Totally agree with the above statements. I have been a year-round resident of the "Quiet Resorts" for the past two years, and they aren't too darn quiet in the summer! I am a northern DE native...and even I cannot take the traffic at times! But...after labor Day.... it's heaven here. I agree about the riptides...I am a serious boogie boarder, and I get caught in them. Never fight it..you will get worn out.
The day we visited Bethany Beach, there was a strong wind blowing and you could see there was a lot of wave action, though no white caps. Bethany Beach provides lifeguards up & down the beach which is great. However, read the beach sign about surviving rip tides and use caution!! I was brought up around the Chesapeake Bay and local beaches, so I don't try to outsmart the ocean. Rip tides are the extremely strong "undertow" or underwater currents which can quickly pull even a strong, experienced swimmer far from shore and possible drowning.
I could tell that the water was fairly clear for about 4- 5 yards from the beach and then the water turned dark so I know that the beach shelf dropped off about that point. Except where the Gulf Stream flows, the Atlantic Ocean is dark water unlike the Caribbean and some parts of the Pacific. (This is obviously not good snorkeling water!) Rip tide undertows are extremely strong underwater currents that can be exceptionally strong even in knee-deep water. If you are caught in a rip tide, do not attempt to swim againt the rip tide directly toward the beach as you will tire quickly and fatigue can lead to drowning. Swim in a horizontal or parallel direction to the beach heading toward the beach gradually until you are out of the rip tide current. This will cause less fatigue and hopefully save your life!
Bethany Beach posts beach rules, and information about rip tides. Never swim alone and it's not a good idea for children to be in the surf alone at any time.
There are lots of rules, lots of cops and lots of tickets for parking is very difficult. You have to put quarters in the meter all day, or buy a permit.
No public drinking.
Once schools start letting out for summer vacation, the travelers from the bigger, northern cities fill up the roads. They are usually in a hurry to get the the beach. There is alot of road rage along with alot of road construction.
Most people visiting the beach for the first time do not know what a rip tide is. A rip tide is when the incoming waves create an underwater sandbar close to shore, and the waves push more and more water in between the sandbar and the shore until a section of this sandbar collapses. All the excess water is forced through this gap, creating an extremely strong but narrow current away from the shore. In fact, rip tides are so strong that trying to swim back to shore against the rip tide current will only tire you out and make it that much more difficult for you to survive. Rip tides are narrow enough that if you swim parallel to shore, you can easily escape the current and then swim back to shore. Do not try to keep swimming to shore, you will tire yourself out and probably drown.