Beginnings of Rehoboth Beach
The Nation’s Summer Capital began its life in 1872 as a Methodist Summer Camp along the banks of the Rehoboth-Lewes Canal in the neighborhood known as, “The Encampment Grounds” – now part of the South Rehoboth neighborhood. Here is the history of the early days of Rehoboth Beach.
From the late 1880s through to current day, visitors have been coming to Rehoboth Beach for its pristine beach and, in later years also the boardwalk. Rehoboth Beach has easy access (unfortunately no longer by rail, but we live in hope that an entrepreneur will step in) to the major metropolitan areas of Northern Virginia, Washington DC, and Baltimore to our West via the Bay Bridge across the Chesapeake Bay; Virginia and North Carolina to our south via the Chesapeake Tunnel and Bridge; Philadelphia and New York to our North; and even Southern New Jersey to our east via the Cape May-Lewes Ferry across the Delaware Bay.
Our Home Town Rehoboth Beach Mix
Rehoboth Beach is a resort town for sure. The downtown area is an eclectic mix of walkable tree lined neighborhoods with a mix of full time residents (around 20%), and second homes, or vacation rental homes for Urbanites to our west and north. Mainly single family homes, there are some low level high rise apartment buildings, town homes and condominiums. While Rehoboth Beach is a multi-generational resort town with all the typical cotton candy, boardwalk amusements, Funland Fun Fair, hot dogs etc, we’re also a town with a thriving mix of fine dining and simple dining options for grown-ups and the children with and inside us all. Rehoboth Beach also is home to one of the largest gay and lesbian communities in the United States, and is proud of our unique community balance. We all visit, live, or work here for one reason: the quality of life and a unique, coastal vibe with a definite urbane sensibility transferred by our proximity to major metropolitan areas to our west and north. Not quite a party town, yet no longer a shuttered beach resort in the winter. We’re proud of our unique, welcoming town. All are welcome.
Unlike many other beach towns of the east coast, Rehoboth Beach is not directly on the coastal highway, instead Rehoboth Beach is bisected North-South by Rehoboth Avenue – a quiet, leafy eastward extension of Route 1 which winds its way south past the historic town of Lewes, Rehoboth Beach, and through Dewey Beach, Bethany Beach, Fenwick Island, and onto Ocean City, Maryland. As such the City of Rehoboth Beach has maintained a quiet walkability without having to cross a major highway.
Rehoboth Beach Orientation!
The City of Rehoboth Beach while orientated east-west, really is a north-south town, bisected neatly north and south by the aforementioned Rehoboth Avenue. Many first time visitors get a little disorientated on the first night of their stay. This causes some panicked telephone calls to the 24×7 Rental Hotline support number, “I can’t remember where the house is?” Don’t worry, we struggle finding our car at the grocery store car park, and us locals, well we were first time visitors ourselves too!
Some of us are, “Geographically Challenged!” and get a little confused on checking into a Rehoboth Beach vacation rental!
Here are our tips to save you an embarrassing call to our 24×7 Rental Hotline:
Round One – Where Is The Ocean?
- When you arrive at your beach vacation rental, always fix which direction the ocean is. Tip – if your feet are wet, you found the ocean! Seriously, is the ocean to your left, right, straight ahead, or behind you?
- Congratulations – you passed round 1!
Round Two – Am I North or South of Rehoboth Avenue?
- Remember if the neighborhood you’re staying in is ‘north’ (above) Rehoboth Avenue, or south (below) Rehoboth Avenue.
Round Three – The Math Portion of Our Test!
- From here on, use the following simple math, counting the blocks back from the beach and boardwalk:
- There’s ocean front/boardwalk location;
- First block back from the ocean front/boardwalk;
- Second block back from the ocean front/boardwalk;
- Third block back from the ocean front/boardwalk;
- Finally fourth block plus, which is really 4.5 blocks!
Round Four – What Are My Cross Streets?
- If you passed our math section, then it’s time to consider the north-south major streets that cross Rehoboth Avenue:
- First Street starting at Lake Avenue on Lake Gerar to the north of Rehoboth Avenue, which turns into King Charles Avenue south of Rehoboth Avenue. King Charles Avenue ends at Silver Lake to the southern edge of the town.
- Third Street, starting at Maryland Avenue on the western edges of Lake Gerar to the north of Rehoboth Avenue, which ends at Rehoboth Avenue. Logically, Third Street continues south of Rehoboth Avenue at Scarborough Avenue which winds south to end at the western edges of Silver Lake.
- In the fourth plus blocks of Rehoboth Beach, north and south of Rehoboth Avenue we arrive at the western edges of the downtown area. Grove Park to the north of Rehoboth Avenue; the Visitors Center, Chamber of Commerce, Rehoboth Beach Museum, and the feared turn circle on Rehoboth Avenue; then into the western neighborhoods of South Rehoboth and the exciting, yet peaceful shaded origins of Rehoboth Beach in The Encampment Grounds right at the top of town along the Rehoboth-Lewes Canal and the drawbridge across the canal that marks the western limits of the square mile that constitutes the City of Rehoboth municipality.
Confused? Swallow your pride and call our office (302) 727-5566 and we can talk you through it and get you back to your house, or at least Rehoboth Avenue where you can call a cab!
I live here full time in the downtown area of the City of Rehoboth Beach, one of the 20% who do.
I never tire of walking the streets around town from boardwalk to canal. From north to south, lake to lake, park to park.
The eclectic mix of home styles, the town center proper with it shopping and dining options. My dogs get plenty of exercise!
Welcome. Please browse on and enjoy our interpretation as locals of our own Rehoboth Beach neighborhoods. We (I) made some up you know!