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A trip to the beach, or "downy ocean" in local parlance, is the only true vacation for many Marylanders and Delawareans. And any beach is fair game: Bethany's vacationers can't keep away from Rehoboth's shops and restaurants or Ocean City's amusements. Anglers head to Ocean City and Lewes for the charter boats. The beaches of Delaware Seashore State Park are the quietest. If you want to party, head for the nightspots of Delaware's Dewey Beach or the boardwalk of Ocean City, Maryland.

Delaware beaches are quite different from Maryland beaches. For one thing, all Maryland beaches are public, whereas Delaware has private beaches. In this chapter, we'll give you a snapshot of each, starting at the north end of Delaware and heading south to Maryland, focusing on the individual delights and differences of each.