Welcome to Delaware, the second smallest state in the United States, but packed with various attractions and activities for visitors. Whether you’re peeking for a relaxing beach getaway, a glimpse of the state’s rich history, or outdoor adventures, Delaware has something for everyone. In this Delaware travel guide, we will provide you with a comprehensive overview of the top destinations and things to do in Delaware and tips for planning a budget-friendly trip.
Must visit tourist places in Delaware
Delaware has a rich history and a vibrant culture reflected in its many tourist destinations. Here are some of the top places to visit in Delaware:
Nestled along Delaware’s Atlantic Ocean coastline, Rehoboth Beach proudly boasts the title of ‘The Nation’s Summer Capital.’ As the closest stretch of sand to Washington DC, it welcomes thousands of visitors yearly, with many tourists traveling from neighboring Virginia, Maryland, and Pennsylvania.
The shining star of this popular resort town is undoubtedly its expansive sandy beach, offering visitors the perfect place to lounge, sunbathe, and dip in the ocean’s inviting waters. Offshore, avid swimmers and surfers can enjoy the excellent waves. A stroll along the long wooden boardwalk provides many options, with fantastic shops, restaurants, and the exciting Funland amusement park to explore.
Delaware Seashore State Park
Delaware Seashore State Park is a breathtakingly beautiful destination offering outstanding outdoor activities. This slender strip of sand sits between Rehoboth Bay and Indian River Bay, with the wild Atlantic Ocean crashing against its shores.
Preserved and protected since 1965, the park’s serene dunes and windswept beaches provide a magnificent sight. Marvelous views abound over the bays and ocean. Alongside sunbathing on its sun-kissed sands, visitors can dip in the waters for a refreshing swim or catch some waves while surfing. The protected waters of the bays provide a perfect setting for both sailing and windsurfing, making this park an ideal destination for water sports enthusiasts.
Dover, Delaware’s second-largest city and capital, is a treasure trove of fascinating attractions. Located in the heart of the state, the city sits on the banks of the St. Jones River, just inland from Delaware Bay and the Atlantic Ocean.
Founded in 1683, Dover is steeped in rich history and culture, with majestic monuments and museums dispersed throughout the city. At the Delaware Agricultural Museum, visitors can journey through a historic village from the 1890s. At the same time, the Biggs Museum of American Arts showcases incredible paintings, ceramics, and sculptures for art enthusiasts to enjoy.
Nestled between the Atlantic Ocean and Rehoboth Bay, Dewey Beach is a must-visit destination for water sports enthusiasts. The charming sandbar community is also well-known for its lively nightlife and live music scene during the summer months.
In addition to offering fantastic skimboarding and wakeboarding opportunities, this small town boasts wide, sandy beaches perfect for sunbathing, swimming, and surfing offshore. Jet-skiing is a popular activity around the bay, while those who opt for catamaran sailing may be lucky enough to spot playful dolphins.
Nestled on a picturesque stretch of Delaware Bay, the charming seaside town of Lewes offers a delightful visit for tourists. As the first site in the state to be settled by Europeans, Lewes boasts stunning English and Dutch architecture. Cape Henlopen State Park’s magnificent beaches and scenic beauty are just a stone’s throw away.
Originally established by the Dutch in 1631 as a whaling and trading post, the town has become a popular holiday destination with top-notch restaurants and hotels. Visitors can delve into its fascinating heritage at the Zwaanendael Museum and explore the town’s beautiful historic homes, wharves, and waterways.
Where to Stay in Delaware?
Delaware offers a variety of accommodations to suit every budget and preference. Here are some popular options:
- Hotels: Delaware has several hotels, ranging from budget-friendly to luxury resorts. Some of the popular chains include Hilton, Marriott, and Hyatt.
- Vacation Rentals: If you’re looking for a more home-like experience, vacation rentals are available throughout the state. Websites like Airbnb and VRBO offer various options, including apartments, condos, and houses.
