Delaware may be small in size, but the state is big in historical importance. Delaware was the first state in the nation to ratify statehood and is prized for its low taxation. Conveniently located to Philadelphia, Baltimore and Washington, DC, Delaware is seen as a bridge connecting the northern and southern sections of the country. When visiting the First State, the following are among the top places you will want to see.
Wilmington, Largest City
The largest city in Delaware is Wilmington, home to just over 70,000 residents. Founded in 1638, it is one modern America’s oldest cities, named for Spencer Compton, the Earl of Wilmington.
The Nemours Mansion and Gardens is a must see attraction, a duPont family home. See how the “other side” lived including their basement bowling alley, fine furnishings, lavish gardens and ornate mansion. The city is also home to the Hagley Museum and Library, located on the former industrial site for the black powder works of the DuPont Company. Besides its artwork treasures, the site is known for its working water wheel, well manicured grounds and lovely gardens.
Other places to visit in Wilmington include the Delaware Art Museum, the Grand Opera House and the New Candlelight Theater. In the summer, visit Frawley Stadium to enjoy the Wilmington Blue Rocks, a minor league baseball team.
Dover, Capital City
The capital and second largest city in Delaware is Dover, home to approximately 36,000 people. Located in the center of the state, Dover is also the seat of government for Kent County.
Besides the capitol building, visitors to Dover will have their choice of museums, sporting venues and parks to enjoy. The Air Mobility Command Museum is city’s top attraction, where old museums are put on display. Exhibits include the Berlin Airlift, Korean War, and C-47 Engine Change. Notable aircraft include a C-121 Constellation, a B17G Flying Fortress and a UH-1 Huey.
Dover is also home to the Johnson Victrola Museum, the Biggs Museum of American Art, the Johns Dickinson Plantation and the State House Museum. NASCAR fans enjoy visiting the Dover International Speedway for all the action.
Festive Rehoboth Beach
Known by many as the nation’s summer capital due to its proximity to Washington, DC, and popularity amongst federal workers, Rehoboth Beach is the best known of Delaware’s many beach destinations. The town is small, but it is dominated by a boardwalk that provides easy access to the beach as well as to shops.
Rehoboth Beach has also been recognized as one of the best places to retire. The community is home to the Clear Space Theater Company and sponsors several annual events including the Sea Witch Festival, the Rehoboth Beach Independent Film Festival and other events.
Lovely Sussex County
The largest and most southern of Delaware’s three counties is Sussex County, home just over 20 percent of the state’s 925,000 plus residents. The county seat is Georgetown, a community of approximately 7,000 individuals.
Georgetown itself is unusual as the center of the community is built around a circle with the county courthouse and other government buildings included within that. The city has a number of famous homes to visit including the Stella Pepper Gyles House, the David Carlton Pepper Farm, Richards Mansion and the Thomas Sipple House.
Other communities worth visiting include Bethany Beach, Dewey Beach, Milford, Seaford and Millville. The community of Lewes, incorporated in 1631, is Delaware’s oldest — it is also home to several iconic lighthouses and the ferry that crosses the Delaware Bay to Cape May County, New Jersey.
For a small state, Delaware is big on places to visit. Other cities and towns of note include Newark, Milford, New Castle, Smyrna, and Millsboro. Fenwick Island is also popular, prized for its proximity to Ocean City, Maryland.
See Also — West Virginia Vacation Destinations