Delaware's size as the second smallest state in the nation gives road trippers the advantage of being reasonably able to see the entire state in one trip. It takes about 2 hours to travel the coast, so there is plenty of time to make frequent stops along the way.
While high north along the eastern coast, Delaware's beaches should not be discounted. Rehoboth Beach may be the most well-known for its boardwalk and tax-free shopping, but there are many others. If you are looking for beachside-activities and a party atmosphere at night, try Dewey Beach. If you are looking for a quieter atmosphere for families or couples, try Bethany or Lewes Beach.
CAPE HENLOPEN STATE PARK
Regardless of which beach style you chose, or if you've been traveling up the coast checking them all out, pause to relax at The Point. The Point is the tip of Cape Henlopen State Park and offers excellent views of one of Delaware's lighthouses. Within the State Park, you can also visit Fort Miles, a World War II base and museum. If you still want some activity, you can bike or hike around the State Park and sand dunes and even settle in for the night at the campground.
BOMBAY HOOK NATIONAL WILDLIFE REFUGE
Hugging the coast of Delaware's Central Region, this 16,000 plus acre refuge has much to offer. Inside, you can expect many wildlife sightings and the opportunity to see many different types of landscapes from tidal salt marshes to forests all in one place. You can enjoy the refuge from a 12-mile self-guided vehicle tour route or by getting out and walking one of the trails to an observation tower.
Leaving Central Delaware behind, head to the Northern Region to explore the many mansions and gardens. En route, stop at Fort Delaware, which sits on Pea Patch Island, accessible only by ferry. From a defensive position to prison, the Fort had many uses since its construction in the 1800s. Today you can hike and explore the island and hear from local guides about its role in America's history.
BRANDYWINE VALLEY NATIONAL SCENIC BYWAY
A bit further north within New Castle County is the start of the Brandywine Valley Byway. Officially starting in downtown Wilmington near the Hotel Du Pont, Delaware's only scenic byway will take you on a tour of the state's historic homes. You can simply drive the 12-mile route or stop along the way to tour the homes, former residences of the DuPont family.
On the properties, you will learn the family history, enjoy the beautiful gardens and reflecting pools, and see the collections of art and antiques. Be sure to visit the Nemours Estate and the Winterthur Museum, Garden, and Library. At the Hagley Museum and Library, you can see the family home as well as a gunpowder mill from the 1800s. Guided tours of the houses and grounds are available.