I feel like it is an unofficial rite of passage that every true DC’er, at some point during the summer, takes a long weekend trip to Dewey Beach before they are dubbed the honor of being a REAL DC resident.
Each year, come Memorial Day weekend, Facebook is a flutter with endless photos tags and check-ins to all the local Dewey bars and filled with status updates like “Monday, Tuesday, Dewey!!!!!!”
And I’ve found that until you’ve been there yourself — you feel like a DC outsider.
With one year of city living under my belt and no beach trips on the record, it was time for me to take the plunge.
So when a friend invited me to join her and 6 of our other friends for a long weekend at her parent’s gorgeous beach house (read: FREE place to stay!!) in Bethany, I jumped at the invitation.
True, Bethany Beach wasn’t located right IN Dewey (it’s less than 10 miles away), but the beaches were equally as beautiful and it was just a short jaunt away to the local nightlife that attracts all the young vacationers to Dewey Beach.
We planned our trip for the weekend AFTER Memorial Day. Yes, I know, everyone loves Memorial Day Weekend in Dewey, but her parents were using the house and the 6+ hours in traffic both ways was less than desirable for my “weekend getaway.” So we set out on our adventure after work on Thursday.
If you are planning your trip for a non-holiday weekend, I would highly recommend this – we hit zero traffic and were there and ready to hit the beach first thing Friday morning to make the most of the day.
The beaches were much nicer than other local spots I’ve visited, and not long after we picked out our sandy spot, we had some pretty intense games of bocce ball and tag football going on. The weather was perfect for a long day at the beach, not too hot with a welcoming breeze.
Personally, the water was way too cold for my liking, but we did catch a curious pod of dolphins playing right in the wake by the shore (closer than I’ve ever seen), which more than made up the chilly water!
That night we headed in to Dewey to check out the bar scene. If you are staying Bethany I HIGHLY recommend you check out the local bus schedule and take the bus into Dewey.
The bus cost us a skimpy buck each, whereas the short cab ride was rumored to cost over FIFTY dollars– yikes. Do take note that even though last call at the bars is at 12:45am, the last bus back to Bethany picks up at 12:40am in front of the Lighthouse Restaurant, and you don’t want to miss it!
The group decided on Rusty Rudder as the first stop for the evening. That night a cover band, “Kristen and the Noise” was playing and the bar cover was seven dollars per person. Drinks were reasonably priced (drafts are your most cost conscious drinks) and the bar was HUGE with multiple options for music and “bar scenes.” The inside is more club-like, while the outside deck feels more like your typical beach bar.
After a few hours of enjoying the patio and the band, we decided before heading to the bus stop, we’d cap off our night with a trip to Nalu Hawaiian Surf Bar & Grill to snag a bite to eat. If you are looking for delicious late night food, give Nalu’s a try, we had the most delicious and large serving of nachos I’ve had in years! Yum.
The rest of our long weekend was filled with more beaching and trips to some of the other local attractions.
The Bethany Boardwalk was adorable filled with local shops, ice cream parlors, restaurants and on this particular Saturday, a local craft fair.
We also took a trip down to Rehoboth to find some bargains at the shopping outlets. As a self-proclaimed outlet shopping expert, I must say these are some of my new favorites – I will most certainly be taking a trip back just for shopping!
With the long weekend in Delaware now behind me, I feel that I’ve truly embraced my inner DC persona and can now confidently join in with others as they talk about their beach weekends and which local Dewey watering hole is their favorite. An outsider no more.
And maybe, just maybe, next year I’ll even go down for the infamous Memorial Day weekend.
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