Named after Thomas Fenwick, a planter from England who settled in Maryland, Fenwick Island lay in the part of Delaware which was claimed by Lord Baltimore and his heirs during the Penn-Baltimore border dispute. Contrary to popular belief, the town does not sit on a barrier island but on a narrow peninsula which resembles a barrier island (unless one considers a narrow man-made boat canal well inland that connects White Creek to Little Assawoman Bay). The narrow strip of land separates the Atlantic Ocean from Little Assawoman Bay. Ocean City, Maryland occupies the southern tip of this peninsula. Fenwick Island and its neighbors to the north, Bethany Beach and South Bethany are popularly known as "The Quiet Resorts". This is in contradistinction to the wild atmosphere of Dewey Beach and the cosmopolitan bustle of Rehoboth Beach. Fenwick Island, however, is somewhat less "quiet" than "the Bethanies" because it is immediately across the state line from Ocean City, Maryland, which has a reputation as a lively vacation resort.