Picture of Delaware Seashore State Park

DELAWARE SEASHORE STATE PARK


Park History

Transportation along this barrier island, bounded on the east by the Atlantic Ocean and on the west by Rehoboth Bay and Indian River Bay, was difficult until the Federal government completed construction of two large steel and stone jetties in 1939, stabilizing the Indian River Inlet. The State Park Commission (now the Division of Parks and Recreation) began managing the land as Indian River State Park in 1965, but it didn't become Delaware Seashore State Park until 1967.

Featured Program: Savoring Our Coastal Heritage

Featured Program: Savoring Our Coastal Heritage

Age: 10+ Tour the historic Life-Saving Station; learn about the surfmen and their heroic rescues. Then sit down to a locally-sourced dining experience, with a menu inspired by what the surfmen may have eaten at the turn-of-the-century. Top off the evening with a lantern tour with local shipwreck tales. Pre-registration required by April 19. Cost: Market price Saturday, April 27, 2019 at 6:30 p.m.

Add to Calendar 4/27/2019 6:30:00 PM 4/27/2019 9:30:00 PM America/New_York Featured Program: Savoring Our Coastal Heritage Age: 10+ Tour the historic Life-Saving Station; learn about the surfmen and their heroic rescues. Then sit down to a locally-sourced dining experience, with a menu inspired by what the surfmen may have eaten at the turn-of-the-century. Top off the evening with a lantern tour with local shipwreck tales. Pre-registration required by April 19. Cost: Market price Delaware Seashore State Park


Swimming, Surfing Sunbathing

Two ocean swimming areas, patrolled by lifeguards from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily during the summer season, feature modern bathhouses with showers, changing rooms and concession stands. The beach just north of the Inlet is one of the few surfing areas within the park. Mobi-Mat equipment, consisting of three 30-foot mats allowing those in wheelchairs and power chairs to access the beach from the boardwalk, is also available at the Towers Ocean and South Inlet locations.

Camping at the Beach

Two campgrounds, one on each side of the Indian River Inlet, accommodate a variety of camping units, from tents to large recreational vehicles. North Inlet campsites feature three-point hookups (electricity, water, and sewer service), with three-point hookups (electric, water and sewer) and Standard (no hookups) sites, and tent sites available at the South Inlet campground.

Two campgrounds, one on each side of the Indian River Inlet, accommodate a variety of camping units, from tents to large recreational vehicles. North Inlet campsites feature three-point hookups (electricity, water, and sewer service), with three-point hookups (electric, water and sewer) and Standard (no hookups) sites, and tent sites available at the South Inlet campground. Get info about camping at Delaware Seashore.

Indian River Marina

Anglers may try their luck along the banks of the Indian River Inlet or on the ocean beaches, and head boats and charter boats launch out of the full-service Indian River Marina, offering wet slips, fuel docks, boat storage, supplies and more. Visit our Indian River Marina page for hours and information.

Indian River Life-Saving Station Museum

Built in 1876 for use by the United States Lifesaving Service, the full-restored station today features maritime exhibits and historic reenactors who periodically demonstrate turn-of-the-century techniques to rescue sailing ships in distress. Includes a gift shop offering unique coastal and maritime merchandise. Visit our Indian River Life-Saving Station page for hours and information.

Fishing, Clamming and Crabbing

A special access pier at the Indian Inlet allows the elderly and people with disabilities to get close to the fishing action. Clamming and crabbing are permitted in some sections of the bays; please check with the Park Office for open areas. Marked dune crossings allow surf-fishing access for four-wheel drive vehicles on the beach (permits required). Permits are also required for fishing, clamming and crabbing. Click for information about surf fishing permits and fishing licenses. WARNING: The State online automated fishing license system is NOT compatible with mobile devices or iPads and may encounter printing issues with touch screen computers and apple products.

Dining

Located at the South Inlet Day Use Area at Delaware Seashore State Park, Big Chill Beach Club is an oceanfront restaurant and event tent featuring an umbrella deck with breath-taking 360° views of the Atlantic Ocean, Indian River Inlet, and Indian River Bay. The Big Chill Beach Club features casual beach fare from breakfast to dinner, full-service cocktails, wine and beer, an oyster bar and Umbrella Bar, fire pit and hang-out game area, beach amenities for the beach-goers, and catered events for up to 200 people. Open daily April to October, 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. A park entry fee is charged March through November.

