The Best Places to Visit in Delaware in 2023
Are you planning your vacation or a quick weekend away in 2023? Then look no further than our guide on the best places to visit in Delaware. There is so much to see and do in our great state, making it popular not only for presidents but also for families and anyone in need of a well-earned break.
At The Beacon Inn, we’re proud to call Delaware home, so let us share with you some of the must-visit destinations for the year ahead.
Nicknamed ‘the first state’ because it was the first to ratify the constitution back in 1787, it should be obvious from this alone that there is plenty of history and charm to Delaware. Beyond the roots of discovery, however, you’ll find beautiful beaches, opportunities to spot local wildlife, and fun-filled days out for the family.
And what better base to explore everything Delaware has to offer than right here at The Beacon Inn? Situated in the beautiful, historic town of Lewes, you can stay with us in comfort and explore the local and wider reaches of Delaware — don’t forget to reserve your room for 2023 today!
Cape Henlopen State Park
Becoming an official state park in 1964, the area on the mouth of Delaware Bay has been set aside as public land and as a wildlife refuge since it was first settled.
As a waterfront destination, there’s plenty to keep everyone interested in such a tranquil setting. For example, you can find out about the area’s strategic importance in World War II at the Fort Miles Museum and Historic Area, complete with gun bunkers, transport trucks, and an observation tower.
If nature appeals to you more, you’ll find plenty to do, from swimming, kayaking, and paddleboarding in the ocean, to scenic trails around the park that you can explore on foot or on two wheels. There are even camping grounds if you want to stay for more than an afternoon.
There are few places better in Delaware than Rehoboth Beach. Between the sun and the sand – the perfect place to relax and sunbathe – there is a wonderful boardwalk area to explore, making it the ideal resort town to wander and explore. Popular with visitors from neighboring states, Funland is one of the key draws for families, featuring arcades, games, and refreshments — and that includes the classics like salt water taffy and fudge.
Venture further in from the boardwalk and you’ll find a variety of shops, some local and others branded, and even a lively nightlife if you love to dance. Rehoboth Beach is also home to a few popular breweries, such as Dogfish Head and Iron Hill.
We’ve already touched on Lewes, but did you know that it’s believed to be the spot where Dutch settlers first landed? That’s what makes it the first town in the first state, a historic claim to fame that keeps curious explorers coming back each year.
Amidst the charm and quaint architecture are some enthralling essentials, such as the Zwaanendael Museum, where you can learn all about the area’s settlement over 300 years ago. Plus, there’s the calm of Lewes Beach just down the road from us here at The Beacon Inn.
Fancy a round of golf as part of your stay? Then you’ll be glad to hear that Lewes has a couple of fantastic courses that you can read about in our previous post.
One of the biggest cities in Delaware, there is so much to see and do in Wilmington and, of course, it’s strategically placed as an entry point from surrounding states. Here is where the historic meets the modern in terms of architecture, including the Nemours Estate created by the Du Pont family.
When it comes to entertainment in Wilmington, you won’t be disappointed. From the riverfront where you can stroll the promenade and get a different view of the city, to the ever-popular Delaware Children’s Museum and the Delaware Art Museum, it’s a great way to spend the day.
As day turns to night, you can take in a game at Frawley Stadium, home of the Wilmington Blue Rocks, catch a show at The Grand Opera House, or sample the nightlife in any one of the many bars and clubs.
Bombay Hook National Wildlife Refuge
Up on the north shore of Delaware is the Bombay Hook National Wildlife Refuge, a sprawl of tidal salt marsh. Dotted with meadows, forests, swamps, and waterways, it’s the perfect place to spot a variety of migratory birds, including Canada geese, sandpipers, egrets, and many others as you walk one of the multiple trails.
Get a closer glimpse of the habitats as you stroll along or get the view from higher up in one of three observation towers that stand roughly 30 feet in height. You can also opt to take a driving trail to investigate the varied ecosystems if that’s more your speed.
It’s better to time your trip out to this refuge in spring or fall when there are fewer bugs but still good chances of spotting wildlife.
Get a real feel for colonial-era Delaware in the city of New Castle, just south of Wilmington. It’s an absolute must for any history fan, where the streets are awash with classic colonial architecture — most impressive among this is the Dutch House Museum, believed to be the oldest house in Delaware, dating back to the late 1600s.
Once you’re done wandering the cobblestone streets, there are plenty of other sights to see, including the quaint shops and Battery Park, which will lead you nicely onto a riverside walk along the Delaware River.
A short hop down the coast from Rehoboth Beach is another unmissable Delaware gem, Bethany Beach. If you’re looking for a more secluded and peaceful beach experience, then this is the place to be. It still has a boardwalk and a variety of events but since it’s populated with a lot of vacation homes, the number of people in the region is a lot lower.
Go swimming, sailing, scuba diving, or simply enjoy the golden, sandy beach that stretches out along the boardwalk. Feeling hungry? Then stop at your choice of restaurants and browse the local shops. And if you want to know more about the local ecosystem, drop by the Bethany Beach Nature Center where you can interact with the exhibits and explore the outdoor conservation area.
Delaware Seashore State Park
Another state park worth the trip is the Delaware Seashore State Park. Located between Delaware Bay and the Atlantic Ocean, it’s teeming with things to see and do. There are patrolled swimming areas in the summer, surfing, fishing, and much more thanks to the location between two bodies of water. On land, you can learn more about the history of daring ship rescues with a visit to the Indian River Life-Saving Station Museum.
With campgrounds, trails, and bike routes, you can get great views of the bay and the ocean – as well as the cable bridge where the two meet – regardless of whether you’re there for a day or over a long weekend.
A trip to the capital city of Delaware is not to be missed; this is because there are a variety of activities, sights, and things to do in one of the larger of the state’s cities. The huge First State National Historical Park contains the John Dickinson Plantation, as well as the spot where Delaware became the first state to ratify the constitution, Green Park, making it worth the journey for this alone.
However, Dover also offers a variety of modern culture and entertainment too, from the Dover International Speedway to the Biggs Museum of American Art, you won’t struggle to find something for each member of the family.
Best places to visit with kids
Keeping the kids entertained throughout the year might seem difficult, but here in Delaware, we have a whole range of options. Whether your little ones are interested in nature, science, sport, or culture – or if you simply want them to burn off some energy – you’ll find it in a variety of places:
- Jungle Jim’s River Safari Water Park – Rehoboth Beach
- Woodside Farm Creamery – Hockessin
- 3 Palms Zoo – Townsend
- Delaware Children’s Museum – Wilmington
- Family Fun Galaxy – Middletown
- Marshall Steam Museum – Yorklyn
- Delaware Agricultural Museum and Village – Dover
Find more great local activities and places to visit with your kids in our previous post covering Lewes and Rehoboth Beach.
Reserve your room at The Beacon Inn now online or call us for more details and we’ll be happy to assist you. With comfortable rooms, a swimming pool, and a sun deck, our team is looking forward to welcoming you in 2023!