MADs! Recommend me a Mid-Atlantic Beach Town

So we’ll be taking our annual late September long weekend to the beach shortly and I’ve got to make plans.

Previously we’ve gone to Ocean City, MD and Rehoboth, DE. Enjoyed both immensely.

But what do the rest of you recommend?

As we’re travelling with a three year old we’re not into the whole ‘night life’ party circuit thing. Good beach, some tourism, that sort of thing is what will attract us.

And then I’ll get started on Dope-A-Ween III…

Have you tried Wildwood or Ocean City, New Jersey?

Bethany Beach. It’s similar to Rehoboth, but smaller and quieter. Plus you can drive to nearby Ocean City for the mini-golf, go-karts, etc.

Ocracoke, NC

South of all the commercialization that is going on the Outer Banks.

Quaint little town with nice shops. Not a whole bunch of people. Plus, a ferry ride!

Virginia Beach, VA.
You can rent a house here:

The rentals are about 5-10 miles away from the touristy area. After 8 hours in a car with our 6,3,2 year olds, I walked over to the shore and felt “I really would be OK if we had to go home now.” It truly felt like a vacation.

Our experience last year was amazing. We got settled in 15 min and then walked across the street to the beach. want lunch? need bathroom? kid napping in the sun? walk back across the street to the house. The kids had a ball digging for crabs.

I got to go for a run everyday before everyone else was up, got a watercolor done. On a rainy day, you can hit the aquarium. There’s also a water park in the area and in Virginia Beach village there’s a boardwalk and all the touristy-type stores, nice for a one day walk through. (This is where all the bars are).

If it slows up here a bit, hopefully we’ll get to go around the beginning of sept.

Chincoteague, VA. Spent much of my childhood summers there. It’s a great place for children - your little one will love the ponies.

Chincoteague, VA. Spent much of my childhood summers there. It’s a great place for children - your little one will love the ponies.

I second OC, NJ, but it may be a little too far north for you guys. Still, it’s quite a treat. Fairly quiet, nice and clean. It’s definitely a family-friendly place. I’m going there for the day (!) on the 15th this month.

For the day? Woof. Gotta girl up there or something?

I second Chincoteague, very laid back and not commercialized (though they did just get their first Sunsations–grrrrr!) and you have plenty of room on the beach. Ocracoke is also great, but a bit more of a drive

No, it’s just worth it for me. I don’t have any faith in the beaches around here, and I’ve rented in OCNJ for week-long stints several times.

YOu have no faith in local beaches?

I assure you, they exist.

They do not. A heap of sand isn’t a beach, no matter how many dopey tourists you throw on it.

And I say that having never set foot on a MD beach… :stuck_out_tongue:

Ocracoke is very nice. So is Hatteras.

I’d vote against Virginia Beach - too touristy/tacky. I lived there for 12 years and I hated the Oceanfront strip. Though it was nice to wait until fall/winter when most stuff was closed and take the dogs along the boardwalk. And the Marine Science Museum is nice - I could sit there and watch the otters all day.

And speaking of dogs - Jonathan, you’ve got greyhounds. How about waiting a month and doing Dewey Beach on Columbus Day weekend? Greyhounds on the beach as far as the eye can see! So cool. We stayed in Rehoboth when we went a few years back and enjoyed that very much. Wish we’d had a chance to stay a little longer.

You a Greyhound person, RP? I didn’t know (or I’d forgotten!).

We’ve done Dewey Beach. But our Octobers fill up pretty fiercely with the planning for Dope-A-Ween and such so it’s difficult to get away.

OK, so in our minds we’d committed to Virginia Beach. But it turns out that weekend is ‘Neptune’s Weekend’ or some dumbass thing like that and even skanky hotels cost $250 per night.

Call me cheap but I’m not doing that?

So we’re looking for a place with a boardwalk, nice beaches, and family friendly. Preferably not Ocean City, MD or Rehoboth, DE as we’ve already done those places.

More tips?

I would recommend the Cape May area of New Jersey. Wildwood is somewhat touristy, but Cape May Courthouse and the surrounding towns are fabulous.

Well, I was going to suggest Lewes, DE and Cape Henlopen State Park there–that’s the ocean beach. There’s also bay beaches in Lewes. No boardwalk, though. And that kind of wipes out my other suggestion (actually third or fourth), which was Chincoteague, VA. No boardwalk there, but plenty of great beach. Only thing to watch out for there are greenhead flies, which have a -fierce- bite.

Ocean City NJ is very family-oriented (it’s a dry city even!); nice boardwalk & beach, though it’s been a -long- while since I was there last. :slight_smile:

good luck!

Aha, see? I’m not the only one recommending OCNJ. HA!

Hey Jonathan did you check around on hotel prices in VA Beach? Many people come into to town for the Neptune Festival, but it’s out of season and prices drop pretty well from Aug. to Sep. Oh, romansperson, what local does like the oceanfront from June to August? Except for the surfers and the night life. VAB is highly touted as a “family” oriented beach, replete with all the kitschy stuff.