As the second smallest state in the country, Delaware is sometimes overlooked as a vacation destination. However, from its beach communities to small, friendly towns, this small state on the Eastern Seaboard offers a lot of fun. Book a stay at a Delaware vacation rental to be situated within easy walking or driving distance of the state’s most exciting attractions. Check out the eight top weekend getaway spots in Delaware.

1. Milton

A crane in the water
Source: Flickr/Steven Reynolds

Immerse yourself in a town filled with more than 200 historical buildings with a vacation rental in Milton. Close to the Delaware Bay and on the Broadkill River, Milton is a great place to enjoy a day fishing with Martha Marie Fishing Charters that take you to all the best fishing holes. Older family members can take a tour of the Dogfish Head Brewery and enjoy the offerings in the sampling room. Purchase a six-pack from the gift shop to take home. Don’t forget your camera when you stroll through Milton’s Historic District to capture the beauty of the historic buildings.

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2. Rehoboth Beach

Sandy beach with a boardwalk
Source: Flickr/Ted Eytan

Soak up the sun with a weekend in Rehoboth Beach. This beach town comes alive with crowds during the summer months, but it’s a great getaway throughout the year. Try visiting at the end of October for the Sea Witch Festival, and take part in all of the family fun with live music, vendors, and activities. Avoid sand in your car with a day spent at Jungle Jim’s, a local waterpark with slides, a lazy river, and a wave pool. In the evenings, take a walk on the boardwalk to people watch and enjoy shopping in the small stores.

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3. Delaware City

Sand along a wooden fence
Source: Flickr/Lee Cannon

Nestled on the Delaware River and a stone’s throw from New Jersey, Delaware City is a small town with a variety of historic buildings and a scenic waterfront. Stop by the Sterling Building that dates back to the 1800s, or hop on the ferry to take a ride over to Fort Delaware on Pea Patch Island. As you tour this historic fort, you learn more about its history and its importance as a prison for Confederate soldiers during the Civil War.

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4. Millsboro

Flowers planted along grass

In southern Delaware, learn more about the state’s history and former Native American population when you visit Hillsboro. The surrounding area was settled in the late 1700s, and before that, the Nanticoke tribe called it home. Visit the Nanticoke Indian Museum to learn more about this tribe’s rich culture. It’s a short drive to the Delaware Botanic Gardens at Pepper Creek, where you can see all the flowers and plants in full bloom in the spring months as butterflies flit around and dragonflies zoom past your ears. The Blue Water Grill has something for everyone in your family with its extensive menu that includes seafood, steak, and barbecue.

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5. Bethany Beach

Bethany beach with gentle waves
Source: Flickr/Lee Cannon

If you love the beach but want something a little more low-key than Rehoboth Beach, try Bethany Beach. Book your vacation rental for early September to arrive in time for the Bethany Beach Boardwalk Arts Festival and see the work of local and regional artists. A visit to the Bethany Beach Farmer’s Market provides you with fresh fruit, cheese, baked goods, and many other goodies to keep for snacks at your vacation rental. After a day on the beach, stop by Captain Jack’s Pirate Golf for a competitive game of mini golf while you eat the bag of popcorn they offer you with admission.

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6. Lewes

Sandy beach along the ocean
Source: Flickr/Michele Dorsey Walfred

Lewes enjoys the name of The First Town in the First State since it was the original settlement of the Dutch. In town, you want to go by the Ryves Holt House. It’s the oldest building in the entire state and dates back to 1665. Located in a Dutch-influenced building, the Zwaanendael Museum is the best place to learn about this town’s history. Once the home of a military base, Cape Henlopen State Park is a great place to breathe in the fresh air. If the weather’s hot, spend your day on the beach in the park. There’s also a disc golf course, an observation deck to climb for amazing views, and hiking paths.

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7. Dover

Nascar at Dover Downs
Source: Flickr/Jasen MIller

Visit the capital city of Maryland with a weekend away in Dover. Located above the state’s visitor center, the Biggs Museum of American Art offers a nice selection of modern artwork. Time your trip for one of the big races at the Dover International Speedway if you have a race car fan in your family. Take a tour of the seat of government during Colonial times when you stop by the Old Statehouse. It’s a great place to learn about the state’s history. The Governor’s House is another place to tour on a rainy afternoon.

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8. Smyrna

Rustic shore along a lake
Source: Flickr/rayb777

Located on the water’s edge, Smyrna is a small town on Duck Creek and Lake Como. Stroll around the Duck Creek Village historic district to get a feel for life in the first days of the United States. If you’re looking for a more modern experience, the Smyrna Opera House dates back to the early 1900s so it’s practically new by comparison. Take a tour, or reserve tickets for one of the performances.

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