Can You Sleep On Delaware Beaches?

Last Updated:

We may earn commissions for purchases made through links on our site. Learn more on our about us page.

Person's legs in front of a beach - Can You Sleep On Delaware Beaches?

There are many states that allow you to camp on their beaches. Florida, for example, lets you camp primitively on Long Key State Park’s beaches.

South Carolina has Hunting Island with paved roads, showers, restrooms, and beachfront campgrounds. So back to Delaware, can you sleep and camp directly on the beach? 

The short answer is no, and the long answer is still no, but you can camp very close to the beach.

However, there are campgrounds that have beach camping on the shores of Delaware bays. For instance, Assawoman Bay has campgrounds that offer shoreside camping.


Are Tents Allowed on Delaware Beaches?

Have you ever seen an aerial view of Pensacola Beach during spring break? The sheer number of large sunshades and large tents is darn near enough to cover the whole beach. 

These tents take up lots of prime beach space. Delaware said, “not here, not on our beaches.” The beach towns in Delaware have set some limits as to what they will allow on their beaches. 

Rehoboth beach, for instance, limits the size of sun shade to small baby tents measuring no more than 36″ high, 36″ wide, and36″ deep. These are to be used to shade infants and small children. 

Fenwick Island allows larger tents but sets additional restrictions in regards to where the tent is located in relation to lifeguard stations. Always check with the town or governing body over any beach you plan on attending. 


How Late Can You Be on the Beach in Delaware?

As mentioned above, always check with the town or county for the rules and regulations of their beaches. We’ll use Rehoboth as an example again. They require the beaches to be clear of people at 1 am, and they can return at 5 am. 

On the other hand, Fenwick Island beaches are open 24 hours. The beach town Lewes has two different requirements for being on the beach. 

Firstly, no one is allowed on the beach between Roosevelt Inlet and the Cape May-Lewes Ferry Terminal between midnight and 6 am. 

Secondly, and expressly addressing sleeping or loitering, no one is allowed to partake in activities such as these during the hours of 11 pm and 6 am. And let’s say it all together, always check the rules or laws of any beach you choose to visit. 


Important Tips to Know Before You Go There?

There are six beach towns in Delaware. As we’ve mentioned, just about every town has its own rules and regulations. So, you’ll always want to know those rules before you go. The summer is always going to be the busiest time to visit the beach. 

If you choose to go during the summer, we suggest traveling and checking in midweek for anything before Friday evenings. Beach days should always begin early to ensure you get prime real estate on the shore. 

Worried about parking? Delaware offers a beach bus service as well as a mobile app to find metered parking spaces and pay all at once. Also, Delaware is quite bicycle-friendly for a slower immersion to your beach town of choice. 


What are the Best Spots for Camping on the Beach in Delaware? 

As we have mentioned, many beaches don’t allow camping directly on the beach. Outside of the Assawoman Bay shoreside camping, many beach camping options are more beach adjacent. 

For instance, Delaware Seashore State Park North and South Campgrounds are just a short walk to Coin Beach. Seashore State Park is the ideal location for windsurfing, sailing, sailboarding, kayaking, and boating due to its shallow bays. 

Nestled in the forest near where Delaware Bay meets the Atlantic Ocean. It’s one of the nicest spots to camp in Delaware and is only a short distance from the beach. 

You can go bird watching, hike or bike the Loop trail to see the coastal woodlands and the splendor of the Delaware seashore. These are only two options and offer many amenities and adventures. Delaware has a plethora of amazing camping options near its beaches.


Things You Need to Avoid Doing

Before we get to things you need to avoid doing, we want to mention one thing you should do. And that is to be respectful. When vacationing, you are essentially entering someone else’s home. 

Clean up after yourself and, if possible, leave the place better than you found it. State law maintains that consuming or carrying open containers of alcoholic beverages on beaches, the boardwalk, or any public area inside the municipal borders, is illegal. 

Unfortunately, your furry friends will literally need to be on a short leash. Fido must always be leashed, and their messes must be disposed of properly. 

Also, dogs are not allowed on the boardwalks from May 1st to September 30th. Finally, avoid parking in no-parking zones, and ensure you pay the parking fees if applicable. 


Final Thoughts on Sleeping on Delaware Beaches

The big takeaway here is sleeping, camping or large sunshades are allowed on Delaware beaches. 

There are quite a few more laws, regulations, and safety rules specific to each city and town. Check before you go to make sure your plans are in line with local laws. Happy beach days!