Bethany Beach VS Rehoboth Beach: Which Beach To Visit?

Of all the beautiful, ethereal beaches populating the coasts of Delaware, you’ll find Bethany beach and Rehoboth beach among the favorites. Leaving one for the allure of the other can be a tough decision to make for some. 

So here we’re to do the heavy lifting for you! Which beach is better, Bethany beach vs Rehoboth beach?

Rehoboth beach is clearly a better beach than Bethany beach. Bethany beach is a great place to visit but lacks adequate dining outs. On the other hand, you get almost everything at Rehoboth beach. Rehoboth beach has a good blend of everything one expects in a beach town. 

Bethany beach gets really quiet around the evening which might suit those who are looking for a calm and cozy outing. But you’ll miss out on the souvenir shops, fast food places, and fun boardwalk games of Rehoboth beach.

Brief Comparison          

Bethany Beach and Rehoboth Beach are both popular beach towns in Delaware, but they offer different experiences. Bethany Beach is a quieter, more family-friendly town, while Rehoboth Beach is a more lively, cosmopolitan town.

Here are some things to consider when deciding which town to visit:

  • Budget: Bethany Beach is generally less expensive than Rehoboth Beach, especially when it comes to hotels and restaurants.
  • Activities: Bethany Beach is a great place to relax on the beach, swim, sunbathe, and build sandcastles. There are also a few shops and restaurants in town. Rehoboth Beach has more to offer in terms of activities, with a boardwalk, casinos, and a variety of shops and restaurants.
  • Atmosphere: Bethany Beach is a quiet, laid-back town. Rehoboth Beach is a more lively, bustling town.

Ultimately, the best place to visit depends on your personal preferences. If you’re looking for a quiet, relaxing beach vacation, Bethany Beach is a great option. If you’re looking for a more lively, exciting beach vacation, Rehoboth Beach is a better choice.

Here’s what the two beaches offer to the visitors:

AttributeBethany BeachRehoboth Beach
AttractionsBoardwalks, Local Museum, Kayaking, Swimming, Family-friendly EntertainmentSurfing, Amusement rides, Nightlife, Cuisine, Events & Festivals
EnvironmentFamily-friendly, Kid-friendlyLGBTQ-friendly, People of all ages
SafetyRelatively SaferRisky
AccommodationFree Public Parking, Pets, Outdoor  Shower, Metered Parking, Tents, Liquor, Pets, Shops, Restaurants
Cost of LivingRelatively CheaperExpensive

Looks like both the beaches have some major differences to talk about. Just like the pismo beach and morro bay.

Bethany Beach vs Rehoboth Beach: Detailed Comparison


Both Bethany Beach and Rehoboth beach looks fabulous in summer with their blue crashing waves meeting the soft sands underfoot. Summer is the peak visitor season. And that’s when the beaches get lively. 

It also rains throughout the year on both beaches, setting up the visitors for a great spectacle of diverse weather. 

You can experience snowfall if you visit Bethany beach around late December to Mid-march. It snows the most during February with 2.6 inches of average snowfall every year.

Rehoboth Beach experiences about 2.9 months of the snowy period from December 16 to March 13. Similar to Bethany, February is the month with the most snow with snowfall averaging about 2.9 inches. 

Bethany beach is favored by many over Rehoboth Beach due to being within walking distance from the hotels, boardwalk, and the beach.

Make sure to keep the weather in mind before you start packing for the beach!


Bethany beach is a tiny coastal town carrying your storybook small-town charm. The calm waters, amiable population, and cozy atmosphere make Bethany beach a famous visitor spot in Delaware. In Bethany beach, you’ll get access to the beach, boardwalk, shops, restaurants, etc. 

You can also enjoy the family-friendly live entertainment from Bethany Beach Bandstand on Labor Day and Memorial Day. 

With its Nightlife garnering everyone’s attention, Rehoboth Beach is a great destination for people of all ages. It boasts a stunning nightlife filled with various fun events to enjoy and places to visit!

Here are some of the main attractions of Bethany Beach and Rehoboth Beach:


The waves at Bethany Beach can vary in size depending on weather conditions and the time of year, but they are usually considered to be more suitable for swimming and bodyboarding than for surfing. 

However, there are still plenty of opportunities for fun and recreation in the water, such as boogie boarding, stand-up paddleboarding, and kayaking. 

