8 Top Rated Tourist Attractions in Delaware

Jul 22, 2021

The historical state of Delaware, in the northeastern United States, has a coastline on the Atlantic Ocean and beaches along the Delaware River, as well as over 100 offshore islands. It is the 12th most populous state in the country and the second largest state in the Mid-Atlantic region.

One of the oldest and best-known cities in America, Delaware's largest city is Wilmington, which is situated on the Cape Henlopen Peninsula, between the Atlantic Ocean and the Delaware River. Delaware's capital and most populous city is Dover, which is best known as the home of the sinking of the American passenger ship, SS Hebrides.

Although the state's capital city, Dover, is well-known for its museums and culture, it also has its fair share of off-the-beaten-path sights and outdoor activities. Activities that you can do in the area include hiking, cycling, bird watching, boating, fishing, and family-friendly parks and beaches. Explore Delaware's stunning landscape and history by taking a look at our guide to the top attractions in Delaware.

Delaware Art Museum

Photo of Delaware Art Museum
Delaware Art Museum: en.wikipedia.org

The artwork at Delaware Art Museum is the largest collection of American impressionist and post-impressionist paintings in the United States. The museum houses these artworks in five galleries that include portraits of different American artists. From Jackson Pollock to Howard Pyle, these artists are brought to life through more than 100 paintings. Along with art, the museum also houses the sculpture and decorative arts galleries that contain Chinese ceramics, textiles, tapestries, lamps, ivory carvings, as well as works in silver and gold. For a more intimate experience, look out for their Lidle Storytelling Gallery, where curators and educators give a behind-the-scenes look at museum collections and lectures on a wide variety of art topics.

Delaware Seashore State Park

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Delaware Seashore State Park: en.wikipedia.org

Delaware's Delaware Seashore State Park is one of the most unusual and picturesque state parks in the country. Located in an area of unspoiled coastline, the park includes 160 pristine, saltwater seashore cliffs and a string of sandy beaches fringed with dunes. Its giant, seaside boulders provide a natural playground, ideal for picnicking, fishing, swimming, sunbathing, and hiking. Fishing is one of the best reasons to visit the park, where you can fish in the surf for striped bass, trout, flounder, bluefish, and saltwater tarpon. You can also go surfing or learn to surf if that's more your style. The park offers a wide range of activities, from hiking and wildlife-watching to bird-watching and bike riding. Picnic areas, nature trails, and even restaurants and camping areas are available.

Museums on the Brandywine

Photo of Hagley Museum and Library
Hagley Museum and Library: en.wikipedia.org

Museums on the Brandywine is a beautiful coastal town that dates back to 1682. It is a great place to visit if you're in Delaware with family or friends as it has a wonderful mix of restaurants, quaint shops, festivals, cultural events and recreational activities. The Brandywine River flows through the center of the town, and a ferry crosses to a small island just west of the town that features a popular campground. The town is also home to the 70-acre Bicentennial Memorial Park, which features a museum, an amphitheater, the Tower Museum of History and Art, The Tolby Library and Science Center, and historical monuments. There are also many fabulous antique shops and historic homes to visit.

Delaware Children's Museum

Photo of Wilmington, Delaware
Wilmington, Delaware: en.wikipedia.org

The Delaware Children's Museum (D.C.M.), an open-air museum built in 1720 and open seven days a week, is one of the only places in the United States to tell the story of the first settlement of the country's 12 original colonies. It tells the stories of America's past through its buildings and, most importantly, its interactive exhibits. First-time visitors find the museum to be a thought-provoking experience for the whole family. The exhibits will amaze you with feats of engineering, turning ordinary objects into mechanical wonders, and show you how human history has intertwined with nature and culture.

National World War II Museum

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World War II Memorial: en.wikipedia.org

One of the few World War II museums in the United States, the National World War II Museum displays a vast collection of material that traces the significance of this pivotal conflict to our country and the world. Opened in 2002, the museum comprises a series of five thematic halls that feature many items of American and Allied interest. Among them is an impressive aluminum airplane and the 10,000-piece Omega collection, representing items that were gathered from the ocean floor.

Delaware Seashore

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Delaware River: en.wikipedia.org

Delaware Seashore, a 33-mile stretch of panoramic Atlantic Ocean coastline, is Delaware's answer to the beaches of Cape Cod and Florida. The area offers a great mix of coastal and golfing activities with access to the pristine beaches and plenty of seafood at the hands of some of the area's best seafood restaurants. Other activities to consider include fishing, hiking, horseback riding, and bike riding. If you're looking for something a bit more energetic, you can go parasailing, kite surfing, or go boogie boarding in the surf at Bethany Beach.

Rehoboth Beach

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Rehoboth Beach, Delaware: en.wikipedia.org

Not only are the residents of Rehoboth Beach all well-behaved in public, they also enjoy some of the best beaches in America. Located on the Chesapeake Bay, Rehoboth is a small beach town with a rich history as a resort and summer vacation spot for the rich and famous. The historic town center is bordered by beautiful waterfront streets, and some of the state's most prestigious restaurants, shops, and other attractions. Best of all is the beach itself, which is one of the finest in the United States. Rehoboth's soft, powdery sand lures families who wish to tan their babies in the shade of the world-famous Rehoboth Beach Boardwalk, the amusement park at the entrance of the town. The Boardwalk area offers visitors plenty of sights, such as numerous shops and restaurants and amusement rides to keep families occupied. A variety of other attractions are also worth checking out, including a carousel, miniature train, and a bike trail to get to the beach.

Cape Henlopen State Park, Lewes

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Cape Henlopen State Park: en.wikipedia.org

Established in 1875 as a recreational center for its citizens, Cape Henlopen State Park is one of the oldest state parks in the United States. Located on the tip of the Jersey Shore, the park covers an impressive 733 acres, offering visitors the chance to view the famous Delaware beaches, as well as other natural wonders such as the Atlantic Ocean, Atlantic Ocean Wildlife Area, and Fairlee Reservation. There are a variety of recreational facilities available to visitors including historic bathing beaches, rustic lodges, restaurants, and a nature preserve. The visitor center has a research library, theater, and displays relating to the park's natural history. Cape Henlopen State Park is home to a nature preserve, as well as historic preservation museums that provide interesting background on the people and history of the area. These include the Polish Military Museum and the African-American Heritage Center.