It’s that time of year again, the warmer weather is here and Washingtonians are ready to plan weekend getaways. It can be difficult to book extravagant vacations out of town, but did you know that you don’t have to look very far for a convenient escape?
Delaware’s Quaint Villages in Kent County are just a short drive to riverside towns steeped in history and nestled among pristine woodlands. Whether you’re an outdoor adventure seeker, history buff, or wine and beer connoisseur, there’s something for everyone. Here is just a taste of what a weekend itinerary could consist of:
History Buffs & Nature Lovers: Smyrna and Dover
Located on the beautiful banks of Duck Creek and Lake Como, Smyrna is the ideal watering hole for swimming, fishing and boating activities. Recognized as a “Globally Important Bird Area,” Washingtonians can hike the nearby salt marshes at the Bombay Hook National Wildlife Refuge, one of the largest remaining tidal marshes in the mid-Atlantic region and watch thousands of migrating shorebirds who call the area home each spring. After a hike, casually stroll among the area’s beautifully preserved historic buildings before heading to Painted Stave Distilling to dine and down premium small batch handcrafted barrel aged spirits made with ingredients sourced from local farms and housed in a 1940s-era movie theater.
If you’re a history buff instead, then head over to Dover to visit the First State Heritage Park, an urban park linking historic and cultural sites, such as the Delaware’s Old State House and Legislative Hall Capitol, both treasured historical sites in a city that has been the seat of Delaware’s government since 1777 and the first state to ratify the United States Constitution. Be sure to stop by The Countrie Eatery for an old-fashioned homemade breakfast while you’re in town.
Centrally located in Dover, the Dover Downs Hotel & Casino is an ideal place to stay to be close to all that the historic downtown has to offer as well as enjoy the hotel’s entertainment options, including a racetrack, a spa and fine dining.
Waterparks, River Walks & State Fairs: Milford, Felton and Harrington
There’s a big benefit to being the second smallest state in the United States, traveling between villages isn’t a challenge. Next up on the itinerary is nearby Milford, Felton and Harrington. Washingtonians can start with a stroll along Mispillion Riverwalk Park, the largest municipal park in Delaware. The mile-long park threads its way through the heart of downtown Milford, conveniently connecting shops, inns, cultural sites and neighborhoods along its winding scenic trails. For lunch, fill up on hand tossed pizza and homemade pasta at Frederica Pizza & Pasta House or check out Mispillion River Brewing.
In neighboring Felton, a tranquil small town still home to many commercial and recreational fishing boats, and an ideal place to grab the fresh catch of the day at JP’s Wharf Restaurant & Bar. A local favorite, where everything is cooked to order with the freshest of ingredients, JP’s catches its own Rockfish and harvests oysters and crabs in nearby waterways. Also in Felton, is Killens Pond Water Park a 66-acre pond surrounded by more than 1,440-acres of parks, woods and trails to satisfy anyone who enjoys hiking, fishing, boating and swimming in a pristine setting. The park also features a nature center, year-round campgrounds and waterpark with two 54-foot-high speed slides and tunnels and pool to keep every adult, child and toddler happy.
Then head over to Harrington, home of the Delaware State Fair (July 20-29, 2017), to enjoy a day at the Harrington Raceway & Casino where you can watch a horse race or catch live entertainment at the Bonz Lounge.
There is so much more to discover and experience in Delaware’s Quaint Villages. So, jump in your car or book a rental and escape the District for the weekend.