Bury your toes in the sand tableside at Hammerheads Dockside at the Indian River Marina! This full-service outdoor restaurant offers a fresh, vibrant menu with terrific views of the marina. Features include live music, a full-service bar, free parking, and complementary dockage for boaters (subject to availability). Open daily at 7 a.m. during the summer.

Outdoor Recreation

Hikers and bikers beat the heat on a cool stretch of the Fred Hudson Trail

The shallow bays are perfect for windsurfing and sailing. A non- motorized boat launch provides access for sail boards, kayaks, and boats in the New Road area.

Six different family-friendly trails showcase a variety of habitats for hikers, bikers, or horseback riders, and entertaining and informative programs, such as bay seining and marsh hikes, are held throughout the summer. The park hosts a popular Sandcastle Contest each July, where amateur participants create unique sculptures and castles to compete for prizes.

Nature Preserve

Burton Island Nature Preserve – Enjoy the views of saltmarsh cordgrass. This Nature Preserve is utilized by migrating songbirds and water birds such as black crowned night herons.

Amenities: Loop Trail (pedestrian only) Access to Burtons Island is by causeway at north end of Indian River Marina. Parking lot. Bathroom access at Park Office.

Acreage: 205 acres

Thompson Island Nature Preserve – thousands of years of human occupation and mature coastal forest make up this Nature Preserve. Trail access is limited in the Preserve. Visitors can enjoy the beautiful marsh and Island views from the overlook at trail’s end.

Amenities: Linear Trail (pedestrian only). Parking on site.

Acreage: 191 acres

Upcoming Events

Earth Day Coast-to-Coast Clean-Up

Monday, April 22, 2019

10 a.m.

Help keep Delaware Seashore clean from coast to coast! Meet at the Indian River Life-Saving Station for a staff-led beach clean-up, then travel to Savages Ditch to clean up debris found in the salt marsh. Call (302)-227-6991 for more details No pre-registration required Free

Add to Calendar 4/22/2019 10:00:00 AM 4/22/2019 12:00:00 PM America/New_York Earth Day Coast-to-Coast Clean-Up Help keep Delaware Seashore clean from coast to coast! Meet at the Indian River Life-Saving Station for a staff-led beach clean-up, then travel to Savages Ditch to clean up debris found in the salt marsh. Call (302)-227-6991 for more details No pre-registration required Free Delaware Seashore State Park

Mollusk Meet-Up

Tuesday, April 23, 2019

1 p.m.

Discover why a squid and clam are so closely related in the animal kingdom. Dissect them to learn about the anatomy of these vital coastal creatures. Call (302)-227-6991 for more details Pre-registration required Ages 6+ $8 per person (including adults)

Add to Calendar 4/23/2019 1:00:00 PM 4/23/2019 3:00:00 PM America/New_York Mollusk Meet-Up Discover why a squid and clam are so closely related in the animal kingdom. Dissect them to learn about the anatomy of these vital coastal creatures. Call (302)-227-6991 for more details Pre-registration required Ages 6+ $8 per person (including adults) Delaware Seashore State Park

Nautical Knots

Wednesday, April 24, 2019

10 a.m.

Bowline, figure eight, and double half hitch. These were essential working knots surfmen and sailors used on a daily basis. Come to the Life-Saving Station and learn how to tie these practical knots and hear some of the history behind them. Then construct your own personal knot board to display all of your finished knots at home. Call (302)-227-6991 Pre-registration required Ages 12+ $15 per person (including adults)

Add to Calendar 4/24/2019 10:00:00 AM 4/24/2019 12:00:00 PM America/New_York Nautical Knots Bowline, figure eight, and double half hitch. These were essential working knots surfmen and sailors used on a daily basis. Come to the Life-Saving Station and learn how to tie these practical knots and hear some of the history behind them. Then construct your own personal knot board to display all of your finished knots at home. Call (302)-227-6991 Pre-registration required Ages 12+ $15 per person (including adults) Delaware Seashore State Park

Guided Museum Tour

Wednesday, April 24, 2019

1 p.m.

