The Thotty Girl’s Guide To Delaware Beach Bars
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Okay, no offense to the first state, but Delaware isn’t exactly what comes to mind when you think “fun,” or “vacation,” or “travel.” Delaware contains a lot of cornfields, a lot of Dunkin’ Donuts, oh and also lots of heroin, woohoo!
Regardless, if you’re on the East Coast you may find yourself traveling to the Delaware beaches for a sun-soaked weekend or maybe even an alcohol-fueled senior week.
I spent my summers in Bethany since I was a toddler, so I would like to think I know a thing or two about the “cool” places to go regardless of the fact that Bethany’s slogan is “the quiet resort.” Since I was forced (how horrible) to spend every summer there with my fam, I had to figure it out.
You know how when you take a beach trip as a teenager you meet a cute guy and have a week-long romance? Yeah, I did that every weekend. Some of the guys still hit me up on Facebook, some of the guys are homeless (wish I was kidding), and some of the guys are now married. Oh, and also once I served Luke Wilson (you know, the guy from Legally Blonde) at the seafood restaurant I worked at, so that was a highlight.
While Bethany isn’t exactly a cool destination for people our age, it’s actually dope because it’s in between Ocean City and Dewey Beach, both of which have actual fun places to get drunk at. If you find yourself traveling to Bethany on a family reunion trip or with your boyfriend’s parents, here’s what to do.
1. Start Boozin’ Early
Unlike NYC or other cities known for their nightlife, Delaware’s laws actually state that all bars must close at 1 a.m. Yes, 1 a.m. What a fucking killjoy. It’s okay though, because you’ll be on vacation so you can go out way earlier than you would when you don’t get off work until 5. Most of the bars in the area start getting popping around 11, which might shock you, but it’s true. If you’re there for a busy weekend (Fourth of July, Memorial Day, etc.) the lines get ridiculously long, so the earlier the better.
Also, don’t forget to get your liquor early in the day because unlike in some states, you can’t buy liquor, beer, or wine from anywhere but a liquor store, and most close around 11 in Delaware, so stock up.
2. Pick Your Poison: Dewey Or Ocean City
Shockingly, “the quiet resort” isn’t popping off at night. Instead, go north to Dewey Beach or south to Ocean City, both about a 20-minute drive in either direction. Dewey allows you to barhop since they essentially have a mile long strip of different bars, whereas OC has a couple of different spots, but they’re all spread out so you kind of have to commit to one. Rehoboth is a must if you’re looking for gay bars, as there are a couple good ones on their boardwalk. Here’s a run down of the best going out spots:
The Starboard: This bar is a favorite of locals and “slocals” (a.k.a. summer locals a.k.a. me). They also have bomb af grapefruit crushes and randomly hot 50-year-old men from time to time. They also have good day parties if you’re trying to darty, as you can see.
North Beach: Don’t wear heels to this bar (or any bar in the area, tbh) because there’s sand on the ground. They also do dollar beer night on Tuesdays, which is their most lit night. If you’re driving, be careful where you park, because sometimes when it’s crowded people end up parking behind you and you can’t leave until they do.
Ivy: This is the closest you’ll get to a club vibe in Dewey, but don’t get your hopes up too high.
Bottle And Cork: If you like live music and cover bands, this is a great spot. There are also almost always hot guys there if you’re into dudes with long hair like me. Just be aware of who’s playing the week you’re going down, because sometimes they get “big” names and it could be packed.
Seacrets: If you’ve ever heard of any of these bars, it’s prob this one. Seacrets is an extremely huge, ratchet bar/club on the bay where you can get turnt at any hour of the day. I’d suggest going during around noon and spending your afternoon getting bronze while drinking dirty bananas and getting hit on by dudes with horrible sunburns. Again, this isn’t Vegas, flip-flops will do.
Fager’s Island: A slightly less ratchet alternative to Seacrets, Fager’s also has bomb ass food, so you should pop in for dinner and stay until the nightlife starts (which won’t be too long after dinner because shit starts early down there). If you are under 21, don’t even try getting in here, or anywhere in Ocean City for that matter, the bars down here are surprisingly strict (I got a fake ID charge at North Beach in Dewey once, good times).
