Discovering Delaware in 19 delightful places
19 Amazing reasons to visit our first state
What’s the top thing to do in Delaware? Mostly, prepare to be amazed. With attractions, so diverse and so much fun, the state’s small footprint belies its potential. Don’t know much about Delaware? Follow along as we illustrate 19 great Delaware discoveries we made last fall.
Rehoboth Beach, DE
1) Rehoboth Beach For my money, Rehoboth Beach is one of the best beaches on the eastern seaboard. Wide and clean, this beach offers something for everyone. Plenty of room for sunbathers, book readers, or for building sand castles. The sand warms and comforts each footstep as you are drawn to the surf – large enough for fun, but still family friendly.
The boardwalk, originally built in 1873, stretches a mile long, and is ideal for bike riding in the morning. Feeling frisky, continue your ride north to Gordon Pond Wildlife Area or all the way to Cape Henlopen State Park.
2) Boardwalk Plaza Hotel If you can get a reservation, the Boardwalk Plaza Hotel (2 Olive Ave & the Boardwalk | Rehoboth Beach, DE 19971) is the iconic place to stay in Rehoboth Beach. Victorian in design, but up-to-date with T-1 Internet access, this beautiful hotel is famous for their service and hospitality. Complimentary parking is invaluable, and the hotel is located just a one-minute walk from the center of activity in downtown Rehoboth.
There’s a coffee shop on the boardwalk level that’s great for that cup-to-go with fabulous bakery treats, but take time if you can, and dine in the three-level restaurant with great beach and boardwalk views. You’ll be entertained by Jeff Irwin on the baby-grand, who’s been playing there every week since 1992.
3) Chesapeake & Maine Looking for some beer-inspired cooking? Chesapeake & Maine (316 Rehoboth Avenue; Rehoboth Beach, DE (302) 226-3600) is the place. As part of the Dogfish Brewery family of companies, you’ll be able to get all the Dogfish favorites along with keg-conditioned cocktails.
Select from a wide variety of oysters or the raw bar, ocean-inspired appetizers, soups & salads, seafood entrees, or try the Land & Sea Burger – a blend of Angus beef burger with butter-poached lobster on toasted brioch. We ate here with a number of friends, and everyone raved about their meals.
4) Delaware Distilling Company If you’re into craft spirits, a ride down the street to Delaware Distilling Company (18693 Highway One; Rehoboth Beach; Delaware 19971 (302) 645.8273) would be in order. They make their own vodka, rum and gin. Until we visited, I never imagined I would appreciate gin neat. I was pleasantly surprised, as their premium gin is quite tasty with blood orange and a special botanical blend.
5) Jimmy’s Grille Before leaving Rehoboth, you’ll kick yourself if you don’t stop here for breakfast – served until 11 a.m. Jimmy’s Grill (19724 Coastal Highway, Rehoboth Beach, DE 19971. (302) 227-4888) They make their own bread for sumptuous thick French toast, but my favorite was the perfectly done, golden waffle with a side of scrapple, like you only get on the eastern seaboard.
Save room for dessert, or take a pie with you. You’ve never seen a stack of meringue like they pile on their coconut or lemon meringue pies. It’s enormous.
6) Dogfish Head Craft Brewery If there’s one site you won’t see anywhere else, it has to be the “treehouse” outside Dogfish Head Craft Brewery. (6 Cannery Village Center; Milton, DE 19968 1-888-8dogfish) Milton is about 30 minutes from Rehoboth, but worth the trip.
Officially named the Steampunk Tree House, it originally was created in 2007 for Burning Man in Nevada, but was adopted by Dogfish in 2010 and brought to Milton. Standing 40’ tall, with branches 40’ wide, it’s a site to behold.
But, the real business takes place inside the brewery. Originally a craft beer brewery, Dogfish distills their own vodka and gin in giant copper stills. Rum and whiskey are rumored to be on the horizon. Bring or buy a growler and get it filled with any of your favorite Dogfish brews in their store – open until 7 p.m.
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Also published on Medium.