Fall weekend getaway packages available at state park

Delaware Seashore State Park, located north of Bethany Beach, is offering two weekend vacation packages this fall: the Fall Fishing Weekend and the Autumn Shores Getaway. Each package will include a variety of programs, several meals and a discounted rate for a two-night stay at the beautiful, waterfront cottages positioned along the Indian River Inlet.

The first package, the Fall Fishing Weekend, will take place Oct. 17-19. The weekend will begin on Friday evening with a program titled “Gilled to Grilled,” in which participants will clean and fillet their own fish and cook it for dinner.

On Saturday morning, the group will then learn the basics of surf fishing during a half-day introductory program led by park staff on the beach. In the afternoon, the Saltwater Fly Anglers of Delaware will be providing a hands-on demonstration of fly casting in the surf.

On Saturday evening, guest speaker Richard Seagraves, a representative from the Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Council, will discuss current initiatives of the council and techniques used to manage fisheries. To close out the weekend, participants will enjoy a half-day ocean fishing trip aboard a head boat from the Indian River Marina.

The Fall Fishing Weekend costs $165 per person, with a discounted rate at the cottage. All activities, one dinner, two breakfasts and two lunches are included in the price. The package is recommended for those 15 or older.

Delaware Seashore State Park’s other weekend package, the “Autumn Shores Getaway,” will be offered Oct. 31 through Nov. 2. The weekend will focus on the natural beauty of Delaware’s coast in the fall — something many summertime visitors do not get the opportunity to experience.

The weekend will kick off Friday evening with a guided night hike through the Burton Island Nature Preserve, located just a short walk from the cottages. In the morning on Saturday, participants can enjoy a guided hike of Thompson Island Nature Preserve, located at the north end of the park. A park naturalist will lead the group, explaining the Native American ties to the land and identifying wildlife along the way.

After leaving Thompson Island, the group will travel to the town of Ocean View for a local, organic lunch. The family-style lunch will be served at Good Earth Market, complete with a tour of their certified organic farm. On the way back to the park, there will be a stop at the James Farm Ecological Preserve, an oasis of wild land on the south shore of Indian River Bay that is managed by Delaware’s Center for the Inland Bays. The day will end with a campfire and stargazing on the beach.

On Sunday, participants can enjoy a two-hour boat cruise of the Rehoboth-Lewes Canal. The trip will cruise past the towns of Lewes and Rehoboth Beach, as well as Cape Henlopen State Park and Thompson Island Nature Preserve.

The fee for the Autumn Shores Getaway is $75 per person, with a discounted rate at the cottages. All outdoor activities, transportation, two breakfasts and one lunch are included in the price. This package recommended for those 8 or older.

For more information about Delaware Seashore State Park’s cottages, visit http://www.destateparks.com/camping/cottages. For more information about weekend vacation packages, or to make reservations, contact the Indian River Life-Saving Station at Delaware Seashore State Park at (302) 227-6991.