The flatland along Route 1 in Bethany Beach and Fenwick Island is ideal for bicycling; however, caution is advised during peak traffic season in July and August. Bethany also has bike lanes through town.
Prefer a quiet ride under a canopy of loblolly pines? Assawoman Wildlife Area offers several bike-accessible roads that wind through tidal marshland and forests. To get here, take Route 26 west and turn left on Double Bridges Road, left to Camp Barnes Road, and follow signs to Assawoman. The park, which charges no admission, is open 7am to sunset.
Bethany Cycle and Fitness Shop, 7792B Garfield Pkwy. (tel. 302/537-9982), rents beach bicycles for $5 to $12 an hour or $20 per day.
Fishing, both in the bay and in the surf, is a major draw in this area, but licenses are now required for those 16 and over. They are available online at http://egov.dnrec.delaware.gov or at the park office. Off-road vehicles must have a surf fishing tag to be permitted on the beaches. Surf fishing is permitted when lifeguards are off-duty. The Bethany-Fenwick Area Chamber of Commerce sponsors two surf-fishing tournaments a year, in early May and October; for information, call tel. 302/539-2100.
Fenwick Island State Park has 3 miles of seacoast beach, most of which is open to surf fishing, and considerable tracts of open bay, ideal for both fishing and crabbing. There are also dune crossings for off-road vehicles; a surf-fishing vehicle permit is required. Call tel. 302/539-9060 for vehicle permits and maps of fishing areas. Similar facilities are available at Delaware Seashore State Park (tel. 302/227-2800).
Hiking & Birding
During the off-season, Fenwick Island and Delaware Seashore state parks, both on Route 1, are great places for a walk along deserted beaches. In high season, however, when these beaches are covered with sunbathers, it's best to head out at sunrise or venture a little inland. Tip: Bring bug repellent.
Assawoman Wildlife Area welcomes hikers on its few miles of dirt roads through tidal marsh and forests. An observation tower on the way to Mulberry Landing makes it easy to view a variety of shorebirds.
Kayaking & Sailing
To tour the quieter waters of Assawoman Bay, a salt marsh, Assateague Island, or a nearby cypress stand, stop by Coastal Kayak (tel. 877/445-2925 or 302/539-7999; www.coastalkayak.com). It has a stand on the bay across from Fenwick Island State Park. Tours cost $40 to $50 for adults and $10 less for children; they last 90 minutes to 2 hours. It also rents kayaks, sailing catamarans, and windsurfers -- and it delivers. (Get a coupon from the website.)
Although there's not much tennis for the general public, Sea Colony is the largest tennis resort on the East Coast, sporting 26 courts, including four outdoor lighted courts, four clay courts, and four indoor courts. If tennis is your game, contact a real-estate agent about renting a condo in Sea Colony's tennis villas.
Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.