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Exclusive | Insider Guide: Rehoboth Beach Pride

Exclusive | Insider Guide: Rehoboth Beach Pride

Rehoboth is popular with lesbians and gays from Washington, D.C., Baltimore, Philadelphia], Richmond and increasingly New York and New Jersey , who escape their urban confines to frolic by the sea.

This Delaware beach community is a resort town marked by a wide expanse of beach, tree-lined streets and old houses. During the summer months, the town comes alive as the population swells to roughly 50,000 -- many times the winter population of 1,500. Its summer residents often refer to it as the "Key West" of the mid-Atlantic. With its quaint shops, it is also reminiscent of New Hope, PA. Rehoboth is popular with lesbians and gays from Washington, D.C., Baltimore, Philadelphia], Richmond and increasingly New York and New Jersey , who escape their urban confines to frolic by the sea. The southern Delaware resort reflects D.C.'s conservatism and preppiness to some degree, and offers, like Provincetown , a more wholesome, less sexually focused retreat than Palm Springs or South Beach . You can expect to be charmed by the boardwalk, seaside shops, good restaurants and fun nightlife.

Beachside Pride
Discover the welcoming gay community at Delaware Pride (Saturday, September 15, 2007; 302-378-6524; At this laid-back, one-day event, Rehoboth Beach gives a nod to its rainbow brethren without pretensions, inviting visitors from up and down the coast to stay as long as they like among the city's quaint attractions.

Hot tickets
For heart-pounding exhilaration, nothing beats an amusement park filled with queer thrill-seekers. Annual Gay Days at Six Flags New Jersey (Friday, September 14, 2007; 6 p.m. - 1 a.m.; Six Flags Theme Park; Jackson, NJ; is open exclusively to the gay and gay-friendly communities. A bus charter trip from Rehoboth Beach is scheduled; contact coordinator Kenn Miller, 302-395-1698.

Delaware Pride Festival (Saturday, September 15, 2007, noon-6 p.m.; Cape Henlopen State Park and Gordon's Pond State Park) celebrates its 10th year with live music, drag, and fun for the whole Family.

Appropriately named, band September (Saturday, September 15, 2007; 12:15 p.m.; Cape Henlopen State Park and Gordon's Pond State Park; kicks off the early fall festival with a mixture of rock, alt, and acoustic music that's sure to set an energetic pace.

Insider Tip
Poodle Beach, just south of the Boardwalk, near Queen Street, is the "circuit" beach, very popular with younger gay people who cram into a three-block area at the south end of the boardwalk. Go early to secure your 6' x 3' plot of sand. Beachgoers can rent umbrellas and chairs right on the beach, and plenty of refreshment stands are within easy reach along the boardwalk. It is the last beach in Rehoboth before you enter mostly straight Dewey Beach.

North Shores charges a $5 parking fee per car, and is much quieter than Poodle. It is primarily a lesbian beach, but also attracts slightly older, less "sceney" men who tend to gather to the left of the jetty. Enter the beach from the parking lot as far from the entrance as possible. The jetty itself is jokingly referred to as Indecision Point since it divides the men's beach from the women's beach.

The Silver Lake Guesthouse (133 Silver Lake Dr; 800-842-2115 or 302-226-2115;; $140+) is a gay-owned B&B in a tranquil setting overlooking Silver Lake and the ocean. Most of the 14 rooms have private decks some with lovely lake and ocean views. All rooms have private baths and cable TV. Silver Lake caters to a nice mix of gay clientele but tends to host mostly men, with women welcome. Only 10 minutes away on foot, it's the closest gay guesthouse to Poodle Beach. The third-floor common roof deck with lake and ocean views is popular for late-afternoon sunning and cocktails and a lakefront pier and dock extends 40 feet onto Silver Lake.

Located in town, the Sea Witch Manor Inn & Spa (71 Lake Ave; 302-226-9482 or 866-732-9482;; $325+) is a lesbian-owned Victorian property, quaintly furnished and bursting with antiques. Room amenities include private balconies and private baths some with Jacuzzi tubs. The owners of the Sea Witch have added two adjacent properties, Bewitched and Bedazzled.

The Shore Inn (703 Rehoboth Ave; 302-227-8487 or 800-597-8899;; $130+) is a gay-owned B&B for men with 14 rooms, located about a mile from the beach, and five blocks from the downtown bars and restaurants. Rooms have private bath, cable TV and refrigerator. Premises include hot tub, pool and pleasant sundeck. Continental breakfast is served daily with Friday and Saturday happy hours hosted by the owners.

La La Land (22 Wilmington Ave; 302-227-3887;; $26-35) serves eclectic, creative cuisine in a romantic, purple-hued atmosphere. Their little-known back bar, surrounded by a bamboo forest, is a great out-of-the-way place for drinks.

Cloud 9 (234 Rehoboth Ave; 302-226-1999; $21-31) is a fun eatery serving gourmet pizzas, pasta specialties and more. It's perfect for either fine dining or a quick, short meal, and now open year-round. There is some spillover of atmosphere from the popular bar attached to it, which is one of the only places to dance within city limits.

Partners Bistro & Piano Bar (404 Rehoboth Ave; 302/226-0207;; $11-25), formerly Harlow's, has live entertainment nightly and tempting happy hours that pack in the crowds from 3-8 p.m.

The Frogg Pond (First Ave, at Rehoboth Ave; 302-227-2234; is a sports bar where lesbians, sporty gay and straights pack em in for happy hour and bi-weekly karaoke. There is a $5 cover for nights when live bands play. Current information on events and shows at all these venues can be found at

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