Penny Lane Mall, Rehoboth Beach, Delaware. Image credit Foolish Productions via Shutterstock

8 Cutest Small Towns In Delaware To Visit In 2024

Delaware is one of the most remarkable states in the US, and it has so much to offer. Also known as the First State, it was the first among the 13 original colonies to join the Union, making it pivotal in the founding of what is now known as the United States of America. In terms of size, the state may be the second-smallest in the country, but it is packed with an abundance of attractions that place it on the same tourism pedestal as other states in the country. Fortunately, some of its greatest features are hosted in its small towns, where visitors are always guaranteed great experiences.

These small towns boast everything from beautiful beaches to awe-inspiring waterbodies, historic landmarks, laid-back aura, and countless more things that will make visitors never want to leave. From Bowers Beach to Lewes, find the cutest towns in the "Small Wonder State" of Delaware to visit in 2024.

Bowers Beach

Bowers Beach at the mouth of Murderkill River on Delaware Bay in Bowers, Delaware.
Bowers Beach at the mouth of Murderkill River on Delaware Bay in Bowers, Delaware.

Bowers Beach is a quintessential oceanside town that beach and watersports lovers can call home all year round. This pretty town on Delaware Bay is a prime destination for sunbathing, swimming, kayaking, fishing, and sailing. On the beach, visitors can also spot beautiful birds, including bald eagles, ospreys, and blue herons.

Away from the shoreline, visitors can have fun at Church Street Park (featuring playground equipment, a pavilion, and sports facilities) or Water Men's Parks (with a large grassy, shaded area for picnics and family gatherings). Then, enjoy history at Bowers Beach Maritime Museum, which showcases artifacts from the town's early days.


Three Volkswagen VW Beetles line up on display along the street at Laurel Delaware's annual car show even
Three Volkswagen VW Beetles line up on display along the street at Laurel, Delaware's annual car show event. Image credit Dee Dalasio via Shutterstock

Laurel is a charming town near Millsboro, surrounded by picturesque waterbodies. The town is located along Broad Creek, which serves as a playground for relaxing strolls, fishing, and birdwatching. Laurel is also home to the Trap Pond State Park, where visitors can hike around, fish, boat, and kayak on the pond, spot Blue herons and other birds, and learn about the area at the nature center.

For visitors interested in history, the Laurel Heritage Museum is the place to be. It features artifacts, exhibits, and photography collections from the town’s past. Before leaving town, be sure to grab delicious pizzas and burgers at the Laurel Pizzeria.


Waterfront homes near Millsboro, Delaware.
Waterfront homes near Millsboro, Delaware.

Millsboro is a town in Sussex County that assembles nature's beauty and historic allure in one touristy package for visitors. The Indian River flows past the town, adding to its quaint natural beauty and creating a destination for sightseeing via leisure walks. Another way to explore the river is to visit Cupola Park on its banks, where a boat ramp offers access to the river for boating adventures. In addition, the park is a family-friendly recreational hotspot with pavilions, picnic benches, barbecue grills, and a playground for kids.

For those who love to fish, the town is home to Millsboro and Ingran Ponds, where fishing expeditions are rewarding. Both ponds also feature boat ramps for cruises. History buffs can learn about the Nanticoke Tribe that settled in the area in 1792 at the Nanticoke Indian Museum, the only Native American museum in Delaware.


Downtown street in Smyrna, Delaware.
Downtown street in Smyrna, Delaware. Image credit Acroterion, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Smyrna is a beautiful small town in northern Kent County where visitors will be met with Lake Como, one of Delaware's finest lakes. The lake has a swimming area, a scenic beach, a playground, and picnic benches. The lake also offers opportunities for kayaking, boating, and canoeing. The town also hosts the Smyrna Opera House where visitors can enjoy live musical performances, concerts, and shows.

History buffs can explore the Smyrna Museum, which displays artifacts and rotates monthly exhibits that interpret the town’s history. For delicious meals, visitors are invited to the town's favorite diner, Dari Kabab and Gyro, to relish the enriching tastes of chicken shawarma, lamb gyro, and Mediterranean cuisines.


