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Best Road Trips in Delaware
See the First State Along These Famed Tours Hit the road and see the Delaware River Valley this fall, check out the Atlantic Coast this summer, and just plain enjoy yourself any time in between.
Why not start with the Delaware River to Bay Tour? This tour offers everything from the Corporate Capital of the World to the beach communities of the Atlantic Coast.
Follow the Delaware River to the Delaware while exploring metropolitan Wilmington, the capital city of Dover, and the shoreline of Dewey Beach. We’ve got museums, wildlife refuges, NASCAR, and history in the First State.
Delaware River to Bay Tour
Exploring Eastern Delaware & the Coast
This tour offers everything from the Corporate Capital of the World to the beach communities of the Atlantic Coast. Follow the Delaware River to the Delaware while exploring metropolitan Wilmington, the capital city of Dover, and the shoreline of Dewey Beach. We’ve got museums, wildlife refuges, NASCAR, and history in the First State.
Delaware’s largest city, Wilmington is set on the Christina River, just 35 miles down the Delaware River Valley from Philadelphia. A festive and historic city, Wilmington is a bustling place with plenty to see and do.
Wilmington yields a multitude of cultural sites. Art aficionados can visit the Delaware Art Museum and Delaware Center for the Contemporary Arts, while history buffs enjoy exploring Willingtown Square.
For traveling families, don’t miss the Delaware Museum of Natural History, Brandywine Zoo, Delaware Children's Museum, and the Delaware Children's Theatre.
Wilmington also features a full event calendar. See if you can catch festivities like the Clifford Brown Jazz Festival, and cultural events like the Italian Festival, Haneef's African Festival, and IndiaFest.
Holiday travelers, don’t miss the Christmas Tree lighting at the Rockwood Museum & Park.
A number of parks are found in and around Wilmington. Check out Brandywine Creek State Park, Alapocas Woods Natural Area, H. Fletcher Brown Park, and Rockford Park.
You can also try hiking, biking, and horseback riding in nearby Bear at the Lums Pond State Park.
From Wilmington, stick to the western banks of the Delaware River while traveling south on Delaware State Route 9. You’ll pass Fort DuPont State Park, Augustine Beach, and Silver Run Wildlife Area – all great spots for a picnic lunch.
Move west on State Route 6, or Woodland Beach Road, into Smyrna – another quaint town on the Delaware River.
Smyrna is full of unique spots to explore. Check out the pharmacy museum at the Henry Levin Center, the historic structures at the Smyrna Museum, or the art gallery within the Smyrna Opera House.
And what’s a Delaware drive tour without a historic downtown district? Be sure to see nearly 500 buildings found on the National Register of Historic Places in Historic Downtown Smyrna.
The annual Smyrna Farmers Market is a great place to snag some local produce, flowers, bread, and gifts. Held at the historic Smyrna Opera House, the market operates every Thursday from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m., June through August
Set on the Delaware Bay on 16,000 acres, the Bombay Hook National Wildlife Refuge encompasses scenic forests, pond, and marshes. Visitors enjoy everything from bird watching and walking tours, to fishing, Garrison Lake golfing, and the historic Allee House.
From Smyrna, hop on State Route 1 and travel south for 15 miles to Dover – the capital and second largest city of Delaware.
The Capital of the First State is home to the Dover International Speedway – hosting annual NASCAR events throughout the year. Established in 1969, the “Monster Mile" is a one-mile concrete track holding up to 135,000 race fans.
Just be sure to snap a photo of Miles the Monster.
You’re in capital city, so be sure to hit the Old State House and Legislative Hall – both doubling as historic sites as well. Other great stops for history lovers include the Schwartz Center for the Arts, the Sewell C. Biggs Museum of American Art, and the Delaware State Museum.
Dover is also a golfer’s paradise thanks to Maple Dale Country Club, the Dover Center Par 3 and Driving Range, and the Dover Air Base Golf Course for you military travelers. Several courses surround capital city, including Wild Quail Country Club and Jonathan's Landing Golf Course.
From Dover, continue south along State Route 1, or the Coastal Highway, for 45 miles to Dewey Beach – a stunning beach community set on the Delaware Bay and Atlantic Coast.
Your best chance to experience the Dewey Beach’s coastline is at Delaware Seashore State Park. Covering nearly 3,000 acres, the park is flanked by Rehoboth Bay and the Atlantic Ocean.
This six-mile shore offers fishing, boating, and swimming, plus clamming, crabbing, and surfing. Dry land activities include hiking, biking, and horseback riding trails like Prickly Pear Trail, Fred Hudson Road Trail, and more.
DB is also home to annual Dewey Beach Music Conference – a large, three-day music industry event held in mid-September. The DBMC features panels and lectures, a tradeshow, meet-and-greets, after parties, and of course, live music.
Located on 5,000 acres of Cape Henlopen, Cape Henlopen State Park features sunbathing, fishing, surfing, and even surf fishing. More fun stuff includes hiking, biking, and equestrian trail like the Seaside Nature Trail, the Gordons Pond Trail, and Salt March Spur.
Check out Gordon's Pond Beach, the Seaside Nature Center, and the 18-hole disc golf course.