Sorry, Delaware, the cat’s out of the bag. These best kept secrets of the Diamond State mean so much to me that I just had to share. Below, you’ll find my best Delaware secrets – from my favorite “hidden” restaurants to my favorite places for adventure, and the most incredible museums that are often unknown. So, make it a point to explore as many of these Delaware secret spots as you can in 2017 – or even as 2016 wraps up next week. What better way to ring in a new year than to celebrate your great state?
We’re aware that these uncertain times are limiting many aspects of life as we all practice social and physical distancing. While we’re continuing to feature destinations that make our state wonderful, we don’t expect or encourage you to go check them out immediately. We believe that supporting local attractions is important now more than ever and we hope our articles inspire your future adventures! And on that note, please nominate your favorite local business that could use some love right now:
Little Known Restaurants:
1. Wilson's General Store, Georgetown
Wilson's has been a Delaware icon for decades, but still, many people outside of Georgetown don't know about the tiny store that sells guns, groceries, and the best scrapple sandwich in Delaware.
24739 Springfield Rd, Georgetown, DE 19947
2. USS Delaware Restaurant, Milford
It might be hard to believe that this gourmet restaurant is hiding inside a Milford strip mall, but some of the best food in slower lower is in this humble little corner bistro. The food will blow you away.
319 S Rehoboth Blvd, Milford, DE 19963
3. Krazy Kat's, Montchanin
Not many people venture out to Montchanin unless they're driving through, and the Inn at Montchanin might look like any old B&B when you do drive by. Hidden in this quaint retreat is an absolutely mouthwatering French restaurant, though, and once you discover it, you'll return again and again!
514 Montchanin Rd, Montchanin, DE 19710
4. Jessop's, New Castle
Jessop's is a great little tavern in New Castle that holds a bit of a secret - step in, and you'll step back in time! Colonial fare and colonial garb make this themed restaurant in Delaware such an incredible experience for all who dine.
114 Delaware Street, New Castle, DE
5. Blue Moon, Rehoboth Beach
On the outside, Blue Moon looks like any other cute Rehoboth Beach bistro. On the inside, it's a gourmet restaurant that serves up incredible food... and also hosts drag shows several nights a week. It's a great find in a city full of amazing hidden gems.
35 Baltimore Ave Rehoboth Beach, DE 19971
Little Known Museums:
6. The Biggs Museum of American Art
This hidden Dover, Delaware gem is home to one of the most impressive collections of American art that I've ever seen! There are paintings, scrulptures, furniture and more - all made in the Delaware Valley from the 1700s to present day. They're open 9:00-4:30 Tuesday through Saturday, and from 1:30-4:30 on Sundays.
406 Federal St
7. The Messick Ag Museum, Harrington
Messick's Ag. Museum opened in 1976 to display antique and vintage agricultural equipment, automobiles, farming tools and more. It has grown to include two large buildings and several sheds. The museum is a fascinating look at Delaware's agricultural history, yet few people even know about this hidden Delaware secret! Admission is free, and it's open to the public during normal business hours - Monday through Friday, 7:30 AM - 4:00 PM.
Taylor & Messick, Inc., 325 Walt Messick Road, Harrington, Delaware 19952
8. The Johnson Victrola Museum, Dover
Hidden in Dover is one of the most fascinating and important museums in the Mid-Atlantic region! The Johnson Victrola museum is dedicated to the man and the technology that revolutionized the way we hear music and each other. It's so worth stopping in - this slice of American history really changed the world. The Museum is open Wednesday-Saturday, 9:00 AM - 4:30 PM.
375 S New St
9. The Blue Ball Barn, Wilmington
The Blue Ball Barn in Alapocas Run State Park is a beautiful building dedicated to American folk art. The barn itself was built in 1914 and is just as important to the region's history as the art that it now houses. The Barn is open daily from March through November from 8:00 AM - 4:00 PM, and Monday through Friday from 8:00 AM - 4:00 PM from December through February.
1914 West Park Dr., Wilmington, DE 19803
10. The Nanticoke Indian Museum
The Nanticoke Indians of Delaware strongly preserve their history and culture, and the Nanticoke Museum in Millsboro is a testament to that. Their festivals are the most incredible displays of history that the Delaware offers, and the sense of community, spirit, and connection that you'll feel after visiting the museum makes this a truly special place. Call them at (302) 945-7022 to learn about current programs and events.
26673 John J Williams Hwy
Millsboro, Delaware 19966
Little Known Adventures:
11. The Newark Reservior
VIDEO The Newark Reservior park is one of the nicest little walking and exploring parks in New Castle County, and it's so little-known that it's usually very quiet. The views of the water and town are stunning. Find it on Old Paper Mill Road, Newark, Delaware
12. The Delaware Rock Gym, Bear
The Delaware Rock Gym is a great place to get some winter exercise and not feel all cooped up. They offer a ton of routes and options for experienced climbers, or they'll teach you how to climb. Their introductory classes run on Saturday and Sunday at 11, but you can make an appointment for a lesson during the week, too. Just call them at 302-838-5850. Their weekday hours are 12:00 pm - 10:00 pm, and on the weekends they're open from 10:00 AM - 8:00 PM
520 Carson Dr. Bear, DE 19701
13. The Delaware Geocache Trail, Statewide
If you want to feel a little bit like a pirate in Delaware, and really like finding Delaware secrets, then the Geocache Trail throughout the state is just the adventure you're looking for. If you've never geocached before, you'll want to see the
Delaware State Park's guide
14. Curling, with the Diamond State Curling Club
Beat the Winter Blues and try something new this year with the Diamond State Curling Club. This is a wintery Delaware secret that will get you up on your feet and meeting new people, all while trying out something totally unique. Check out the Diamond State Curling Club's
to learn more about their Intro to Curling nights. You won't regret it; this is a ton of fun!
15. Woodland Beach
The little town of Woodland Beach is quiet even in the summer, so if you're looking for a Delaware secret for solitude, where you can walk along the shore and only hear the sound of the waves, then Woodland is for you. I enjoy walking the beach and sitting on the pier in the winter, watching the sunset with a cup of hot cocoa.
Of course, I tend to talk about the hidden restaurants the most, because I just really, really love food. So, if you’re like me, you’ll appreciate our lists of hole in the wall restaurants:
Part 1, Part 2 and Part 3.