Fenwick Island is a beach town in Sussex County, Delaware located north of Ocean City, Maryland, just over the Delaware border. The town is part of Delaware's beach resort area. Like Ocean City, it sits on a barrier island between the Atlantic Ocean and Assawoman Bays.
Fenwick Island (pronounced phonetically) is a beach town along the Atlantic Ocean in Sussex County in the southern part of the state of Delaware. The town is located on a barrier island and is home to several beach houses and hotels where visitors stay. Fenwick Island is located just north of Ocean City, Maryland and is a continuation of the development from that town. Fenwick Island, along with Bethany Beach and South Bethany to the north, is along a part of the Delaware coast known as "The Quiet Resorts" as it has a more laid-back atmosphere compared to Rehoboth Beach and Dewey Beach to the north and Ocean City to the south. Many visitors to Fenwick Island come from other parts of Delaware and the Baltimore-Washington Metropolitan Area. The peak time for tourists to come to Fenwick Island is between Memorial Day weekend in late May and Labor Day weekend in early September.
|Climate chart (explanation)|
Fenwick Island has a humid subtropical climate with four seasons. Summers are hot and humid, with highs averaging in the 80s and lows averaging in the 60s. Summer temperatures occasionally rise to the 90s or 100s. Winters are cool to cold, with highs averaging in the low to mid 40s and lows averaging in the upper 20s to low 30s. Winter temperatures often drop below freezing and sometimes below zero. Spring and fall can be variable, usually with milder weather. Fenwick Island averages 45.47 inches of precipitation a year, which is fairly evenly distributed throughout the year. The area does see snow in the winter months, but far less than inland locations. In the warmer months, the area does experience thunderstorms, some of which can be severe. Fenwick Island is prone to tropical storms and hurricanes from the Atlantic basin in the late summer and early fall, but typically only receives the remnants of such storms as they typically weaken by the time they reach this latitude.
From northern Delaware, follow Delaware Route 1 south to Milford and take the exit to U.S. Route 113 south. Follow U.S. Route 113 south and turn left onto Delaware Route 54 east in Selbyville. Delaware Route 54 heads into Fenwick Island. While you may use Delaware Route 1 south all the way to Fenwick Island, there is a lot of traffic lights and congestion in the Rehoboth Beach area, and therefore using U.S. Route 113 bypasses a lot of the congestion.
From the Chesapeake Bay Bridge and the Baltimore/Washington D.C. area, follow U.S. Route 50 east and turn left onto Maryland Route 404 east in Wye Mills. Continue along Maryland Route 404 east to the Delaware border, where the road becomes Delaware Route 404. Follow Delaware Route 404 east to Georgetown and turn right onto U.S. Route 113 south. Follow U.S. Route 113 south and turn left onto Delaware Route 54 east in Selbyville. Delaware Route 54 heads into Fenwick Island.
The closest airport with commercial air service to Fenwick Island is the Salisbury-Ocean City-Wicomico Regional Airport (SBY IATA) near Salisbury, Maryland about 35 miles to the southwest. This airport is served by American Eagle flights from American Airlines hubs in Charlotte and Philadelphia. Rental car service is available at this airport. Visitors may also fly into Baltimore-Washington International Airport (BWI IATA) near Baltimore or Philadelphia International Airport (PHL IATA) in Philadelphia, which are served by a wider selection of airlines. From here, you can rent a car and drive to Fenwick Island.
The closest train station to Fenwick Island is Wilmington Station in Wilmington about 110 miles to the north. Wilmington Station is served by Amtrak trains operating on the Northeast Corridor between Washington, D.C. and Boston along with some long-distance trains, and SEPTA Regional Rail commuter trains running along the Wilmington/Newark Line from Center City Philadelphia. Rental car services are available at the station. From Wilmington Station, rent a car or take DART First State buses to Fenwick Island.
