Off Season Visit to Fenwick Island, Delaware



Just before the Delaware-Maryland board, in Sussex County, Delaware, you’ll find the tiny coastal town of Fenwick Island (population 500 – yes, 500!). It’s actually on a barrier spit. To you and me that means it’s not a barrier island, but rather is a peninsula resembling a barrier island. Barrier islands are formed by waves and tidal action that run parallel to the mainland. So, Fenwick Island is “barrier island-like”, but not really.


Now that we sorted out those details, Here’s where it is.



We went for a quick overnight, just for a change of venue. It was the off season, so there were none of the summer beach crowds. Since Fenwick Island is only a few hours drive from our house, we decided to travel on the Cape May Lewes Ferry, taking our car onto the ferry. We went in April, so some of the ferry’s pandemic restrictions had been lifted, including not having to stay in our car for the entire voyage. When we entered the seating area of the ferry, there were clear COVID measures in place – plexiglass separations, mask requirements, distancing and directional rules. It was fine. For us, the ferry doesn’t really save us time or money. Car fares are between $55 and $65 round trip depending on the time of year. That doesn’t include the passenger fare of $18 per adult round trip. It’s just a pleasant ride that puts you in vacation mode.


What’s there to do on Fenwick Island?


Well, you can go to the beach, but not to sunbathe...at least not in April! While I don’t see a beach badge fee to use the public beach, there are tons of regulations relating to the use of the public beach. Check it out!


There is also Fenwick Island State Park. The Park has a beach, but there’s a fee to access the state park. Entrance fees are $5/day in-state and $10/day out of state


Visit the Fenwick Island Lighthouse. It’s open during the summer! https://fenwickislandlighthouse.org/


Good for kids:


Go to the DiscoverSea Shipwreck Museum


Hit the Viking Amusements and Thunder Lagoon Waterpark –there’s mini golf and go carts, too!


Where’d we stay?


We stayed at one of my favorite hotel chains. Unfortunately, while the staff was nice, there were, uhm, issues. In fairness, I don’t know how much of this was related to an inability to staff the hotel due to the pandemic, but here goes (1) The furniture was a bit beaten up – shocking for a hotel that only opened in October 2020 and we were there in April 2021. (2) The bathroom shower was, uh, funky. (3) But the worst part was the nail clippings on the floor of our room! This is the second hotel in a row where we’ve found nail clippings in our room! What are people doing in their rooms?!?





Where’d we eat?


The hotel restaurant was open for breakfast, but with limited options, we headed out for breakfast.


A quick overnight was great for us to grab dinner and breakfast. Both were within walking distance of our hotel. Bonus.


Dinner: We had dinner at Just Hooked, a seafood place. I had fish tacos which were delish, and Hubby had short ribs. At. A. Seafood. Restaurant. We also had the calamari appetizer and a couple of beers.



Not the best pic of my fish tacos. I was more interested in eating that picture-taking!

Hubby, on the other hand, had more patience ....

Breakfast: We headed to Jimmy’s Kitchen. It was a self described quirky, “joint”. I would agree. Nothing fancy, but the food was good and plentiful...and the decent coffee was clutch. We left stuffed. Stuffed.


What’s the verdict?


Since we were there in the off season, not much was open. I’m gonna guess it’s a mob scene in summer, though. The hotel was ok, but the nail clippings thing – ewww. The food was probably the best part of our runaway. So, would I recommend Fenwick Island for a weekend? Probably. Would I go again in the off season with little open or wait until the crowded summer season? Well, my friends, I guess you'll have to make that decision for yourself!






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