Lewes is one of Delaware’s most beloved towns and a favorite among travelers. It was founded in 1631, so you can bet the town is full of history and heritage. That’s not to say that Lewes exists solely as a blast to the past. This little town also evokes the best of its bayside location and progressive ambiance as well. Lewes is located in Cape Henlopen, where the Delaware Bay meets the Atlantic Ocean. The preserved area has miles of beaches, trails and wildlife sanctuaries. The town itself also has the best of museums, restaurants and shops within a half-square mile.
Lewes is considered an ocean resort for its proximity to the Atlantic Ocean. Naturally, high points of attraction include the waterside. Lewes Beach and the Delaware Bay are popular among locals and visitors. Cape Henlopen State Park is the number one thing to do in Lewes according to TripAdvisor. The Fort Miles Historic Area within the state park is also highly recommended. The Zwaanendael Museum will help you learn more about Delaware’s history. So will the Cannonball House and the Lewes Historical Society. Lightship Overfalls is a National Historic Landmark that will teach you about Delaware’s rich maritime history. The Preservation Forge is an old blacksmith forge with displays on how metal was crafted into other tools in the olden days. Fisherman’s Wharf along the Lewes and Rehoboth Canal is a dock with numerous restaurants and bait shops. The town’s main streets of Savannah, Second and Front Streets also have historical venues, parks and restaurants. There are also a variety of tours you can take in this area, from eco tours to heritage tours to boat tours from Fisherman’s Wharf.
Lewes is close to several nature-filled areas of exploration. The Great Marsh Preserve is just up the coast from Lewes Beach. This preserve is an expansive marshland where visitors can go bird-watching, canoeing and kayaking in a tranquil environment. The Prime Hook National Wildlife Area spans 10,000 acres along Delaware Bay. It’s a sanctuary for migratory birds that’s located 15 miles from Lewes. Further north is the Bombay Hook National Wildlife Refuge, which is one of the largest remaining expanses of tidal salt marsh in the mid-Atlantic. The small towns of Delaware also make quaint day trips from Lewes. Each has its own local flair, such as Georgetown, Delaware, home to the 16 Mile Brewing Company and Treasures of the Sea Museum. Georgetown is located 15 miles from Lewes. Dover, Delaware is 40 miles from Lewes, and has the Old State House, Dover International Speedway and Spence’s Bazaar. The town also has museum delights such as the Air Mobility Command Museum, Johnson Victrola Museum and Delaware Agricultural Museum and Village.
Accommodations in Lewes are of a few varieties. There are several B&Bs clustered around the historic downtown area. These guest suites provide privacy and local charm to your stay. The hotels and motels, aka “Inns” are mostly located along the Coastal Highway. There are two sites with conference spaces for large events: the Inn at Canal Square on Market Street and Zwaanandael Inn on Second Street (both within the main street area). Campgrounds in Lewes are also plentiful. There’s the Big Oak Trailer and Camping Park along Highway One, Camp Arrowhead off Route 24, and Holiday Trailer and Camping Park near Route One.
It’s fun to head into Lewes on a ferry. It’s approximately 70 minutes one way across the mouth of the Delaware Bay. Visitors making a connection with New Jersey, for example, can take this scenic route. During the summer months up until Labor Day, there are shuttle buses and trolley services seven days a week between the Lewes Terminal, Lewes, Rehoboth Beach and shopping outlets along Route One. During the spring and winter months, this service is available only on the weekends. The public bus service around Delaware is called DART, with routes to Wilmington and Dover, with Georgetown, Long Neck and Ocean City in between. Other forms of transport include Seaport Transportation and Seaport Taxi, 24-hour taxi and shuttle services that run throughout the resort area. The Jolly Trolley of Rehoboth is a public and sightseeing vehicle that runs between Rehoboth and Dewey, with stops in between.
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