Lewes is a city that lies next to the coastal town of Rehoboth Beach in Delaware, and it is one of the principal cities in Delaware’s Cape Region. It has a long and rich history, as Lewes was the site of the first European settlement in Delaware. The city’s coastal location and unique history mean that it is a popular tourist destination. There are many historical landmarks and museums to visit in the city, along with open spaces and family attractions. Therefore, you will have no problems finding ways to spend your time in the area. If you plan to visit this city, here are the 20 best things to do in Lewes, Delaware.
20. Nassau Valley Vineyards Winery
You can step straight off the sands into Delaware wine country, which is a pastoral coastal location by the beaches. Nassau Valley Vineyards is not only Delaware’s first winery, but it is also the largest in the state. It creates award-winning red and white wines. Visitors can take a self-guided tour of the winery or sample the wines in the tasting room. There are also opportunities to learn about the history of wine in the area.
19. Play a Round of Golf at Midway Par 3 Golf Course
For golf enthusiasts visiting Lewes in Delaware, the best place to fulfill their passion is at Midway Par 3 Golf Course. It is an 18-hole Par 3 course that boasts regulation-sized greens. The course is suitable for people of all ages and all skill levels, so it is an activity you can enjoy as a family. There are opportunities for novices to learn how to play the game and for experienced golfers to improve their skills. Another notable point to make about this golf course is the stunning surrounding, which adds to the experience of playing a round of golf at this course.
18. Have Fun at Lefty’s Alleys & Eats
If you want to have some indoor fun on a rainy day, then head to Lefty’s Alleys & Eats. There are various activities to enjoy at this venue, including ax-throwing, a 16-lane bowling alley, laser tag, and a drive-in movie theater. There is also an excellent on-site eatery that serves eat-and-play combos, a kid’s menu, gluten-free dishes, and vegan meals. Therefore, there are food options on the menu for everyone. It also has happy hour specials, so it is a budget-friendly place to eat.
17. Go to Ryves Holt House
An interesting landmark to visit while in Lewes is Ryves Holt House. The reason that this house is a famous tourist attraction is that it was built in 1885 and is the oldest standing house in Delaware. The house’s original purpose was an inn, and it was one of the earliest inns in the region. It is now the Lewes Historical Society Visitor Center and a museum. The museum also has a small gift shop.
16. See Delaware Breakwater East End Lighthouse
One of the most notable landmarks in Lewes is the Delaware Breakwater East End Lighthouse. Construction of the lighthouse began in 1828, and it was completed in 1841, says Delaware Historical and Cultural Affairs Department. Therefore, it is one of Delaware’s oldest lighthouses. You can see the lighthouse from the shores of Cape Henlopen State Park.
15. Try the Drinks at Beach Time Distilling
Beach Time Distilling is a distillery that produces hand-crafted, small-batch spirits, including rum, vodka, and gin. The distillery is open to the public from Wednesday to Saturday. Visitors can tour the distillery before sampling the spirits, and there is the opportunity to buy bottles of spirits to take home.
14. Visit the Fort Miles Historical Area
If you are interested in historical landmarks, one of the best attractions is the Fort Miles Historical Area. It is set amongst the dunes near Cape Henlopen, where the Delaware Bay and the Atlantic Ocean meet. Fort Miles was one of the most important defensive fortifications on the East Coast during World War II. Guided tours of the attraction are given by uniformed guides. Visitors can also climb the concrete spotting tower to enjoy seascape views.
13. Go Fishing with First Light Charters
Visit Delaware recommends going fishing with First Light Charters. It is the best activity for those who are passionate about fishing, but it is also suitable for people who have never tried sea fishing as operators of the boat charters will teach you the skills you need. Your trip is customized to meet your needs and interests. Typical fish you will catch off the Delaware coast include sea bass, sea trout, bluefish, rockfish, flounder, tog, and croaker.
12. Shop at Tanger Outlets
One of the benefits of visiting Deleware is tax-free shopping. There are plenty of boutique stores in Lewes along the main street, but the best destinations for some retail therapy are the Tanger Outlets. There are several of these outlets in Rehoboth Beach, which is easily accessible from Lewes via public transport if you have not driven to your vacation destination. There are huge savings on big brand names, so it is ideal for thrifty shoppers. Some of the outlets also have eateries where you can take a break from shopping to grab a bite to eat.
11. Enjoy a Drink at Dogfish Head Brewing & Eats
Lewes is home to several breweries that produce craft ales and beers. A popular option for those who want to visit a brewery is Dogfish Head Brewing & Eats. The brewery has been open since 1955, and they produce a range of beers and craft spirits. They have since added a restaurant with a menu of burgers, pizzas, and wings. It is a fun place to dine in the evenings when there is live entertainment.
