Salisbury University is near some of Maryland and Delaware’s largest oceanfront beaches.
From Bethany to Assateague, there are many places to choose from. However, I wanted to determine which seaside town was the best weekend getaway for SU students.
Ocean City is an obvious choice. It is Maryland’s most popular beach with eight million visitors each year, according to The Official Site of Ocean City.
The Ocean City Boardwalk offers the longest experience, just 2.45 miles, to enjoy plenty of sun, restaurants, arcades and amusement parks.
Senior Dylan Pusey said he prefers the resort because “Ocean City is closer to [him].” Students only need to travel 30 minutes to reach the area.
However, Ocean City is not without some downsides. Crime and police brutality rates have climbed in recent years.
Part one crimes, including rape, robbery and assault, increased 21% in 2020, according to The Baltimore Sun. Six Black teenagers accused of vaping on the boardwalk were violently arrested by police in Ocean City, according to The Washington Post.
The most popular option may not be the best compared to the rest of what Maryland and Delaware have to offer.
Assateague Island is another close choice. This beach provides a more scenic summer experience with sandy dunes, dense brush and a notable lack of urban high rises.
However, visitors share this shore with its wildlife.
The iconic ponies of Assateague can be a blessing and a curse. They are perfect for admiring from a distance. However, they have been known to be less than inviting to visitors in a few isolated incidents.
Ponies stormed some unsuspecting beachgoers in 2016, as seen in a Facebook video from Amy E. Carter.
Delaware’s shores offer a relaxed atmosphere worth the hour trip from SU’s campus.
Bethany Beach welcomes visitors with a small-town experience that contrasts with Ocean City’s busy city life. The boardwalk is smaller but offers a unique selection of local shops and restaurants to explore.
Unfortunately, the small-town atmosphere is overwhelmed by crowds during the summer. With limited walking space for pedestrians, driving through Bethany can be tedious and dangerous.
Ocean City, Assateague Island and Bethany Beach deliver three different oceanside experiences. Some may appeal to students more than others.
I strongly recommend Bethany Beach for those new to Delmarva’s oceanfront. It features plenty of attractions for all ages without the traffic of Ocean City. Delaware Seashore State Park is not far and exhibits the area’s best nature and wildlife to explore.
By JACOB BEAVER
Staff photos courtesy of Brad Boardman and Jacob Beaver