Find out what life was like at the Indian River Life-Saving Station more than 100 years ago. Hear about shipwrecks that occurred in our area and how the brave surfmen of the U.S. Life-Saving Service responded to sailors in distress. Call (302)-227-6991 for more details Pre-registration required Ages 8+ $5 per person (including adults)

Add to Calendar 4/24/2019 1:00:00 PM 4/24/2019 3:00:00 PM America/New_York Guided Museum Tour Find out what life was like at the Indian River Life-Saving Station more than 100 years ago. Hear about shipwrecks that occurred in our area and how the brave surfmen of the U.S. Life-Saving Service responded to sailors in distress. Call (302)-227-6991 for more details Pre-registration required Ages 8+ $5 per person (including adults) Delaware Seashore State Park

Marsh Walk

Thursday, April 25, 2019

1 p.m.

Get your feet wet in wetland ecology – you could even get a little muddy in this program! Study the importance of wetlands in Delaware and the adaptations of the creatures that call the marsh home. Call (302)-227-6991 Pre-registration required Ages 4+ $4 per person (including adults)

Add to Calendar 4/25/2019 1:00:00 PM 4/25/2019 3:00:00 PM America/New_York Marsh Walk Get your feet wet in wetland ecology – you could even get a little muddy in this program! Study the importance of wetlands in Delaware and the adaptations of the creatures that call the marsh home. Call (302)-227-6991 Pre-registration required Ages 4+ $4 per person (including adults) Delaware Seashore State Park

Forgotten Stories of the Sand

Friday, April 26, 2019

10 a.m.

People have been visiting the beaches at our park for decades, but there’s more than crowds of beach-goers turning up at the shore. Just what is the story behind the rusty nails and washers, the pieces of sea glass, the copper coins that people have found? Come learn how archaeology helps us uncover and preserve the past, discover the stories behind these artifacts, and get hands-on with the uncovered items. Call (302)-227-6991 for more details Pre-registration required $5 per person

Add to Calendar 4/26/2019 10:00:00 AM 4/26/2019 12:00:00 PM America/New_York Forgotten Stories of the Sand People have been visiting the beaches at our park for decades, but there’s more than crowds of beach-goers turning up at the shore. Just what is the story behind the rusty nails and washers, the pieces of sea glass, the copper coins that people have found? Come learn how archaeology helps us uncover and preserve the past, discover the stories behind these artifacts, and get hands-on with the uncovered items. Call (302)-227-6991 for more details Pre-registration required $5 per person Delaware Seashore State Park

Savoring Our Coastal Heritage

Saturday, April 27, 2019

6:30 p.m.

Tour the historic Indian River Life-Saving Station, one of the oldest oceanfront buildings along Delaware's coast, and learn about the surfmen that served at the station and the heroic rescues they performed. Then sit down to a locally-sourced dining experience, with a menu inspired by what the surfmen may have been eating around the turn-of-the-century. Menu may include anything from steamed clams to venison stew! Top off the evening with a lantern tour of local shipwreck tales, full of tragedy and mystery. Call (302)-227-6991 for more details Age 10+ Pre-registration required Cost: Market price

Add to Calendar 4/27/2019 6:30:00 PM 4/27/2019 9:30:00 PM America/New_York Savoring Our Coastal Heritage Tour the historic Indian River Life-Saving Station, one of the oldest oceanfront buildings along Delaware's coast, and learn about the surfmen that served at the station and the heroic rescues they performed. Then sit down to a locally-sourced dining experience, with a menu inspired by what the surfmen may have been eating around the turn-of-the-century. Menu may include anything from steamed clams to venison stew! Top off the evening with a lantern tour of local shipwreck tales, full of tragedy and mystery. Call (302)-227-6991 for more details Age 10+ Pre-registration required Cost: Market price Delaware Seashore State Park

Forgotten Stories of the Sand

Saturday, May 4, 2019

10 a.m.

People have been visiting the beaches at our park for decades, but there’s more than crowds of beach-goers turning up at the shore. Just what is the story behind the rusty nails and washers, the pieces of sea glass, the copper coins that people have found? Come learn how archaeology helps us uncover and preserve the past, discover the stories behind these artifacts, and get hands-on with the uncovered items. Call (302)-227-6991 for more details Pre-registration required $5 per person

Add to Calendar 5/4/2019 10:00:00 AM 5/4/2019 12:00:00 PM America/New_York Forgotten Stories of the Sand People have been visiting the beaches at our park for decades, but there’s more than crowds of beach-goers turning up at the shore. Just what is the story behind the rusty nails and washers, the pieces of sea glass, the copper coins that people have found? Come learn how archaeology helps us uncover and preserve the past, discover the stories behind these artifacts, and get hands-on with the uncovered items. Call (302)-227-6991 for more details Pre-registration required $5 per person Delaware Seashore State Park

Seaglass Jewelry 101

Saturday, May 4, 2019

1 p.m.

