Delaware is the second-smallest state in the country, but its beautiful beaches, amazing state parks, and lovely colonial towns make up for it. It is in the Mid-Atlantic part of the United States. It is a very varied place, with both rural areas and remote wildlife refuges and urban and industrialized areas.
In addition to its beautiful beaches, Delaware also has a lot of interesting ancient sites to see. Both Dover and Lewes have a number of great museums. Europeans settled and colonized these towns hundreds of years ago, and now you can tour their beautiful buildings and historic homes.
The Best Places to Visit in Delaware
The main reason why everyone goes, though, is to see the beautiful Atlantic Ocean shoreline. The beautiful beaches of Bethany, Dewey, and Rehoboth are some of the most popular places to visit in Delaware. Delaware is often called “The Small Wonder” because it has a lot of water sports to try and quiet seaside places to visit.
Wilmington is the biggest city in one of the smallest states, but it has a surprising number of things to do, places to go out, and cultural things to enjoy.
From Rodney Square, you can walk down the historic Market Street area to see its shops and cafes, as well as great places like The Queen, where concerts are held, and the Grand Opera House, where Broadway shows are put on.
The Delaware Art Museum focuses on American art and the pre-Raphaelite movement of painting, which is known for its medieval-style flowing gowns and drapes.
2. Rehoboth Beach, Delaware
More than 10 million people visit Rehoboth Beach every year, including President Joe Biden, who has a summer home there. It is the largest beach town in Delaware.
The biggest draws are the public beach and the mile-long pier, but there is so much more. Funland has been a popular amusement park for a long time. It has rides for people of all kinds. Dolle’s Candyland, which has been making saltwater taffy and fudge since 1910, has a sign that looks out over the beach. This is Rehoboth’s most well-known landmark.
3. State Park of Delaware Seashore
The Delaware Seashore State Park is on a thin strip of land between the beach towns of Dewey Beach and Bethany Beach. On both sides of the Indian River inlet in the park, there are sites, and you can walk or ride your bike across the inlet’s cable bridge to see where the bay meets the Atlantic Ocean.
Visit the Indian River Life-Saving Station Museum. It was built in 1876 and was run by surfmen who patrolled the coast to help accident victims. Shipwrecks were common along that stretch of dangerous water.
4. The Town of Dover
You can start your trip to Dover, the capital of Delaware, on The Green at Dover, which was put out in 1717 and is the city’s historic center. It has the Old State House and other old buildings. The Old State House is open for tours from Wednesday to Saturday.
The Biggs Museum of American Art is just around the corner. It has works from Gilbert Stuart to the 20th century, as well as early American furniture and decorative arts, in its collection.
5. The Wildlife Refuge at Bombay Hook
Even though Delaware is best known for its beaches on the ocean, there is also a lot to see along the bay. People have said that the Bombay Hook National Wildlife Refuge is a birdwatcher’s dream because there are so many different kinds of birds that live there or stop by to nest, like osprey, egrets, swans, herons, and even bald eagles.
The reserve has five different hiking trails, as well as a nature road that you can drive on to see even more and take some great photos of nature.
6. The Town of New Castle
History fans must visit New Castle, which has many houses from the colonial era and cobblestone streets that still have some of that old-world feel. The Dutch House Museum is one of the oldest houses in Delaware. It may have been built as early as the late 1600s, and it is full of antiques from that time.
There are also guided tours of the Amstel House, a mansion from the 1730s where you can see how colonists lived, and the New Castle Court House Museum, which tells the story of New Castle’s part in the American Revolution.
7. The Town of Lewes
Lewes is the entrance to Delaware’s beach resorts, and it is also a charming colonial town. When you get there, the first thing you might notice is a brick building with a unique design that looks like it belongs in The Netherlands.
This is the Zwaanendael Museum, which was built to celebrate the 300th anniversary of the Dutch village that became Lewes in 1631. It has displays about both local history and the many ships that have been found off the coast of Delaware.
Georgetown has a long past and feels like a small town. It is known for its unusual holiday, “Return Day,” which has been going on for more than 200 years. On this day, the winning and losing candidates take a carriage ride through the town together.
The Circle, which was built when the town was founded in 1791, is the heart of the town. It is ringed by government buildings because it is the county seat of Sussex County. The Treasures of the Sea is another unique thing to see in Georgetown. It is an exhibit of things that were found on a Spanish galleon that sank off the coast of Florida in the 1600s.
9. Brandywine Creek State Park
There are many miles of trails and four wildlife preserves in Brandywine Creek State Park. It has a rare area of old-growth forest, and Brandywine Creek cuts it in half. It’s an important place for pollinators, and there’s even a park for them to visit. Because of this, birdwatchers come here in droves.
As you walk through the park, you’ll see stone walls that were built in the 1800s when the land was used as a dairy farm by the famous du Pont Family.
10. The Village of Montchanin
Even though Delaware is a small state, many people outside of it don’t know that it has a number of huge homes that wouldn’t look out of place on Downton Abbey.
Many of them are near Montchanin Village, which was named after a member of the DuPont family. The duPonts were one of the richest families in America, and their powder works were close by. The town has a hotel and a spa where you can relax between trips to the family’s estates.
The Winterthur Estate has become one of the best museums in the world for American furniture and decorative arts. Nemours is a French neoclassical mansion with big formal gardens to explore.
Delaware is one of the smallest states in terms of area miles, but it has a lot to see and do. If anything, Delaware’s small size makes it easy to get from one place to another. Delaware has a lot to offer history buffs, who probably already know that it was the first of the original 13 states to pass the Constitution.
But the First State is more than just Colonial buildings and items. Along Delaware’s Atlantic coast, there are many beaches that are great for summer trips with the whole family.