Surfers will love Rehoboth Beach as it offers pretty consistent surf. The offshore winds from the west and the swell direction from the east make it a surfer’s heaven.


Bethany beach has one of the most charming boardwalks in Delaware. Mostly known as the ‘quiet town’, the beach town enjoys a family-friendly beach with a spacious boardwalk.

It’s a short boardwalk packed with fun activities to try out with family. The boardwalk is about .38 miles in length and spans 12 feet wide. The quiet nature of the town makes it just the perfect place for a daily jog or a leisurely walk. 

The Rehoboth Beach Boardwalk is home to a variety of attractions, including shops, restaurants, arcades, amusement rides, and more.

The boardwalk is also used for events and activities throughout the year, such as live music performances, arts and crafts shows, and charity runs. It’s a great place to stroll, people-watch, and enjoy the ocean views.

Local Museum

The nearby DiscoverSea Shipwreck Museum, Fenwick Island Lighthouse, and Indian River Lifesaving Station Museum offer unique and educational experiences for visitors of all ages.

Relatively cozier museums such as the Dinker-Irvin Museum might also keep you dazzled for the lazy evenings.

In Rehoboth Beach, you can always visit the Rehoboth Beach Historical Society to learn about the town.

Amusement Park

Rehoboth Beach also has the amusement park Funland, which offers a variety of rides suitable for all ages. Funland has been a fixture in Rehoboth Beach for over 80 years and is a popular attraction for families visiting the area.

Funland has 19 rides, including classic attractions like a Ferris wheel, bumper cars, a carousel, and a swinging pirate ship. There are also some unique rides, such as a spinning teacup ride and a haunted mansion ride. In addition to the rides, Funland also has a variety of games and an arcade, making it a fun destination for a day or evening of entertainment.

The amusement park is located right off the Rehoboth Beach boardwalk, making it easily accessible to visitors who are exploring the beach and surrounding areas. 

There are also other nearby attractions that offer rides and entertainment, such as Jungle Jim’s water park.

You can also experience some great amusement parks at Bethany beach. Arnie’s Playland, Captain Jack’s Pirate Golf, and Thunder Lagoon Waterpark are three great kid-friendly spaces to go to!

Best Time To Visit

If you’re to visit Bethany Beach or Rehoboth Beach, we’d recommend clearing up your June schedule. That’s when the views get truly animated. Be ready to expect some crowd as people will start flocking soon enough!

But even if you decide to come off-season, Bethany beach is no short of fun activities to try out! You can start off with winter beachcombing with your friends. The town of Bethany Beach has a number of quaint shops and boutiques that are open year-round. Spend some time browsing for unique gifts and souvenirs, or treat yourself to a cozy sweater or winter accessory.

The town of Bethany Beach hosts a variety of winter events and activities, including holiday-themed festivals, live music performances, and outdoor ice skating. Try them out!

Don’t feel like doing anything? You can just relax at a spa in the town. It’s all right there!

If you make it at the right time, you may even get to see the sight of jellyfish in Rehoboth Beach! The most common species found in Rehoboth bay are the Atlantic sea nettle and the moon jellyfish. It’s advised to take precautions as they can sting the swimmers.


Cost of Living

You’ll have to count an average sum of almost $2,000 for a 7-day stay at Rehoboth Beach. Make that $3,500 for visiting couples. For a family trip of four, you’ll have to spend as much as $6,500.

The hotels in Rehoboth beach can range from $66 to over $300 per night. For vacation rentals, the cost can vary from the low end of $240 to as high as $720 a night. 

On the other hand, you’ll have to be prepared to spend around $1200 in a mid-range hotel for a 7-day stay at Bethany Beach. This eventually gets higher if you’re looking to accommodate more people. 
Living expenses aside, you’ll still need to consider carrying about $2000 of your spare budget for other fun activities on the beaches. This doesn’t include the early departure fees for hotels.


Bethany Beach, Delaware can be crowded during the peak summer season when many tourists visit the area. 

However, the town is known for its relatively peaceful and less crowded atmosphere compared to other popular beach towns on the East Coast. The town has taken steps to limit crowds and maintain social distancing during the COVID-19 pandemic. 

