Delaware may be small, but don’t let its size fool you.
The First State provides plenty of excitement to discover, from charming beach boardwalks and tax-free shopping to early American history and outdoor escapes.
As you’re planning your vacation to Delaware, be sure to check out our list of 11 interesting and beautiful places to visit in this underrated state.
You may find that you’ll want to stick around longer than expected to enjoy everything the “Small Wonder” has to offer!
1. Rehoboth Beach Boardwalk – Rehoboth Beach, DE
Rehoboth Beach is perhaps the most visited destination in Delaware, and the heart of all the excitement is along the Rehoboth Beach Boardwalk. Full of shops, restaurants, beach vibes, and more, you’ll love the abundant sights, sounds, and colors while strolling along its scenic oceanfront.
While there, you’ll want to stop at Funland, the classic boardwalk amusement park with midway games and carnival rides. Plus, a visit wouldn’t be complete without grabbing a hot cup of Thrasher’s french fries, a local Delaware treat.
If you want a classy, yet relaxing place to stay for the weekend, I recommend the Boardwalk Plaza Hotel, located right on the beach near the boardwalk.
2. The Dover Green – Dover, DE
Laid out in 1717 according to pioneer William Penn’s specifications, the Dover Green is full of American history. Part of the larger First State Heritage Park, the green provides a great starting point to immerse yourself in Delaware’s unique past, including:
- The Old State House – Built in 1791, the Old State House was Delaware’s first state capitol, providing a glimpse of the early days of state government in the US
- John Bell House – Built in the mid 1700s, this house serves as the interpretive center for First State Heritage Park
- The Golden Fleece Tavern Sign – This spot marks the location of the original tavern where local leaders ratified the US Constitution, making Delaware the first US state
3. The Grand Opera House – Wilmington, DE
Seeking fantastic entertainment for a family night out or a romantic date night during your Delaware vacation? Look no further than The Grand Opera House in Wilmington, the state’s largest city.
Built in 1871, this beautiful theater has been providing entertaining shows to locals and visitors for over 140 years. Experts consider the opera house as an excellent example of 19th century American architecture, and when you see it in person, it’s easy to see why.
Today the theater offers a variety of broadway-level performances year-round. Be sure to get your tickets early!
4. Lewes Historic District – Lewes, DE
Known as “the first town in the first state,” Lewes, DE provides small-town charms, shopping, history, and waterfront views to visitors all year. Established in 1631, Lewes’ famous historic district includes a number of fascinating places to explore.
Highlights include the Cannonball House, a historic home with a small cannonball shot from British forces during the War of 1812 still wedged in its outer wall.
You’ll also appreciate the picturesque St. Peter’s Episcopal Church and cemetery, as well as the Zwaanendael Museum, commemorating the history of Delaware’s first Dutch settlement.
5. Fenwick Island State Park
With miles of Atlantic beaches, Delaware offers numerous opportunities to enjoy the water, sand, and sun. To experience one of the best, visit Fenwick Island State Park near the state’s southern border.
If you love to surf, Fenwick Island State Park is one of Delaware’s only designated surfing areas for catching the perfect wave.
Other popular activities include night-time crab chasing, kayaking, paddleboarding, and watching the sunset at Little Assawoman Bay.
6. Nemours Estate – Wilmington, DE
Do you love the finer things? Whether you do or not, a trip to see the lavish Nemours Estate is a must for your Delaware vacation itinerary.
Built in 1909 by the famed industrialist Alfred du Pont for his wife, Alicia, the Nemours Estate includes a 77-room mansion, a chauffeur’s garage full of antique cars, acres of wilderness, and North America’s largest French formal garden. Wow!
You can tour rooms full of opulent period decor in this chateau-style mansion. However, make sure you set aside time to explore the 10 acres of gardens, with a one-acre reflection pool, animal sculptures, a maze, sunken gardens, and more.
7. Ebright Azimuth – Azimuth, DE
Delaware is known for being a very low-lying state. So much so that its highest point, Ebright Azimuth, located along its northern border with Pennsylvania, towers at a whopping 447 feet above sea level.
Boasting the second-lowest state high point in the US, Delaware marks Ebright Azimuth with a roadside monument and a small geodetic survey marker for peakbaggers making the pilgrimage.
If you choose to make the “hike” to reach the top of Delaware, you’ll experience one of the more unique high points the US has to offer. After taking a selfie to show you’ve been there, make a side trip to the picturesque Smith’s Covered Bridge nearby for an added bonus.
8. Wilmington & Western Railroad – Wilmington, DE
Riding aboard the vintage Wilmington & Western Railroad steam train gives you two memorable experiences: a step back into history and beautiful natural scenery.
Chugging along 10 miles of track in the well-known Red Clay Valley, this historic train lets you ride in antique passenger cars built in the 1910s and 1930s as you enjoy charming views and make memories together.
Great for families, the Wilmington & Western Railroad offers a number of special seasonal and holiday tours as well. All aboard!
9. Cape Henlopen State Park
Full of sand dunes, marshes, forests, and endless beaches, the sprawling Cape Henlopen State Park provides a variety of outdoor experiences for any Delaware vacationer.
From hiking along Gordons Pond Trail and climbing the Observation Tower to relaxing on the beach or fishing from the pier, you can easily slow down and escape to nature. Plus, if you’re a history buff, you can explore the artillery park, battery, and bunkers that still remain from World War II.
Yet my favorite activity of them all is biking through Cape Henlopen State Park. Popular with locals and visitors, many people rent bikes in Rehoboth Beach and ride through the park to Lewes and back.
10. Walnut Street – Milford, DE
Delaware draws visitors from all over for its tax-free shopping. While malls and big box stores abound, for local finds and unique art, escape to the main street charms of Milford, DE.
When you’re in Milford, the place to be is Walnut Street. Full of Victorian and Greek revival architecture, this quaint, historic area has been revitalized with art galleries, coffee shops, restaurants, breweries, and plenty of local stores to explore.
As Walnut Street crosses the river, you’ll find a pleasant riverwalk to stroll along, as well as Milford’s active farmers market. This lively area also provides several seasonal festivals and events throughout the year.
11. Winterthur Museum, Garden, & Library – Winterthur, DE
The famous country estate of Henry Francis du Pont, Winterthur attracts thousands of visitors annually as a Delaware gem. Functioning today as a museum, garden, and library, you can spend hours exploring the exquisite mansion, gardens, and forests encompassing 1,000 acres.
Perhaps most admired at Winterthur is its collection of over 90,000 objects within the American decorative arts, displayed in exhibition galleries and in the 175-room mansion.
If you want to explore the magnificent gardens, the tram tour provides an excellent (and easy) way to see it all firsthand.
Did we miss any of your favorite places in Delaware?
Let us know in the comments if there are any more places in Delaware that you would add to our list!