Why Fall Is The Best Time To Visit The Delaware Beach

Rehoboth Beach has colorful displays and great festivals in fall.
Rehoboth Beach has colorful displays and great festivals in fall. | Source

Lighthouse View Bait & Tackle Shop

Lighthouse View Bait & Tackle shop at Cape Henlopen Fishing Pier.
Lighthouse View Bait & Tackle shop at Cape Henlopen Fishing Pier. | Source

Less Crowds at Cape Henlopen Fishing Pier

On summer weekdays the Cape Henlopen State Park fishing pier is packed, but in fall you'll have your pick of spots to cast your fishing pole into the Delaware Bay and the weather may still be warm enough to wear shorts or even a bathing suit. Conversely, you may need long pants and a jacket, but even if you do, inhaling the salty sea breeze adds an intoxicating element to the crispness in the air, and the changing leaves bring a welcome splash of color.

Discount on Delaware Seashore State Park Cottages

Luxury rental cottages at DE Seashore State Park.
Luxury rental cottages at DE Seashore State Park. | Source
Indian River Marina is a great place to picnic, fish or go boating.
Indian River Marina is a great place to picnic, fish or go boating. | Source

The Cottages at Indian River Marina are adjacent to the Indian River Marina, have fantastic water views, and are within easy driving distance from beach resorts, restaurants and tax-free shopping outlets and historic sites. These cottages have amenities such as year round climate control, screened porch with views of the inlet, gas fireplaces and satellite TV. Each cottage sleeps 6 people and has 2 bedrooms and a loft, fully equipped kitchen, living room and dining area.

Fall is a great time to take advantage of reduced cottage rates in the shoulder season which begins in early Sept. through end of October, or enjoy a further reduction in the off season which begins early November through April.

Fabulous Weekend Festivals

Beginning in early October there are festivals every weekend which draw droves of tourists back to the beaches and the beach towns pulse with music, entertainment and fun for people of all ages. I'll give you a few highlights of the ones that are my favorites.


Dewey Beach Elvis Festival

If you're an Elvis fan be sure to attend the 2012 Elvis Festival at the Rusty Rudder in Dewey Beach, which is one of the biggest Elvis festivals in the country, and I believe it's the only one that's held outdoors, where you have a beautiful bay side view from the deck of the Rusty Rudder.

This event is scheduled to be held 9/28/12 and 9/29/12. It will showcase 40 to 50 Elvis impersonators competing for a $5,000 cash prize draws and is sure to draw a large crowd of happy fans. I've seen women swoon as an impersonator bends down and places a scarf around their neck, just like Elvis used to do. Call 302-227-3888 for further information.

Though there can never be anyone who will thrill crowds as much as Elvis, this festival is still a real treat for Elvis fans or anyone who wants to enjoy a beautiful day or night at the beach in early fall.

2012 Coast Day Free Family Event

University of DE Hugh R. Sharp Campus in Lewes hosts the annual Coast Day Event.
University of DE Hugh R. Sharp Campus in Lewes hosts the annual Coast Day Event. | Source

U. of Delaware Hugh R. Sharp Campus Exhibits

Source

Cape May Lewes Ferry

Visitors from New Jersey should consider taking the Cape May Lewes Ferry which is fun for kids and saves miles of driving.
Visitors from New Jersey should consider taking the Cape May Lewes Ferry which is fun for kids and saves miles of driving. | Source

If you're looking for a free, fun educational event for the whole family mark your calendars for Oct. 7, 2012 and plan on attending the University of Delaware's Coast Day, held at the Hugh R. Sharp Campus in Lewes, Delaware. This is an annual event that aims to teach thousands of attendees about the wonders of the sea and the importance of Delaware's marine and coastal resources. Visitors enjoy hands-on exhibits, ship and lab tours, lectures on popular science topics, a boat show, crab races, seafood cooking demonstrations, a crab cake cook-off and many other activities.

Kids can speak with marine scientists and explore many fascinating careers available in environmental science fields. They can also take a close-up look at dogfish sharks and other marine life. You can find out more information about this event by calling the University of Delaware Marine Public Education Office at: 302-831-8083 or sending an e-mail to: MarineCom@udel.edu.

