According to US News and World Report, the best Delaware beaches include Cape Henlopen State Park, Bethany Beach, Delaware Seashore State Park, Fenwick Island, and Rehoboth Beach. These beaches offer ample opportunities for fun in the sun, scenic hikes, water recreation rentals, and other amenities. One beach you won’t find on that list is Woodland Beach, DE. But that doesn’t mean it’s not worth a visit. It just offers something different.
If you want to escape the beach crowds, this hidden gem may just be what you’re looking for. Let’s learn more!
Where Is Woodland Beach, DE?
Woodland Beach sits along the western shore of Delaware Bay, about 15 minutes east of Smyrna. The former resort area is north of Bombay Hook National Wildlife Refuge and south of the Cedar Swamp Wildlife Area. You can easily access it off Highway 6 that connects to the larger Highways of 1 and 13 near Smyrna. The state capital of Wilmington is less than an hour north.
What’s Special About Woodland Beach, DE?
Woodland Beach, DE, is away from Smyrna’s hustle and bustle and offers visitors peace and serenity. The Anthony J. “Tony” Florio Woodland Beach Wildlife Area (WBWA) has birding, crabbing, hunting, fishing, and boating and protects over 6,000 acres of tidal marshlands, forests, and agricultural fields.
In addition, the Aquatic Resource Education Center (AREC) includes a visitor center, parking, bathroom facilities, a pavilion with picnic tables, three freshwater fishing ponds, a local culture and history trail, nature trails, and a boardwalk.
Woodland Beach is known more for its natural beauty and wildlife than for white sandy beaches that offer swimming, sunbathing, and surfing opportunities. You won’t find Woodland Beach listed as one of the best beach towns in Delaware, but fishermen and wildlife enthusiasts rave about the other outdoor recreational activities here.
Traveler’s Tip: Go for a swim and Sunbathe At the 5 Best Beaches in Delaware.
History of Woodland Beach
Once a thriving town of amusement rides, restaurants, and a popular hotel, Woodland Beach is now an escape from the hectic routine of life. It’s a small community well-known for its fishing opportunities on the Woodland Beach Pier. But this wasn’t always the case.
In 1878, a hurricane generated a massive tidal wave that destroyed the resort area. The entire town washed away. Even though the town tried to rebuild, another natural disaster occurred in 1914 to finish off the once-bustling hubbub of activity. Sadly, Woodland Beach never recovered.
Another aspect of Woodland Beach’s history is the segregated nature of the area. The Delaware Gazette and State Journal and The Smyrna Times reported several occasions when the proprietor of the beach hosted “Colored (Peoples) Day” and other events for them to enjoy the beach and amenities.
Today it offers visitors quiet solitude along the unguarded beach. This hidden gem is secluded, and it feels like you’re driving out to the middle of nowhere as you travel Highway 6 to the coast.
When you arrive, you’ll probably have the beach all to yourself. A small community of residents still calls Woodland Beach “home,” but you aren’t likely to encounter many people on your visit.
Can You Swim at Woodland Beach?
Marsh grass, plants, and weeds grow along the shoreline, connecting the parking lot to the sand. If you want to dip your toes in the Atlantic or stroll along the quiet shoreline, it’s an ideal location.
However, because the beach has no lifeguard, swimming isn’t recommended, although ultimately it isn’t prohibited. The surf is generally calm and is perfect for people who want to enjoy a beautiful walk while listening and looking for area wildlife.
Fishing and crabbing are also two popular activities at Woodland Beach, DE. One of the nicest piers in the entire state, the Woodland Beach Pier offers beautiful views and a prime location to catch striped bass, bluefish, and clams. Delaware Blue Crabs are also numerous here, and you’ll be able to do some trapping. Just make sure to know the state regulations.
Is There Seaglass at Woodland Beach?
Jewelry-grade sea glass is all over Woodland Beach. Local artists love coming to the beach to find that perfect piece of sea glass. Visitors will also enjoy hunting for this colorful treasure along the shore. You’ll find sea glass of all shapes, colors, and sizes.
Are Dogs Allowed on Woodland Beach?
According to BringFido.com, you can bring dogs to Woodland Beach. Since there are no crowds, it’s actually a great location to bring your furry friends and let them enjoy running along the shore and splashing in the Atlantic. As always, be respectful of other visitors and clean up after your pet.
Is It Worth Visiting Woodland Beach, DE?
If you’re looking for attractions, family-friendly activities, and excitement, Woodland Beach, DE, isn’t the right choice. Other beautiful beaches better suited for family vacations include boat rentals, chair rentals, concessions, and other amenities.
But if you want seclusion and serenity, Woodland Beach is the perfect choice. On any given day, you may not see another visitor. You can walk along the pier, photograph a beautiful sunrise, or go treasure hunting for sea glass. Let the peace of Woodland Beach calm your soul and rejuvenate your spirit.
Is Woodland Beach a good fit for your travel style?
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