Main street in Milton, Delaware.
Main Street in Milton, Delaware. Image credit Khairil Azhar Junos via

Milton sits on a peninsula along the Broadkill River, which glows as one of the most scenic towns in the first state. Once here, visitors can explore the town’s scenic beauty by kayaking, canoeing, and boating on the river. Nearby, Broadkill Beach on Delaware Bay is a great spot for swimming, kayaking, surfing, fishing, and sightseeing. Meanwhile, this beach borders the Prime Hook National Wildlife Refuge, where 308 species of birds and 37 species of mammals call home.

In this refuge, visitors can explore six miles of trails, stroll on a boardwalk, boat on the water via a boat ramp, fish via the pier, and explore a seven-mile canoe trail in the refuge. If there is still time, kayak on the Broadkill River to Edward H. McCabe Preserve, home to thousands of trees and shrubs, diverse habitats, birds, and mammals.

Rehoboth Beach

People at Rehoboth Beach, Delaware.
People at Rehoboth Beach, Delaware.

Rehoboth Beach is situated along the Atlantic Ocean and is renowned as the Nation's Summer Capital, with its stunning beach always brimming with activities. Visitors are welcome to this beach to swim, sunbathe, enjoy picnics, kayak, and boat on the waters, and stroll along its scenic boardwalk to shop and dine while admiring the views. The town also has exciting parks like Grove Park, which is an excellent option for families. It has several trees, manicured lawns for picnics, and a playground for kids. For more adventures, head to the nearby Cape Henlopen State Park (with beaches, swimming spots, biking trails, and historical sites) or Delaware Seashore State Park (featuring fishing spots, a nature preserve, campsites, and beaches for surfing and sunbathing).

Rehoboth Beach also hosts the 15-acre Lake Gerar Park, home to a gorgeous freshwater lake, landscaped gardens, a fishing pier, a playground, and a few hiking trails to explore. To blend the experience with a little bit of history, visit Rehoboth Beach Historical Society and Museum to step into the town’s past through exhibits, artifacts, and events.

Bethany Beach

Aerial view of the town and vast coastline at Bethany Beach, Delaware.
Town and vast coastline at Bethany Beach, Delaware.

Bethany Beach is a cute oceanside town with much to offer every visitor. This town is famous for its exciting boardwalk and beautiful soft sand beach that set the stage for sunbathing, swimming, picnicking, kayaking, boating, canoeing, and surfing. Just north of the town, Delaware Seashore State Park also invites visitors to explore its six miles of ocean shoreline, marina, boat ramp, and campground.

For nature lovers, James Farm Ecological Preserve is nearby and is home to native birds and plants, three observation towers, and nature trails along the Indian River Bay. Before leaving town, be sure to visit Bethany Beach Museum to learn about the area's history through several photography collections and memorabilia.


Canalfront Park in Lewes, Delaware.
Canalfront Park in Lewes, Delaware.

Lewes is a charming town with amazing history and natural beauty. First, it greets visitors with scenic waterfront scenery as it is sandwiched between Delaware Bay and the Atlantic Ocean. It also features a long list of attractions, starting from the 5,193-acre Cape Henlopen State Park, which has gorgeous beaches and a fishing pier for anglers. The park also houses nature trails, the Cape Henlopen Lighthouse, a Seaside Nature Center, and the Fort Miles Museum and Historic Area.

The Lewes Canalfront Park and Marina is another lovely destination in town to visit, as it has a charming boardwalk along the canal, a sheltered fishing pier, a 19-slip marina, and boat ramps. Lewes is the oldest town in Delaware, and it was first settled by Dutch colonists in 1631. Today, the Zwaanendael Museum commemorates that history, and visitors are welcome to browse through its interesting exhibits. The museum is located in Zwaanendael Park, which also displays beautiful gardens where visitors can sit and admire the scenery.

The first state may not rank first in terms of size, but it flaunts lots of amazing qualities that will make visitors forget about the landmass. This adorable small state is outstanding with small, pretty towns, capable of holding any tourist down for as long as possible with many beautiful attractions. Whether you are a beach lover, nature enthusiast, or history buff, these small towns have all it takes to make you happy.

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