Between May 15 and September 15 from 9AM to 4PM, parking permits are required on all streets in Fenwick Island. Parking permits may be purchased from the Public Safety Building and are not sold in advance or by mail. Visitors may purchase a yellow parking permit which enables them to park on side streets. When parking, the permit should be hung on the rear-view mirror. Permits cost $2.50 for an hourly permit (minimum of 2 hours), $20 for a daily permit, $120 for a weekly permit, and $400 for a seasonal permit for the whole summer. It costs $200 to replace a lost permit. Parking at beach ends east of Bunting Avenue is only available for holders of blue parking permits, which are only sold to people who own property in Fenwick Island; violators will be ticketed.
- 1 Fenwick Island Lighthouse, 103 146th St. May-Jun: Sa-Su 9AM-noon Jul-Aug: F-Su 9AM-noon Sep: Sa-Su 9AM-noon. Lighthouse completed in 1859 that is home to a museum and gift shop.
- DiscoverSea Shipwreck Museum, 708 Coastal Hwy, ☏ +1 302-539-9366, toll-free: +1-888-743-5524. Jun-Aug: daily 11AM-8PM; Sept: daily 11AM-3:30PM; Oct-Dec Sa Su 11AM-3:30PM; Jan-Mar: closed; Apr May Sa Su 11AM-3:30PM. Its collection of shipwreck and recovered artifacts is one of the largest in the Mid-Atlantic and contains shipwreck regional and worldwide artifacts. It houses about 10,000 artifacts at all times, while the other 80% are rotated throughout museum exhibits around the world.
- Coastal Kayak, 36840 Coastal Hwy, ☏ +1 302-539-7999. Waterfront location offering rentals for kayaks, sailboats, and paddleboards along with lessons and guided ecotours
- 1 Fenwick Island State Park, ☏ +1 302 227-2800. Three-mile stretch of barrier island along Delaware's Atlantic coast. 344 acres of peaceful ocean and bay shoreline. The white sand beaches gradually slope into the Atlantic, creating a broad swimming area. Lifeguards patrol the swimming beach daily from Memorial Day weekend through Labor Day, 9AM to 5PM. The modern bathhouse offers showers and changing rooms, a gift shop, and a snack food concession. During the summer months, umbrellas, chairs, and rafts may be rented on the beach. Surfers can catch the big waves at Fenwick Island, as the park has one of the few beaches in Delaware with a designated surfing area. The ocean beaches are also a favorite spot for surf fishing. Three dune crossings provide fishing access for vehicles with the proper permit to drive onto the beach. Surf fishing vehicle permits may be purchased at the bathhouse gift shop during the summer, or at the nearby park office at Delaware Seashore State Park. $5/day for a vehicle registered in Delaware, $10/day for other vehicles.
- Freeman Stage at Bayside, 31750 Lake View Dr, Selbyville, ☏ +1 302-436-3015. Open-air venue that offers a variety of performances in dance, music, theatre, and kids' shows
- Golf Down Under, DE-54 (Route 54 & Coastal Hwy), ☏ +1 443-497-1931. Miniature golf course with an Australian Outback theme. Free ice cream offered for all-day play.
- Shark's Cove Marina, 38921 Madison Ave, ☏ +1 302-436-8500. Marina that offers a shop for parasailing, boat rentals, kayaking, paddle boards, and banana boats
- Viking Amusements and Thunder Lagoon Waterpark, 38960 Virginia Ave (Route 1 and Route 54), ☏ +1 302-539-1644. 18-hole miniature golf courses, a go-kart track, Thunder Lagoon Waterpark, and various concessions in its little Viking Village and Boardwalk, including pizza, burgers, beach fries, funnel cakes and ice cream. Waterpark 2 hours/4 hours: adults $25/$20, children under 42″ $10/$13, seniors 55+ $15/$18.
- 1 [formerly dead link] The Bookend Cafe, 300 Coastal Highway, ☏ +1 302-537-2665. Books, specialty coffee, unique gifts, and free wifi.
- 2 [dead link] Sea Shell City, 708 Coastal Hwy, toll-free: +1-888-743-5524. Since 1978.
