From nautical getaways, to ritzy hotels, to formal gardens and little known pastures, there are so many places to take your sweetie in Delaware that it was difficult to trim them down to just 13. These are the best of the best of Delaware’s daydream worthy locales where picture perfect moments and breathtaking starry skies are all a part of the scenery. Here is where you’ll want to fall in love.
Rehoboth’s oceanfront is an amazing place for beach lovers and, well, lovers in general. In the off season, it takes on an even more enchanting tone, going from a vibrant, bustling surf destination to a silver toned setting where the line between the sky and the ocean beautifully blurs. Unlike other boardwalks, Rehoboth doesn’t shut down completely when the temperature drops. Some of the stores remain open year-round. The nearby outlets (which are great for shopping with your sweetie) draw in a fair sized crowd each winter so Rehoboth establishes a tone of tranquility where the foot traffic simply dies down but never fizzles out completely. In the winter months, scattered couples dot the boarded walkway hand in hand. If you spend the night in a hotel that’s a mile or more from the boardwalk itself, you’ll get a glimpse into the real night sky in all its glory, black with millions of stars shining uninterrupted until morning. As an added bonus, there’s nothing more romantic than a morning sunrise peeking out over the beach. This is definitely the weekend getaway to remember.
In regards to sheer romantic potential, few places could compete with the Wilmington, Delaware riverfront. It’s pretty much whatever type of date you’d like for it to be, complete with a shimmering maritime backdrop. Here you’ll find IMAX movies, ice skating, history, water taxis, sprawling walking trails, mini golf and more. Nearby dining ranges from seafood setups like Joe’s Crab Shack to cozy cafes. The new Starbucks here features a stunning nautical theme with contemporary seating and floor to ceiling windows that optimize the view.
Speaking of little-known destinations, Rockford Park, located in Wilmington, is a rural getaway guaranteed to transport you and your soulmate far from the bustle of the city. Not only is Rockford Park easily accessible via any given mode of transportation, convenient to dining and shopping destinations and equipped with convenient on-site restrooms, but it also features a century old tower. Climb to the top with your lover in tow and together you can rescue each other while taking in some of the most expansive views the state has to offer from above.
Newly constructed to be one of the prettiest bridges in the nation, the Indian River Bridge also boasts an incredible view and a convenient walker/biker pathway. Depending on how adventurous you are, you and your sweetie can choose to bike over or meander through. Not only is this a romantic and free date destination known to few, but it also produces some totally Instagram worthy photographs. Holding hands on a bridge with the world before you is a great way to let the romantic journey unfold.
Nothing says “I love you” quite like island breezes. The good news is, you don’t have to head all the way to the tropics to get them. Delaware’s own Pea Patch Island is a breath of fresh air for history buffs and heartthrobs alike. In reality, Pea Patch Island is a national and natural treasure complete with a wildlife reserve. Visitors can discover a brick war fortress and rifle through the relics of the past. The highlight of the tour though, is the short but sweet ferry ride that departs from Delaware City and glides over the glistening waters to the island itself.
Sweet nothings and art galleries go hand in hand no matter who you are. The Delaware Art Museum showcases an award-winning pre-Raphaelite collection along with 200 years worth of history on canvas. Be sure to visit between Wednesday and Sunday though. This museum is not open on Monday or Tuesday. Admission is just $12 per person and parking is free, which is definitely a bonus. If you’re used to frequenting Philly museums, you already know that parking can be even more expensive than admission in some cities, making Delaware exceptional once again.
The banks of the Brandywine really do shine at the Hagley Museum. It’s heartwarming and full of history. It’s also an indoor destination ideal for those blustery days when standing atop a river traversing bridge just isn’t an option. Visitors here will find formal gardens, vintage automobiles and a centuries old Georgian style residence complete with antique furnishings and distant history centerpieces. Doors are open daily from 10 a.m. until dusk and this museum is just a stone’s throw away from Krazy Kat’s restaurant, one of the most romantic dinner spots on the East Coast. Your date and your taste buds are sure to tingle. Here’s the best part though---if things go well, you can return to this very museum and get married here. Talk about a fairy tale ending.
There’s a reason this antique locomotive is celebrating 50 years of excellence and still chugging. If you’re out of ordinary romance ideas (dinner, movie, art show etc…) why not try something just a bit outside the box? The Wilmington and Western Railroad is a gorgeously decorated dinner train featuring unparalleled views of rural Delaware. Routes, schedules and events vary throughout the year so be sure to research their website before taking your luggage to the station.
This is your theatrical show destination but with a twist. The production you’re about to witness takes place on a stage in a barn. Yes. You read that right. So, if your sweetie is a lover of the entertainment arts, this enchanting and newly refurbished barn tucked into the wilderness will blow them away for sure.
As it turns out, there is more than one romantic barn in Delaware (go figure, right?). The Blue Ball Barn, conveniently located in beautiful Alapocas Run Park, is not your everyday, run of the mill date destination. It’s not even your everyday, run of the mill barn, for that matter. It’s a contemporary, two story, multifunctional space that’s half art gallery, half historical site. It stands attached to a modernistic structure with jaw dropping floor to ceiling windows. It contains an incredible collection of folk art. Like the aforementioned Hagley Museum, this unique barn is also a great place to return to for a wedding. Regardless to the goal you have in mind upon arrival, you’re guaranteed to leave feeling inspired and touched by the past, the present and the possibilities of the future. Why not share that feeling with the one you love?
Romantic weekends start when you make the reservations and this overnight lodging option is, hands down, the most romantic. Designed to resemble a 19th century hamlet, the Inn and Spa at Montchanin is a trip back in time with modern day amenities. In addition to the vintage, picture perfect ambience this “village” brings to life. Guests here are also pampered with facials, body treatments and healing massages.
Historic Odessa is a living history exhibit. Thirty acres of colonial America is erected, celebrated and, most importantly, experienced right on the grounds. This is the place where art and history meld together to create magical moments. It is especially glorious in winter when the soft tufts of snow cling to the trees and cover the rooftops of this rustic, 18th century site.
Swank accommodations await at Hotel DuPont, a stunning component to the city of Wilmington. This is the utmost in sophistication and the craftsmanship of the building really shows in the details. The dining here is Zagat-rated. The carpeting is plush. The lobby is a spectacle of vibrant colors and opulence beyond compare. It’s almost impossible to not fall in love in an atmosphere like this, where everything that sparkles is really made of gold.