This year there will also be a Boast the Coast Maritime Festival on Oct. 6, 2012 from 11 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. which will include Seafood-tasting from local restaurants, activities for children, and boat tours during the day, plus a lighted boat parade at dusk. For further info call 302-645-8073 or log onto the Lewes Chamber of Commerce website at www.leweschamber.com.

If you are coming from New Jersey, consider taking the Cape May Lewes Ferry which will shave miles off the trip and will also be fun for the kids.

Sea Witch Festival in Rehoboth Beach

Dog in Lady Gaga costume in Pet Parade on Boardwalk.
Dog in Lady Gaga costume in Pet Parade on Boardwalk. | Source
Beach house porch decorated for Sea Witch Festival.
Beach house porch decorated for Sea Witch Festival. | Source

Sea Witch Festival

Cast your vote for Rehoboth Beach Sea Witch Festival

Sea Witch Halloween & Fiddler's Festival

The annual Sea Witch Halloween and Fiddler's Festival is held the last weekend in October in Rehoboth Beach, a town that Travel & Leisure Magazine (May 2013 issue) called one of America's Best Little Beach Towns because of its vibrant boardwalk. Every year thousands of costumed participants march down Rehoboth Avenue to the tunes of the Woodland String Band Mummers and a score of local bands. Another crowd pleaser is the NUR Temple Shriners in their decorated mini Corvettes. There are also hayrides, arts and crafts activities, free entertainment, face painting and many more things to do at this unique festival. Contact the Rehoboth Beach-Dewey Beach Chamber of Commerce at 800-441-1329.

Another fun and inexpensive fall activity in Lewes, DE, is a visit to Cape Henlopen State Park during their annual Children's Fantasy Trail Trick of Treat Event which co-incides with the Sea Witch Festival.


Children's Fantasy Trail

Characters from last year's trail.
Characters from last year's trail. | Source

Trick or Treat at Cape Henlopen State Park

Cape Henlopen State Park in Lewes, Delaware, has an Annual Children's Fantasy Trail the last weekend in October. Let your kids experience a jack o' lantern-lined trail while they trick or treat for candy and toys with their favorite storybook characters. Kids should come in costume and will also enjoy entertainment such as singing, juggling and magic under a large tent. Cost is $5 for each adult and child and all children must be accompanied by an adult. Call 302-645-6852 for more information. You can also go online at www.destateparks.com for a list of education programs offered at all the Delaware State Parks.

2012 Rehoboth Beach Independent Film Festival

The 2012 poster and cover for the festival guide was created by Laura Ambler and it inspired the festival theme of, "Come to the Fest & Sea the World." The original artwork will be available for purchase via silent auction throughout the festival.
The 2012 poster and cover for the festival guide was created by Laura Ambler and it inspired the festival theme of, "Come to the Fest & Sea the World." The original artwork will be available for purchase via silent auction throughout the festival. | Source
Source

2012 Rehoboth Beach Film Festival

The Rehoboth Beach Independent Film Festival showcases 100 of the best American and International films including features, documentaries, and shorts. Tickets are $9 for general admission and $8 for seniors, youth and students. You can purchase tickets, refreshments and souvenirs in the Big Tent behind the movie theatre. The tent is also a great place to relax, meet new friends, and share information about the films you've just seen, plus special events are held in the Big Tent.

As in years past, some highlights of this year's festival include informative seminars, chats with celebrity guests and a Children's Cinema Corner which elementary school film buffs will enjoy.

Attendees get to pick and vote on their favorite films in several categories and the film winners for Best Feature, Best Debut Feature, Best Short and Best Documentary are announced at the Festival's Closing Party.

Don't forget that in between screenings you can enjoy tax free shopping in the nearby Tanger Outlets and many other fine shops along Rt. 1 and in the beach towns of Lewes and Rehoboth.

There are many fine restaurants. Two of my favorites are Arena's Cafe which was voted the best lunch spot in Delaware, and Jake's Seafood which serves award winning crab cakes. Many other fine restaurants can be found a few miles away at Rehoboth Beach.

Hope to see you at the 2013 festival during Nov. 6 through Nov. 10, 2013. For a full schedule of events log onto www.rehobothfilm.com . In an effort to keep this increasingly popular event accessible to all who wish to attend, the promoters of the festival are launching a campaign called, "Reel Manners," and their suggestions for attendees can be read at the above mentioned website.

