The aerial view of Bethany Beach, Delaware.

These Towns In Delaware Have The Best Main Streets

Delaware was the first state admitted to the Union in 1787. However, despite its historical significance, it is regretfully overlooked by many looking to plan trips in the Northeastern United States. Still, with its mid-sized towns, unique coastal beauty, and fascinating local history, visiting the "First State" will be filled with pleasant memories and discovery for all. Here, museums, state parks, charming hospitality, and more will greet all who pass through for a most special excursion. 


Walnut Street in w:Milford, Delaware, as viewed from the intersection of Southeast Front Street and Southwest Front Street
Walnut Street in Milford, Delaware. Image credit: Tim Kiser via Wikimedia Commons.

First settled back in 1680, the town of Milford is now home to just over 11,000 inhabitants located right in the heart of Delaware. Milford is an excellent destination for any traveler, full of numerous historical sites to discover, fun annual festivals, and a charming assortment of shopping outlets, restaurants, and more. Experience such events as the Riverwalk Freedom Festival or the Milford Community Parade while taking in all the beauty of the Milford Art District. In addition, at the impressive Milford Vinyard Shipyard, a great collection of domestic and international artwork awaits, helping to detail the development of Delaware as a State. 

Delaware City

 Delaware City Hotel, in the Delaware City Historic District
Delaware City Hotel, in the Delaware City Historic District. Image credit: Smallbones, CC0, via Wikimedia Commons

Though it has "City" in its name, Delaware City boasts a modest population of just under 2,000 residents. A most peaceful and relaxing destination, this town is filled with quaint shops, restaurants, and charming streets, perfect for a few days' visit. Spend time at historically fascinating places like the Forged Creations Blacksmith Shop or the Delaware City Hotel, while outdoor lovers will undoubtedly appreciate the Fort Delaware State Park. Here is a look back at America's colonial history, surrounded by loads of natural beauty that come together in a most stunning and welcoming fashion.


The Cantwell's Tavern in the Odessa Historic District. Image credit: Smallbones via Wikimedia Commons

With just 366 permanent residents, Odessa is among Delaware's smallest places. Still, this town named after the Ukrainian port city remains a fascinating place of discovery with its important 19th-century history. Once a bustling shipping port along the Delaware River, modern-day Odessa maintains its historic charm, and visitors can continue to pass by many lovingly restored 18th and 19th-century edifices. Of note is the Historic Odessa Foundation Area, where landmarks like Wilson Warner House (1769), Cantwell's Tavern (1822), and the Collins Sharp House (1700) bring all who visit truly back in time!


A scene from downtown Lewes, Delaware.
A scene from downtown Lewes, Delaware. Image credit: Tim Kiser via Wikimedia Commons.

Established in 1631, Lewis is also affectionately known as the "First Town in the First State" and was founded by Dutch settlers. Situated on the banks of Delaware Bay and next to some of the State's best parks and beaches, Lewes has consistently been popular with its residents and tourists. The town's most charming attractions include the 19th-century Lightship Overfalls Lighthouse and the Zwaanendael Museum. At the latter, the town's early Dutch history and maritime importance are lovingly commemorated in an interactive place great for the whole family.


A sign welcoming visitors to Wyoming, Delaware.
A sign welcoming visitors to Wyoming, Delaware. Image credit: Jimmy Emerson DVM/Flickr.

With nearly 1,700 residents, Wyoming is also lovingly known as "The Best Little Town in Delaware," full of appealing charm and beauty. Tracing its history to the 1860s, Wyoming continues to maintain its vital farming and agricultural roots. Visitors have many opportunities to learn more about the area's important plantation history through local museums and the Wyoming Historic District. In addition, the famous Wyoming Peach Festival is surely not one to be missed. Every August, guests are treated to great homemade peach products, including juice, ice cream, and of course, tasty raw peaches themselves. Stop by Fifer's Orchards to pick your own fruit for a fun activity for families and solo travelers!

Bethany Beach

A couple on a kayak by the bay near Bethany Beach, Delaware, U.S
A couple on a kayak by the bay near Bethany Beach, Delaware.

Although its permanent population hovers at just around 1,000, up to 15,000 visitors descend on Bethany Beach each year. A veritable one-stop destination for any beach lover, the town is very popular for swimming, sailing, and sunbathing, offering loads of time for relaxation and fun. In town, visitors can enjoy the beautiful Bethany Beach Boardwalk with its great assortment of restaurants, boutique shops, and calming vistas, while live music performers and souvenir stands truly make this a place to remember. In addition, the nearby Fenwick Island State Park is a fun place to enjoy some outdoor activities like hiking and even horseback riding, all in a most picturesque ambiance.


The Historic District in Laurel, Delaware.
The Historic District in Laurel, Delaware. Image credit: Linda Roy Walls, via Wikimedia Commons

Tracing its history to the late 1700s, the town of Laurel is now home to just under 4,000 residents. Surrounded by various green spaces, parks, and ponds, Laurel's natural beauty is complemented by its historic charm. Indeed, any visitors can see various periods of American history here. With its plethora of historic buildings spanning the 17th to 19th centuries, Laurel offers guests a fascinating glimpse into the town's development and region at large. The landmarks of note include the Ross Point School, the Old Christ Church, and the Spring Garden home constructed in 1782. Meanwhile, the lovely Chipman's and Tussock Ponds are wonderful places to spend a leisurely afternoon, with simple and peaceful views of nature all around.


Pennsylvania State Route 261
Pennsylvania State Route 261 passing through Bethel, Delaware. Image credit: Doug Kerr, via Wikimedia Commons

The small town of Bethel was first settled in the 1840s and today maintains a very modest population of just 240 residents. Still, this town and its historic district (included on the National Register of Historic Places) remains the most charming place to discover for any passerby. Situated on the banks of the Nanticoke River, Bethel was once an important shipbuilding center, and visitors can continue to learn about this industry at such places as the Bethel Maritime Museum. Here displays like 19th-century tugboats, ships, and other marine instruments offer insightful glimpses into life two centuries ago. While at the aforementioned historic district, several houses and other buildings from the 1800s continue to transport visitors back in time.  

An important part of the Northeastern United States, the "First State" of Delaware, may be passed over by many traveling in the area, but its rich historical setting and beautiful coastal views should certainly not be overlooked. With its charming small towns, unique natural settings, and plenty of fascinating historical stories, Delaware is a place of great discovery. For the solo traveler and families alike, a trip through the towns of Delaware will be a voyage filled with fun, enlightenment, and loads of pristine nature for all with a genuine of America.

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