In Issue 29
Summer is half way over and you have not made any plans. You have done Fire Island, seen the sunsets in Key West, dashed around the dunes in Provincetown, and you believe you have done the entire summer experience on the East coast. However, if you have not been to Rehoboth Beach, Delaware, then you are missing out on one of the finest lesbian and gay vacation spots in the country.
Along with Provincetown and Fire Island, Rehoboth Beach is considered by many to be on of the gayest resort towns in the Mid Atlantic. A popular getaway for Washington D.C., Philadelphia, Baltimore as well as Jersey boys and girls for over 30 years, Rehoboth is known for its beaches, boardwalk, eclectic shops and a gay friendly town for a weekend getaway or longer.
Founded in 1873 as a religious retreat for the Methodist Church, Rehoboth takes its name from the Bible, meaning “room for all.” Well I’m quite sure the founding fathers of Rehoboth didn’t know what that would entail more then a century later. Today Rehoboth is a town with room for all, gay, straight, singles, couples and families, both gay and straight.
I remember the first time I went there with my family in 1994, my parents, 4 brothers, their wives, 6 kids and I. I would spend the day with them at the beach, then we would all go into town for dinner and the carnival rides in the middle of Rehoboth. At 10:00 they would all go back to the house and I would walk 2 blocks north to Baltimore Ave. and The Blue Moon Bar. Yes, it was the best of both worlds. No, I’m not saying you need to take your family with you on your next vacation, but if you need to, Rehoboth is the answer to all your needs.
Rehoboth beach is known for its wide beaches, tree lined streets and old houses. Also, being so close to D.C., it does have that bit of conservatism and preppiness thrown in. But that’s not a bad thing; it just means the boys dress a little better (you’ll see more Lacoste shirts and white bucks than Diesel shirts and sandals at the bars). During the summer months the town’s population of 1,500 explodes to over 50,000 people looking for a good time.
Getting there is half the fun, right? Both Air Tran and Southwest Airlines offer non-stop flights from Fort Lauderdale to Baltimore and US Airways has non-stop to Philadelphia. Once there you’ll rent a car and drive 2.5 hours east depending on traffic. While you might think this is a bit far, the Eastern Shore of Maryland and Delaware boast some the most beautiful countryside anywhere; cute little country towns and stops make the drive part of your vacation. You also get to cross the mighty Chesapeake Bay Bridge. Once in Rehoboth, just park the car because you won’t need it for the rest of the week.
Rehoboth has many gay only and gay friendly inns and hotels to stay in. Some of the most popular are the Rehoboth Guest House, The Lighthouse Inn, Hotel Rehoboth, the Shore Inn and The Silver Lake Guest House. Each of these have their own website, of course, but you can always got to Rehoboth.GayCities.com or LambdaResorts.com to choose and book a place to stay.
Poodle Beach, just south of the boardwalk near Queen Street, is the boy’s beach – a three block area of sun, surf, stand and model. On busy weekends make sure you get there early to claim your six by three foot plot of sand. There’s always a good volleyball game going on to play, or for your Top Gun fantasy, to watch. Over Labor Day weekend there is the annual Drag Volleyball Match, drawing over 1,000 spectators both gay and straight. Having played volleyball in drag, heels are not an advantage.
Afternoon cocktails are always on the itinerary in Rehoboth. On summer weekends, around 6 pm, lines form out the door of two gay favorites—Aqua and the Blue Moon. Both offer outdoor patios and the bartenders and servers at Aqua are sans-shirts and sporting lifeguard tans.
There is also a great selection of restaurants to choose from in town. The Blue Moon Restaurant and Bar has consistently been rated as one of the best in the region. Owned by Randy and Tim, not only do they serve excellent food, their bar is the most well known night spot. Other than drinks, they also serve up great entertainment from Pamela Stanley, Miss Richfield 1981 and our formerly own Cashetta, who is now performing on the strip in Vegas. Other great restaurants include Dish, Eden, Lupo di Mare, Aqua Grill, the Frogg Pond, the Purple Parrot Bar and Grille and Mariachi. Now these are only a sample of the many choices you have to satisfy your appetite.
After dinner you can stroll the boardwalk, take a walk along the beach, but be aware, there are families and kids running around, so I wouldn’t consummate anything in public. In addition to the Blue Moon and Aqua Grille, Cloud Nine (also a restaurant) and Double L are 2 more great night spots to enjoy your evening. Rehoboth does have its share of events and festivals to keep you entertained all summer long, including Sundance Party Labor Day weekend as well as the previously mentioned drag volleyball. Rehoboth Beach’s Pride Festival is on September 19th.