Punkin Chunkin Festival

While Pumpkins are on Display in Beach Towns, Other Pumpkins Are Being Shot From Canons 10 miles away.
While Pumpkins are on Display in Beach Towns, Other Pumpkins Are Being Shot From Canons 10 miles away. | Source

Can Pumpkins Really Fly?

Answer this question as quick as you can. "The thing I most associate with pumpkins is.........."

If you answered cannons instead of the "smell of baking pie", or "jack-o-lanterns", or "Halloween", it's a safe bet you've been to a World Championship Punkin Chunkin competition or seen one on TV. Or you've read, "Pie in the Sky: the Authorized History of Punkin Chunkin" by Bob Kotowski.

What began as a 1986 challenge to see who could throw a pumpkin the farthest has become one of the largest events in Delaware, drawing tens of thousands of people to Sussex county each fall to watch grown men shoot 8 to 10 pound pumpkins out of awesome looking mechanical cannons. Some competitors are hardcore engineers while others are backyard tinkerers who trailer their homebuilt contraptions to a large open field.

The 2012 event will be held Nov. 2 through Nov. 4. Please note that due to safety and health reasons no pets are allowed except for service animals. For more info call 302-854-8196 or log onto www.punkinchunkin.com .

Punkin Chunkin Poll

Have you been to a World Championship Punkin Chunkin Competition?

See results without voting

So Now You Know Why Fall is a Great Time to Visit Southern Delaware

The listing of festivals in this article are just a sample of the many great activities and events that are held in Southern Delaware during the fall season.

Hope you get a chance to visit this great area in Fall 2012.

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Comments 36 comments

Stephanie Henkel profile image

Stephanie Henkel 6 years ago from USA

This makes me want to visit Delaware again!


Happyboomernurse profile image

Happyboomernurse 6 years ago from South Carolina Author

Thanks for taking time to leave a comment Stephanie. I feel so blessed to live in this great state because it has so much to offer to both residents and visitors. I hope you do get to come again.


Peggy W profile image

Peggy W 6 years ago from Houston, Texas

I've never visited Delaware and appreciate seeing it through your eyes. Those festivals sound like fun! Thanks!


Happyboomernurse profile image

Happyboomernurse 6 years ago from South Carolina Author

They're a hoot, Peggy, especially the World Championship Punkin Chunkin. When I moved to Delaware a decade ago, I thought my new co-workers were pulling my leg when they told me there was an annual competition that had grown men shooting pumpkins out of cannons. I refused to believe them until I saw a write up in our local paper. Of course after that I had to go and see it with my own eyes. It's a wonderful event that grows bigger every year. Thanks for the feedback.


nancy_30 profile image

nancy_30 6 years ago from Georgia

I really enjoyed reading your hub. I would love to see the Punkin Chunkin festival. It sound like a lot of fun.


Happyboomernurse profile image

Happyboomernurse 6 years ago from South Carolina Author

Hi Nancy,

Thanks for the positive feedback. It is a lot of fun and I hope that you and your family get to see it someday.


RNMSN profile image

RNMSN 6 years ago from Tucson, Az

my hubby grew up in Wilmington and has spoken of rehoboth beach with fond memories/you made it live through your writing!! way to go!!! by the way my David was Mr Junior Wilmington in the 60's :) he was a tough guy/went on to the navy then the seals :) man I should write that one too eh?

I am so glad you joined hubpages!!kepp on writing!! you do great work!!love to you barbara b


Happyboomernurse profile image

Happyboomernurse 6 years ago from South Carolina Author

So glad to have you as a follower! Amazing how small the world is. Mr. Junior Wilmington? Navy Seal?....yeah, you definitely can get some good pieces out of that. Rehoboth Beach had a complete make-over a few years ago and it's more awesome than ever. Thanks for taking time to comment. I look forward to reading more about your David.


oceansnsunsets profile image

oceansnsunsets 5 years ago from The Midwest, USA

I enjoyed this hub very much, and I love would so love to see the beaches along Delaware someday. I have never been there, and Fall sounds like a great time to go. Maybe one day! I think it would be great to fish off the pier, and my boys would love that. Thanks for sharing.


Happyboomernurse profile image

Happyboomernurse 5 years ago from South Carolina Author

Hi Oceansnsunsets, Sorry it took so long to reply to your comment. My computer has been down.