Make your own sea glass jewelry pendant. Bring your own piece of sea glass, or choose from our collection. Call (302)-227-6991 Pre-registration required Ages 12+ $15 per person

Add to Calendar 5/4/2019 1:00:00 PM 5/4/2019 3:00:00 PM America/New_York Seaglass Jewelry 101 Make your own sea glass jewelry pendant. Bring your own piece of sea glass, or choose from our collection. Call (302)-227-6991 Pre-registration required Ages 12+ $15 per person Delaware Seashore State Park

Osprey Watch

Saturday, May 4, 2019

2 p.m.

Meet at Savages Ditch.

Add to Calendar 5/4/2019 2:00:00 PM 5/4/2019 3:30:00 PM America/New_York Osprey Watch Meet at Savages Ditch. Delaware Seashore State Park

Beach Driving Clinic

Sunday, May 5, 2019

2 p.m.

Learn park rules, licensing requirements and tips from park staff to maximize your safety while driving on the beach. Follow park staff out to the beach to practice driving on the sand (participants must have a valid surf tag and the necessary equipment to do so). Call (302)-227-6991 for more details Pre-registration required $8 per person

Add to Calendar 5/5/2019 2:00:00 PM 5/5/2019 4:00:00 PM America/New_York Beach Driving Clinic Learn park rules, licensing requirements and tips from park staff to maximize your safety while driving on the beach. Follow park staff out to the beach to practice driving on the sand (participants must have a valid surf tag and the necessary equipment to do so). Call (302)-227-6991 for more details Pre-registration required $8 per person Delaware Seashore State Park

Introduction to Surf Fishing

Saturday, May 11, 2019

9 a.m.

Always wanted to try surf fishing but weren’t sure how to get started? Everything from fish identification to proper casting techniques will be covered in this three-hour program. Rods, reels, and bait are provided. Those under 16 must be accompanied by a paying adult. Call (302)-227-6991 for more information Pre-registration required. Ages 10+ $25 per person

Add to Calendar 5/11/2019 9:00:00 AM 5/11/2019 12:00:00 PM America/New_York Introduction to Surf Fishing Always wanted to try surf fishing but weren’t sure how to get started? Everything from fish identification to proper casting techniques will be covered in this three-hour program. Rods, reels, and bait are provided. Those under 16 must be accompanied by a paying adult. Call (302)-227-6991 for more information Pre-registration required. Ages 10+ $25 per person Delaware Seashore State Park

Beach Driving Clinic

Saturday, May 11, 2019

2 p.m.

Learn park rules, licensing requirements and tips from park staff to maximize your safety while driving on the beach. Follow park staff out to the beach to practice driving on the sand (participants must have a valid surf tag and the necessary equipment to do so). Call (302)-227-6991 for more details Pre-registration required $8 per person

Add to Calendar 5/11/2019 2:00:00 PM 5/11/2019 4:00:00 PM America/New_York Beach Driving Clinic Learn park rules, licensing requirements and tips from park staff to maximize your safety while driving on the beach. Follow park staff out to the beach to practice driving on the sand (participants must have a valid surf tag and the necessary equipment to do so). Call (302)-227-6991 for more details Pre-registration required $8 per person Delaware Seashore State Park

Lantern Tour

Friday, May 17, 2019

8 p.m.

Enjoy a unique, guided tour of the circa-1876 Indian River Life-Saving Station Museum. Learn what surfmen went through to save shipwreck victims off the Delaware coast, and then venture over the dune to patrol the beach and listen to tales from the station’s logbooks. Call (302)-227-6991 for more details Pre-registration required $10 per person

Add to Calendar 5/17/2019 8:00:00 PM 5/17/2019 10:00:00 PM America/New_York Lantern Tour Enjoy a unique, guided tour of the circa-1876 Indian River Life-Saving Station Museum. Learn what surfmen went through to save shipwreck victims off the Delaware coast, and then venture over the dune to patrol the beach and listen to tales from the station’s logbooks. Call (302)-227-6991 for more details Pre-registration required $10 per person Delaware Seashore State Park

Terrapin Talk

Saturday, May 18, 2019

10 a.m.

