15 Best Things to Do in Selbyville (DE)

Written by Bart Meeuwesen
Updated on
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Selbyville is a town of about 3,000 residents that’s located in southwest Delaware’s Sussex County.

Though it’s in a relatively rural part of the state, Selbyville is close to Rehoboth Beach, Fenwick Island, and Ocean City, Maryland, which are some of the mid-Atlantic region’s most popular summer beach destinations.

Outdoor recreation activities abound, and the area is especially popular with golfers, history lovers, bird watchers, and beachgoers.

Despite its small size, there are plenty of things to do in town, as well as day trip options for those who’d rather hit the open road.

Below are 15 things to do in and around Selbyville, Delaware.

1. Bear Trap Dunes Golf Club

GolfSource: Mikael Damkier / shutterstock

Though most golf courses feature just 18 holes, Bear Trap Dunes Golf Club in nearby Ocean View has 27, giving it a definite leg-up on the competition.

Those nine extra holes come in handy for those who’ll be in the area for a while and would prefer to mix things up occasionally.

The course is well-known for its varied natural environments that have been worked into the layout seamlessly. Though it’s popular with the experienced crowd, its multiple tee box options make it appropriate for beginners, women, and senior citizens as well.

2. Luna’s Cactus Café

Luna's Cactus CaféSource: Natalia Lisovskaya / shutterstock
Luna’s Cactus Café

Tex-Mex cuisine seems to be the default setting for the area’s Mexican restaurants, and though most of them have tasty and filling fare, there’s one standout when it comes to traditional cuisine from south of the border.

Luna’s Cactus Café features exotic ingredients and vibrant flavors from various Mexican regions that many diners have never experienced.

More often than not, that makes for a memorable experience; their perennial favorite menu items include shrimp tacos, blacks beans and rice, and salsas and sauces made fresh on-site daily.

Luna’s may not look like much from outside, but previous guests agree it’s worth a stop, and their margaritas are top-notch too.

3. Arts & Jazz Festival

Arts & Jazz FestivalSource: BlurryMe / shutterstock
Arts & Jazz Festival

Visitors to Delaware in September will enjoy relatively mild weather as summer slowly fades and fall creeps in.

The Arts & Jazz Festival is an annual event that brings together traditional and performing arts and attracts artists, singers, and musicians from all over the east coast.

The outdoor event is held in mid-September and includes lots of food and drink options and family-friendly activities.

Unlike larger festivals, there are plenty of opportunities to meet many of the artists too.

Most attendees bring beach chairs and blankets, and it’s wise to pack hats, umbrellas, and sunblock as well because the weather in The First State can change on a dime.

4. Selbyville Police Department Museum

Selbyville Police Department MuseumSource: Lee Cannon / Flickr | CC BY-SA
Selbyville Police Department Museum

Though Selby’s Police Department is an unwelcome stop for many area scofflaws, it’s also home to a unique little museum that’s open to the public and free to visit.

Most of what’s on displays tells the story of law enforcement in the area dating back more than a century. Exhibits include historic firearms and photographs, first-hand accounts of lawmen, and interesting tales of criminals in eras long past.

The museum is small enough that most guests stick around for under an hour, but it’s often one of the most poignant stops on their trip, so make it a point to check it out.

5. Discoversea Shipwreck Museum

Thankfully, shipwrecks don’t occur along the country’s Atlantic coast as frequently as they once did.

Nearby Fenwick Island is home to one of the Delmarva Peninsula’s most unique museums, which is dedicated to preserving the area’s rich maritime history, including untold scores of ships that have gone done in the last few centuries.

The museum displays fascinating historical accounts of downed ships, as well as lots of salvaged booty, like gold and silver coins, weapons, and dinnerware used at sea in ages past.

It’s common to see the museum’s proprietor, who’s a treasure trove of knowledge, but you’ll need to visit on the weekend to take it all in.

6. The Dickens Parlour

TheatreSource: Andrey_Kuzmin / shutterstock

You probably wouldn’t think that rural Millville would be home to a world-class magic venue, but it is indeed.

The Dickens Parlour hosts nightly magic performances during the summer tourist season and features a quaint and intimate theater that only seats slightly more than 50 spectators.

Shows generally last about an hour and are big hits with those of all ages, though they’re especially popular with little ones.

Shows also include comedians, ventriloquists, and mimes, and ticket prices are surprisingly reasonable.

Be sure to check their schedule online before you go, as their hours vary by season and day of the week.

7. Northside Park

Northside ParkSource: refrina / shutterstock
Northside Park

Northside Park is in the neighboring state of Maryland, but it’s a convenient attraction for those who’ve decided to spend the day across the border in Ocean City, which is one of the mid-Atlantic region’s most popular summer beach destinations.

Ocean City is known for its big crowds, abundant bars and restaurants, and scenic expanses of beach.

Most visitors tend to overlook parks, but Northside Park is a great place to spend a few hours away from the crowds. It features a variety of sports fields, playgrounds, and indoor facilities that are perfect for exercise-minded vacationers.

8. Fenwick Island Boardwalk

Fenwick Island BoardwalkSource: George Sheldon / shutterstock
Fenwick Island Boardwalk

Compared to many area shore destinations, Fenwick Island is relatively quaint and undeveloped.

The tired coastal town still draws crowds from as far away as Pennsylvania and New Jersey, but it’s decidedly less chaotic than most of its counterparts.

