With the arrival of the Memorial Day holiday weekend, things will really begin kicking into high gear here at the Delaware beaches.

Said another way – the 2016 summer season is now officially underway here in coastal Delaware!

This also marks the best time of year for enjoying life at the Delaware beaches, whether as a full-time resident, a part-time resident or as a seasonal visitor. If you love coastal Delaware like we do, chances are pretty good that the May-September so-called “high season” is a big part of the reason why.

The Boardwalk is now open and in full swing, with places like FunLand, Dolle’s Popcorn, Grotto’s, the Greene Turtle and so many of your other favorites open and ready for action.

Our great local restaurants have also been busy making preparations and are ready to welcome guests with their mouth-watering local dishes. It’s impossible to name all of our favorite restaurants in an area that has become synonymous with good food, but a few that come to mind just in Rehoboth include the Henlopen City Oyster House, (a) MUSE, the Blue Moon and Nicola Pizza.

There are many others to be sure, so get out and do some exploring. Find your own favorites and make yourselves comfortable for the summer.

The Freeman Stage is opening for the season and has a full slate of top-notch entertainment planned for the summer of 2016. Festivals and events are also going to be popping up more and more on the calendar as the summer moves along – be sure to check our “Weekender Blog” regularly to learn more about all of the upcoming happenings here at the Delaware beaches.

The shops along Rehoboth Avenue, on Second Street in Lewes and all throughout the region are staying open later now. Local theaters and performance groups are preparing for their summertime shows. Farmer’s markets are all opening for the season.

In short, it’s just a great time to be in coastal Delaware as the 2016 summer season is finally here.

For those of us living here at the beach, it’s also a good time to stress how vitally important tourism is to our local economy. Without it, coastal Delaware just wouldn’t be coastal Delaware, at least not in the form that we all know and love today.

Earlier this year, the Delaware Tourism Office (DTO) released figures that clearly illustrate the undeniable impact annual visitors to the First State have on the economy. And let’s be honest, when we talk about tourism in Delaware, we're talking about the beaches.

It reminds us of a gathering a few years ago when a local business owner told those in attendance that he “didn’t know anyone who saved their money all year so they could take a vacation in Wilmington.”

Truth be told, there are draws in Kent and New Castle Counties. Events like the two annual NASCAR weekends at Dover Downs, minor league baseball, the Delaware Children’s Museum and other destinations along Wilmington’s riverfront and various festivals and happenings “north of the canal” do contribute to the state’s tourism coffers.

But the beaches are number one when it comes to tourism in the First State and, realistically, number two isn’t really all that close.

But the figures are on a statewide level, so let’s examine them in that context and really illustrate what tourism means to coastal Delaware, and why it contributes greatly to the high quality of life we all share here at the beach.

To do that, we’re going to cut to the chase and throw this figure out there right away – without the tourism industry, each and every household in Delaware would have to pay an extra $1,360 a year in taxes.

That’s every household, in every corner of the state, would have to pay an extra $113.33 per month in taxes to make up for the lost revenue that the tourism industry brings to our state.

This is according to a report by the DTO that examines 2014 figures. A few other significant findings in the report:

  • More than 8 million tourists visited Delaware in 2014
  • Their stays averaged 2.5 days
  • Tourism contributed $3 billion to Delaware’s Gross Domestic Product in 2014
  • Tourism generated $470 million in taxes and fees for state and local governments in 2014
  • The tourism industry is directly responsible for nearly 41,000 jobs in Delaware
  • One in nine workers in Delaware owes his or her job to tourism
  • Tourists spent an average of $573 per trip in 2014

In conclusion, this is what we have to say about these facts and figures as the 2016 summer season officially kicks off here in coastal Delaware:

People in Delaware and in surrounding states continue to find true what we’ve been saying for years – there’s no place quite like the Delaware beaches and, once you’ve visited here, you’re going to want to stay here.

We’ve sold many properties to second homeowners from the Washington/Baltimore, Philadelphia, New York and other markets over the years for that very reason. They visit here, they love it here and they want to be here when the weather is warm and when the advantages of living at the Delaware beaches are on full display.

That, my friends, is now! So get out there and enjoy all that this fantastic area of the world has to offer.

There’s no better time to do it than during the Summer of 2016! Don’t let it slip away without enjoying it to it’s fullest.

Are you interested in a coastal Delaware beach home? Click HERE to check out homes that are currently on the market at or near the Delaware beaches.