Right around Memorial Day Weekend, right when traffic increases exponentially, Diamondback terrapins can be spotted all over the roads in our park. Learn what is being done to protect this brackish water turtle and what you can do to help ensure its survival! Meet at Savages Ditch. Call (302)-227-6991 for more details No pre-registration required Free

Add to Calendar 5/18/2019 10:00:00 AM 5/18/2019 11:30:00 AM America/New_York Terrapin Talk Right around Memorial Day Weekend, right when traffic increases exponentially, Diamondback terrapins can be spotted all over the roads in our park. Learn what is being done to protect this brackish water turtle and what you can do to help ensure its survival! Meet at Savages Ditch. Call (302)-227-6991 for more details No pre-registration required Free Delaware Seashore State Park

The Story of the Lyle Gun

Saturday, May 18, 2019

2 p.m.

They say it’s the only piece of artillery designed to save lives rather than take them. See and touch the gun up close and learn about its importance to the U.S. Life-Saving Service. Then take a step back and watch as park staff fire it off! Call (302)-227-6991 for more details Pre-registration required Ages 8+ $4 per person

Add to Calendar 5/18/2019 2:00:00 PM 5/18/2019 4:00:00 PM America/New_York The Story of the Lyle Gun They say it’s the only piece of artillery designed to save lives rather than take them. See and touch the gun up close and learn about its importance to the U.S. Life-Saving Service. Then take a step back and watch as park staff fire it off! Call (302)-227-6991 for more details Pre-registration required Ages 8+ $4 per person Delaware Seashore State Park

Hike Thompson Island Nature Preserve

Saturday, May 18, 2019

7:30 p.m.

SPECIAL FULL MOON HIKE Go for a hike around Thompson Island Nature Preserve with a park interpreter. Learn about the island’s Native American presence and observe the abundant wildlife that calls this island home. Call (302)-227-6991 for more details Space is very limited so pre-registration is required $5 per person

Add to Calendar 5/18/2019 7:30:00 PM 5/18/2019 9:30:00 PM America/New_York Hike Thompson Island Nature Preserve SPECIAL FULL MOON HIKE Go for a hike around Thompson Island Nature Preserve with a park interpreter. Learn about the island’s Native American presence and observe the abundant wildlife that calls this island home. Call (302)-227-6991 for more details Space is very limited so pre-registration is required $5 per person Delaware Seashore State Park

Wild Edibles of the Coast

Sunday, May 19, 2019

10 a.m.

Get introduced to some of the native plants of coastal Delaware, many of which are edible. You may even leave with some new cooking tips! Call (302)-277-6991 for more details Pre-registration required. $6 per person

Add to Calendar 5/19/2019 10:00:00 AM 5/19/2019 12:00:00 PM America/New_York Wild Edibles of the Coast Get introduced to some of the native plants of coastal Delaware, many of which are edible. You may even leave with some new cooking tips! Call (302)-277-6991 for more details Pre-registration required. $6 per person Delaware Seashore State Park

Seining the Bay at Holts Landing

Sunday, May 19, 2019

1 p.m.

Use a 20-ft seine to catch fish, crabs and other critters. Learn to identify each species and learn about their adaptations for survival. Closed-toe shoes and pre-registration required. Call (302)-227-6991 for more details Ages 2+ $5 per person (including adults)

Add to Calendar 5/19/2019 1:00:00 PM 5/19/2019 2:30:00 PM America/New_York Seining the Bay at Holts Landing Use a 20-ft seine to catch fish, crabs and other critters. Learn to identify each species and learn about their adaptations for survival. Closed-toe shoes and pre-registration required. Call (302)-227-6991 for more details Ages 2+ $5 per person (including adults) Delaware Seashore State Park

Introduction to Surf Fishing

Friday, May 24, 2019

9 a.m.

Always wanted to try surf fishing but weren’t sure how to get started? Everything from fish identification to proper casting techniques will be covered in this three-hour program. Rods, reels, and bait are provided. Those under 16 must be accompanied by a paying adult. Call (302)-227-6991 for more information Pre-registration required. Ages 10+ $25 per person

Add to Calendar 5/24/2019 9:00:00 AM 5/24/2019 12:00:00 PM America/New_York Introduction to Surf Fishing Always wanted to try surf fishing but weren’t sure how to get started? Everything from fish identification to proper casting techniques will be covered in this three-hour program. Rods, reels, and bait are provided. Those under 16 must be accompanied by a paying adult. Call (302)-227-6991 for more information Pre-registration required. Ages 10+ $25 per person Delaware Seashore State Park

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