Paradise Bargains at the Beach

Get a million-dollar view for state park prices.
Cassandra M. Vanhooser

Ribbons of color stream across the sky as day ends here at Delaware Seashore State Park. For those who love the sun and sand, this is paradise.

Down By the Sea
The state park hugs Delaware's picturesque coastline, encompassing some 2,585 acres of the most sought after real estate on the East Coast. The Atlantic Ocean crashes against the park's east side, and Rehoboth Bay and Indian River Bay both kiss its western boundaries. The Indian River Inlet, a narrow channel of water, cuts the park in half, connecting the Tidal Inland bays to the ocean. All totaled, visitors have access to some 17 miles of sandy shoreline, and State 1 shuttles them right to it.

Visitors find the typical state park offerings here, including facilities for camping, swimming, and picnics. But there's also parasailing, surfing, boating, kayaking, fishing, and hiking.

Great Expectations
Last year, the state park opened 12 upscale beach cottages. They feature fully equipped kitchens, vaulted ceilings, screened porches, gas fireplaces, and satellite televisions. Each sleeps up to six people.

From the cottages, you can walk to the beach or to Indian River Marina, home to one of the region's largest charter fishing fleets. The nearby Hook 'Em & Cook 'Em bait-and-tackle shop will not only clean and fillet your catch of the day, but they'll also sell you fresh steamed seafood if you don't care to catch your own.

 

These waterfront rental homes were just the beginning of a long-range plan to upgrade the state park's facilities. The docks at the Indian River Marina have been modernized over the past couple years, and a new dry-stack storage facility for boats, scheduled to be finished this summer, is already nearly sold-out. Construction begins soon on a spectacular bridge that will span the inlet.

"We want this park to be the jewel of Delaware," says Gary King, superintendent of the park's Indian River Marina. "If you enjoy summer family fun, you need to visit Delaware Seashore State Park."

Delaware Seashore State Park: 39345 Inlet Road, Rehoboth Beach, DE 19971; (302) 227-2800 park office; (302) 227-3071 marina; toll-free 1-877-987-2757 reservations; or www.destateparks.com.

SPEND SOME TIME AT A COTTAGE BY THE SEA
Prime Season Rates
(June 10-Aug. 26)
$1,600 per week
Shoulder Season Rates
(April 1-June 9 & Aug. 27-Nov. 24)
$1,280 per week
$683 for a 3-day holiday weekend
$448 for a 2-day weekend
Off-Season Rates
(Nov. 25-March 30)
$853 per week
$455 for a 3-day holiday weekend
$299 for a 2-day weekend
$160 per night

This article is from the June 2005 issue of Southern Living. Because prices, dates, and other specifics are subject to change, please check all information to make sure it's still current before making your travel plans.