Bethany Beach, DE by Brooke F

All of my best childhood memories are in Bethany Beach, Delaware.  Because my mom was a teacher, my mom, sister, and I were able to spend the summer uninterrupted on the beach.  As a child, the thing that I loved most about Bethany was the freedom.  From a young age, my sister and I along with a group of other “local” kids would run around uninhibited and without too much adult supervision.  Bethany was safe, never too crowded, and my parents knew that the shop owners and local adults would be looking out for us.  There definitely is an “eyes on the street” atmosphere in Bethany where the people that live there really do care about the residents and visitors.  Whether it was the hot dog stand that always saved its extra food at closing time for us or the shaved ice shop owner that knew my order by heart, we felt like we were part of the town.  As a child, I just knew that I loved it there and I still do.  However, now I am starting to think about what made this particular environment such a good place for someone to grow up.  The first thing is definitely safety.  The main town is tiny and there aren’t really any places to hide or for anything scary to happen, everything is well lit and out in the open.  There are also plenty of police officers on duty stationed at crosswalks and every main area.  Also, the atmosphere of the town really is designed for children.  There are movie nights on the beach with a huge inflatable movie screen blown up in the sand showing only children’s movies, concerts and karaoke nights at the main gathering place in the center of town, a children’s theater, and an arcade.  All of these elements combined with the beach and boardwalk make it a perfect place to keep children intrigued.  Finally, as I mentioned before, the people in the town really make it as special as it is.  Locals love being from Bethany and it shows in how they watch out for the children.  For the past 7 years I have worked at the shaved ice shop on the boardwalk (and got the job from the owner who finally told me I came so much as a child and adolescent that I might as well work there).  I can see the same kids come back summer after summer and as I remember their orders and watch out for them as they run down the boardwalk, I definitely can still say that Bethany was the best place to grow up.   

Town of Bethany (https://www.solartex.com/blog/the-top-5-best-family-beaches-on-the-east-coast/)
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