The Greatest Road Trip Ever Taken finds itself in the tiny State of Delaware today. Dwarfed by New Jersey, New York, and Pennsylvania surrounding it, Delaware takes a back seat to nowhere 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. Since that day, Delaware has since promoted itself as “The First State.”
Delaware voted against secession, remaining in the Union. In fact, Delaware has a Civil Rights pedigree. By 1860, with the divided country on the verge of Civil War, 91.7% of Delaware’s black population was free.
Delaware is the second smallest state in the Union and the fifth smallest by population, making it an urban state. The largest city in Delaware is Wilmington. At just over 70,000 it is about the same size as Tustin, California. The capital of Delaware is 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.
The highest point in Delaware is only 447 feet above sea level. It’s called the Ebright Azimuth. The Atlantic Ocean is the state’s lowest point. The geographic center of the State is located eleven miles south of Dover. Delaware is in the Eastern Time Zone, and a believer in Daylight Savings Time.
Major Airports in Delaware:
Wilmington Airport is the only significant airfield here. Since the 2015 abandonment by Frontier Airlines there are no scheduled commercial flights to anywhere from Delaware.
(You can get there from here…but not directly.)
Top Movies Filmed in Delaware:
Fight Club (1999)
The Last of the Mohicans (1920)
Trigger Man (2007)
Meet the People (1944)
Military/Politics: George Read, Thomas W. Miller, Beau Biden, and Caesar Rodney.
Actors: Raul Esparza, Valerie Bertinelli, Doug Hutchison, Elisabeth Shue, Teri Polo, Judge Reinhold, John Gallagher Jr., Aubrey Plaza, Ryan Phillippe, Andrew Shue, and Sean Patrick Thomas.
Entertainers: Bret Von Dehl, Matt Hill, Stephen Marley, Chuck Wicks, John Reed King, Travis Greene, and George Thorogood.
Authors: Howard Pyle, Robert Montgomery Bird, Henry S. Canby, and John Phillips.
Athletes: Wilham Julius Johnson, Mark Eaton, Elena Delle Donne, Delino Deshields, Devin Smith, Colin Burns, and Paul Goldschmidt.
Weird and Wonderful Facts About Delaware:
The American version of the log cabin was developed in Delaware.
Betsy Ross’ first flag was flown at the Battle of Cooch’s Bridge in Delaware during the Revolutionary War.
At its narrowest Delaware is just nine miles wide.
The city of Delmar is located partly in Delaware and partly in Maryland.
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 when it was founded 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, finishing at Rehoboth Beach. It is a trip of a scant 100 miles. Let’s see what fun we can find, shall we?
Bellevue State Park is our first stop. It 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 on Pea Patch Island. To get there, we take a .5 mile ferry ride from Delaware City. A jitney provides transport from the island dock to the granite and brick fortress. Here, costumed interpreters take us back to the summer of 1864.
It is a day for hands-on history. We will help the blacksmith hammer out new parts for a cannon, and be on hand when the eight-inch Columbiad gun fires a live gunpowder charge!
We pay the toll at State Route 1, and head for Dover and the Air Mobility Command Museum. Lovers of all things aeronautical need to come to this place! Luckily, we’re here for an open cockpit day and get to sit in one of the aircraft. It is a museum with an indoor and outdoor section. We enjoy them both. History and airplanes are a good combination. After a great day, we will stay at the Sleep Inn & Suites for $80 a night.
One continental breakfast later we are off to the beach! Same road as yesterday, and just 44 miles of it. We’re at Rehoboth Beach.
Old-world charm combines with beach resort fun in Rehoboth Beach. There are shops and stores next to a clean sandy beach.
We will make Rehoboth our base but check out the other little beach communities that are around here. There is a slightly different experience at every turn. We will stay two nights at the Atlantis Inn for $100 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. We’re glad to have taken the trip with you.