We recently returned from a wonderful Bethany Beach Spring Break trip with my family. Bethany Beach in Delaware was the perfect spring break trip for us as it is only 2.5 hours drive from DC and less than 3 hours from northern Virginia. Below is my Family Trip Guide to a wonderful visit to our new favorite East coast beach town!
Table of Contents
- Pros and Cons of Visiting in the Spring
- Hotel Review
- Things to Do in Bethany Beach
- Where to Eat
- Day Trips from Bethany Beach
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Pros and Cons of a Bethany Beach Spring Break Trip
The biggest advantage of visiting Bethany Beach during the spring is the lack of crowds. It felt like we had the whole beach to ourselves! There were a couple of other families, but with so much space, we practically had our own private beach!
Another advantage is that it was easier to book our hotel. And since the hotel wasn’t fully booked, we got upgraded to an ocean-front suite! It was such a treat to wake up to the ocean each day and fall asleep to the sound of the ocean at night.
The weather is at the top of the list for disadvantages of visiting Bethany Beach in the spring. We had beautiful blue-sky days but the day we left was very cloudy and foggy. The temperatures average in March is high of 49 and low of 38 and for April it is average high of 59 and low of 47. The weather didn’t stop my kids, though, from playing in the sand and flying their kite for hours!
Another drawback of visiting in the spring is that some of the famous snack and dessert shops were closed for the season. Most of the restaurants were open but the smaller snack shops that I had wanted to try were only open limited days like Sunshine Crepes (only open on weekends)
Where We Stayed – Bethany Beach Ocean Suites Residence Inn Review
We stayed at the Bethany Beach Ocean Suites Residence Inn and could not have been happier! As a mom, I really like staying at a Residence Inn because you get a kitchenette with a dishwasher, microwave, fridge, and all the utensils you need. They also include a free hot breakfast and usually a pool. But this was the best Residence Inn we have ever stayed at because it was actually on the beach. You could not be closer to the beach as we could hear the waves from our room!
The hotel had a very friendly staff and a great heated indoor saltwater pool (with a retractable roof for the summer), spa, and indoor exercise room. The hotel must have been recently renovated because the lobby and rooms were all very nice.
Safety Protocols: We felt really comfortable. Signage was everywhere for 6 feet, 100% mask-wearing by staff and guests. They gave us a sheet outlining protocols including some kind of disinfectant in rooms and common spaces. We opted for no housekeeping. They have a hot breakfast buffet but you stand outside the breakfast room and tell them your order and they plate the food for you. Some were eating in restaurants (separated tables) or you could do take away or eat “outside” on the boardwalk deck that had a tarp cover.
Things To Do in Bethany Beach on Spring Break
Bethany Beach prides itself as the “Quiet Resort,” presumably to distinguish it from its louder and busier neighbor Ocean City. But quiet does not mean boring! There’s lots to do in and around this beautiful beach town.
1) Bethany Beach Boardwalk
The center focus of all activity is the wooden boardwalk along the coast which was constructed in 1905. There are many cute shops and cafes along the boardwalk and a great town square and bandstand in the middle.
2) The Beach
This gets its own section because it’s the main reason for a spring break trip to Bethany Beach! I am sure the beach changes all the time, but we love the 4-foot slope of sand to the water. My kids made chairs, slides, and sandcastles! We found shells and a real shark egg casing.
We purchased a great quality kite at the toy shop below but if you want to be prepared ahead of time, I found the same kite on Amazon, sometimes for less! The brand is Premier Kites and they are great quality kites that held up! (2022 Update: We’ve kept it in the back of our car and used it throughout the year and still not broken!) They are made of fiberglass frames with Polyester Ripstop reinforced technology.
3) Independent Shops
Tons of cute independent shops in town but a couple to highlight is Bethany Beach Books right off the boardwalk. They are open year-round at 10 AM and has story time! Also, Tidepool Toys right on the boardwalk is a lovely independent toy store with all my favorite brands and toys and organized in a great way! It is also open year-round. Finally, Bethany Surf Shop a block from the ocean has been around for 40 years and is open Friday through Monday in the Spring.
4) Bethany Beach Nature Center
Located just off Garfield Parkway, this center is open year-round with indoor and outdoor activities. On Saturdays they have Kids Nature Adventure time at 10:30 AM rain or shine! Check their website for opening hours.
5) Municipal Playground
There is a good size playground 2 blocks from the beach if your kids want a change of play scenery! There is also a pirate mini-golf a block from the playground. It was closed when we went and honestly, we found much more impressive mini-golf spots 15 minutes down the Coastal Highway in Ocean City.
6) Will Ponies were only 45 minutes away!
And can’t forget our favorite part, we were only 40 minutes away from Assateague Island National Seashore where we saw the famous wild ponies! Lots more about the best spots to see these beautiful horses in a full blog post here.
Restaurant Recommendations in and around Bethany Beach
We went in March so more restaurants may be open in later months. Some restaurants we wanted to check out were only open on the weekends
1) Sushi Cafe – Ocean City only 13 minutes from our hotel
Just over the state line in Ocean City and only 13 minutes from our hotel was our favorite! And it’s currently 5 full stars on Yelp! Seriously good quality sushi and you should definitely try the Chesapeake Roll with crab imperial on top! Check their website for current hours but at the time of writing, it was 3 – 9 PM every day except Tues and Wed.
2) Rise Up Coffee – Ocean City, 20 minutes from BB
This is a trek for coffee but it is on your way if you are going to Ocean City or Assateague or south of Bethany Beach and SO WORTH IT! Great tasting coffee and lots of menu items including Breakfast Burritos, Acai Bowls, avocado toast, scones, and muffins (which my kids loved!) Check out the photos on Yelp for their beautiful drinks and food. Open 6 AM to 7 PM daily.
3) Grotto Pizza
This is a local chain pizza restaurant that was pretty good and especially liked their stromboli. (I wouldn’t order the side salad). Lots of locations including 1 mile from Bethany Beach Boardwalk.
4) Pomodoro Pizza
This was the pizza I wanted to get take-out from because it is billed as “authentic New York pizza!” and great 4.5 star reviews on Yelp but it wasn’t opened when we needed it. Looks like they are open daily now according to Yelp.
5) Sunshine Crepes
We didn’t get to try Sunshine Crepes this trip because they are currently only open on weekends but great reviews on Yelp and right on the boardwalk!
Day Trips from Bethany Beach for Spring Break
There are also a lot of day trips you can take from Bethany Beach. I didn’t realize until we visited, that Ocean City is just 30 minutes south, Rehoboth Beach is 25 minutes north and Assateague and the wild ponies are only 40 minutes. I’ll put my tips for these locations this week.
If you’re interested in more ideas, I wrote up 7 more Spring Break Locations in Virginia and Maryland all within a 3-hour drive of DC.
And speaking of the drive, check out my Road Trip with Kids Essentials list including free activities, under $5, and under $20 lifesavers!
Please let me know any other questions that I haven’t answered in this post in the comments below!