The Getaway
Fun Things to do in Lewes, DE

On the eastern edge of Delaware, where the Atlantic Ocean and Delaware Bay meet, sits the charming village of Lewes. This coastal haven, often referred to as the "First Town in the First State," has a unique allure that has captivated the hearts of many. Its strategic location has made it a significant port throughout American history, and its natural beauty has made it a beloved destination for generations of vacationers.

Located just a short drive from major cities, Lewes is an accessible escape from the urban hustle. It attracts mid-Atlantic visitors looking for a place to take a breath and a break without the hassle of long-distance travel. The village's quaint streets, lined with historic homes that whisper tales of bygone eras and welcoming storefronts filled with unique finds, beckon travelers to explore its rich tapestry of stories.

Whether you're a history buff delving into the town's storied past, a nature lover eager to explore its diverse ecosystems, or someone seeking a quiet coastal retreat to rejuvenate the soul, Lewes promises a memorable experience that will linger in your heart long after you leave.

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01 Get coffee and a sticky bun at Notting Hill Coffee Roastery

Start your day with a cup of freshly roasted ground coffee. How about a sticky bun with a name like Superlative Sticky Bun, Gorilla Stick, or Ooey Gooey? It'll fill you up and delight your sweet tooth. Unique, organic coffee blends also await you, and you'll find an abundant selection of fresh pastries, breads, soups, and salads made on-site. The cozy ambiance of the roastery, combined with the aroma of freshly brewed coffee, creates a perfect setting for morning conversations or a moment of solitude.

02 Walk, bike, tour, and fish at Cape Henlopen State Park

Path to the beach at Cape Henlopen in Lewes, Delaware along the Atlantic Ocean. Yvonne Navalaney / Getty Images

Over 5,000 acres of trails, wildlife, history, and spectacular scenery greet you at Cape Henlopen State Park. Nature's beauty and wonder abound as waterfowl, dolphins, ghost crabs, seals, and other wildlife go about their day. Journey along miles of trails on foot or borrow a bicycle for free. A little fishing or a comfy seat on the beach is a great way to relax. If you're a camping fan, there are lovely spots to sleep under the stars. The park also offers educational programs, ensuring visitors leave with a deeper appreciation of the natural world around them.

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03 Bike, hike, or run along the Gordons Pond Trail

Take a picturesque journey on the Gordons Pond Trail in Cape Henlopen State Park. Along this five-mile trail, you can see historic Fort Miles in the midst of sand and breezy marshes and get a view of the bay. Scenic rest stops feature bird-watching opportunities. After all, Gordons Pond is one of four waterfowl "migration superhighways" in North America. Rehoboth Beach and the Atlantic await you on the other side. The trail's serene environment, punctuated by the sounds of chirping birds and rustling leaves, offers a therapeutic escape from the hustle and bustle.

04 Bring your dog to the Lazy L at Willow Creek

Include your dog in your Lewes adventure with a stay at this bed and breakfast. Your best furry friend will get a heartfelt welcome, and there's a spacious dog park for hours of running and playing. A shower outside is available to wash the sand and dirt out of fur and paws after a romp on the beach or in the woods. At the end of a long day, comfortable bedding will lull your pup to sleep. The staff's dedication to ensuring both you and your pet have a memorable stay is evident in every thoughtful detail.

05 Cross the bay on the Cape May-Lewes Ferry

The Cape May Ferry, New Jersey InterCreativeSource / Getty Images

Cruise across the bay to beautiful Cape May, New Jersey. This 85-minute cruise features lighthouses, dolphins, whales, and waterfowl along the 17-mile trip. The ferry, which carries 100 vehicles and 800 passengers, runs several times per day. Enjoy the breeze, the sea air, and a snack. You may want to hop off in Cape May to explore little shops, Victorian houses, and a white sand beach. A later ferry will bring you back to Lewes. The journey offers a unique perspective of the coastline, making it a must-do activity for visitors.

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06 Discover the Lightship Overfalls

Lightships—lighthouses on the water—served the U.S. Lighthouse Service for decades. Now decommissioned and designated a National Historic Landmark, the Lightship Overfalls tells the story of these ships and the sailors who served on them. With its beaming red hull, the Lightship Overfalls stands watch over the Lewes Canal like a red welcoming beacon. Step aboard. Discover the Delaware Maritime Hall of Fame and a fascinating story. The vessel's rich history, combined with its crew's tales of bravery and dedication, paints a vivid picture of maritime life.