The family-friendly nature of Bethany beach attracts a lot of families and couples who’re looking to enjoy some calm, soothing time by themselves. Thanks to the spaciousness of the beach and its tranquil nature, anyone can have a lovely family time together. 

You can’t really call Bethany the ‘gay beach’. But they do occupy a spot in the farthest corner of the beach, far from the family crowds. The locals are also very friendly towards the gay community. 

Rehoboth Beach, on the other hand, is a completely different case. 

Expect to see a huge number of visitors during the summer as Rehoboth beach attracts huge crowds from the neighboring cities as it’s the most popular beach in the state. The crowd is relatively lower at other times, but still more than Bethany beach.

Considered one of the most popular beaches in America, Rehoboth Beach has no trouble attracting large groups of people from all demographics. It’s rather popular among young people looking for a great vacation.

USA Today claims Rehoboth to be one of America’s best gay beaches. You can notice a huge number of gay population flocking to the beach every year. Rehoboth beach has many LGBT-owned and operated businesses throughout the town. 

Rehoboth beach has also been favored as one of the top retirement destinations in America.


Bethany beach is a public beach. But you can also have access to a private beach with tennis courts and playgrounds for children. Bethay beach also lets you access the gazebo.

One of the biggest allures to Bethany beach is its nice boardwalk and a wide variety of shops. Without the large crowds, visiting these shops are actually a pleasant way to enjoy your visit.

Bethany beach has a high crime rate, reporting about 48 crimes per thousand residents. That is rather high considering the low population of about a thousand people in the area. 

In fact, Bethany beach has one of the highest crime rates in America among the other community of its size. 

But in contrast to Rehoboth Beach, you might consider Bethany Beach safer!

Having a crime rate of 69 per thousand residents makes Rehoboth Beach one of the most highly unsafe cities, especially at nighttime. This number is higher compared to Bethany beach which can be attributed to the huge crowds flocking to the town. 

Bethany Beach has lifeguards stationed along the beach during the summer season for ensuring the safety of swimmers and other beach-goers. The lifeguards are typically on duty from Memorial Day weekend through Labor Day weekend.



For those looking to get to Bethany Beach, you’ll need to land at the Salisbury (SBY) Airport. That’s the closest airport to Bethany beach which is about 28.4 miles away. The other closest airports are Philadelphia (PHL) (93.5 miles), Baltimore (BWI) (97.9 miles), and Reagan Washington (DCA) (109.8 miles)

You can take a car, taxi, or an uber service to reach the beach from there on. 

Salisbury-Ocean City (SBY) (35.22 mi) is also the nearest airport to Rehoboth beach. Atlantic City(57.48) and Philadelphia(80.39 ml) are the other closest airports to reach there

You’ll need to travel 13 and a half miles to reach Bethany beach from Rehoboth. This might take an estimated time of 22 minutes.


With the setting of the sun, the day just begins in Rehoboth! Boasting an unmatched fine dining experience, it’s the get-go place for people who’re looking to spend a lovely night with friends, family, and loved ones. 

But that doesn’t mean people visiting Bethany beach are left behind!

Here’re some of the fun places you can poke your head into in Rehoboth beach and Bethany Beach:

Bethany BeachRehoboth Beach
Mickey’s Family Crab HouseThe Swell Tiki Bar & Grill
Bethany BoatHouseDogfish Head Brewings & Eats
Harpoon Hanna’s RestaurantBlackwall Hitch

Established as a dry town at first, Bethany beach allows a few licensed liquor stores. But don’t mistake Bethany beach as a party town. The locals prefer it quiet and calm. 


Rehoboth Beach allows alcohol consumption in certain areas, but there are restrictions and regulations. There are restrictions on the possession and consumption of alcohol in public places throughout the city.

Alcohol is permitted on the beach and boardwalk from May 15th to September 15th, but only in containers that hold 16 ounces or less. Glass containers are prohibited on the beach and boardwalk year-round.


All set and ready to visit? Hold on! There are a few more things you might want to check out first:


Bethany Beach, Delaware has several areas that are pet-friendly, but there are also some restrictions and regulations that pet owners should be aware of.

Dogs must always be on a leash in the beach due to safety reasons. Take note that the state Law of Delaware prohibits any dogs from accessing the swimming and sunbathing beaches from May 1 to September 30.

