GETTING THERE: Rehoboth Beach, Del., is about 120 miles from D.C. Take Route 50 east over the Chesapeake Bay Bridge to Route 404 east. Surfing students meet on the boardwalk in front of the Henlopen Hotel (311 N. Boardwalk). Surf school owner Peter Zabowski scouts the best wave and tide conditions and leads students to the beach where the lessons are given.

SURFING THERE: Two-hour lessons at the Boarding School (302-270-8103, cost $60 and are given daily from 8 to 10 a.m. and 10 a.m. to noon through mid-October, weather permitting. Half-day lessons at Assateague Island cost $120. Students must be at least 8 years old and able to swim.

STAYING THERE: I enjoyed my stay at the Rehoboth Guest House (40 Maryland Ave., 800-564-0493,, near the beach. Rooms are small but pleasantly decorated and reasonably priced, from $85 double. A more luxurious choice, with a pool and spa: Avenue Inn (33 Wilmington Ave., 800-433-5870, Doubles begin at $169.

EATING THERE: Rehoboth Beach has much better food than most beach towns, with prices to reflect that quality and long waits even on weeknights. The pork tenderloin and garlic mashed potatoes at Cafe Sole (44 Baltimore) were truly memorable. The restaurant also offers pasta, seafood and a daily vegetarian dish. Dinner entrees start at $14. Eden's (23 Baltimore Ave.) offers gourmet American-style cuisine, with entrees from about $25. The Big Fish Grill (4171 Highway 1) is widely considered to have the best seafood in town. Entrees begin at $14. Jakes Seafood House (First and Baltimore) is closer to the beach; entrees begin at $12.95. For cheap eats: Nicola Pizza (8 N. First St.), serving pizza, pasta and sandwiches.

INFO: Rehoboth Beach-Dewey Beach Chamber of Commerce, 302-227-2233,