Essential RV Delaware:
Exploring the Top Destinations
in the First State
by Gina Walter
Nicknamed “The Diamond State” by Thomas Jefferson, Delaware lives up to its moniker—a true hidden gem along the East Coast. As the second smallest state in the country, you can drive from top to bottom in under three hours. Visitors often stay longer, however, to enjoy everything the alluring cityscapes and seascapes have to offer. Whether you’re looking to relax on the beaches, hike picturesque state parks or learn more about the state’s history, Delaware is a must-see for all travelers.
With numerous beach towns along the shoreline, Delaware draws in visitors from all over to enjoy their hot summer days lounging by the water. Stroll the bustling boardwalk in Rehoboth Beach and grab a slice of Grotto’s pizza or a Nic-o-boli from Nicola Pizza, then hitch a ride on the Jolly Trolley to Dewey Beach for some of the best nightlife in Delaware, dancing the night away at The Starboard or Rusty Rudder. The Starboard’s Bloody Mary Smorgasbord is popular amongst brunch-goers or Sharky’s Grill & BBQ for a variety of breakfast and lunch options.
Upstream so to speak, in Lewes, Roosevelt Inlet Shipwreck offers a surprising glimpse into maritime history. The shipwreck was discovered by accident during a dredging operation 16 years ago; archeologists have since come to the conclusion that the vessel was a British Merchant ship that hit a sandbar in March of 1772.
Where the Delaware Bay seeps into the Atlantic Ocean you will find the serene Cape Henlopen State Park. You can take in breathtaking views of the ocean and bay at The Point Overlook in addition to wildlife watching, often catching glimpses of dolphins in the water. Thanks to Friends of Cape Henlopen, you can borrow a bike at no charge and loop around Cape Henlopen, exploring every inch of the park during your stay. To learn more about the wildlife in the area, head into Seaside Nature Center, located within the state park. And, if you must leave the beaches, don’t forget to stop at the Tanger Outlets to enjoy Delaware’s tax free shopping!
Where to Stay: With so many people making the Delaware Beaches a destination for vacation, this area is full of RV Parks and Campgrounds. We recommend Treasure Beach RV Park which has multiple RV pull-through options, amazing amenities and is a short distance from the beaches. Other recommended RV parks in the area are Lost Lands RV Park, Lighthouse Beach RV Resort and Delaware Seashore State Park.
As Delaware’s largest city, Wilmington gives the distinctive feel of both the modern and the historic. While many come to revel in the city's restaurants and nightlife, others come for a show at The Grand Opera House as well as walk along the Wilmington Riverwalk or visit the 45 different museums and art galleries Wilmington has to offer. The city is filled with several amazing seafood restaurants, but Trolley Square Oyster House and Banks’ Seafood Kitchen top our list. On top of the abundance of seafood, Wilmington offers a diverse range of cuisine, ranging from Iron Hill Brewery & Restaurant to Ubon Thai.
Old Swedes Historic Site has become a sought-after destination for travelers exploring Delaware. The area was originally home to Lenape Native Americans but, in 1638, it became home to the first Swedish and Finnish settlers. Old Swedes Church was completed in 1699 and would go on to become the only standing structure of the settlement to this day—making it one of the oldest buildings in Delaware. The Nemours Estate is also a must-see when in Wilmington, built by a once prominent resident named Alfred I. duPont, who had the house built for his wife in 1907. Open for public tours, you can enjoy a stroll through the estate’s peaceful garden, featuring an acre-long pool that has 157 jets that arc as high as 12 feet high.
Where to Stay: Although no RV parks are located in Wilmington, there is one within driving distance. We recommend the Delaware Motel & RV Park located in New Castle.
Home to the University of Delaware Blue Hens, the small town of Newark flourishes with visitors and locals alike. Walk along the popular Main Street to enjoy its many restaurants while popping into a variety of different shops along the way. This quaint town also gives History Buffs the chance to learn more about the town at the Newark History Museum.
Complete the nine-mile Newark Historic Trail Activity, created in 2012 to educate visitors of all Newark has to offer. The best part of the trail? It was created for an Eagles Scout project and is officially recognized by the Boy Scouts of America, awarding a Trail Patch to any Boy Scout who completes the trail.
Along the border where Delaware meets Pennsylvania, you will find White Clay Creek State Park, the largest State Park in Delaware. Its 3,600 acres of lush greenery and wildlife offer ample opportunities for visitors. The park includes over 37 miles of easy to medium trails, suitable for hiking or biking in addition to designated areas to fish and picnic.
