Rehoboth Beach, Delaware, will never be a town personified in movies or television. It receives no glory from the national news or for having a franchise sports team. The greatest achievement Rehoboth can boast is being “The Nation’s Summer Capital,” which it proudly displays on a small sign near the entrance to town. What Rehoboth lacks in size, fame and exposure, the town makes up for in its beauty and its seamless ability to make visitors feel instantly accepted while giving them the perfect amount of distance from their troubles. With a prominent gay scene, it isn’t hard to find activities, food and fun in Rehoboth Beach.
Exhausted from travel, checking in to a hotel may be the only thing one looks forward to on the first day of a trip. The Rehoboth Guest House is gay-owned and -operated and is open year-round. The 14-room Victorian has a large, rocker-lined front porch, a secluded back porch, and a Saturday afternoon wine-and-cheese party hosted by the staff. After recharging at the hotel, set off to see what else Rehoboth has to offer.
The Back Porch Café, on Rehoboth Avenue, the main drag, combines an intimate atmosphere with fantastic food and is a perfect hideaway to start your vacation. Alternatively, Nicola Pizza on the Avenue, a two-storey sports bar with a down-home feel and live music on Saturdays, is a less formal substitute. Be sure to order the signature dish, the Nic-o-Boli: ground beef, pizza sauce and cheese rolled in dough and baked in the oven.
The Blue Moon Bar, Aqua Grill and Hobos Restaurant are three of many establishments that pride themselves on catering to the gay community. Hobos Restaurant’s Gretchen Hanson calls her culinary style “global eco-fusion” and offers many vegan selections; the menu is a welcome respite from the greasy foods found along the boardwalk. Aqua Grill is completely outdoors and features hot, shirtless waiters serving strong drinks through the evening. The Blue Moon Bar is an upscale eatery with an outdoor patio that transforms itself into Rehoboth’s nightlife hub after dinner service.
Rounding out the nightlife scene is the Purple Parrot Grill, on Rehoboth Avenue, which hosts a must-see drag show every Sunday night at 10pm.
An alternative to the bar scene is the Funland amusement park on the south end of the boardwalk. While most of the arcade games are oriented to children, it’s a great place to have a family night out to reconnect.
After a night out on the town, free your mind along Rehoboth’s famous boardwalk. Whether you step off for a long walk on the beach, explore the shops and arcades or simply take a seat on one of the hundreds of reclining benches, the mile-long boardwalk offers simplicity and relaxation.
To take advantage of Delaware’s tax-free shopping, head up the Coastal Highway to Tanger Outlets. With more than 130 stores and designer outlets spread over three sites, it’s a perfect way to spend a rainy day. The abundant and quaint shops along Rehoboth Avenue, however, are perfect for picking up souvenirs for family and friends back home. The Sea Shell Shop, a local favourite, is known for its beach-themed knickknacks and Rehoboth-branded clothing.
Rehoboth welcomes all visitors, regardless of sexual orientation. The town is so perfectly removed from the outside world, one forgets about being involved with anything else. With its quaint hotels, abundant nightlife and relaxing atmosphere, Rehoboth is the perfect gay-friendly vacation spot.