Readers' Pick

Bethany Beach

A little more than half a century ago, you needed a boat to get to Bethany Beach. Today the Delaware town is considerably more accessible—140 miles east of Bethesda across the Chesapeake Bay Bridge—but it retains that “off-the-beaten-path” atmosphere.

Real estate agent Leslie Kopp calls the town “self-contained” and “quaint,” with picturesque downtown shops and restaurants and a boardwalk and bandstand that hosts summertime concerts at the beach. However, Bethany is also within driving distance of golf courses and fishing grounds, as well as bustling Dewey Beach, Del., and Ocean City, Md.

“They call this area ‘slower, lower Delaware’ for a reason: It’s just a nice pace,” says Joe Gerrity, a Bethesda resident who recently exchanged his Bethany condo for a roomier waterside cottage in South Bethany.

“I’m gazing out on the bay right now, watching my dog frolic in the waves,” Gerrity says by phone. “How good is that?”

Bethany Beach, Del.,

Other Top Vote Getters: Rehoboth Beach, Deep Creek Lake, Outer Banks