If you’re looking for great places to eat, Grain Craft Bar & Kitchen has become a favorite amongst locals for its live music and relaxed environment. Head 15 minutes out of town to Hockessin and enjoy Anthony’s Coal Fired Pizza, which has some of the best wings around, or cross the border into Pennsylvania for a true authentic Mexican meal at Taqueria Moroleon.
Dover is Delaware’s state capital and hosts the majority of Delaware’s biggest events, drawing people from all over the United States. The birthplace of Firefly Music Festival, attendees travel to Dover for the many stages and camping areas set up at the Dover International Speedway—which also hosts two yearly NASCAR races. If you happen to be passing through when there are no planned events, check out the abundance of museums and historic buildings throughout the city. The Biggs Museum of American Art helps portray the development of Mid-Atlantic fine and decorative arts ranging from the early 1700s to the present with furniture and silver actually made in Delaware. The renowned Dover Air Mobility Command Museum is the only the only museum dedicated to airlift and air refueling history.
As one of the original 13 colonies, Delaware boasts endless remnants of United States history, scattered throughout the state—Dover is no exception to the fabulous historic find. As a founding father, John Dickinson helped shape the United States of America into what it is today. The John Dickinson Plantation is open to the public to explore his house, experience multiple reenactments on the grounds and tour the museum.
Where to Stay: If you’re visiting Dover and plan to attend the NASCAR races or the Firefly Music Festival, Dover International Speedway has a variety of RV parking options. If traveling through Dover for leisure, we recommend staying at Dover AFB FamCamp.
Milton is a charming town, filled with history and located along the Broadkill River. Walk the town to experience some of the charming and historic house tours, or grab a kayak and hit the river. To get an in-depth look at Milton’s history, head on over to the Milton Historical Society. Founded in 1970, the historical society provides guests with stories of the town’s past, showcasing artifacts collected over the years and interpreting documents discovered in the area to help bring the past to life. Iconic Meding’s Seafood, Po’ Boys Creole Restaurant and Harvest Tide Steakhouse Restaurant are great places to grab a bite to eat and, of course, Dogfish Head Brewery is Milton’s main attraction. The brewery brings in beer lovers and their families to indulge in tastings, take tours of the brewery and essentially hang out beneath Steampunk Treehouse. Warrington Manor Lavender Fields is open year-round for visitors to stroll among the lavender fields as well as the farm’s various other gardens. You can shop in the cottage store or enjoy a hot cup of tea in the farm’s Tea Room. Nearby towns like Laurel and Millsboro offer a charm all their own while picturesque Cape Henlopen is just 25 minutes away.
Bombay Hook National Wildlife Refuge and Redden State Forest
Located in Smyrna, the stunning Bombay Hook National Wildlife Refuge brings in bird watchers and photographers from all over the country. The refuge protects one of the largest tidal salt marshes in the Mid-Atlantic region and its primary purpose is to serve as a breeding ground for migratory birds. Spanning across 16,251 acres, the refuge has a wildlife drive for visitors to snap beautiful photos from their cars or take in the surrounding wildlife. Self-guided hikes are available, or you can check out their event calendar to learn about any upcoming staff-led programs. After an abundant day of nature, head into town to relax and dine at Brick Works Brewing and Eats, Sheridan’s Irish Pub or Maverick Texas BBQ.
Where to Stay: Bombay Hook National Wildlife Refuge is located a short distance outside of Dover. We recommend staying overnight at Dover AFB FamCamp or heading down to Felton, Delaware where you can stay at Killens Pond State Park.
As the largest State Forest in Delaware, Redden blankets more than 12,900 acres. Located in Georgetown, Redden State Forest provides visitors with over 44 miles of trails for popular activities such as hiking, biking and horseback riding. The forest allows for deer hunting in designated areas and has a small catch-and-release pond for fishing. An historic carriage house, located on-premise, serves as an educational facility with a variety of interactive activities related to the forest and educational trails to provide students with a hands-on approach to learning. Take a quick drive past the forest for some good eats in the area at JD Shuckers, Georgetown Family Restaurant or Bella Capri Restaurant & Grill.
Where to Stay: To make it easy for visitors, Redden State Forest offers a limited number of campsites as well as a lodge available to rent out on their grounds. Since spaces are limited at Redden, we recommend a stay at Homestead Campground, located in Georgetown just a short distance away.
Plan Your Trip: