Less hectic than Gümbet just east, Bitez (the closest resort town to Bodrum) is still a major centre of coastal nightlife in summer, and draws as many foreigners as Turks. However, it's an actual village, framed by lovely orchards, so it doesn't go into total hibernation in winter. The fine sandy beach, 2km below the village centre, is good for swimming and packed with umbrellas and loungers, satellites of the restaurants and cafes behind them.
In summer, Siesta Daily Boat Cruises offers day trips from the beach departing at 10am and returning around 6pm.
For some cultural edification, visit the ruins of Pedasa, signposted just before the turnoff to Bitez village on the D330 linking Bodrum with Turgutreis. A relic of the lost Lelegian civilisation that predated the Carians, this small site features defensive wall foundations and a number of chamber graves.