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CBS3 SummerFest: How Rehoboth Beach Continues To Be Nation's Summer Capitol For Over 100 Years

REHOBOTH BEACH, Del. (CBS) -- From the beautiful free beaches to the mile-long boardwalk, Rehoboth Beach is referred to as the nation's summer capitol. It's a spot where locals and visitors alike come to soak up the summer sunshine.

"People have been coming here for over 100  years to do exactly the same things decade after decade," Rehoboth Beach Museum director Nancy Alexander said.

The Rehoboth Beach boardwalk packs a lot of fun into one mile. From its casual eateries and shops to its free white sand beaches.

"Going in the water, surfing, skimboarding, playing football and frisbee and all that stuff," Trip Murphy, of Wilmington, said.

rehoboth beach
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"Plenty to do, plenty to see, plenty to eat," Jason Leiberman, of Baltimore, said. "It's just a good time."

The Rehoboth Beach Museum collects bits and pieces of the past -- including vintage swimsuits and old postcards.

When Rehoboth Beach became a tourist destination at the turn of the century, swimming was no breeze.

"Those bathing suits were heavy wool," Alexander said, "and when they got wet they were very heavy -- 30 pounds."

Rehoboth Beach even still has one of its earliest one-room beach house -- the Anna Hazzard Museum, estimated to have been built in the 1870s.

anna hazzard house
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History is very much alive at Funland, an old-fashioned post-war amusement park that Al Fasnacht bought in 1962. Some of the original rides are still there, including the boats, the merry-go-round and the fire engines.

"In fact a gentleman told me last summer that he rode the fire engine 70 years ago," Fasnacht said. "And he was putting his great-grandson on."

"We've been coming here since I was a little kid," Abigail Smith, a visitor, said.

Now Smith brings her daughters, including 1-year-old Caroline.

"My favorite memory is just being with friends and family," Smith said, "and now it's seeing my daughters enjoy it too."

The park is an inexpensive treat. Fasnacht calls it today's fun at yesterday's prices.

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"Fifty-eight years ago, our tickets were 10 cents," he said, "and we sold them 12 for a dollar."

The price has only risen to 40 cents since. Fasnacht could charge more, but he says delivering fun is more precious than the money.

"Why not keep the prices reasonable and have more people having a good time?" he said.

Fasnacht's great granddaughter 10-year-old Emma Darr is part of the fifth generation to work at the park.

"It's definitely a lot of fun being a part of the family," Darr said.

You have to go up a story to find Ryan's Mini Golf.

ryan's mini golf
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It's been on a roof overlooking the boardwalk since 1977. Sam Collins, of Newark, was a first-timer.

"Oh, you can see everything and it's just beautiful to look out on the water on a day like today," Collins said.

But Collins' wife Bernie is a golfer from way back.

"Probably since I was old enough to walk," Bernie Collins said. "I have a picture my uncle took of me playing putt-putt here when I was a [child]."

Now it's time for a new generation to enjoy all that Rehoboth Beach has to offer.

"I like going to the beach and I like getting candy from the candy store," Shelby Hines said, "and I like getting the T-shirts from here."

And start making memories of their own.

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