Yes, the Delaware beaches are wonderful for ocean lovers like you and me, and those who love to fish. I hope you and your family do get to visit one day. Winters are cold but May through end of October are great and there's always a lot of festivals, events, etc. going on during those months. Thanks for taking time to leave a comment.


katiem2 profile image

katiem2 5 years ago from I'm outta here

Hmmmm, Fall and Beach, two amazing words as they are amazing things. Fall is one of my favorite times of year, the beauty and the smell of it and then the beach is one of my favorite places, WOW the two together sounds like heaven. thanks :) Katie


Happyboomernurse profile image

Happyboomernurse 5 years ago from South Carolina Author

Hi Katie,

My sentiments exactly! I am blessed to live near the beach in all seasons. Just an hour's walk near the ocean feels like a full vacation to me, and I never tire of it. Thanks for taking time to leave a comment.


Mike's Corner profile image

Mike's Corner 5 years ago from Maryland

I missed the Rehoboth Film Festival last year, but definitely plan to get over there in 2011 -- thanks for the info.


Happyboomernurse profile image

Happyboomernurse 5 years ago from South Carolina Author

Welcome Mike's Corner,

Thanks so much for reading my hubs and your kind comments. They're very much appreciated. Hope you do get to go to the Rehoboth Film Festival next year.


Denise Handlon profile image

Denise Handlon 5 years ago from North Carolina

Gail-I'm not sure why I haven't read this before, but I'm glad you connected your hub with the link.

Thanks for the 'tour'. BTW-although I have never been to a pumpkin 'throwing' contest, I did participate in a pumpkin smashing activity, LOL


Happyboomernurse profile image

Happyboomernurse 5 years ago from South Carolina Author

Thanks, Denise. Glad you enjoyed the "tour" and have personal experience in pumpkin smashing activity! Those pumpkins virtually disintegrate when they're shot out of the cannons.


Denise Handlon profile image

Denise Handlon 5 years ago from North Carolina

Gail, this just popped up for me again and I had to chuckle about the competition. I recall a (mischievous) story about the time that my g.f. and I walked thru a farmers field of cantelope after it had been harvested. We started throwing the melons left in the field and laughing our butts off watching them splatter. There is something devilishly delightful about throwing 'food', LOL This is still one of the best fall hubs for things to do in your area. Thanks for resurrecting it for folks to read.


Happyboomernurse profile image

Happyboomernurse 5 years ago from South Carolina Author

Hi Denise,

This was one of the first hubs I wrote and I just finished updating it for 2011 and added a few new things so I sent it out to my followers. Thanks so much for adding another comment. Your cantelope throwing story is really cool!


kimh039 profile image

kimh039 5 years ago

voted up and all the other buttons because they all apply. I really do love your photography! I think you could do a hub on how to take and select great pics for your hub. I would love to know how you do it. I hardly ever like the pics I take. I don't think I'll be getting "up east" anytime soon, but I do feel inspired to do a road trip with a camera. Thanks for sharing something beautiful, Gail:)


femmeflashpoint 5 years ago

Wonderful article!

I loved the information, and the pictures were great!

Haven't been to Delaware in sooooo long, but now I'll know what to look for if my next visit is during Fall!


Happyboomernurse profile image

Happyboomernurse 5 years ago from South Carolina Author

Hi Kim,

So glad you loved the photos. Don't feel confident enough to teach others about photography or how to add photos to hubs but I do have great fun taking photos and appreciate your feedback. In this digital age, it's so cool to get "instant" results and not have to pay expensive film developing fees. It makes it much easier to experiment and also to take many photos hoping that you'll find at least a few that you like. Good luck on whatever road trip you do decide to go on with your camera. Just relax, have fun and take lots of shots. I think you'll find that taking photos will also help you become more observant and more "present" in the moment as you'll be looking for details, beauty and/or things that are unusual or colorful.


Happyboomernurse profile image

Happyboomernurse 5 years ago from South Carolina Author

Hi Femmeflashpoint,

So glad you loved the article and photos. If you enjoy less crowds (except on weekends) and cooler weather that's still great for doing a variety of outdoor activities then fall is a great time to visit.

Thanks for taking time to leave a comment. Your feedback is greatly appreciated.


