7 'Outside the Box' Experiences To Try This Summer at the Delaware and Maryland Beaches
If you live and/or play at the Delaware and Maryland beaches, you already know many of the things that make this area so great.
We have the eclectic restaurant scene, the small town charm, the tax-free shopping, the dozens of fantastic local festivals and, of course, all of the fun and excitement surrounding the beach and the boardwalks.
But today we’re going to tell you about a few adventures you can have when the urge to do something a bit different than the norm strikes here in the coastal region.
Some of the items on our list can be a bit dangerous, some will challenge your grey matter, some center on the water and some are just fun and/or unusual. But all seven items we’re going to preview here today promise one thing, and that’s a great time at the beaches, albeit in many different ways.
So let’s dive right into it, shall we? If you feel like stepping out of your comfort zone and doing something a little bit different here in the area, try these ideas on for size.
These are in no particular order…
Go Fly a Kite
Being the flattest state in the country, Delaware isn't necessarily known for having the best conditions for flying kites. But, the coastal area’s proximity to the sea makes up for it by featuring headwinds that make the activity fun and enjoyable to all.
You’ll see people flying kites at times on the beach. But if you really want to have a good time, head to some of the open spaces at Cape Henlopen State Park.
A good time to start is on Good Friday each year, when the Lewes Chamber of Commerce hosts the annual Great Delaware Kite Festival.
Be Part of the Crew on a 17th Century Tall Ship
Many don’t know this, but the Kalmar Nyckel, Delaware’s Tall Ship, is completely maintained and sailed via a volunteer crew. And you can actually join that crew, if you want to. No experience is necessary and all you need to do is take a training class offered in Wilmington, and you too can work aboard the ship.
If time constraints don’t allow you to do so, you can also take a trip aboard the 17th century tall ship and learn to work some of the jobs on the ship that way. The Kalmar Nyckel is docked in Lewes a couple of times each year, so keep an eye on the schedule and book your opportunity for a really unique experience on the Delaware Bay.
Visit an Actual Merman in Lewes
Now here’s something a bit out of the ordinary you can do right here in our own backyard. It’s not necessarily an “experience” like some of the others on our list, but where else can you go in the mid-Atlantic and see what is believed to be the remains of a real-life merman?
At the Zwaanendael Museum, on King’s Highway in Lewes, you can view the skeletal remains of what is said to be a merman that was brought back to shore by a Lewes sea captain many years ago.
The story came to be at a time when sea captains were returning from the newly opened ports of East Asia with tall tales of exotic, never-before-seen creatures, and at a time when people were trying to learn more about the science behind human origins.
Is the Delaware merman a joke or is it for real? Well, visit the museum and make your own conclusions.
Practice Saving a Drowning Man from the Sea
The United States Life-Saving Service existed for many years, not only on the Atlantic and Pacific coasts of the country, but also in the Gulf Coast and Great Lakes regions. One of the service’s chief responsibilities was rescuing people, mostly men in those days, who found themselves in a bit of a tight spot thanks to Mother Ocean.
One way they did this was via an apparatus called the breeches buoy, which allowed surfmen to rescue shipwreck victims from the shore. And a couple of times a year, at the Indian River Life-Saving Station on Route 1 north of Bethany Beach, you can actually watch and even take part in a rescue drill using this very method.
Keep an eye on their website for dates and times, so you can experience this true coastal Delaware experience that you’re not going to find many other places. There is usually a nominal fee associated with the demonstration, in the neighborhood of $5.
Be a Pirate
Okay, so this one is more for the kids than the adults. But hey, they need some fun and exciting things to do as well, right?
It’s only open during the warm weather season, of course, but the Pirates of Lewes Expeditions is a fun way for your kids to enjoy the swashbuckling pirate adventure of a lifetime.
Featuring water cannons, painted faces, treasure maps and much more, the “Sea Gypsy” sails out of Anglers Marina and the experience generally costs around $25.
If you want your kids to feel what it was like to be a pirate, you’ll want to consider this fun adventure.
Pretend You’re Iron Man
Feel like shooting 30 feet into the air above the waters of coastal Delaware and Maryland? Well now you can, thanks to the relatively new concept of “water jet packs.”
Pumping water through a jet ski engine, the person wearing the jetpack shoots up into the air and flies around similar to, well Iron Man.
So if you feel like getting an adrenaline rush, this is a pretty good option while visiting the Delaware and Maryland beaches.
There are a few places in our coastal regions where you can partake in this wild and wacky exercise. Just do an online search to find one in your general area.
Do Some Stand Up Paddleboarding
This experience has become much more popular in recent years, but it makes our list because it’s still relatively unique to our area. I mean, you need a lot of water to do it, right? And the coastal region certainly has that in excess.
And for a real unique experience, consider doing this adventure at night, when the underside of the paddleboards are lit up and add an extra dimension to the fun.
There are several places in coastal Delaware where you can depart on a stand up paddleboarding (SUP) adventure, including Delmarva Board Sport Adventures, Delaware Paddlesports and Dewey Beach Watersports.
Alright, so there you have it – seven great choices when you want to do something a little “different” here at the Delaware and Maryland beaches.
Have a great day everyone!