You Should Experience Lewes, Delaware as a Family
(Updated September 9, 2020)
Lewes, Delaware is known as the First Town in the First State; a small historic town with an added feature of a beach. For your family, it is a place to recharge while fishing, hiking and sailing, a destination where memories are made.
Lewes Beach, Delaware is a Mid-Atlantic beach on the bay, the sand is coarse and water’s cool. The public beach is less crowded than most and it is not packed with tourist t-shirt shops selling identical items to visitors willing to buy.
Houses line up right along the beach and the local Dairy Queen has been the only place to buy food on that beach for 30 years. Everyday, a sand bar pops up at low tide and, when it does, you will see a mass migration of kids and adults alike heading out to discover the sea creatures that come with the exposed sand. Some just like to wade on the shallow, yellow rippled sand that’s splashed with lapping water, others build sand castles hoping they won’t disappear too soon with the rising tide. The sand bar is what kids look forward to everyday while on the beach of Lewes
Lewes is a Part of Us
I have been traveling to Lewes Beach, Delaware since I was a baby and continue to visit her beaches every summer, now with my own family in tow. There aren’t many beach destinations left where you know you can sit peacefully on a beach while letting your kids roam free without needing to hover over them. Lewes, Delaware is one of them. We start our summer by leaving a big pile of chairs, umbrellas, floats and toys right up against the sand dune to stay for our use through the duration of the summer. They remain untouched by anyone but their rightful owners. Everything’s a little less crowded and a little slower. They’re are always more summer vacation destinations, but this is a staple for us every summer.
The beach is also dog friendly. Yep your furry mate can join in the water and on the sand. However, during summer months or more specific, Memorial Day to Labor Day, dogs can only go before 8:30am and after 6pm. Luckily there’s plenty of sunlight still at 6:00pm that you will have a great time luring your dog into the water.
After a long day on the beach or an alternative activities to a day at the beach:
Downtown Lewes, Delaware
Grab an ice cream at Kings Ice Cream located on the main street of Lewes and stroll across the street to the St Peters Episcopal Church Cemetery where you will find tombstones dating back to the early 1700’s. We loved trying to find the oldest tombstone while sucking down our ice cream.
We let the kids pretend they were pirates for a morning while we headed out on the Pirates of Lewes Expeditions. Our kids loved dressing up, getting tattoos, journeying up the canal to the bay and spraying water cannons at the bad guys who tried to take over the ship.
Try a morning to do an eco tour on Cape Water Tours, where you will learn all about the creatures that call Lewes waters their home. The naturalist will also point out water fowl and the birds that inhabit the area. The hour 1/2 tour, will make you a Lewes Beach, Delaware sea critter and bird specialist by the end.
I have been fishing in Lewes since I was a kid at Fishermans Wharf. They provide head boats and charter boats for full and half day fishing excursions, providing gear, bait and help with fishing. I personally would wait until the kids are a bit older, maybe 5 or 6 before making this journey as it is a long morning/day and there is a lot of downtime. We always make a game of who can catch the most and the largest. Pack a lunch and a deck of cards and make sure that if you get sea sick to pack plenty of medication, as sometimes the trip can be bumpy.
Cape Henelopen State Park
Sometimes when the weather isn’t so nice we take our kids over to Cape Henelopen State Park.
The Park offers families options for a public beach, bike rides, hikes and camping. We have loved our visits to the nature center where the kids can learn about sea life in the area. We have even hiked around the World War II bunker and climbed the observation towers that were there to search for enemy submarines. Sometimes, we bring our own fishing gear and fish off the long pier at the park. You can buy gear, bait, and a fishing license from the store at the end of the pier (they also sell cold drinks and ice cream!). We also love to learn about the history of Lewes, Delaware with a historic tour of the 1st town.
Our visits are never complete without a trip to Funland Rehoboth Beach Boardwalk. Some of the rides that my kids go on are rides that I went on as a kid. This family-owned carousel lovingly maintains its original rides and also provides a few thrill ride for older kids.
It is a small attraction destination on the boardwalk, but the kids love going year after year especially to ride the Haunted Mansion. We tend to go before the sun goes down to avoid the chaos of the crowds. Then we can head for a walk and dinner on the boardwalk. I still love going to Nicola Pizza, home of the Nic-o-boli, pizza wrapped in dough and baked almost like a pie. Of course we always plan a night that consists of junk food for dinner, Thrashers Fries and ice cream for dessert or a stop in Candy Kitchen.
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