Go here: For those who enjoy boardwalk frivolity and beach serenity in equal measure, Rehoboth Beach, even as its commercial appeal rapidly expands, remains a reliable vacation choice. Called the "nation's summer capital," Rehoboth offers the beauty of the beach, as well as shopping, dining and the fast-paced nightlife of the boardwalk. It is a great destination for family trips and romantic getaways. Whether you're peddling down the boardwalk with your kids in a four-person bicycle "carriage," or escaping to the charm and privacy of a Victorian-style bed and breakfast, a trip to Rehoboth is a memorable and affordable experience.
Stay here:The Homestead at Rehoboth Bed and Breakfast, 35060 Warrington Road, 302-226-7625. A Victorian farmhouse decorated in a "colorful, warm cottage style," The Homestead is an adults-only, pet-friendly B&B just minutes away from the beach and boardwalk. Doubles range from $150 to $190 per night, and there is an additional $20 fee per pet.
Bellmoor Inn, 6 Christian St., 302-227-5800. Elegant lodging close to the beach with spa service, a terrace, gardens and pool. Garden room rates start at about $95 in the off-season and $175 in high season.
Eat here:Delaware's Big Fish Grill, 4117 Coastal Highway 1, 302-227-3477. Voted "Best Seafood at the Beach" by Delaware Today magazine numerous times, Big Fish Grill features market-fresh fish and daily specials on the "Big Fish Board," and also offers cooking classes ($75 per class) using its menu items. Dinner entrees from $12 to $20.
Dogfish Head Brewings & Eats, 320 Rehoboth Ave., 302-226-2739. Most people come for the craft beers and house-distilled spirits, along with a mix of bands Fridays and Saturdays, but the food, including burgers, seafood and wood-fired pizza, isn't bad either.
Don't miss this:Jungle Jim's water park, 8 Country Club Road, 302-227-8444. The park is open late May through September and offers giant water slides, a wave pool and the new "kid sprayground," as well as go-karts, bumper boats, mini-golf, rock climbing and batting cages. Day passes are $40 for adults, $20 for children under 42 inches tall. Separate charges of $5 to $6 for water-free activities.
Visit the Rehoboth Beach Theatre of the Arts for live entertainment one block from the beach, including ballet, single and group comedy tours, plays and musical groups paying tribute to all styles, from the Grateful Dead to opera to the "Ladies of Motown." Tickets are $20 to $40 for the theater at 20 Baltimore Ave., 302-227-9310.
Get here: By car, Rehoboth is about 150 miles from Baltimore, whether traveling south on Interstate 97 over the Chesapeake Bay Bridge or into northern Maryland on Interstate 95 and around the bay. It's about a three-hour drive in either direction.