Top photo: Wilmington skyline framed by Delaware Memorial Bridge, viewed from New Jersey, across the Delaware River. Wilmington is the largest city in the state of Delaware
Gildshire’s America the Beautiful tour finds itself in the tiny state of Delaware today. Dwarfed by New Jersey, New York, and Pennsylvania which surround it, Little Deli takes a back seat to no state when it comes to fun and civic pride. Long before it’s larger neighbors, it became the first state to ratify the Constitution of the United States,
Delaware is the second smallest state in the Union and the 5th smallest by population. When your largest city (Wilmington) is roughly the same size as Tustin – California, small is where you are. The capital of Delaware sits in Dover.
It is bordered to the south and west by Maryland, to the northeast by New Jersey, and to the north by Pennsylvania. The Atlantic Ocean forms Delaware’s eastern border, and will be the destination of our trip through the state.
A memorial marking the names of Delawareans fallen during war sits adjacent to the Delaware Public Archives building in Dover
Actor: Valerie Bertinelli
Author: Howard Pyle, and John Phillips
Doctor: Henry Heimlich
Movies in Which Delaware Played a Role:
Days of Thunder
Dead Poets Society
Violets Are Blue
The Green, at the heart of historic Dover
Weird and Wonderful Facts About Delaware
The American version of the log cabin was developed in Delaware.
Betsy Ross’ first flag was flown at Delaware’s Battle of Cooch’s Bridge during the Revolutionary War.
At its narrowest Delaware is but nine miles wide.
The highest point in Delaware is 442 feet above sea level.
Fisher’s popcorn is a famous coastal caramel corn. It has been ordered from as far away as Vietnam and Indonesia.
Delaware is considered the “Cradle of the Methodist Church.”
The town of Milton was named after the English poet John Milton in 1807.
Let’s Take a Trip Through Delaware!
A state that is only nine miles wide at its narrowest point must be traveled north to south or vice versa. We are going to start up north, near Wilmington. We will finish at Rehoboth Beach. It is a trip of a scant 100 miles. Lets’ see what fun we can find, shall we?
Bellevue State Park is our first stop. Bellevue is an elegant place, offering nature, birdwatching, playgrounds and concerts every Tuesday and Thursday in the summer. Bellevue also offers horseback riding and tennis courts for the more athletically minded. It is a nice and relaxing place to start our trip.
Less than 20 miles down the road find Fort Delaware State Park. Visitors take a .5 mile ferry ride from Delaware City to Pea Patch Island. A jitney provides transport from the island dock to the granite and brick fortress. Here, costumed interpreters take you back to the summer of 1864.
Delaware Water Gap
It is a day for hands-on history. Help the blacksmith hammer out new parts for a cannon. Be on hand when the 8-inch Columbiad gun fires a live gunpowder charge!
Pay the toll at State Route 1 and you are off again. This time headed for Dover and the Air Mobility Command Museum. Lovers of all things aeronautical will love this place! If possible, choose an open cockpit day and get to sit in one of the aircraft. It is a museum with an indoor and outdoor part. Enjoy them both. History and airplanes are a good combination.
Stay at the Dover Comfort Inn and Suites for $80 a night.
11th Street at sunset in downtown Wilmington, from the City Center Parking Garage
One Continental breakfast later you are off to the beach! Same road as yesterday, and just 44 miles of it. You are at Rehoboth Beach.
Old-world charm combines with beach resort fun in Rehoboth Beach. Shops and stores next to a clean sandy beach. Make Rehoboth your base but check out the other little beach communities around. You’ll find a slightly different experience at every turn.
Plan two nights at the Boardwalk Plaza Hotel for just $67 a night.
So what do you think about a state like Delaware? Tip to tip on 1/3 tank of gas but a lot of fun, wasn’t it?
Next up: The District of Columbia