The mayors of the Washington area’s nearest beach towns are preparing for what they hope will be a big summer season along the Mid-Atlantic ocean. One reason for their optimism is the expectation that Northern vacationers may be looking for an alternate beach while rebuilding continues on New Jersey and New York beaches hit by Hurricane Sandy last October. First up, though, is Memorial Day weekend. The forecast looks good: sunny, dry, and not too hot.
Mayors obviously have to be advocates for their communities, but even mayors can have favorite things. We checked in with the mayors of Lewes and Rehoboth Beach, Delaware, and Ocean City, Maryland, to ask for a shortlist of what they’d recommend to visitors, whether first-timers or regulars.
Lewes mayor Jim Ford, who is in his tenth year as mayor, named these favorites:
- Ice cream at King’s Homemade Ice Cream or 2 Dips, or soft serve at Dairy Queen.
- The Lightship Overfalls and its park. The Overfalls is one of only 17 remaining lightships built between 1820 and 1952.
- The shopping on Second and Front streets.
- While he recommends the bay beach, Lewes Beach, he says, “If you want the ocean, Henlopen State Park is my favorite.”
- Restaurants: the Buttery, Striper Bites, Agave, Half Full, and the Rose & Crown.
Ocean City mayor Ken Meehan, who has been mayor since 2006, named these favorites:
- A morning bike ride on the boardwalk. It’s two and a half miles long and has just been rebuilt as part of a planned infrastructure improvement.
- Taking his grandson to Trimpers Rides and Amusements to “let him ride the same rides my kids rode when they were [young],” followed by a visit to Alaska Stand for hamburgers and Thrashers for French fries.
- A late lunch outside on the deck at Fager’s Island Restaurant and Bar, or an evening trip to catch the sunset—“a relaxing way to enjoy the bay front.”
- A crab feast at home for family and friends with steamed crabs from the Crab Bag or Crabs-to-Go.
- A round of golf at Eagles Landing or one of the other 16 championship golf courses “all within a half hour of Ocean City.”
Rehoboth Beach mayor Sam Cooper, who says he has lived in Rehoboth all his life and is marking his 23rd year as mayor, named these favorites:
- The rides, games, and arcade at Funland. “A lot of memories from my childhood.”
- A morning walk on the beach before it becomes crowded. “One of the great things about Rehoboth is that the beach is so accessible.”
- Dos Locos Mexican restaurant for a shrimp quesadilla or any item that has been stone-grilled. “The margaritas are to die for.”
- Dolle’s Candyland for saltwater taffy.
- A visit to the Rehoboth Beach Museum, which is six years old and run by the Rehoboth Beach Historical Society. “They always have interesting exhibitions.”