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Bethany Beach | Where the sun always shines and the waves crash against the shore

bethany beach

Bethany Beach is an incorporated town in Sussex County, Delaware, United States. According to the 2010 Census Bureau figures, the population of the town is 1,060;  however, during the summer months some 15,000 more populate the town as vacationers. It is part of the Salisbury, MD-DE Metropolitan Statistical Area.

Bethany Beach, South Bethany and Fenwick Island are popularly known as “The Quiet Resorts”. Contributing to Bethany Beach’s reputation as a “quiet” place is the presence of Delaware Seashore State Park immediately to the north of the town.

Despite its small size, Bethany Beach contains the usual attractions of a summer seaside resort, including the short Joseph Olson Boardwalk, a broad, sandy beach, motels, restaurants, and vacation homes. Because Bethany Beach does not sit on a barrier island, residential areas continue some distance to the west of the town’s limits.

Restaurants in Bethany Beach

  • Sunshine Crepes
  • Bluecoast Sea food grill
  • Cottage Cafe
  • Off the hook
  • Matts fish camp
  • Pomodoro Pizzaera
  • The blue Crap Restaurant


The town is bordered to the east completely by free public beaches, all guarded seasonally by professional lifeguards known as the Bethany Beach Patrol. The beach patrol, which consists of 30 members, is on duty daily from Memorial Day weekend to Labor Day and on weekends in September.Within Bethany Beach, there is a half-mile area of private beachfront owned by Sea Colony.


The climate in this area is characterized by hot, humid summers and generally mild to cool winters. According to the Köppen Climate Classification system, Bethany Beach has a humid subtropical climate, abbreviated “Cfa” on climate maps.

In 1898, F. D. Powers—a minister at the Vermont Avenue Christian Church (today the National City Christian Church), a congregation of the Disciples of Christ in Washington, D.C.—was serving as president of the annual convention of Washington-area Disciples when he suggested that a Christian meeting place be established on the Atlantic coast of the United States. He envisioned it as analogous to the Chatauqua adult-education summer-camp movement popular in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, and played a key role in selecting the site of what would become Bethany Beach. The Christian Missionary Society endorsed his idea in 1898 and established a committee to study the matter; under his leadership, it recommended the Delmarva Peninsula as a suitable location for such a settlement, and later selected the empty coastal area east of Ocean View owned by the Ocean View landowner Ezekiel Evans as the specific site for the community.

In 1900, the Disciples of Christ held a nationwide contest to name the proposed community, the winner to receive an oceanside lot there. A committee of three men from Scranton, Pennsylvania, was responsible for choosing a name from among the entries; although it considered the names “Wellington” and “Gladmere”, it chose the name “Bethany Beach” suggested by H. L. Atkinson of the University of Chicago. Powers supposedly also suggested the name “Bethany Beach,” but the committee received Powers’ entry two weeks after Atkinson’s and thus Atkinson was deemed the winner.



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