There’s a lot of the East Coast that I haven’t seen in my 6 years of living in New York. While I did make it down to South Beach I regret not checking out a lot of the beach towns in between. However, one thing I can say I did get right is that I’ve had my fair share of weekends at Dewey. What’s Dewey you ask? Only one of the best kept secret beach towns on the East Coast. Alright, it’s not so much a secret because the place is bumpin’ all summer, but not many people think of Delaware when they envision a fantastic beach weekend. And those in the know prefer to keep it that way.
Dewey Beach is an awesome party town full of skim boarders, sun seekers and day drinkers. Whether you want to dance to a cover band, paddle board in the bay or drink your face off, Dewey satisfies. But I don’t mean to make it sound like just a party town. There’s spots that are great for families, little pre-teen surfer kids, and even dogs. That being said, since I am a single twenty-something who is ready to rock my summer, I was one of the many revelers that took advantage of the awesome bar scene. So if you’re new in town and don’t know where to begin, here’s a dummy’s guide to doing the Dewey bar scene right.
The Starboard is pretty much home base for Dewey Beach. It’s the largest bar on the street (most of the bars are right next to each other, or a short walk away) and it is raging day or night. Because of the crowds, the bar offers VIP passes which you can pick up before the season starts if you wait in line. If you don’t have passes, don’t fret – you may be lucky enough to find a drunk girl to scalp her passes to you. Once you make it in you can find multiple bars, tons of space to get down and dance, and my personal favorite: delicious jello syringes! Say hi to our favorite resident bar patron Slacky if you see him!
If you happen to make it over to Dewey Beach on a holiday weekend, you MUST stop everything you’re doing on Sunday night and head to Hammerhead’s. DJ Woody spins and he is ri-dic. This past weekend he had the whole bar dancing up a storm and not caring one bit that everyone was dripping with sweat. DJ Woody, come to New York please!
Another great night for Hammerhead’s is when Bernie Doherty is doing an acoustic set. His voice is amazing and he’s definitely a favorite. He was there on Saturday night, and I’m not entirely sure how often he’s there but hopefully you’ll have a chance to hear him perform.
Bottle & Cork
Just want to dance to some live music during the day? Then you have to check out Jam Session at Bottle & Cork. Jam Session takes place on Saturday afternoons, and on Sundays during holiday weekends. There’s a cover band and always a HUGE line out the door of people trying to get in to rock out. A favorite Dewey cover band that played over Memorial weekend is Mr. Greengenes.
If you’re not quite ready to tackle the craziness of the Starboard, then Jimmy’s is a fantastic middle ground spot for some drinks and grub. It’s a great open air bar and there’s always a decent amount of people around. Their steamed shrimp is delicious, they have different crushed fruit drinks available, and during the day you’ll most likely hear some live acoustic music. Get the watermelon crush, so delicious!
Rusty Rudder & Que Pasa
Que Pasa is a personal fav of mine and is great for when you want to slurp down giant piña coladas alongside the bay. Both these bars are next to each other and offer a more relaxed atmosphere. If you are one of the lucky ones who have a boat, you can park it close to Que Pasa and swim up for some drinks. The bay is also where you can try your hand at paddleboarding if you are up for it.
There’s a lot more going on in Dewey Beach (and its neighbor Rehoboth) than just a bustling day drinking scene. Outside of the expansive beach, there’s also fantastic outlet shopping, a cute Funland for the kids to go on rides and play carnival games, and tons of cute restaurants and stores. I personally love the chill, non-pretentious vibe of the area too. I’m fortunate because my favorite otters Lorzo and Lex are from Delaware, but even if you aren’t from there I hope you’re able to check it out at some point. Great times and hilarious stories are sure to follow.