10. Have Fun at Funland
Lewes’ top family fun attraction is Funland, which is an amusement park. The park was founded in 1962, and it has now become the area’s most popular family attraction. There are multiple rides and activities to enjoy, as well as a video arcade and a boardwalk area. It is open from the second week of May to the end of the summer season. Funland can become extremely busy, and the quietest time to visit is in May.
9. Go to Delaware Seashore State Park
If you enjoy exploring the outdoors, you should go to Delaware Seashore State Park while visiting Lewes, Delaware. It covers almost 3,000 acres along Delaware’s coastline. The park’s main attraction is the beach, and people head there to sunbathe and swim. It is also a popular spot for surfers and surf fishing. Furthermore, the park is used to host various annual events, including July’s sandcastle building competition.
8. Hike the Junction and Breakwater Trail
A fantastic way to admire the natural beauty of Lewes and the surrounding area is to hike the Junction and Breakwater Trail. The trail stretches for six miles between Lewes Beach and Cape Henlopen State Park, following the route of a former railroad that was the area’s primary means of transportation during the 17th and 18th centuries. You will pass through various natural environments along the trail, including coastal marshlands, open fields, and dense forests. It is a relatively flat trail that is suitable for walking, running and biking. If you want to walk the entire route and make the return journey, you should set aside a full day. However, if you want to walk shorter sections, you can turn back at the point of your choice.
7. See the Art at Doors of Fame at the Rehoboth Art League
Lewes and the neighboring town of Rehoboth Beach both have thriving art communities, and they are home to multiple art galleries. The best one to visit is the headquarters of the Rehoboth Art League, where you will find a unique attraction called the Doors of Fame. It is an art installation that consists of multiple doors that are inscribed with the names of artists. The list starts as far back as the 1930s and includes current artists from the local area. In addition to the Doors of Fame, you can check out the paintings and sculptures by local and regional artists in the permanent exhibition.
6. See the Exhibits at the Zwaanendael Museum
When Lewes was first founded, it was called Zwaanendael, which means Swan Valley. If you want to learn more about the area’s early history, then the Zwaanendael Museum is the best museum to visit. It is devoted to the history and culture of the area, with a focus on the Dutch colony that originally founded the city in the 1600s. The exhibits also cover the maritime, military, and social history of the area. When you visit Zwaanendael Museum, you should also pop next door to the Fisher-Martin House.
5. Go for a Trip on Cape May-Lewes Ferry
A popular activity in Lewes is taking a trip on the Cape May-Lewis Ferry. The ferry offers a quick and practical way of traveling from one side of the bay to the other if you want to explore the surrounding area. It is also a fantastic leisure activity that appeals to lots of tourists visiting the area. During the trip across the bay, you can enjoy seeing the coastline and its landmarks from a different perspective and watch the shorebirds and dolphins. Foot passengers, bikes, and vehicles can board the ship, departing from the ferry terminal in Lewes.
4. Take a Tour of Lightship Overfalls
The Lightship Overfalls is of historical significance, as it was the last lightship built for the United States Lighthouse Service. When the ship was in operation, it was used as a mobile lighthouse. It is now docked on the canal front of historic Lewes. The interior of the ship has been converted into the Lightship Maritime Museum, and it is open on weekends throughout the summer. Those who visit the lightship can take guided tours both above and below the decks.
3. Enjoy a Nautical Experience with Pirates of Lewes
If you have traveled to Lewes with children, a great activity to include in your vacation itinerary is having a nautical experience with Pirates of Lewes. It is a unique attraction that is probably the most fun you can have with your children in the area. The attraction involves heading out on the water on a pirate ship. During the boat trip, passengers can take part in various activities, including treasure hunts, sing-alongs, and water fights. The staff dresses up, and passengers also have the option to wear pirate-themed outfits.
2. Go to Cannonball House and Lewes Maritime Museum
The Cannonball House is in the downtown area of Lewes, and it was built in the mid-1700s. It has become a symbol of Lewes, and it is the base of the Lewes Historical Society. It is home to the Lewes Maritime Museum, and it is devoted to educating visitors about Lewes’ maritime history. It houses some of the nation’s most important pieces of maritime art and memorabilia, such as the Fresnel Lens of Fourteen Foot Bank Light.
1. Spend Time in Cape Henlopen State Park
According to The Crazy Tourist, one of the best things to do in Lewes, Delaware, is to spend time in Cape Henlopen State Park. It is the biggest outdoor recreation destination in the area, and it is open daily from the beginning of March to the end of November. The park encompasses a large stretch of beach that attracts many visitors throughout the year. Some of the popular activities visitors enjoy in this park include biking, surfing, fishing, and swimming. There are also campsites for those who want to stay overnight to spend a few days in the park and make the most of everything it offers.