Editors' Picks: 20 of the Best Things to Do in Delaware!

Delaware is proudly known as "The First State," having been the first of the original 12 states to ratify the new U.S. Constitution (Dec. 7, 1787). The Du Pont family settled here in the early 19th century, laying the groundwork for what would become one of the biggest firms in the state - let alone the country.

You can pretty much find any kind of fun thing to do in Delaware: historical mansions in Wilmington to miles of beaches and boardwalk to racing, music festivals and other offbeat activities. Here are 20 of our favorites.

1. Visit Winterthur

The Du Pont family used this as their "country retreat" and it's pretty spectacular. The 60-acre gardens are breathtaking, but the 175-room mansion houses an amazing collection of American decorative arts from two centuries. It's easy to spend an entire, relaxing day exploring. Oh, and it's pronounced "winter-TUR." Now you know.

2. Dover International Speedway

It's a key stop on the spring NASCAR circuit, so prepare to lose your hearing. There are plenty of fun race-related activities for families, like a NASCAR simulator.

3. Tiptoe through the tulips

The Lewes Tulip Celebration is as close to Holland as you can get. Volunteers and landscapers plant the colorful bulbs all over town and when they bloom - wow! Tours let you experience the full beauty of this event.

4. Dover Days Festival

Since 1933, this springtime celebration combines colonial history, crafts, fireworks and more. Watch wartime re-enactments, take a vintage auto ride, watch traditional maypole dancing or wander through a colonial artisans' village.

5. Sail into the blue with the Great Delaware Kite Festival

This fun annual event allows everyone from kids to grown-ups to strut their kite-flying stuff. From demonstrating precision skills to the kite that goes the highest, it's magical fun.

6. Hit the beach

In a state with lots of beaches, Rehoboth Beach has long been the preferred destination for locals. The sand is great and the waves make for excellent swimming or body-surfing. Plus, the nearby boardwalk features lots of little shops, food and an amusement park for the kids.

7. Sample a local brew

Dogfish Head Craft Brewery in Milton brews excellent beer and spirits, and you get free samples on their popular tour. Then, pull up to one of their picnic tables and enjoy excellent "pub grub" served from their own food truck.

8. Chow down on the Culinary Trail

There are 24 great restaurants to indulge in. Download your "passport" from the state tourism office; after you've earned a certain number of "codes," you'll get a limited-edition, hardbound cookbook of the state's best recipes.

9. Check out Firefly

The Firefly Music Festival in Dover has become one of the coolest music fests in the country. Over four days in June, you'll hear cutting-edge indie acts as well as established stars like the Foo Fighters and Paul McCartney. Camping options are available.

10. Go crabbing the old-fashioned way

Crabs are a staple of the summer. The traditional "handline" way of catching them is to tie a chicken neck to a piece of string and gently pull it up from the water, scooping the crustacean up with a net. The Love Creek Bridge is a popular location to try your hand.

11. Relive a Civil War skirmish

In September, the historic Wilmington & Western Railroad operates a special trip aboard a steam locomotive to the site of a battle between Union and Confederate troops. Re-enactors in period costume with authentic weapons give a glimpse into that difficult time in our history.

12. Try your luck

Dover Downs Casino attracts those who want a date with Lady Luck. There are over 2,000 slot machines, plus table games, horseracing and plenty of entertainment to take your mind off the bet that didn't pay off.

13. Air Mobility Command Museum

Located on Dover Air Force Base, this museum is home to dozens of retired military aircraft. From fighter planes to bombers and more, it's a fun way to explore the history of military flight. Simulators let you go inside the cockpit and artifacts from as far back as World War I show how far we've come.

14. Go kayaking at Trap Pond State Park

This hidden gem of a park in Laurel features the country's northernmost stand of bald cypress trees. Rent a kayak and paddle around as the colors change. There's also great birdwatching in the area.

15. The Apple-Scrapple Festival

Scrapple is a pork product, beloved in these parts - and this Bridgeville street festival celebrates it with cook-offs, crafts and tons of local vendors. So what exactly is in "scrapple"? As the locals say, "Everything but the oink."

16. Beach time solitude

The beaches of Delaware have a stark beauty in the wintertime. Take a mindful walk along the shore or take some photos of the sunrise or sunset. In February, seals come to the beach at Cape Henlopen State Park.