You can walk your leashed dogs on Rehoboth beach from October 1 to April 30. Similar to Bethany beach, the state law prohibits access to dogs on the city’s boardwalk and beaches from May 1 to September 30.

Outdoor Showers

Bethany Beach in Delaware does have outdoor showers located along the boardwalk and near the beach. These showers are typically available for public use during the summer season, and they are a convenient way for beach-goers to rinse off sand and saltwater before leaving the beach. 

Some outdoor showers may require the use of tokens or coins to operate, while others may be free. 

Public Parking

Yes, there is public parking available in Bethany Beach, Delaware. There are several municipal parking lots in the town, including the Garfield Parkway lot, the Central Boulevard lot, and the Hollywood Street lot, as well as street parking in some areas. 

During the summer months, parking can be limited, so it’s a good idea to arrive early or consider alternative transportation options such as biking or taking public transportation. 

Some of the public parking areas in Bethany Beach may require a fee or permit,

Free parking is limited in Bethany Beach, Delaware, particularly during the peak summer season. However, some options exist for free parking in the town:

  • Residential streets
  • Delaware Seashore State Park
  • Bethany Beach Park and Ride

Parking is not free in Rehoboth beach. You get a 12-hour maximum limit from all parking meters. However, there are some 30-minute spaces to park in Grove Park.

You’ll have to spend $3 an hour for the meters throughout the city of Rehoboth. They allow payments through credit card or via Parkmobile while also accepting quarters. 


Tents are permitted on Rehoboth beach but must not exceed 8 feet in height and 10 feet by 10 feet in size. They should also be set up at least 10 feet away from other tents and lifeguard stands. Tents are not allowed to be set up in marked swim zones or near any dune vegetation.

It’s important to note that tents and other equipment must be removed from the beach by 11 p.m. each night.

Our Recommendation

If you’re one of the young demographic looking to have a great time partying and getting the most out of your vacation, we recommend visiting Rehoboth Beach. It has every element one needs to truly “live” the moment. 

You can also opt for a quieter, relaxed time and prefer Bethany Beach. The small-town homey charm of the place is surely the best thing you can offer your family and loved ones. Perhaps, the only other places you can get such an environment are st Thomas and Puerto Rico beaches

That’s pretty much everything about the two beaches. We’ve laid out everything we know about the two beaches. Now it’s up to you to decide which beach suits your vibe!

Before we go here’s a small recap about things to do in each town:

  • Bethany Beach:
    • Relax on the beach: Bethany Beach is known for its beautiful beaches. You can relax on the sand, swim in the ocean, or build sandcastles.
    • Go for a walk or bike ride: There are several walking and biking trails in Bethany Beach. You can also rent bikes from several places in town.
    • Visit the Bethany Beach Museum: The Bethany Beach Museum is a small museum that tells the history of the town.
    • Play mini golf: There is a mini golf course in Bethany Beach.
  • Rehoboth Beach:
    • Visit the Rehoboth Beach Boardwalk: The Rehoboth Beach Boardwalk is a popular attraction with rides, games, and shops.
    • Go to the beach: Rehoboth Beach also has beautiful beaches. You can relax on the sand, swim in the ocean, or build sandcastles.
    • Visit the Rehoboth Beach Museum: The Rehoboth Beach Museum is a small museum that tells the history of the town.
    • Go shopping: Rehoboth Beach has a variety of shops, from souvenir shops to high-end boutiques.
    • Go to a concert or show: There are often concerts and shows happening in Rehoboth Beach.

Now, let’s move to some FAQs about these places –


Does Rehoboth Beach Require Beach Tags

No, you won’t require any beach tags to access Rehoboth beach. 

Does Bethany Beach Have Sharks

The chances of encountering a shark while swimming or engaging in water activities in Bethany Beach are relatively low, as shark attacks are rare occurrences.

Can you sleep at Bethany Beach?

You can sleep on the beach, on the boardwalk or under the boardwalk between 10:00 PM- 8:00 AM according to town regulations. 


That all we got for our coverage on Bethany Beach vs Rehoboth Beach. 

Make sure to consider the town regulations before making necessary preparation. It’s best to start planning a month ahead of your visit to ensure everything goes smooth. 

The locals are very kind and friendly. So we can guarantee that you’ll have a lovely time wandering around the sandy beach!

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