302-227-4600, thestarboard.com. This is the go-to place in Dewey for a night of fun. Though specialty drinks are the focus, there is food, too: a filling breakfast for the next morning, a lunch menu of soups, salads, appetizers and specialty drinks, and a late-night menu of wings, nachos and the like.
Dewey Beach Parasail, 302-227-9507, flydewey.com. Tired of experiencing the beach at ground level? Dewey Beach Parasail can take you higher, with no experience necessary. The company, with locations in Dewey Beach and Indian River Marina, north of Bethany Beach, is now in its eighth season. Parasailers take off and land on the boat, and don't even have to know how to swim.
HaHa's Frozen Yogurt, 300 Coastal Highway, hahasfrozenyogurt.com. The name of this self-serve frozen yogurt shop on Fenwick Island is an acronym for Healthy Alternative, Happy Attitude. Make your own treat, choosing from 10 rotating flavors and more than 40 toppings, and pay by the weight.
Just Hooked, 1500 Coastal Highway. Steve Hagan, chef-owner of Off the Hook in Bethany Beach, opened this second restaurant last May and quickly netted rave reviews for his flavor-packed interpretations of classic dishes like shrimp and grits and Key lime pie using fresh ingredients. The open kitchen and outdoor seating add to the fresh feeling.
Zen Spa Fenwick, Route 54, zenspafenwick.com. Facials, massages, mani/pedis, sea salt rubs, mud wraps and ear candeling (it pulls out wax and toxins) are offered at this spa in the old Seaport Antiques Manor House. There's also a retail store for buying mineral makeup, skin-care products and accessories.
What's tried and true
Fenwick Island Lighthouse, fenwickislandlighthouse.org. Dating to 1859, this 87-foot-high, two-story lighthouse was automated in the 1940s and decommissioned in 1978. It is now a museum, open to the public from May to October.
Seaside Country Store, 1208 Coastal Highway, 302-539-6110, seasidecountrystore.com. This store, which opened in 1969, is one of those places where people wander around, exclaiming over nostalgic and unusual items like Raggedy Ann dolls and scented soaps and nautical-themed gifts and fun jewelry. Gourmet cheeses, homemade fudge, and locally made jams and salsas are among the offerings.
Birch Tree Cafe, 31806 Good Earth Lane, Route 26, Clarksville, goodearthmarket.com. The Good Earth Market and Organic Farm, about five miles west of Bethany Beach in Clarksville, is opening a gluten-free cafe in May, said Susan Ryan, who owns the business with husband, David. During the day, the Birch Tree Cafe will have counter service for its gluten-free food, including wraps, sandwiches and muffins. "At night it transforms into gourmet dining with wait service," she said. "And it's right in our grocery store, so it's way cool." The Good Earth Market, which opened nine years ago, sells food grown on the farm and other natural foods, as well as earth-friendly cleaning products, and gifts including hand-made jewelry, fresh-cut flowers and honey from local bees.
La Vita Bella Day Spa, 96 Atlantic Ave., Suite 101, Ocean View, lavitabellaonline.com. Eyelash tinting, seaweed body wrap, back exfoliation and purification facials are just a few of the specialty treatments at this upscale day spa.Copyright © 2014, The Baltimore Sun