Lenore Robinson profile image

Lenore Robinson 5 years ago from Delaware

What great information to celebrate Autumn in DE! I've only summered in Rehoboth but your hub has inspired me to extend my visits! I can't wait to share info with family and friends! Thanks for the wonderful ideas and hub! :)


Happyboomernurse profile image

Happyboomernurse 5 years ago from South Carolina Author

Hi Lenore,

So glad you found the info helpful. Hope and your family and friends are able to visit this fall. It's truly a wonderful time of year down here.


stephaniedas profile image

stephaniedas 5 years ago from Miami, US

Hey! I'm enjoying fall at the beach as we speak! I've been heading down to the boardwalk to take advantage of the cool weather, no crowds, and the lovely water and sky every chance I get. The dolphins were even putting on a great show the other day, jumping out of the water, it was better than sea world.


Happyboomernurse profile image

Happyboomernurse 5 years ago from South Carolina Author

Welcome Stephaniedas,

Hubby and I were in Rehoboth this afternoon enjoying the 68 degree sunny weather. We are so blessed to live in this area, aren't we? Glad you take full advantage of it.

I'm always thrilled to see the dolphins but haven't seen them lately. They usually do put on a great show.

Thanks for taking time to leave such a nice comment.


ubanichijioke profile image

ubanichijioke 5 years ago from Lagos

Wonderful place to be. Great pictures too.


Happyboomernurse profile image

Happyboomernurse 5 years ago from South Carolina Author

Hi Ubanichijioke,

Yes, it is a wonderful place and I feel so grateful to live close to the beach!

Unfortunately we're having unusually cold weather and a lot of rain today and tomorrow which will interfere with the Sea Witch Halloween festival in Rehoboth Beach and the Trick or Treat event at Cape Henlopen State Park. But Mother Nature is the one thing event planners have no control over!

Thanks so much for stopping by and leaving a comment.


Dolores Monet profile image

Dolores Monet 5 years ago from East Coast, United States

I love Fall at the Beach - the weather is perfect and the waves seem so large and clear. In late Fall, we always used to go up to Rehobeth for our first day of Christmas shopping. Remember the store called Tutto Mundo? May have spelled that wrong but I really miss it. Also loved the big antique store that used to have the big dinosaur in the parking lot as well as the gigantic Salvation Army store. It's been a while though.


Happyboomernurse profile image

Happyboomernurse 5 years ago from South Carolina Author

Hi Dolores,

This is my favorite time of year here. Sun came out in time for the Sea Witch Pet Parade today. We've only lived here the past decade. The gigantic Salvation Army store is still here. There's also a very large antique store but no dinosaur and I don't think there's a Tutto Mundo anymore.

Rehoboth Avenue was completely redone a couple of years ago and looks nicer than ever. They added a circle heading into town and put a lighthouse and thousands of flowers around it. The sidewalks are all paved with bricks and are beautifully landscaped.

Thanks for stopping by to read my hub and leave a comment. I appreciate it.


mrpip profile image

mrpip 4 years ago

Wow!! Great job in capturing how great teh Delaware shore is during the fall. I happen to have loved the summers there. Having grown up in Delaware, it was such a great experience and I truly believe unique to any other state. I also wrote a few hubs on Delaware (both growing up there and one on the Delaware Beaches)

Thanks Again!!


Happyboomernurse profile image

Happyboomernurse 4 years ago from South Carolina Author

Hi Mrpip,

So glad you enjoyed it. I see I need to update this hub with 2012 dates.

I was thrilled to see your own hubs on Delaware and am always happy when this wonderful state is featured in articles. I've lived here for 11 years and am still learning about local places to visit.

Thanks for leaving such a lovely comment.


Lilleyth profile image

Lilleyth 2 years ago from Mid-Atlantic

I served as a judge at a Punkin Chunkin back when I was publishing the Peninsula Pacemaker. Nice Hubs!


Happyboomernurse profile image

Happyboomernurse 2 years ago from South Carolina Author

Hi Lilleyth,

I bet you could write a great hub about your experiences as a judge at a Punkin Chunkin.

Glad you enjoyed the hub and thanks for leaving a comment.


poetryman6969 profile image

poetryman6969 22 months ago

Beautiful photos. Looks like a lovely time to be out and about.


Happyboomernurse profile image

Happyboomernurse 22 months ago from South Carolina Author

Hi Poetryman,

Glad you enjoyed the photos. Yes, fall is an excellent time to visit Southern Delaware.

Thanks for your feedback. It's greatly appreciated.

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