With the Delaware Bay, 26 miles of pristine Atlantic beaches, and the welcoming small-town charm of coastal and river towns, there are plenty of activities and attractions to explore in Southern Delaware.
With so much happening in Sussex County, the southernmost of the state’s three counties, you’ll find yourself actually doing things, rather than wasting time standing in lines. Enjoy every minute of your vacation and experience each of these 12 reasons to visit Southern Delaware:
1. Enjoy beaches and water sports
Delaware beaches have consistently ranked first for water quality among the 30 coastal states in the U.S. Whether it’s Dewey Beach with its live entertainment scene, skim-boarding, and water sports; Rehoboth Beach, with its mile-long boardwalk, shopping, and surf; or Bethany Beach and Fenwick Island’s Quiet Resorts that are so great for families — you’ll enjoy soft sand and sparkling water. Canoeing, kayaking, sailing, parasailing, and standup paddle boarding provide even more ways to enjoy the water.
2. Explore lighthouses
The Southern Delaware Lighthouse Trail has 10 lighthouses located in Fenwick Island, Rehoboth Beach, historic Lewes, and the Delaware Breakwater.
3. Commune with nature
Check out the trails, nature centers, and waterways of Southern Delaware, especially Cape Henlopen State Park. It’s the crown jewel of Sussex County, with bay and ocean beaches, fishing, camping, and trails, including the new scenic Gordons Pond Trail.
4. Try a cycling adventures
Southern Delaware’s flat terrain and numerous nature trails make it an ideal place for pedal time and rank it as the third best state for cycling.
5. Experience 40 annual festivals
The Rehoboth Beach Jazz Festival, Lewes Tulip Festival, Great Delaware Kite Festival, Sea Witch Halloween and Fiddlers Festival, Nanticoke Riverfest, and Bethany Beach Boardwalk Arts Festival are joined by numerous food festivals, including the Rehoboth Beach Chocolate Festival, the Rehoboth Beach/Dewey Beach Bacon Fest, and the Apple Scrapple Festival — just a few of the 40-plus festivals held each year.
6. Savor the “Culinary Coast”
Try the famous Eating Rehoboth tours, sample the fresh cuisine of the local farmers markets, and enjoy the creations of local chefs, including James Beard nominees and winners. Also, make sure to also visit the two wineries and several breweries, including the famous Dogfish Head Craft Brewery in Milton. Sign up for local cooking classes, too.
7. Revel in history
It’s no surprise that the southernmost county in The First State is packed with historical sites. Pick your pleasure from historic maritime Lewes to Milton, Georgetown, or Milford.
8. Visit museums
Museum lovers will find an array of museum itineraries. Tour through 26 museums highlighting maritime history, Native American history, natural history, Americana, military history, railroads, and aviation. The varied locales — each as fascinating as the exhibits they house — include a train station, a caboose, a World War II bunker, a firehouse, a mansion, a barn, a renovated ice house, and historic homes.
9. Discover the arts
Southern Delaware has a host of offerings from artists and performers in various studios and galleries, plus performing arts. Don’t miss one of the great performances at Clear Space Theatre.
10. Load up on tax-free shopping
What more needs to be said? Enjoy shopping tax-free, and go wild in the local boutiques, antique stores, and outlets throughout the area.
11. Stay like a local
Southern Delaware’s great variety of accommodations — campgrounds, bed-and-breakfasts, budget to luxury hotels, and pet-friendly venues — can suit every need.
12. Make unforgettable memories with family
Boardwalks, speedways, water parks, paintball, parasailing, boat excursions and rentals, and mini golf rate high among any energetic family’s to-sees and to-dos while in Southern Delaware.