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Delaware: Take a whirlwind tour of the First State

It makes sense that the America’s first state has a long history of enticing visitors. From tours of historic buildings and beautiful gardens to sun-filled boardwalk jaunts, this trip south along Delaware’s coast has something for everyone.

Drive 118.5 miles, 3 hours, 8 minutes


1. New Castle

Starting Point

Sporting some of the finest examples of authentic colonial structures in the country, a visit to New Castle is like stepping back in time. During May, homeowners in colonial garb show off their historic residences with tours, wine tastings and garden visits. Proceeds benefit the upkeep of the immaculate structures. The European roots of the town are also apparent at gems like the Dutch House Museum, a 17th-century residence furnished in the style of the area’s original settlers.

Getty Images/iStockphoto

Getty Images/iStockphoto

2. Lincoln

66.3 miles, 1 hour, 29 minutes

The perfect place to begin exploring Delaware’s fun-filled coastline, it’s just a quick trip from Lincoln to the surf at nearby Slaughter Beach. Even if you’re just learning to hang 10, the waves are great for beginners, and the long stretch of the relatively undiscovered beach is great for soaking up the sun. There aren’t many amenities in the area, so before you leave Lincoln, pack a picnic to enjoy in the shade of the classic Mispillion River Lighthouse, one the last wooden-frame structures of its kind.


3. Rehoboth Beach

23.7 miles, 46 minutes

Its boardwalk has been ranked among the best seaside strolls in the United States. It’s nickname? “The Nation’s Summer Capital.” If you need more reasons to visit Rehoboth Beach, you’ll likely find them at the amusement parks, shopping centers or summer festivals that bustle in the beachside haven. Or you could just enjoy a stroll along the classic wooden boardwalk and never-ending beach. Rehoboth is a relaxing alternative to the party-filled beaches dotting the rest of Delaware’s coast, but don’t worry, you can still unwind with a cold one.

Getty Images/iStockphoto

Getty Images/iStockphoto

4. Selbyville

28.5 miles, 53 minutes

If you’ve ever dreamed of hitting the fairway with the pros, the Bayside Resort Golf Club is a great place to start. Jack Nicklaus, one of golf’s greatest players, designed the course, which overlooks the stunning Assawoman Bay coastline. It’s worth a visit just for the preserved wetlands and woodlands that surround the area. After hitting the links, a quick trip down Delaware 54 will land you on the beaches of Fenwick Island for a sunset stroll. Keep your eyes open for undiscovered treasure—pirates are believed to have buried their loot along the shore.