Delaware : Safety by CityUnited States - safety as a country Delaware - state review
Rehoboth Beach, Delaware, is an absolute gem on the coastline that offers an unforgettable experience.
You might raise an eyebrow at a beach… in Delaware?
This community is so inviting that even President Joe Biden has a home here.
The beaches are pristine, with a vibrant boardwalk alongside it, with a charming small-town atmosphere.
Rehoboth Beach boasts miles of stunning shoreline, starting at Cape Henlopen, where you can take a ferry to New Jersey, all the way past the town limits to Coin Beach.
The local shops and eateries remind you of an era gone by, with overstuffed ice cream cones and French fries famous for the refusal to offer ketchup with them.
Rehoboth Beach also prides itself on its renowned diverse dining scene; from fresh seafood to farm-to-table delights, there’s a plethora of options to satisfy every palate.
Additionally, Rehoboth Beach hosts numerous events and festivals throughout the year, adding to its vibrant energy.
Whether you’re interested in art, music, or local traditions, there’s always something happening to keep you entertained.
While Rehoboth is primarily a summer destination, the entire carpet doesn’t roll up in the off-season.
In fact, it’s becoming a popular four-season destination for those who want the beach without the big crowds.
Warnings & Dangers in Rehoboth Beach
OVERALL RISK : LOW
There's a low risk here, with plenty of fun and family-friendly activities for everyone. As an upscale community, you can also count on an engaged community with tight security.
TRANSPORT & TAXIS RISK : LOW
DART is the public bus system here that has a special First State Beach bus route to all at the top stops in Rehoboth Beach. The Jolly Trolley is available seasonally between Rehoboth and Dewey beaches. Water ferries, water taxis, road taxis, limo rentals, and rideshares are also available. You can also rent a car to explore on your own time.
PICKPOCKETS RISK : LOW
I get a little suspicious when a beach community has no pickpockets or purse snatching the year before, but Rehoboth Beach has only seen eight of them since 2011. That's a low risk.
NATURAL DISASTERS RISK : MEDIUM
This beach faces the broadside of the ocean with no barrier, so it's vulnerable to tropical weather and hurricanes. Flooding caused by storm surge is another risk, with severe thunderstorms causing summer dangers since the beach is focused on being outside. Winter can bring nor'easters that churn the water and bring more risks, including snow, ice, and heavy rain. DEMA (Delaware Emergency Management Agency) has all the information you need about weather risks here.
MUGGING RISK : LOW
This is a low risk with no more than three in a year going back to 2011. Most years have no robberies. It's still smart to not walk around at night alone tipsy, but you're in one of the safer beach communities on the eastern seaboard.
TERRORISM RISK : LOW
Normally, there'd be a low risk in this charming beach community, but the President of the United States having a home here will inevitably make it a medium risk when he's in town. A controversial $500,000 is built around the house, but this isn't like the Kennedy Compound on Cape Cod or Walker's Point, where the Presidential Bush family visits. It's in a "normal" neighborhood, by Rehoboth standards, with neighbors just a stone's throw away.
SCAMS RISK : MEDIUM
If you're renting a home, treat it with a medium risk. Rental scams happen here all too often. You can find rental home scam advice from the Rehoboth Beach Police Department, but if you start with a local rental agency vetted by the Chamber of Commerce or Better Business Bureau, you'll be able to avoid a lot of those hassles. Any deal that seems too good to be true always is.
WOMEN TRAVELERS RISK : LOW
There's a low risk here overall, but remember your standard safety guidance, like staying aware of your surroundings in shopping areas, not leaving items in plain sight in your vehicle, and not meeting strangers and then going to private places. Stay in well-lit group settings.
TAP WATER RISK : LOW
The 2022 Water Quality Report shows full compliance and no violations. To check the beach water quality status, the Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control (DNREC) monitors water quality at 15 locations along this beach. Signs will be posted as well if there's an advisory or warning.
Safest Places to Visit in Rehoboth Beach
Rehoboth Beach is the name of the town and the beach, so you can use the town’s website for visitor information and more practical information like where to park.
Visit Rehoboth is the name of the official tourism site.
You can get a free beach guide on that website without having to give any personal information.
This is one of those locations where I won’t be able to scratch the surface of the sheer number of things to do.
Rest assured, all the beach activities like surfing lessons, parasailing, SUP rentals, and fishing charters are here.
I’m going to breeze past those and dive into more specific attractions.
You also have your quintessential tourist spots like arcades, mini-golf, and amusement rides.
Funland has been welcoming guests since 1962 and has 20 rides with options for all ages, carnival games, a haunted house, and so much more history behind the glimmering lights.
Jungle Jim’s is the largest waterpark in the state, albeit the state is pretty small.
The Indian River Life-Saving Station Museum is a great place to learn history before we had the Coast Guard.
These rescuers lived by the motto, “You have to go out, but you don’t have to come back,” and were famous for diving into stormy waters to help save people on the many shipwrecks on this coastline.
That museum is located at Delaware Seashore State Park, with six miles of ocean coastline and 20 more miles on the bay.
This is a popular place for camping, crabbing, beachcombing, and hiking.
Tanger Outlets on Route 1/Coastal Highway has some of the top brands at discount prices, and that’s on top of Delaware not having any sales tax.
Surrounding states will have a sales tax of around 6%.
If New Hampshire is part of your trip, you can enjoy tax-free shopping there too!
You can explore several parks in this area too.
Cape Henlopen State Park is home to the Fort Miles Historic Area, which was a World War II defense point.
There’s a nature center here with a touch tank to get up close to sea creatures or to schedule a guided program or tour.