17. Explore history

The Hagley Museum and Library in Wilmington tells the story of the area's pre-eminent family, the Du Ponts, and the gunpowder factory they established here in 1802. The museum features their ancestral home, plus mills and more.

18. Enjoy a genteel meal

The Green Room at the Hotel DuPont in Wilmington is one of the last bastions of truly elegant dining, earning four stars from both Forbes and AAA. Servers even wear white gloves! It's like you've stepped back into the Gilded Age, so mind your manners.

19. Sled the Brandywine

On a snowy day, you'll think you've stepped into a scene from Currier & Ives. Sledding Wilmington's Brandywine Creek State Park is a fun, frozen way to awaken your inner five-year-old.

20. Check out the Hummer's Parade

Since the 1970s, this New Year's Day tradition is a silly, slightly off-color way to poke fun at the prior year's pop culture, scandal and more. People line the streets of Middletown to see who - and what - will be in the crosshairs of snark.

Delaware Search
Best Things To Do Near You
Best Things To Do Near You
Feb
05
Feb
05

Colin Quinn

8:00 PM
The Baby Grand Wilmington, DE
Learn More
Feb
05

Whitney Cummings

8:00 PM
Grand Opera House-DE Wilmington, DE
Learn More
Feb
11
Feb
11

MJ Live!

9:00 PM
Dover International Speedway Dover, DE
Learn More
Feb
11

MJ Live

9:00 PM
Rollins Center @ Bally's Dover Dover, DE
Learn More
Feb
12

Tinsley Ellis

8:00 PM
Arden Gild Hall Wilmington, DE
Learn More
Show More
Best Places To Go Near You
Best Places To Go Near You
866 North DuPont Highway, Dover, DE
For the child who believes milk comes from the grocery store instead of a cow, for the woman who remembers using a cornsheller on her grandmother's... Read More
406 Federal Street, Dover, DE
Mission and VisionThe Biggs Museum of American Art is dedicated to developing awareness, understanding, and appreciation of fine and decorative art... Read More
1355 South Old Baltimore Pike, Newark, DE
Mission:"The Iron Hill Museum is the primary resource for the study of human/natural history of the Iron Hill Area.  Its programs, collections... Read More
2301 Kentmere Parkway, Wilmington, DE
Mission Statement: The Delaware Art Museum connects people to art, offering an inclusive and essential community resource that through its collect... Read More
4840 Kennett Pike, Wilmington, DE
DMNH's Mission: To excite & inform people about the natural world through exploration & discovery. DMNH's Vision: One where all parents an... Read More
18500 South DuPont Highway, Harrington, DE
The Delaware State Fair, as it is known today, began as an idea quietly conceived around a potbelly stove in the Harrington railroad station in 191... Read More
200 South Madison Street, Wilmington, DE
Mission:The Delaware Contemporary is a dynamic gathering place for the exploration of new ideas at the intersection of art, design, and technology.... Read More
4651 Washington St. Extension, Wilmington, DE
About Us In the Rockwood Museum you will find the rooms restored to the way they looked in 1895, the Gilded Age of the Victorian Era. The Museum re... Read More
708 Coastal Highway, Fenwick Island, DE
About Us Discoveries from the Sea Shipwreck Museum was founded with the goal of recovering and preserving our maritime heritage. The shipwreck mu... Read More
21179 College Drive, Georgetown, DE
History: Experience the excitement of treasure hunting in the waters of the Atlantic; step back in time to the era of exploration when Spain ruled ... Read More
102 Kings Highway, Lewes, DE
About Us The Zwaanendael Museum was built in 1931 to commemorate the 300th anniversary of the state's first European settlement, Swanendael, establ... Read More
4840 Kennett Pike, Wilmington, DE
The Delaware History Museum, located in a renovated art-deco Woolworth store, features three galleries of changing interactive exhibits on Delaware... Read More
850 Alapocas Drive, Wilmington, DE
There are a variety of surfaces and levels in the garden and grounds. The tour also involves climbing several staircases so guests are asked to tak... Read More
510 South Bedford Street, Georgetown, DE
About Us:There are many historic buildings on the museum grounds such as the Ellis School, a one room school house built in 1833. There are two lar... Read More
200 Water Street, Wilmington, DE
Mission: The mission of Delaware Theatre Company is to create theatre of the highest professional quality in Delaware and thereby enrich the vitali... Read More
Show More
Select a Delaware town to find
the Best Things-To-Do and Places To Go around you