By: Amanda Narcisi
There is no sand in Pittsburgh. Plain and Simple. There is no ocean, and no matter how hard the wave pool at Sandcastle tries, it pales in comparison to the real salt air.
Last September I ventured to Rehoboth Beach for the first time. I can't say why we chose Rehoboth; I will tell you there was wine involved and little planning. It was all on the fly. Not to mention we were going in September. Why September? No people. But here are the highlights and how to find your slice of paradise in the East Coast.
To venture from Pittsburgh to Rehoboth is an easy drive. We discovered that on the way home. I wanted to avoid tolls, and good old google maps guided us through the mountains and right past Nemacolin. Would I suggest this way again? No. Head to West Virginia and then head east. It is still about a 6-hour drive with stops.
It is easy to find a hotel nowadays, with hotels.com, Airbnb and just winging it. We chose hotels.com and lucked out our first time. I booked the American Inn and Suites by Tanger Outlets. It was a few miles to the Boardwalk, but it was on the main drag and easily accessible to the main road and local shopping.
Due to it being the off-season, most attractions closed for the season. When you venture towards the Boardwalk there is paid to park area along the main road by this cute gazebo; however on the second Sunday after Labor Day they cancel all fees to park.
Food and Drink
So with nothing really really to do but chill at the beach and eat we spent a lot of time eating and drinking. The food scene is a mesh of seafood, burgers, and sweets. There is the usual boardwalk fare like fries, saltwater taffy, and ice cream, but let's talk about some fun places we indulged. The Green Turtle was the first stop we made after we checked in to the hotel. Margaritas and some pretzel stick to kick it off. The Green Turtle has dominant views as it sits above the Boardwalk with a spectacular view of the ocean. Exceptional Happy Hour deals.
Next, we ventured around the corner to the Purple Parrot. Another fantastic thing about Rehoboth Beach is its inclusiveness with the LGBTQ community and visitors. The Purple Parrot is just one example of this inclusiveness. The Purple Parrot is one example of this inclusiveness and has a fantastic happy hour and food menu. We stopped in for just one drink and the Peel and Eat Shrimp.
For our last stop, but only our first day is the famed Dogfish Head Brewings and Eats in Rehoboth. The beach location is the original location of the brewery and has since transformed into a Resturant, bar and event space. The beach location is where I discovered the Spirit Flight. It is four 1-ounce pours of Dogfish Head's new spirit line. I highly suggest this flight to get familiar with their new line. Chesapeake and Main is also the perfect spot to start the beer shopping. This location is also a large shop that includes spirits, beer, and merchandise.
The next we decided to have a beach day. In the morning, I made my way to the continental breakfast for waffles and coffee. Pro tip: we grabbed a Yeti and made our way to the Dunkin Donuts for a sizeable Iced tea for the beach, so we didn't need to go back for ice or more. For lunch, we indulged in the local pizza chain Grotto's Pizza. Beach Pizza. There is a location right on the Boardwalk where we ordered a medium pizza. Then we sat in our beach chairs and ate the pizza while watching the waves. The only part not ideal was the seagulls.
After a full day at the beach, we decided it was time for some dinner, and we sought out a brewery. Our research led us to the Crooked Hammock Brewery. The Crooked Hammock is very surf bodega in its atmosphere. Beers brewed on-site, and the pub menu has some refreshing seafood dishes typical of the coast. We ate an order of their Pretzels with Beer Cheese, some wings, and loaded potatoes.
Next, we ventured to one more brewery for the night; Big Oyster Brewery. This point I had to pause the drinking, and so my partner enjoyed a beer. The atmosphere was chill. Boats were hanging from the ceiling, and everything was rustic and wood. Beautiful.
Our last stop for the evening was a bit closer to the hotel. There are this surf and board shop called Liquid, and next door is The Big Chill Cantina. It was exactly how we pictured it. Surfboards lined the ceiling, and the decor filled with sugar skulls and artwork. Here we had margaritas, and you can have shot that floats upside down in them, which uniquely we chose Grand Marnier. The Big Chill Catina was a local hangout; Nothing touristy; everyone knew everyone walking in the door, and everyone was having fun. The Big Chill Catina was a great hang out.
The following day we ventured to the main Dogfish Head brewery in Milton. We opted for the tour that included the canning building and flight at the end. This tour was fantastic. It starts in the mash area where the guide discussed flavor profiles and how the beer began its journey. We then moved to the Fermentation tanks to see their highly tech-filled way of monitoring the age of the beer. Then a special stop at the barrel aging warehouse to see and taste the aged beer in the whiskey barrel. Lastly, we walked to the canning warehouse to watch conveyor belt after belt filled without favorite Dogfish Head Beer get packaged. After the tour, a flight of beer included in the ticket. We ordered some lunch and sat under the Treehouse and had a flight and some food. One of the must-stops during this visit to Dogfish Head Brewery is the gift shop. Not only is it filled with shirts, cozies, and keychains, but some hard to find beers and spirits line the walls.
On our final day in Rehoboth Beach, we decided to do a bit of travel and shopping. We began the day by traveling up the coast to Lewes and the state park that sits right on the water's edge. The inlet was a great stop to park and see the bay and grab some seashells. We then traveled back down to the coast to Dewey and checked out Dewey Beer Co. Dewey Beer Company is a small brewery but is known for some big taste along the coast. We shared a flight and headed back towards Rehoboth Beach and revisited the Boardwalk.
On our way back to the hotel, we stopped at a warehouse that boasted it was "The Largest Liquor Store in America." The outlet was an experience. If you like to shop for wine and liquor and always have something at home, this is a great stop — wine bins filled with different wines on sale for dollars. We ended up with a case of wine to bring home for way less than here in PA.
Places Visited and Websites:
The Greene Turtle https://thegreeneturtle.com
The Purple Parrot http://www.ppgrill.com
Dogfish Head Brewery https://www.dogfish.com
The Crooked Hammock https://crookedhammockbrewery.com
Big Oyster Brewery http://www.bigoysterbrewery.com
Big Chill Catina https://www.bigchillsurfcantina.com
Henlopen State Park https://destateparks.com/Beaches/CapeHenlopen
Dewey Beer Company https://www.deweybeerco.com
For more information on Rehoboth Beach, Delaware visit https://www.cityofrehoboth.com