It’s hard to get lost in our little state, but sometimes you’ll stumble upon a museum, restaurant, or park that you never knew was there, and those hidden gems can quickly become your favorite places in the First State. These are the best hidden attractions in Delaware – those that are treasured by locals but don’t often make the tourist brochures or travel guides.
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:
1. Russell W. Peterson Urban Wildlife Refuge, Wilmington
The little-known Russell W. Peterson Refuge is the first urban wildlife refuge in Delaware. It's located along the Wilmington riverfront. You'll be able to learn about river conservation and wildlife while you explore the trails and education center.
1400 Delmarva Ln Wilmington, DE
2. The Well, Hockessin
We keep the Well to ourselves, but it's a poorly kept secret! Expect to wait for a parking spot on a busy morning, but the shopping, food, and experience at this marketplace, cafe, and coffeeshop are all worth the wait.
6949 Lancaster Pike Hockessin, Delaware
3. Blackbird State Forest, Smyrna
Blackbird State Forest is the most serene, isolated spot in Delaware. It's hard to find some true quiet in the crowded first state, but here you can be sure to have it almost to yourself. Enjoy walking the trails or camp out here for an experience you won't soon forget.
502 Blackbird Forest Rd, Smyrna, DE 19977
4. Wilson's General Store, Georgetown
Wilson's General Store has been family owned and operated for generations, and this little known spot still serves up the best breakfast sandwich in Delaware. Plus, while you're here, you can load up on snacks and coffee.
24730 Springfield Rd
Georgetown, Delaware 19947
5. 3 Palms Zoo, Clayton
Visit the only alligators in Delaware at 3 Palms Zoo! This animal sanctuary is the only one of its kind in the state, and you'll love meeting all of the rescued animals and learning their stories. Dominick the Donkey is my favorite 3 Palms Zoo resident.
924 Blackbird Forest Rd
Clayton, DE 19938
6. Messick's Agricultural Museum, Harrington
Messick's Ag. Museum oringially opened to preserve and display antique and vintage agricultural equipment, automobiles, farming tools and more. Over the years, the museum has grown to include several more buildings and sheds. Messick's is a Delaware secret, and by traveling to the middle of a cornfield in Harrington, you'll get to look at Delaware's agricultural history. 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
7. 301 Plaza, Middletown
The 301 Plaza is a restaurant in the middle of a travel plaza! They've been serving up delicious breakfasts for decades, but most people drive right by without checking out this unique Delaware diner.
921 Middletown Warwick Rd
Middletown, DE 19709
8. C.R. Hummingbird to Mars, Wilmington
The top-secret Hummingbird to Mars is the best speakeasy in Delaware. Be sure to get the code from their social media networks and dress to impress - they've been known to turn people away at the door (if you can find it!).
1616 Delaware Ave Trolley Square
Wilmington, DE 19806
9. Bowers Beach Maritime Museum, Bowers Beach
The Bowers Beach Maritime Museum is one of the coolest museums in Delaware! Learn about the pirate and shipwreck history of the Delaware coast and about the vibrant fishing communities and how they helped shape Delaware today.
3357 Main St, Frederica, DE 19946
10. White Clay Creek State Park, Newark
White Clay Creek is Delaware's most underrated state park.
Hike through the woods to a hidden pond, into Pennsylvania and Maryland, and along the Mason-Dixon line.
It can get crowded in the summer with people looking to cool off, but strolling in the fall and winter will bring you nothing but peace and quiet.
Thompson Station Rd,
11. Nanticoke Museum, Millsboro
The best festival in Delaware is the Nanticoke Pow Wow every fall, but you can visit the Nanticoke Museum year roud.
The two-room museum has a handful of interesting artifacts,
but the best way to experience it is to speak to the curator and learn as much as you possibly can about the tribe and its history in Delaware.
27073 John J Williams Hwy, Millsboro, DE 19966