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Fenwick Island State Park

Sussex, Delaware

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Fenwick Island State Park

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  • A couple enjoys the beach with their dog.- Fenwick Island State Park
  • A view of the beach looking north.- Fenwick Island State Park
  • A view of the beach looking south.- Fenwick Island State Park
  • Taking pictures of the ocean during sunset.- Fenwick Island State Park
  • A seagull peruses the sand for a meal.- Fenwick Island State Park
  • Golden dunes line the beach.- Fenwick Island State Park
  • People enjoying the quiet beach during sunset.- Fenwick Island State Park
  • Waves roll in from the Atlantic Ocean.- Fenwick Island State Park
  • More dunes along the coast.- Fenwick Island State Park
  • Walking to the beach from the parking lot.- Fenwick Island State Park
  • Waves slowly roll onto the shore.- Fenwick Island State Park
  • An ADA-accessible walkway to the beach.- Fenwick Island State Park
  • The walkway covered with sand after a recent storm.- Fenwick Island State Park
  • Facilities at the park.- Fenwick Island State Park
  • A dune crossing from the parking lot.- Fenwick Island State Park
Overview + Weather
Pros: 
Open beaches.
Cons: 
None.
Region:
Sussex, DE
Congestion: 
Moderate
Pets allowed: 
Yes
Year round: 
Yes
Parking Pass: 
Park entrance fee
Preferable Season(s):
Spring, Summer, Fall
Current Local Weather:
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Adventure Description

Adventure Description

Contributor

Fenwick Island State Park is 3 miles of soft sandy beach located on the Atlantic Ocean. The relative tranquility of this beach is in stark contrast to the surrounding beaches of Bethany, Rehoboth and Ocean City, and is great for a more natural beach feel.

The park runs parallel to Coastal Highway, and while the main entrance to the beach is through a paved parking lot, there are multiple other entrances along the highway for off-road vehicles to drive onto the beach. Further up the highway on the bay side is a public boat ramp, perfect for a day of fishing or kayaking on the bay.

The beaches of Fenwick Island State Park are typical of a barrier island, which is what the majority of surrounding beaches are as well. What sets the park apart from the surrounding beaches is its lack of development; Fenwick remains in a natural state with windswept dunes and tall sea grass lining the shore. Another item that makes Fenwick Island State Park different from its neighboring beaches is its dedicated surfing area. The beaches are guarded Memorial Day weekend through Labor Day weekend.

The land that is now a state park was once considered too volatile to develop, as barrier islands tend to be transformed by large storms within very short time frames. During World War II, however, the land was used as part of a coastal defense system, with the remnants of watchtowers still dotting the coast. It became a state park in 1966.

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