Hobie catamaran sailboat with two people, Delaware© Jonatha BorzicchiHobie catamaran sailboat with two people, Delaware
© Jonatha Borzicchi
Delaware packs an awful lot into just 1,982 square miles. Consider the beaches. You can choose from among Rehoboth Beach (dubbed "the Nation's Summer Capital"), Dewey Beach (known for its water sports) and laid-back Fenwick Island. There's also Cape Henlopen, which is also a nature centre, complete with environmental programs, year-round activities and marine aquariums.

Cape Henlopen is just one of the state's many beautiful parks. Another is Brandywine, a former dairy farm owned by the DuPont family, who have played such a prominent role in the state's history. Found in the northern part of the state, the Brandywine Valley is within easy access of Wilmington, Delaware's largest city. This area is known for its spectacular scenery, historic stone homes and mills, magnificent mansions, thoroughbred horseracing and a lively riverfront scene with lots of restaurants, shops, cafés, parks and museums.

In Wilmington, you can board the Wilmington & Western, the state's oldest steam railroad, which will take you through the historic Red Clay Valley. A few miles north of the city you'll find the Winterthur Museum and Country Estate, which houses a collection of 85,000 pieces of early American decorative art. Art lovers will also want to head south to enjoy the 14 galleries of Dover's Biggs Museum of American Art.

Dover is Delaware's second largest city, as well as the state capital. But it temporarily becomes the state's largest city every year, as fans flock to the Dover International Speedway for the NASCAR races. Going back a few centuries in history, the state legislature became the first in the Thirteen Colonies to ratify the Constitution, earning Delaware the distinction of being "the first state."

Boy running in surf, Delaware© Julie PhippsBoy running in surf, Delaware
© Julie Phipps
In surrounding Kent County, you will find a variety of historical and cultural attractions, as well as beautiful farmland and coastal scenery. As you travel, you might encounter Amish buggies on city streets and giant C-5 Galaxy military cargo planes overhead—all part of this tiny state's diversity.

by Laura Byrne Paquet

Stock Photos from 123RF

Stock Photos from 123RF