Mackey’s: Mackey’s also has food, but nowhere near as good as Fager’s. There’s sand everywhere (are you beginning to notice a theme?) and it’s a great bar for those who wish they were still in college. They have theme nights (check the website) and there’s usually a long ass line to get to the bar, but it’s still a good time if you head out with a good crew.
If you’re into gay bars, welcome to your new favorite place. The Blue Moon is probably the most famous, and is also probably my favorite restaurant ever. It’s pricey, but def worth it. Go splurge on some foie gras on the restaurant side and hop over to the bar side for a fun night. The Purple Parrot is another cool spot. Rehoboth is definitely an older crowd, but worth a look if you wanna see some drag queens on fleek and dance to old Madonna tracks.
3. Pack Your Most Basic Beach Girl Attire
I’m the last person to tell anyone to dull their shine and dress down, but if you go out in Delaware/Maryland dressed the same way you would in NYC, you’re going to look like a damn fool. I always struggle to pack something appropriate for the ridiculously casual bars in the area, so I usually settle on jean shorts, a crop top, and sandals. You can probs get away with wedges, but considering so many of the bars have sand on the ground it’s kind of annoying. Seriously, if you dress up, people are just going to think you’re underage.
4. Foods To Cure Your Hangover
The good thing about beach towns is that they’re rife with fried greasy food to soak up all the coconut rum you drank the night prior.
DB’s Fries: Located on the Bethany Boardwalk, their mozzarella sticks can revive you from your tequila induced death, I promise. They also have banging chicken tenders, fried clams, a shitload of fries, and any seafood your heart desires.
Pizza: Bethany has two major competing chains: Armand’s and Grotto’s. I’m partial to Grotto’s because I like my pizza greasy and I’m into crust, but Armand’s def tastes lighter and is “Chicago Style” whatever that means. They also deliver to you on the beach which is ideal if you can’t bear the thought of moving from your towel.
Fractured Prune Donuts: If you leave the Delaware area without getting these, shame on you. There’s a location in Ocean City, Bethany, and Rehoboth, so you really have no excuse. They have really dope flavors and are freshly made and I honestly can’t even do the taste justice with my words.
Fudge City Bitch: Fudge is also a popular beach treat, and while the Candy Kitchen’s that you’ll see on each corner are pretty great, my personal fave is Kilwin’s on the Rehoboth boardwalk. The Rehoboth boardwalk is probably the most “worth it” of the other boardwalks in the area because it actually has shops you want to go into rather than shops with t-shirts that say “Thing 1 and Thing 2” and a plethora of hermit crabs.
Do not hook up on the beach, I repeat, do not hook up on the beach. Unless you’re under the age of 14… then maybe it’s okay and you’ll probs be making out next to some other kids your age under the boardwalk.
Watch out for locals because their “cute” dirty surfer hair will steal your heart (and probs your money, to buy weed) and before you know it you’ll be begging your parents to let your new friend Scout use your shower.
If you’re going to go home with a dude, try to ensure that he’s staying at a rental house and not a ratty hotel that might have bed bugs. Also, don’t be ashamed of walking into Wawa the next morning in last night’s clothes. The bonus is that by dressing basic, you’re way more discreet in your walk of shame. Also, try to get him to buy your Uber home, cuz that shit is expensive down there.
6. Don’t Bother Shopping
Unless your “look” is boho-Pacsun-chic, you really shouldn’t waste your time shopping when you could be getting bronze or getting drunk. Sure, you could spend $40 on a souvenir Bethany Surf Shop sweatshirt, or you could just buy a handle of Patrón to pregame with. Rehoboth has a South Moon Under if you’ve got money to blow, and there are also outlets if for some reason you can’t wait until after your trip to go to Charlotte Russe or Forever 21. You could also check out Deja Vu in Ocean City if for some reason you left your dildo at home.