The city of Lewes, Delaware is an ideal coastal destination for a family trip. Located amidst charming, old-fashioned homes, quiet streets, and beautiful beaches, Lewes Beach vacation rentals boast picturesque views. Swimming and sunbathing at the shore are always popular activities, but sometimes it can be exciting to mix things up a bit. Here are some fun activities to try out during your trip to Lewes.

1. Break Out the Boards

To change things up from the typical swimming and splashing, take a paddleboarding or skimboarding lesson. Paddleboarding is simple and easy to learn, while more adventurous kids might prefer skimboarding, which is similar to surfing and a little trickier to master. There are plenty of outfitters to choose from in and around Lewes. If you prefer a little more stability, there are also kayak rentals to help you explore the waterways.

2. Stroll Along the Shore

The Lewes area offers plenty of opportunities for relaxing hikes. One of the most popular hiking sites is Cape Henlopen State Park, which also has a nature center and guided nature tours if you want to learn about the environment. The park is also connected to town by miles of well-maintained multi-use trails, so you can hike or bike right from the door of your vacation rental if you’re up for a longer excursion.

3. Stay Up Late

For an evening adventure, head over to Dewey Beach, which is located about 20 minutes away from Lewes. Every Monday night during the summer, the town shows a free family-friendly movie right on the beach. On Tuesday and Wednesday nights, the town sponsors a bonfire where your kids can roast marshmallows for s’mores and play on the beach as you relax and enjoy the sunset.

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4. Ride the Ferry

The Cape May-Lewes Ferry is a popular local attraction that lets you get a taste of the open ocean during the 80-minute ride across the bay. Thursdays are a particularly good day to try this out if you have younger children, as the ferry’s pirate-themed mascot shows up in person. Once you’re in Cape May, you can explore historic Victorian buildings, hike, bike, and grab a bite to eat before catching the ferry back to Lewes. If you’re lucky, you may catch a glimpse of whales or dolphins during your trip.

5. Hit the Links

Miniature golf is a popular activity in Delaware, so you can have fun like the locals at one of the numerous courses in and around Lewes. Nearby Rehoboth Beach has a particularly large number of miniature golf options if you want to do a marathon session. Jungle Jim’s is a local favorite as it also includes a water park, batting cages, and other activities to keep everyone happy.

6. See a Historic Ship

Delaware has a strong maritime history, and that’s reflected in the historic ships that dock in Lewes. The Kalmar Nyckel is a detailed reproduction of a Dutch colonial ship from the 17th century. Visitors can tour the ship, see sailors using authentic historical techniques to sail, and learn about sailing history at the associated museum. For more recent history, take a tour of the Lightship Overfalls, a National Historic Landmark. This fascinating ship served as a floating lighthouse to guide other vessels to safety and is one of the few lightships still in existence.

7. Catch Your Own Dinner

Delaware has fantastic fresh seafood restaurants, but there’s nothing better than catching your own meal. Surf fishing, clamming, and crabbing are all popular activities at the parks and shores around Lewes. Rental poles and equipment are available at several outfitters around town if you don’t have your own, and the helpful rangers at Cape Henlopen State Park and Delaware Seashores State Park can provide advice about good locations. There are also charter boats available from Indian River Marina if you want to try some deep sea fishing.

8. Admire the Sand Sculptures at Rehoboth Beach

If you’re lucky enough to be in Lewes during the annual Rehoboth Beach Sandcastle Contest, be sure to head over and take a look at the amazing sand creations. Entry is free, so if your family has artistic leanings, you can even join in on the fun. If you prefer to simply admire other people’s handiwork, there is also a tent with activities available to help keep children under six entertained. There are plenty of food and drink offerings nearby at the picturesque Rehoboth Beach boardwalk.

9. Enjoy an Eco-Tour

Delaware is chock full of natural beauty, and Cape Water Tours and Taxi is a great way to learn more about it. The company offers regular 90-minute boat tours during which experienced guides point out animals you might miss and tell you more about their lives and habitats. The tours leave right from Lewes for convenience, and you can also ask about sunset tours and other special events.

10. Experience the Pirate Life

Pirate-themed tours are a great way for kids to learn about history and have an adventure at the same time. The Kalmar Nyckel offers occasional pirate days when the staff dresses up and unfurls special pirate sails. If you’re not able to catch one of those, Pirates of Lewes is a pirate-themed charter ship that offers face-painting, treasure hunts, and other activities along with a dash of history and legend. Be sure to make reservations in advance as the expeditions can fill up quickly.

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