Ocean View is a small town in Sussex County, Delaware. Although it has a population of fewer than 2,000 people, there is a surprising amount of things to see and do in the town.
There are quite a few restaurants, art studios, retail shops, and historic buildings, but one of the best things about Ocean View’s location is its proximity to the ocean and beautiful Bethany Beach, which is only a mile away.
The other great thing about the town’s location is the fact that it’s a part of the Salisbury, Maryland-Delaware Metropolitan Area, which means larger towns and cities – along with their attractions – are reasonably close.
Ocean View is home to a municipal park, and there are many opportunities for outdoor recreation, including hiking, biking, fishing, and boating.
Below are 15 of the best things to do in and around Ocean View, Delaware.
1. Relax with a creative meal at The Cafe on 26
Upon arrival in Ocean View, get your visit started with a delicious and creative meal at The Cafe on 26. This fine boutique restaurant serves homemade dishes made with fresh, locally-sourced seafood and produce.
A range of soups, salads, and appetizers are available, and you can choose from a variety of main courses, including cafe filet, homemade crab cake, seared scallops, and potato encrusted salmon. A full bar is also on-site.
2. View local art at the Ellen Rice Studio
Ellen Rice is a well-known local artist who works out of her home, which is also a must-see attraction in Ocean View. The Ellen Rice Studio is open to the public. Visitors can see many of her paintings, along with the artworks of more than 100 other American artists.
3. Take a hike along the Burton Island Trail
Situated within the Delaware Seashore State Park near Rehoboth Beach, the Burton Island Trail is an easy 1.5-mile hiking trail that loops around Burton Island. Along this trail, you will pass through forest areas and see stunning views of inland bays and salt marshes.
Wildlife and various bird species, such as diamondback terrapin and osprey, are commonly spotted. Horseshoe crabs are also seen in the area. Within this park, visitors can participate in a wide range of outdoor activities, such as fishing, boating, and surfing.
4. Spend a day outdoors at Holts Landing State Park
Rehoboth Beach is home to a beautiful park, where families can participate in a wide range of outdoor activities amid a diverse landscape that features a beach area, fields, and hardwood forest. Anglers can fish off the pier or launch a boat to fish further out in the bay.
The crabbing pier is where you can hook some blue crab, and mussels can be found in the shallow waters of Indian River Bay. The bay is also a popular spot for kayaking, paddle boarding, and windsurfing. Several walking trails and a picnic area with tables, a pavilion, and a fire pit are on-site, and visitors have access to horseshoe pits and washrooms.
5. Visit the James Farm Ecological Preserve
The James Farm Ecological Preserve along Indian River Bay is 150 acres of wildlands that are accessible to the public all year round. The beach area is a great place to relax and enjoy the beautiful scenery.
When the tide is low, you can hike along three miles of nature trails that pass through a number of distinct habitats, including low and high marshlands, maritime forest, hardwood forest, and meadows. Along the way, you can observe plants and animals.
6. Taste local wine at Salted Vines Vineyard & Winery
Set amid the natural scenery of the Frankfurt area back roads, The Salted Vines Vineyard & Winery is a 26-acre property only 15 minutes from Ocean View. While there, visitors have the opportunity to taste various sweet and dry wines in the cozy and beautifully-decorated tasting room.
Knowledgeable staff not only serve these samples but also provide a background on the winery and the wines, including which foods go best with each one. You have the option to enjoy your chosen drink on the patio overlooking the stunning scenery, or by the fireplace on colder days.
7. Admire fine art at Gallery One
Fine art created by almost two dozen local artists is on display at Gallery One. This group of local artists also owns and operates this gallery, which is open to the public. During a visit, you can view an assortment of art across many disciplines, including paintings, pottery, textiles, glassworks, and woodworks.
New works are showcased frequently, so there’s always something different on display.
8. Get active at Northside Park
As the most popular and biggest park in nearby Ocean City in Maryland, Northside Park offers a variety of indoor and outdoor recreational activities for all ages.
Within its 58 acres are several baseball, soccer and multipurpose fields that are lit up in the evenings. Also on-site are a playground, picnic area, two piers, an outdoor fitness area, more than a mile of walking trails, and concession stands during the warmer months. Indoor facilities include a library, a large gymnasium, lounging areas, and a multi-use sports center.
Many community events are held in this park throughout the year.
9. Get a lesson in history at the Indian River Life-Saving Station Museum
The Indian River Life-Saving Station Museum in Rehoboth Beach is a historic building housing various items related to the days when evening beach patrols were a normal thing, and dangerous high sea rescues were used to help shipwreck victims.
You can take a self-guided tour of the museum and learn all about the United States Life-Saving Service. The building was erected in 1876 and has been beautifully-restored since it was added to the National Register of Historic Places.
10. Enjoy fresh seafood at Northeast Seafood Kitchen
Seafood is a staple in local diets, and if you would like to try some fresh, local seafood, the best place in Ocean View is Northeast Seafood Kitchen. Upon arrival, visitors are greeted by friendly, knowledgeable staff, who work hard to make you feel right at home in this bistro-style eatery.
The menu features a variety of dishes combining traditional favorites with modern twists and a dash of local flare. Grilled Atlantic Salmon, lobster BLT, flash-fried oysters, and, of course, classic fish and chips are just some of the dishes to choose from the extensive menu.
Happy hour occurs daily, and a wide selection of wines and craft beers are available.
11. Spend a day at Fenwick Island State Park
A section of sandbanks between the Atlantic Ocean and Little Assawoman Bay make up the area of Fenwick Island State Park. Visitors to this beautiful park have the opportunity to participate in a wide range of outdoor activities, including hiking, surf fishing, sunbathing, sailing, kayaking, surfing, and swimming.
On-site amenities include picnic tables and a bathhouse with changing rooms. In the warmer months, the beach is supervised, and beach umbrellas, chairs, kayaks, paddleboards, and sailboats can be rented.
12. Cool off at Thunder Lagoon Waterpark
When it gets too hot outside, the best way to cool off is with a trip to Thunder Lagoon Waterpark in Fenwick Island. Whether you fancy a peaceful journey down the 400-foot lazy river or a thrilling afternoon on the six waterslides, there’s something for everyone. There’s even a 2800-square-foot swimming pool.
13. Spend a day on the water with a Quest Kayak Guided Tour
Quest Kayak Guided Tours in nearby Lewes is a popular choice for kayaking and paddleboarding excursions led by experts in these sports. The company offers a variety of tours for all levels.
You can explore the Atlantic Ocean, Delaware Bay, and a nearby saltmarsh on exciting excursions such as full moon tours, shipwreck tours, fall foliage tours, sunrise tours, river kayaking adventures, dolphin tours, and history tours.
14. Go hiking along the Junction & Breakwater Trail
If you enjoy hiking but favor an easier trail, the Junction & Breakwater Trail in Rehoboth Beach is only six miles long. The trail can be accessed at Wolfe Glade and Holland Glade, and it passes through unspoiled natural areas with beautiful scenery along the southwestern side of Cape Henlopen State Park.