A seafaring hub since Dutch settlers arrived in 1631, this historic Delaware seaport is situated where the Delaware Bay meets the Atlantic Ocean. It is filled with both bay and ocean beaches where you can swim, boogie board, surf, or comb the sand for old Spanish pieces-of-eight coins, which some say still occasionally wash up on shore from an old shipwreck.
The village of Lewes is a charmer, lined with historic homes and quaint antique stores. Several key family stops can be found here, such as Lewes Bake Shoppe, home of the famous Lewes sticky bun, and the award-winning King's Homemade Ice Cream Shop. At Fisherman's Wharf, families can drop a line to fish for flounder or sea bass, or board a boat to go whale and dolphin watching.
Families with small children enjoy sheltered Lewes Beach with its gentle waters. Older children often enjoy visiting Cape Henlopen State Park, just east of Lewes, which has five miles of shoreline and larger waves. Kids love exploring an abandoned military bunker that's located near one of the park's hiking trails. They can also climb to the top of a World War II observation tower and search for imaginary invaders.
Address: Bay Area at US-9-BR and Bay Ave., Lewes, DE
To learn more about family vacation destinations, see:
- Family Vacations: Learn about hundreds of family vacations in destinations all over North America.
- Delaware State Guide: Learn about Mobil Travel Guide-rated hotels and restaurants in Delaware, as well as other recreational activities.
- Scenic Drives: For those who think that getting there is half the fun, we have compiled more than 100 of the most scenic drives throughout the country.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Laura Sutherland is a widely acknowledged authority on family travel and has published several books on the topic, including Best Family Ski Vacations In North America and Tropical Family Vacations.