There is SO much to do in Delaware this summer, including many things you probably didn’t even know were possible in Delaware. Between touring the vineyards, looking for dolphins and swinging from the trees, with this list of activities, you’re sure to never be bored in our great state.
1. Climb an Observation Tower at Cape Henlopen
The Cape Henlopen watchtowers were built in the early 1940s, tasked with watching for German U-Boats off the coast of Delaware during WWII. They were originally only supposed to stand for 20 years, but despite being battered by salty shore breezes and withstanding the Ash Wednesday storm in the 1960s, several of these watchtowers still stand along the coast. You can climb up one in Cape Henlopen State Park - a different take on the typical "lighthouse climb" common along the Atlantic coast. I highly recommend it. It's an easy climb and you'll be rewarded with breathtaking views.
2. Go Crabbing
Delaware Blue Crabs are best fresh out of the bay or ocean! There are plenty of places to set crab traps or wade to try your luck in shallower water along the entire Delaware coast. Make a day out of it and have a crab bake in the evening - but have a backup plan just in case the critters aren't biting.
3. Ride the State Fair Ferris Wheel
During the last week of July, the town of Harrington lights up with thrilling rides, funnel cake, live entertainment and carnival games. The State Fair is a huge event and well worth making the drive if you aren't local to Harrington. While you're there, be sure to ride the Ferris Wheel and take in the entire fairgrounds from the top. It's best at night, when the bright neon lights are flickering and flashing below.
4. Spend a Day at Rehoboth Beach
Sand beneath your feet and salt water taffy in your hands - is there any better way to spend a summer day? We don't think so. Rehoboth is our beach of choice for the full Delaware Beach experience. If you're looking for a quieter trip, try Bethany Beach. If you're looking to go out at night, head down to Dewey. No matter what, you've got to spend a few days this summer laying out in the sand and dipping your toes in the ocean.
5. Cruise the Cape May-Lewes Ferry
The 90 minute Ferry cruise is a great start to a fun day trip over to Cape May, NJ. If you're lucky, you'll spot Dolphins swimming along side the boat and you'll get to see beautiful views of the bay. Make sure you book in advanced - in the summer, the ferry fills quickly. It's definitely possible to cruise back and forth as your whole trip, but if you've got more time, bring a bike or a car and head into Cape May to visit their Winery and cute beachfront shops before returning to Lewes.
6. Paddleboard or Surf at Bethany Beach
Paddleboarding is offered at most of the big Delaware beaches, but we can vouch for the boarding at Bethany to be well worth it. It's crowded during the summer, but easier to book than at busy Rehoboth, and the beautiful beaches are great to lay out and dry off on after you play in the surf.
7. Find Your Favorite Creamery
UDairy in Newark, Vanderwende in Bridgeville, or Hopkins Farm in Lewes? What about any of the smaller creameries and ice cream shops in the First State? You'll have to try them all to find your favorite - what a perfect summer project.
8. Kayak at Trap Pond State Park
Get up close and personal with the super cool Bald Cypress trees at Trap Pond State Park in Laurel. You can rent a kayak, canoe, rowboat or pedalboat and enjoy a summer day on a beautiful lake surrounded by the unique trees. Trap Pond is great for hiking and picnicking, too.
9. Monkey Around at Lum's Pond State Park
Walk through the tree canopy or take a zipline over Delaware's largest freshwater lake at Lum's Pond State Park's GoApe adventure. Possibly the most exciting thing to do in the summer in Delaware - unless you're afraid of heights!
10. Geocache... anywhere.
If you've never heard of geocaching, you're about to be introduced to a world of adventure that you never realized was in your backyard. The whole point is to use GPS coordinates and clues to find small boxes or caches. Not all look like the one above, and most are hidden out of sight. You'll sign the log once you find it, and you can take a trinket as long as you also leave a trinket - I like to leave dollar store compasses for future adventurers to find. There are thousands of caches in Delaware, in nearly every town. Download a Geocaching app and get started - you'll soon wonder how you spend your time before you became addicted to finding caches.
11. Watch the Ponies at Delaware Park
Did you know that Barbaro and Afleet Alex, both about as close to household names as racehorses get nowadays, both got their start in Stanton, Delaware? Delaware Park hosts a full racing calendar throughout the summer, and you'll be able to see top quality thoroughbreds in the Grade 1 Delaware Handicap, the Grade 2 Delaware Oaks, and several of the Grade 3 races like the Barbaro Stakes, Kent Stakes, and Obeah Stakes. You can also gamble at the attached casino between races.
12. Tour a Vineyard, Brewery or Distillery
Nassau Valley Vineyard is just one of the delicious wineries you'll find in Delaware - try Pizzadili and Harvest Ridge, too. Touring Dogfish Head Brewery is always fun, and Painted Stave Distillery in Smyrna is very cool to visit as well.
13. Visit the Brandywine Zoo
The Brandywine Zoo is a great place to spend a day in Wilmington! We love seeing the tigers, and there are dozens of other animals to observe.
14. Look for Ghosts at Fort Delaware
What spirits haunt this Civil War era fort? Find out during one of the many ghost tours offered all summer. Spooky!
15. Rock Out at a Music Festival
And it doesn't have to be Firefly. While the huge festival has become a hallmark of a Delaware summer, you can also check out many of the jazz, country, and local festivals throughout the state. Check your city's event calendar to find one in your area.
16. Go Cruising from Fisherman's Wharf
Whether you want to go on a dolphin sighting tour or rent a boat to drop some lines in the water, you'll find a rental at Fisherman's Wharf in Lewes. Put on some sunscreen and spend a relaxing day out on the water!