Delaware has a lot of marvels to show off, both modern and ancient. The history of the First State is rich and storied, and these 12 marvels of Delaware are all you need to see to get a good impression of the state’s history. From the 100 year old lighthouses, to the 300 year old colonies – and the largest monster in the world – Delaware can show off interesting places like no other state. Check out these marvelous things you’ll find hiding around the corner (or looming, if we’re talking about that Monster) in your favorite Delaware town. You won’t believe how old, gigantic or beautiful these are!
1. The Ashland Covered Bridge
The Ashland Covered Bridge in New Castle County is a place on the National Register of Historic Places. It is one of the last surviving covered bridges on the DelMarVa peninsula, and was built around 1860. It spans the stunning Red Clay Creek. Visit the bridge to marvel in the old-style Town Lattice Truss engineering and take pictures in the beautiful surrounding area.
2. Miles the Monster
If you've driven down Rt 1 near Dover, chances are you've seen the giant red-eyed monster known as Miles. Built to be the mascot for Dover Downs, Miles is the world's largest monster - standing 46 feet tall and weighing 20 tons. He's also the world's most expensive monster, because he was part of a big makeover in the early 2000s. You can see him from half a mile away, but he's best experienced up close, on a trip to Dover Downs.
3. Indian River Inlet Bridge
Route 1 crosses the Indian River Inlet on this cable-stayed bridge. While there have been bridges crossing the inlet since the 1930s, this modern version was started in 2008 and completed in 2012. It's truly a marvel - not only is it gorgeous in the daylight, but at night it lights up bright enough that it can be seen for miles. Delaware has some pretty gorgeous bridges, but the new Indian River Inlet Bridge takes the cake.
4. Old Swedes Church
Nearly everyone knows this beautiful church as Old Swedes, but it is officially known as Holy Trinity. It is the oldest and longest running church in the United States! It was consecrated on June 4, 1699. There are reportedly over 15,000 burials in the historic cemetery. The fact that Old Swedes is still being used as it was built makes it a true marvel.
5. Lightship Overfalls
You can't miss the Lightship Overfalls on a trip to the Lewes canalfront - it's beautiful and it really stands out amongst all of the other ships you'll see! While it is currently a museum ship, it was originally the last lightvessel constructed for the United States Lighthouse Service. It served from 1938 - 1972, when it was badly damaged in a storm and decommissioned.
6. New Castle Courthouse
The New Castle Court House is now a museum that marks the Court House that was the center of the 12-mile-circle that established the borders of Delaware along Maryland, New Jersey and Pennsylvania. It is one of the oldest courthouses in the United States, and it is truly a sight to see.
7. Mt. Cuba Center
The Mt. Cuba Center is a beautiful museum that shows off the most incredible wildflowers and other plants that Delaware has to offer. It's beautiful in the spring and summer - so it's an absolute must-see.
8. Wilmington & Western Railroad
Construction began on the Wilmington & Western Railroad in 1867. Its primary duties were to move goods between the mills along the Red Clay Creek and the Port of Wilmington. It officially opened for freight and passenger service on October 19, 1872, and has been a mixed use railroad ever since. The Railroad museum in Wilmington has become a historic hot-spot and is a great place to visit to get a taste of Delaware's history.
9. Cape Henlopen Observation Tower
The Cape Henlopen Observation Towers are a favorite of nearly everyone who has experienced them. Climb to the top and take in views of the entire cape.
10. Breakwater East End Lighthouse
You can tour this historic lighthouse, which was built in 1885 and served until 1996. The fact that it served as a beacon to sailors for 111 years is a testament to how incredible this lighthouse is!
11. The Grand Opera House
"The Grand" was built in 1871 and remains one of the finest examples of 19th century cast iron architecture in America. It has since been restored by the non-profit organization that runs its programs, and you can see off-broadway performances and live music throughout the year in this gorgeous, historic building.
12. Fort Christina
Wikimedia Commons - Jerrye & Roy Klotz MD
Fort Christina dates back to the 1630s and was the first Swedish settlement in North America. It was chosen for its location on the Christina River and proximity to great trade opportunities. To celebrate the 300th anniversary of the colonization, the state of Delaware created a park monument in 1938. If you visit, you can see the historically significant "Rocks" and log cabins of the original fort.
These places are all so spectacular. If you’re looking for some rather unusual sights here in the First State, check out
this list of weird things to see and do in Delaware.