Bethany Beach : Delaware

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What Bethany Beach is like for active adults

Bethany Beach is a very small and affluent beach town located between Rohobeth Beach and Ocean City (MD) in southern Delaware. The population is just under 1,000 although it swells to 15,000 during the summer holidays. Bethany Beach was founded by the Christian Missionary Society as a summer resort and Chatauqua-type summer resort.  It was dry until recently and even now the number of bars and hours of sale for alcohol are tightly regulated. The town has considerable resources, including a short boardwalk and restaurants. This area is popular both as a resort and as a retirement destination. It opened up when the Chesapeake Bay Bridge first opened in 1952.  Bethany Beach and nearby towns Lewes, South Bethany, Dewey, Rehoboth Beach, Fenwick Island comprise most of the Delaware shore resort area. Bethany Beach, South Bethany, and Fenwick Island are popularly known as "The Quiet Resorts".  Delaware is a desirable place to retire due to its tax-friendly status.

Photo of boardwalk courtesy of and per license of Wikipedia and Kit Conn.

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Where to Live & Real Estate Values

There are several active adult communities in Bethany Beach and nearby towns (see Active Communties link at top right). 
City-data reports the median home prices in late 2013 was about $550,000.  Millville and Ocean View are 2 neighboring communities just inland.

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What is special about this retirement community
This is a beautiful and quiet beach town.  Delaware Seashore State Park is immediately to the north of the town, a six mile-long barrier island. There is no state sales tax and property taxes are quite low. See our mini Delaware Retirement Guide for more.
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What is not special about this retirement community
Bethany Beach has been hit by a number of big storms including Hurricane Gloria in 1985 and a Nor'easter in 1962 that caused a lot of damage. Real estate prices are extraordinarily high.
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What kinds of people like retiring here
People looking for a quiet retirement on the Delaware shore might enjoy Bethany Beach and its surrounding towns. Nearby Rehoboth has a reputation as being very gay-friendly.
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Local economy is driven by
Tourism and retirees drive the Bethany Beach economy.
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Climate and Physical Environment
Bethany Beach is in extreme southern Delaware on the Atlantic Ocean.  The average July high temperature is 86 and the average January low is 28. The wettest month is August (5").
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Restaurants & Cultural Scene
Nature and the outdoors are a big part of Bethany Beach's culture. For more traditional culture a trip to Rehoboth Beach or Wilmington might be in order.
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Crime
Crime in Bethany Beach is very high, although none of it is violent, largely inflated by thefts and burglaries.
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Medical facilities
The nearest acute care hospitals are about 16 miles away in towns like Lewes and Berlin.
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Transportation

There is a trolley that runs during the summer months. When compared to other communities Bethany Beach is below average in walkability.

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Valuable Links
Wikipedia for Bethany Beach
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What people are saying about Bethany Beach

Bethany Beach
My sister owns a second home in Bethany Beach. Very family-oriented, and less than a three hour drive from the Washington DC area (assuming no traffic). Crowded during the summer, but a good selection of restaurants, nice beach, and a wonderful book store (I've done several book signings there) - Bethany Beach Books. Good place to consider for a second home, especially if it's within driving distance. Jan Cullinane, co-author, The New Retirement: The Ultimate Guide to the Rest of Your Life (Rodale)
Posted by jancullinane on January 26, 2010

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Facts about BETHANY BEACH
  • State: DE
  • Environment: Coastal,Small Town,Resort Community,
  • City Population: Less than 10,000
  • Median age of Population: 45-64
  • Avg Jan Temperature: 21-40
  • Avg July Temperature: 81+
  • Median HH Income: 60,001-80,000
  • Average Home Price (MLS): $500,001+
  • Annual Property Tax on a $200,000 house: Less than 2000
  • Total Crime Index: 111-120 (high)
  • Cost of Living Index: 121+ (very high)
  • Culture Index: 81-90 (low)
  • State Sales Tax: No
  • State Income Tax: Yes
  • Name of the Guide: boomer1

Can you add to or correct these Facts? Or do you have a photo of this community we could use? If so, please click on Edit these facts

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1. Overall Retirement Ratings Discuss

1. Rating: 1.0/5 ( 2 votes cast)

2. Expense:
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2. Rating: 4.0/5 ( 1 vote cast)

3. Taxes:
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3. Rating: 1.0/5 ( 1 vote cast)

4. Culture:
None to Cosmopolitan Discuss

4. Rating: 2.0/5 ( 1 vote cast)

5.Recreation:
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5. Rating: 5.0/5 ( 1 vote cast)

6. Transportation:
Boondocks to World Hub Discuss

6. Rating: 2.0/5 ( 1 vote cast)

7. Security:
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7. Rating: 3.0/5 ( 1 vote cast)

8. Medical Facilities:
None to Excellent Discuss

8. Rating: 2.5/5 ( 2 votes cast)

9. Political Situation:
Conservative to Liberal Discuss

9. Rating: 4.0/5 ( 2 votes cast)

10. Environmental:
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10. Rating: 4.0/5 ( 1 vote cast)