Your Weekend Itinerary
Town by town, day by day and night by night—we break it all down for you. You can thank us later.
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Nothing says “summer” quite like a weekend at the beach, no matter whether you’re a tourist, a second-home owner or a resident. There’s a celebratory feel and a sense of leisure that seems to diminish the farther you get from the coast.
Investing in some beach time is the perfect way to spend a sunny day. Yet the Delaware coast has much more to offer, and despite their proximity to each other, the towns each have their own appeal and distinct attractions. Here are some suggested weekend itineraries to help spark ideas.
The state’s first town oozes historic charm and packs a lot to do into one place.
Get a jump on romance by sharing dinner on the porch at The Buttery Restaurant (102 Second St., 645-7755, butteryrestaurant.com). There’s a reason this restaurant remains popular, and it’s not just the Victorian ambience. You’ll find the answer in The Buttery seafood chowder, blue cheese salad and the crab cakes.
Take a morning stroll on Lewes Beach. (Dogs are allowed before 8 a.m.) Then head to the Historic Lewes Farmers Market (110 Shipcarpenter Square, 644-1436, historiclewesfarmersmarket.org) on the grounds of the Lewes Historical Society (645-7670, historiclewes.org) for coffee and a pastry. Items are all local—it’s a requirement—and mostly perishable, but you can find lavender goodies, jams, honey, bread and other items that will hold until you get home.
This is a good time to check out the historical society’s buildings, clustered around the market. To see more, stroll down Second Street and stop by the Ryves Holt House (218 Second St.), built in 1665, which houses the historical society’s shop. Continue to the Cannonball House Marine Museum (118 Front St.), where the city’s maritime past is celebrated. For background on the town itself, visit the Zwaanendael Museum (102 Kings Highway, 645-1148, history.delaware.gov/museums/zm/zm_main.shtml).
At either the Lewes Historical Society or the Lewes Chamber of Commerce (120 Kings Hwy., 645-8073, leweschamber.com), pick up a brochure detailing the Lewes Maritime History Trail, a 4.3-mile, self-guided route that covers 10 sites. The trail runs from the U.S. Life-Saving Station boathouse and the Lightship Overfalls to the Cape May-Lewes Ferry area, once home to the Delaware Breakwater Quarantine Station. You can hoof it, bike it or drive it. You can also split the tour into one or more days.
Back in town, it’s time for lunch. For al fresco seating with a view, there’s nothing like Gilligan’s Waterfront Restaurant (134 Market St., 644-7230, gilliganswaterfront.com), which counts crab cakes as its specialty. Indeed, every second or third plate that passes usually has a crab cake sandwich or platter on it.
Afterward, stop by King’s Homemade Ice Cream Shop (201 Second St., 645-9425, kings-icecream.com) for dessert. Work off some of the butterfat by crossing the street and exploring the cemetery at St. Peter’s Episcopal Church (Second and Market streets, 645-8479, stpeters.episcopaldelaware.org), where Capt. James Drew of the ill-fated HMS DeBraak now rests.
Now it’s time to shop. Shoes, clothes, art, books, British tea biscuits, puzzles, yarn, jewelry—you’ll find it all within a couple blocks of each other.
For dinner, it’s a short stroll to Striper Bites (107 Savannah Road, 645-4657, striperbites.com). The blackened tuna pasta, tossed with a fennel-cream sauce, has been a menu staple, but the fish and chips are also strong sellers.
Fuel up at J.D.’s Filling Station (329 Savannah Road, 644-8400, jdsfillingstation.com), where fluffy three-egg omelets occupy an entire plate and eggs Benedict comes eight ways. The California version has turkey and sliced avocado. Lobster, however, may be more to your liking at the beach.
Then it’s off to Cape Henlopen State Park (destateparks.com/park/cape-henlopen). Nature buffs can stop by the Seaside Nature Center (15099 Cape Henlopen Drive, 645-6852), which sports five 1,000-gallon fish tanks. At the center, you can borrow a bike to tool around the park on. There’s much to see, including the Fort Miles Historic Area, which offers guided tours through a World War II-era battery.
You can hike as well as bike one of the many trails. The new Junction and Breakwater Trail travels from Lewes, behind the outlets, toward Rehoboth. After your hike, consider a swim in the ocean or a rest on the wide expanse of beach. There is a food concession in case you get hungry or thirsty.
Page 2: Rehoboth Beach/Dewey Beach