The Fenwick Island Boardwalk is popular with the throwback crowd, who prefer homemade donuts, funnel cakes, and boardwalk fries to national chain restaurants and high-rises.

The boardwalk includes souvenir shops, burger stands, and pizza parlors, many of which have been in business for decades.

It’s a great place to catch a sunset or to get in a brisk walk in the morning before the sun gets too hot.

9. Thunder Lagoon Waterpark

Swimming PoolSource: YanLev / shutterstock
Swimming Pool

Even though one of the world’s largest oceans is just a stone’s throw away, Fenwick Island’s Thunder Lagoon Waterpark still draws huge crowds during the warm summer months.

Thunder Lagoon is an amenity-packed attraction that has been known to keep families busy for hours.

The park features thousands of square feet of slides, pools, and meandering rivers. Though many parents choose to join the fun with their little ones, there are lots of shaded seating areas near all the action for those who’d rather stay dry and watch from a safe distance.

To avoid the crowds, consider visiting when they first open for the day.

10. Fenwick Island Lighthouse

Fenwick Island LighthouseSource: George Sheldon / shutterstock
Fenwick Island Lighthouse

Most of the Atlantic coast’s lighthouses have long outlived their useful lives, but for lovers of maritime history and stunning ocean vistas, they’re wonderful attractions that should be experienced when in the area.

The Fenwick Island Lighthouse is one of coastal Delaware’s most iconic attractions and is maintained by a local historical society.

The lighthouse is near the border with Maryland, making it a convenient attraction to visit for those traveling between the two state’s attractions.

The lighthouse’s hours are limited and vary by season, so it’s a good idea to check online or ask a local before making a special trip.

11. Harpoon Hanna’s

Harpoon Hanna’sSource: George Sheldon / shutterstock
Harpoon Hanna’s

Harpoon Hanna’s is another area vacation icon that’s located between Ocean City, Maryland, and Fenwick Island, Delaware.

Unlike many of its restaurant competitors, it’s open every day of the year. It’s a favorite destination for seafood lovers as well as those looking to relax in the pleasant ambiance and enjoy their world-class Sunday Brunch.

Harpoon Hanna’s menu has a little something to tempt even the most finicky taste buds. Their bar area features more than a dozen televisions that show sports from all over the country.

Expect a crowd if you stop by during dinner time during the peak season – from June until August.

12. Delaware Seashore State Park

Delaware Seashore State ParkSource: Dex Sightseeing Photography / shutterstock
Delaware Seashore State Park

Delaware Seashore State Park is comprised of nearly 3,000 scenic acres spread along the state’s Atlantic coast near the Indian River Inlet and Delaware Bay.

The park features undeveloped beaches that don’t get the crowds that those at Rehoboth and Fenwick do. It’s an especially big draw for surf fishers, who come to tangle with game fish like bluefish and striped bass that often feed just offshore.

For those traveling without their own beach gear, it’s possible to rent everything you’ll need for a day in the sun and surf, like umbrellas, beach chairs, and flotation devices for the little ones.

13. Tanger Outlets

ShoppingSource: VGstockstudio / shutterstock

Retail therapy often gets a bad rap, but for travelers from out of state looking to save big bucks on things they’d probably buy anyway, Delaware’s no retail sales tax policy makes shopping an attractive option.

Tanger Outlets has multiple locations in southern Delaware, and most of them are just a few blocks from one another on Route 1 in Rehoboth Beach.

Traffic can be tricky during peak times, so free air-conditioned shuttles whisk shoppers between locations regularly throughout the day.

It’s not uncommon to save more than 50% on everything from shoes and maternity clothes to sporting goods, electronics, and jewelry.

14. Rehoboth Beach Museum

Rehoboth Beach MuseumSource: John M. Chase / shutterstock
Rehoboth Beach Museum

The Rehoboth Beach Museum is the perfect place to get away for an hour or two when the weather isn’t conducive to hanging out at the beach.

It’s run by the local historical society and sports an impressive collection of artifacts and memorabilia related to the area’s history, culture, and economy.

The museum was founded in 1975 and includes a historic ice house that once was a repository for the precious commodity before the advent of refrigerators.

The volunteer staff are a great resource for those visiting the area for the first time, so don’t be shy about asking them for ideas for things to see and do while visiting.

15. Jolly Roger Amusement Park

Jolly Roger Amusement ParkSource: Ritu Manoj Jethani / shutterstock
Jolly Roger Amusement Park

The Jolly Roger Amusement Park is located on Coastal Highway in Ocean City, just an easy drive from Selbyville.

Jolly Roger is equal parts waterpark and amusement park and features enough fun, games, and activities to keep visitors busy for the better part of a day.

Though the cost of admission isn’t exactly cheap, most parents traveling on budgets consider it a good value.

There’s a petting zoo, mini-golf course, video arcade, go-cart track, and lots of food and drink options, making it the perfect place to spend an afternoon for those who’d rather not waste time traveling between multiple attractions.

15 Best Things to Do in Selbyville (DE):

  • Bear Trap Dunes Golf Club
  • Luna's Cactus Café
  • Arts & Jazz Festival
  • Selbyville Police Department Museum
  • Discoversea Shipwreck Museum
  • The Dickens Parlour
  • Northside Park
  • Fenwick Island Boardwalk
  • Thunder Lagoon Waterpark
  • Fenwick Island Lighthouse
  • Harpoon Hanna’s
  • Delaware Seashore State Park
  • Tanger Outlets
  • Rehoboth Beach Museum
  • Jolly Roger Amusement Park