- Catch 54, 38931 Madison Ave, Selbyville, ☏ +1 302-436-8600. Waterfront restaurant that features Atlantic seafood, steaks, and cocktails
- Dirty Harry's, 100 Coastal Hwy, ☏ +1 302-539-3020. American restaurant featuring home cooking
- Fenwick Crab House, 100 Coastal Hwy, ☏ +1 302-539-2500. Classic and casual crab house
- [dead link] Fin Alley, 300 Coastal Hwy, ☏ +1 302-539-3526. Waterfront seafood restaurant featuring dinner specials and happy hour.
- The Flying Fish Cafe & Sushi Bar, 300 Coastal Hwy, Unit 7, ☏ +1 302-581-0217. Asian restaurant serving sushi and tapas
- Harpoon Hanna's, 39064 Harpoon Rd (Route 54 and the Bay), ☏ +1 302-539-3095. open until 1AM. Waterfront restaurant known for seafood and steaks. Bread and muffins are world-famous. Rated in the Top 100 Independent Restaurant & Bars in the US by Restaurant Hospitality Magazine. $10-$30.
- 1 Just Hooked, 1500 Coastal Hwy, ☏ +1 302-581-0098, email@example.com. Su-Th 11:30AM-9PM; F Sa 11:30AM-10PM. Seafood, steak, chicken. Lunch $11-26, dinner mains $21-34.
- Kohr Bros, 37077 Coastal Hwy. Custard and ice cream place that is a beach favorite
- Mancini's Brick Oven Pizzeria and Restaurant, 907 Coastal Hwy. Comfortable and family-owned trattoria that features Neapolitan pizza cooked in an 800-degree oven
- Nantuckets Restaurant, 601 Coastal Hwy, ☏ +1 302-539-2607. Seafood restaurant offering fine dining. Also has a tap room.
- One Coastal, 101 Coastal Hwy, ☏ +1 302-537-4790. Seafood restaurant that features a juice bar and brunch. Offers savory meals using farm-fresh ingredients.
- Ropewalk, 700 Coastal Hwy, ☏ +1 302-581-0153. Seafood restaurant offering items such as local oysters, scallops, and fresh fish.
- Warren's Station Family Restaurant, 1406 Ocean Hwy, ☏ +1 302-539-7156. Seasonal family-friendly restaurant that serves traditional American cuisine. Alcohol-free.
- Atlantic Coast Inn, 37558 Lighthouse Rd, ☏ +1 302-539-7673, toll-free: +1 800-432-8038. Inn within walking distance to the beach
- 1 Fenwick Islander Motel, 500 South Carolina Ave. 63 Efficency units with color cable TV, Wifi, kitchen & baths, all rooms have air conditioning, refrigerator or range and a microwave oven, swimming pool, private balconies, daily maid service, rooms and ramps for people with disabilities. $50-200.
- Fenwick Towers Condominiums, 40126 Fenwick Towers Rd, ☏ +1 302-539-6087. Oceanfront condominiums offering a quiet beach and a family-oriented setting.
- Lost Lands RV Park, 37421 Bearhole Rd, Selbyville, ☏ +1 302-242-8912. Campground with water/sewer hook-up, bathhouse, and nature trails
- Treasure Beach RV Park & Campground, 37291 Lighthouse Rd, West Fenwick Island, ☏ +1 302-436-8001. Campground near the beach and water activities. Has a camp store.
The following realtors offer vacation rentals in Fenwick Island:
- Coldwell Banker Vacations, 39682 Sunrise Ct, Bethany Beach. Seasonal, weekly, and mini-week rentals
- Long and Foster Vacation Rentals, 37156 Rehoboth Ave, Rehoboth Beach, ☏ +1 302-227-3821. Seasonal, weekly, and weekend rentals, flexible checkout days
- Ocean City - Beach town immediately south of Fenwick Island that has 10 miles of beaches, a 3-mile long boardwalk, arcades, amusements, shopping, dining, and nightlife
- Bethany Beach - Beach town to the north with a small boardwalk and downtown area, also near Delaware Seashore State Park
- Rehoboth Beach - Beach town to the north with a 1-mile long boardwalk, restaurants, shops, and outlet stores
|Routes through Fenwick Island|
|Lewes ← Bethany Beach ←||N S||→ becomes → Ocean City → END|