- Campsites: Delaware is home to several state parks and private campgrounds that offer campsites for tents and RVs. Some of the popular parks include Cape Henlopen State Park, Killens Pond State Park, and Lums Pond State Park.
Planning a Budget Trip to Delaware
Visiting Delaware doesn’t have to break the bank. Here are some tips for planning a budget-friendly trip to Delaware:
- Visit in the offseason: Summer is the peak season for tourism in Delaware, and prices can be higher during this time. Think of visiting in the spring or fall when prices are typically lower, and the crowds are smaller.
- Look for hotel deals: Many hotels offer discounts and special packages during the off-season. Check hotel websites and booking websites like Expedia and Booking.com for deals.
- Cook your meals: Eating outside can be expensive, especially if you’re traveling with a family. Consider staying in a vacation rental with a kitchen and preparing your meals. Pack a picnic and enjoy a meal at one of Delaware’s parks or beaches.
- Take advantage of free activities: Delaware has several free activities, including visiting the state parks, exploring the historic downtowns, and attending festivals and events. Check the state tourism website for a list of free activities.
- Use public transportation: Delaware’s DART bus system is an affordable way to get around the state. You can buy a daily or weekly pass, which allows unlimited rides.
Also read: How to plan florida trip
Things to Do in Delaware
In addition to the popular tourist destinations mentioned earlier, Delaware offers a variety of activities for visitors. Here are some of the greatest things to do in Delaware:
- Outdoor Adventures: Delaware is a great destination for outdoor enthusiasts, with activities like hiking, biking, kayaking, and fishing. Some popular parks for outdoor activities include Cape Henlopen State Park and White Clay Creek State Park.
- Tax-free Shopping: Delaware is one of the few states in the US with no sales tax. This makes it a popular shopping destination, with several shopping centers and outlet malls throughout the state.
- Visit the Breweries: Delaware has a thriving craft beer scene, with several breweries and brewpubs throughout the state. Some popular breweries include Dogfish Head Brewery, Iron Hill Brewery, and Twin Lakes Brewing Company.
- Attend Festivals and Events: Delaware has a variety of festivals and events throughout the year, including the Delaware State Fair, the Rehoboth Beach Jazz Festival, and the Delaware Wine and Beer Festival.
Also read: Discovering Delaware: 20 Fascinating Facts
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
When is the best time to visit Delaware?
The best time to visit Delaware depends on your preferences. Summer is the peak season for tourism, and the weather is warm and sunny. Spring and fall offer milder weather, lower prices, and fewer crowds.
What are the top tourist destinations in Delaware?
Some of the top tourist destinations in Delaware include the Delaware Beaches, the Brandywine Valley, Historic New Castle, the Delaware Art Museum, and the Nemours Mansion and Gardens.
How do I get to Delaware?
You can drive to Delaware or fly to nearby airports, including Philadelphia International Airport, Baltimore-Washington International Airport, or Atlantic City International Airport. Amtrak’s Northeast Corridor line also runs through Wilmington, Delaware’s largest city.
What are some under-budget things to do in Delaware?
Some budget-friendly things to do in Delaware include visiting the state parks, exploring the historic downtowns, attending free festivals and events, and taking advantage of hotel deals.
What are some outdoor activities to do in Delaware?
Delaware offers a variety of outdoor activities, including hiking, biking, kayaking, and fishing. Some popular parks for outdoor activities include Cape Henlopen State Park and White Clay Creek State Park.
Is Delaware a good destination for families?
Delaware is a great destination for families, with its beaches, parks, museums, and family-friendly events and activities. There are also several budget-friendly options for families, such as vacation rentals and free activities.
Delaware may be little, but it packs a big punch regarding attractions and activities. From its picturesque beaches to charming small towns and rich history, Delaware has something for everyone. By following the tips on planning a budget-friendly trip and taking advantage of the free activities and public transportation, visitors can make the most of their time in Delaware without breaking the bank. So if you’re looking for a unique East Coast destination, consider a trip to the First State and discover all that Delaware offers.