There are four lighthouses in this region:
- Fenwick Lighthouse
- Breakwater Lighthouse
- Harbor of Refuge Lighthouse
- Mispillion Lighthouse
The Southern Delaware visitors’ website has a self-guided Lighthouse Trail tour with information about the availability to climb the tower(s).
Renting a boat can get you closer to more lighthouses.
Places to Avoid in Rehoboth Beach
As much as I love writing about safe towns and exploring all the options for you, I get worried that I give a sense that it’s TOO safe and guests will let their guards down.
No town is safe enough to avoid crime.
Keep common sense and situational awareness.
Don’t walk on the beach alone at night.
Don’t drink too much and then get a ride from a stranger or let someone you just met walk you home.
There aren’t bad parts of town here, but there are bad decisions that could increase the risk.
You might have seen the shark that washed up on Rehoboth Beach in 2023 go viral on social media.
While that’s a story for another, it does show you that there are sharks in this water.
A purple flag will be up if there have been sharks spotted, but it can also mean jellyfish.
Always heed beach flags and don’t be a maverick and go in the water if there’s a red warning flag.
Avoid trying to surf in a busy area if it’s your first time.
Avoid going too far offshore if you don’t have the skill to come back.
Avoid trying to swim against a rip tide.
Go with the flow and swim parallel to the shore until you’re out of the rip tide.
Don’t forget sunscreen here.
If you’re going to the marsh areas, bring bug spray.
The biting flies of New England are infamous.
Safety Tips for Traveling to Rehoboth Beach
- Rehoboth Beach does have its own police department, with an increase in officers each summer. You can find them on Facebook @rehobothbeachpolice.
- The police department offers two forms on its website where you can report anonymous crime tips or suspicious activity. Since this is such a large tourist area, it’s so helpful when your report things that are concerning. Never assume it’s none of your business, but also don’t intervene. Let the police handle it.
- Shoplifting is a problem in this town, which is another situation to avoid. Don’t confront a shoplifter. You can let the store manager know, but don’t be surprised if they won’t take action. Too many shoplifting incidents have led to violence that it’s not always worth chasing down $50 worth of stuff.
- Parking meters are used here from May 15 through September 15. If you don’t park at a meter, you’ll need to buy a permit. Use the Park Mobile app to get more parking information, and look at the Parking Information section of the city’s website to get updated parking maps for the current season. Please note that Deauville Beach is permit-only.
- The beaches of Rehoboth Beach are off-limits between 1:00 am and 5:00 am. You cannot leave your belongings on the beach overnight.
- Dogs aren’t allowed on the beach from May 1 through September 30. October 1 through April 30, leashed dogs can be on the beach. There is no off-leash part of the beach.
- You can learn more about lifeguard stands and hours on the Rehoboth Beach Patrol website. This is also where you can get a beach wheelchair if you have accessibility needs. Call 302-227-2280 for more information about how to borrow a beach wheelchair and where the accessible locations are.
- Rehoboth Beach is a bicycle-friendly community, but there are rules and restrictions for everyone’s safety. For example, bicycles are only allowed on the boardwalk between 5:00 am and 10:00 am in summer. More information is on the city’s website.
- If you want to go fishing or clamming, you’ll need a permit or license from DNREC. There’s a new online option called Digital DNREC. There are three locations in Rehoboth where you can get those permits and licenses as well.
- Sign up for Rehoboth Beach Beacon alerts to get emergency information about severe weather, closures, dangerous marine life, major accidents, or other life-saving information. This is no longer offered through the CodeRED system. To sign up, text REHOBCH to 888777. You can also create a Nixle account to see all updates of emergency responders.
So... How Safe Is Rehoboth Beach Really?
Rehoboth Beach was a town I found a little too good to be true statistically, but digging deeper into the data shows not only a low crime rate for those who live there but a safe place to visit as well.
On top of that, theft has been cut in half since 2011, while violent crime rarely reaches above 10 incidents.
As of 2023, shoplifting was one of the biggest issues making headlines in Rehoboth.
This is a problem we’re seeing across America, where juveniles group together and rush a store to steal as much as they can in a “mob.”
While the average income here is nearly double the Delaware average ($138,000 vs. $73,000), burglaries have been on a decline since 2012, when the number peaked at 39 incidents.
In 2021, there were two burglaries.
This is a community where security is tight, residents are engaged in the safety of the community, and people come to seek a family-friendly beach adventure.
This isn’t a party town by any means.
You can get a little more of that in Ocean City or head up to the Jersey Shore.
Rehoboth Beach might be the best-kept beach secret in America.
How Does Rehoboth Beach Compare?
- Visas - International visitors need a visa that's designated for the purpose of the trip. Examples include tourist, work, or student visas. A valid passport that isn't within six months of expiring is required too. You'll need to show ID when you go through Customs, but you can travel between the states freely.
- Currency - Only the U.S. Dollar can be used here. In such a big tourist area, using a credit card or easy mobile payment option helps protect against fraud and keeps you from pulling your wallet out and counting cash. Exchange currency at your home bank or a local branch to get the lowest fees.
- Weather - The beaches here won't get as hot as the ones in Florida, but average temperatures still top 85°(F) in July. Bring water shoes to protect your feet from the sand and ocean floor. Spring and fall can fluctuate, but with a beach breeze, you'll want a hoodie or jacket. Bundle up in winter.
- Airports - You can get to Philadelphia or Washington D.C. in two hours by car or shuttle. The closest airport is in Ocean City, Maryland, just an hour away.
- Travel Insurance - Since this oceanfront paradise can get nightmare storms, it's smart to protect your trip investment against hurricanes and other storms that cause delays, cancelations, and closures.
Rehoboth Beach Weather Averages (Temperatures)
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