Founded over 330-years ago, it’s no surprise that history abounds along the tree-lined streets of downtown Dover. Whether exploring the cultural sites of First State Heritage Park or the wild tidal marshes of Bombay Hook National Wildlife Refuge, it’s easy to step back to simpler times with a visit to this capital city.
Old State Style
With 19 different historic sites within a few blocks, the First State Heritage Park is a history buffs dream. Start with a visit to the Old State House, originally built in 1791, before admiring the stunning collections at the Biggs Museum of American Art and the John Bell House, which offers interactive tours of the city Green. The nearby Johnson Victrola Museum is a hidden gem for audiophiles, boasting antique recording equipment from as far back as the 1890’s. On the first Saturday of each month, visitors are treated to a special array of performances, events and reenactments.
Pond of Plenty
Less than half an hour to the south, Killens Pond State Park is a picturesque retreat perfect for day-tripping families. Home to bass, catfish, crappie and more, the park’s 66-acre pond will keep anglers happy, while canoes, kayaks and pedal boats are also available to rent. Head out of the pond along the Murderkill River water trail for an especially scenic adventure. Those anglers looking to land trophy-size hauls should head to the Delaware Bay where striped bass and black drumfish are in plentiful supply. Charters are available at various waterfront towns along the coast or follow the 100-mile Bayshore Byway to find the boat launch that works best for you.
All nature lovers will relish the views from the 12-mile wildlife drive that traverses Bombay Hook National Wildlife Refuge, but it’s birders that are in for a real treat. A popular migratory stop in spring and summer, you’ll have the chance to check waterfowl, warblers and shore birds off your list. Geese, herons, terns and are also frequent visitors. For the best views, wander the short trail hikes to one of three 30ft observation towers. The refuge is also open to deer, small game, wild turkey and waterfowl hunting, as well as home to a dedicated environmental education program that offers events for all ages.
Days of Thunder
Known as “The Monster Mile,” Dover International Speedway is a racetrack steeped in NASCAR lore. Built in 1969, the track hosts multiple races a year filling the surrounding city with the roar of engines and cheering crowds, but that’s just the beginning! Race weekends are also jam-packed with musical performances, food and drink festivals, and discounted attractions across town, making it the perfect time to visit. Race fans looking to get even closer to the action should head an hour south to the legendary Georgetown Speedway. One of the fastest dirt tracks in the country, it’s been a proving ground for some of the country’s top drivers.
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