07 Cruise the bay with Cape Water Tours and Taxi

ferry at sunset mutlubiseyler / Getty Images

Relax and take in the sights and sounds of the Delaware Bay. Stories about wildlife and history will entertain you on the narrated tour. If you prefer quiet observation on your own, you can also take a non-narrated tour. The evening cruise includes live music and a spectacular sunset. Are you planning an event? A private charter will help you celebrate. If you simply need a ride between Lewes and Rehoboth, hail the taxi service. The gentle sway of the boat and the mesmerizing views of the horizon make this a peaceful retreat.

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08 Find cold ones and cookouts at Crooked Hammock Brewery

Woman Eats French Fries With a Grilled Chicken and Avocado Club at Restaurant Grace Cary / Getty Images

"Take a break. Enjoy the ride. Make lasting memories," this brewery says. After a long day of touring, settle in for a refreshing beer brewed in-house. Savor a hearty meal of perfectly seasoned meats and fresh vegetables. Live music sets the mood for fun and games. They'll even help you celebrate your special occasion. The brewery's laid-back atmosphere, combined with its delicious offerings, makes it a favorite hangout spot for locals and tourists alike.

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09 Visit the famous Cannonball House

Tour the house with a cannonball embedded in its side. Over 250 years old, this house earned its claim to fame at the Bombardment of Lewes during the War of 1812. The house is currently the home of the Lewes Maritime Museum. Recently a mystery unfolded when the cannonball disappeared. Was it found? Was it put back in place? Visit the Cannonball House and find out. The intriguing tales of the house's past, combined with its architectural charm, make it a must-visit historical site.

10 Be a pirate on the Pirates of Lewes expedition

Bring your kids—or be a kid—on this pirate-themed adventure. You'll dress up like a pirate, get your face painted, collect your eye patch and booty, and set sail. Your kids will have a blast battling the infamous Barnacle Bo. After following clues from a map to discover long-lost treasure, they can celebrate their find with pirate-worthy music and dancing. Arrgh! The expedition promises laughter, excitement, and unforgettable memories for the entire family.

11 Browse the Doors of Fame exhibit

What's so exciting about three doors from the Rehoboth Art League's building? These doors are covered with signatures, drawings, and messages from over 280 artists, celebrities, and others who defined the local culture. From as far back as the 1930s, each left hints of Delaware's—and the mid-Atlantic's—cultural history and the Rehoboth Beach art scene. Where else can you find history on a door? The exhibit offers a unique glimpse into the artistic soul of the region, making it a must-visit for art enthusiasts.

12 Visit the Zwaanendael Museum

Learn about Delaware's first European colony—the Dutch. What began as a whale hunting station in the 1600s gradually grew into a flourishing settlement. It eventually moved from its original location to the lower Delaware Valley. A Mennonite colony later joined the early settlement. In addition to this fascinating history, you will also discover captivating exhibits of Lewes' maritime, military, and social history. The museum's diverse collection offers insights into the region's rich past and its influence on present-day Lewes.

13 Eat a hearty meal at Bethany Blues

Triple Chocolate Muffin Robbie Goodall / Getty Images

At this local favorite, take a bite of culinary masterpieces created from the best barbecue recipes found across the country. Save room, though, because there's chocolate chip cookie pie for dessert. If you're a bourbon fan, choose from over 120 whiskeys. The in-house single barrels here are particularly popular. Sit back and bask in the comfort of fine, southern-influenced cooking and an aromatic, relaxing drink. The restaurant's warm ambiance and friendly staff ensure a delightful dining experience.

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14 Tee off at the American Classic Golf Club

Golf clubs and golf balls on a green lawn in a beautiful golf course with morning sunshine. Somchai Sookkasem / Getty Images

You won't find your average golf experience here. The clothes are loud, the par 4s and 5s let you use all of your clubs, and there are only nine holes. The course may be shorter, but it's just as fun and challenging. Back inside, after you've worked up an appetite, there are food, drinks, and live music in the Classic Rock Café. The club's unique approach to golf, combined with its vibrant atmosphere, promises a day of fun and camaraderie.

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15 Catch a fish or two at Fisherman's Wharf

Mature Asian Mother and Daughter Getting Ready to Net Fish PamelaJoeMcFarlane / Getty Images

There's nothing like fishing poles, fresh air, and family fun. You'll have an exciting day fishing on the Delaware Bay and the Atlantic Ocean. Catch a few fish that you can later use to whip up a fresh meal. If you simply want to sit back and relax, take a cruise, breathe in the fresh sea air, and watch dolphins and whales frolic. There may even be a fireworks display to end a beautiful day. The wharf's picturesque setting, combined with the thrill of the catch, makes it a favorite spot for both novice and experienced anglers.

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