Once a month, we take a day to explore one of our local towns in what we like to call a ‘Day Trippin’ Adventure.’ What started as an effort to shed light on the wonderful towns that make up Delmarva has quickly evolved into one of our favorite parts of ShoreBread. When you’ve spent as much time exploring the Eastern Shore of MD, DE and VA as we have, you would think that we had seen it all by now; and yet, each and every time we venture to a new town we find ourselves falling in love with the local shopping, arts, dining, and history all over again. Such was the case this past week when we spent the afternoon in the City of Lewes. This was by no means our first Day Trippin’ Adventure to Lewes, but nonetheless, we found ourselves falling in love with the historical town all over again. Fall is the perfect time of year to plan your own Day Trippin’ Adventure to Lewes – take a few tips from our book, plan your outing, and let us know what your favorite stops were along the way. Enjoy!
History – The First Town in the First State
Did you know that Lewes was the first state’s first town?? The City of Lewes has a rich history dating back to 1631, which is evident in the local architecture and museums. For example, the Ryves Holt House on Second and Mulberry Streets that date back to 1665, or the Lewes Presbyterian Church, founded in 1682. There are a number of historical sites of interest throughout the town, which is a day trip in its own right. For the history enthusiasts, we suggest a walking, trolley, or water tour with the Lewes Historical Society.
Cape Henlopen State Park is located just a short drive from Lewes (roughly one-mile), providing endless options for outdoor activities. The park boasts over 5,000 acres of sandy peninsula, which attracts swimmers, fishermen, birders, and outdoor enthusiasts from all over to enjoy the shores of the Atlantic Ocean. Campsites, nature trails, basketball and tennis courts, beach access, wildlife…Cape Henlopen provides a welcome reprieve with its natural beauty and endless wonders.
Shopping Haven – Supporting Local
We love any chance to support small, locally owned businesses. Fortunately it’s impossible NOT to support local when strolling along Second Street. Each shop is adorable and appealing in its own right, from the sweet treats at Edie Bees Confection Shop to the terrific deals on used and rare books at biblion. Lewes Gifts, Kids’s Ketch, P.U.P.S of Lewes, Puzzles, Treasures, The Cottage…one store after the next revealed unique finds, friendly shop owners, and well executed small businesses. Our favorite was easily Edie Bees and biblion, but then again when you’re a book nerd with a sweet tooth, it stands to reason.
Speaking of a sweet tooth, the homemade ice cream at King’s is definitely worth sampling (and taking a few tubs for the road). The retro ice cream shop on Second Street makes their own ice cream, and has been at it since 1972. Dutch chocolate, butter brickle, mint chip, cherry vanilla…there’s also frozen yogurt and Italian ices to consider too. But before we skip over breakfast, lunch and dinner and head straight to dessert, let’s take a look at some of the other dining options. For breakfast, we fell head over heels for Nectar. The café and juice bar is a perfect balance of vintage-chic, with the kind of vibe that makes you feel as if you could happily sit for hours before venturing back to reality. The house-made juices are a fresh and healthy option, but there’s also breakfast, lunch, dinner and dessert, along with a few snack items and baked goods.
Other ShoreBread favorites for you dining pleasure include Kindle, Half Full, Patty’s, Irish Eyes, Mr. P’s Pizzeria, Rose & Crown, and Touch of Italy. The Buttery is another go-to of course, boasting sumptuous brunch, lunch and dinner options like foie gras, guinea hen, kobe beef burger, or duck confit hash. Located in the heart of historic Lewes, The Buttery maintains a unique charm with its lush garden and veranda. We can’t resist a stop in Agave each time we visit Lewes, even if we only have time for a happy hour margarita. Agave has a massive following, which is why it can be so difficult to nab a seat. We suggest lunchtime, when bar seats are more accessible. When you’re craving Mexican fare paired with the best tequila…think Agave.
We paired our Day Trippin’ Adventure with the 4th Annual Oktoberfest, which took place this past Friday from 4pm until 6:30pm. The scene was a festive one, as the Bavarian-style dancers took to the street to tap their toes to the 10-piece German Oompah band, The Happy Wanderers. Festival-goers were able to purchase Dogfish Head commemorative steins to obtain discounted beers at participating businesses.
Lewes hosts a wide variety of events throughout the year, from the Yappy Hours along the docks of Irish Eyes to the Annual Tulip Festival. Other favorites include the Old Fashioned 4th of July Celebration, the Annual Lewes Garden Tour, and the Lewes Christmas Parade. The Tulip Festival always marks the start of the spring season in our books, as thousands of tulips come to life across Lewes for the annual festival and tour.
Lewes Love Affair
The events, the shopping, the dining, the antiquing, the history…we could go on and on but the experience is best enjoyed in person, so get exploring! We were lucky enough to hit the town on a gorgeous end-of-summer day, with sunny skies and near-perfect temperatures. A stroll along the water, downtown, and along the picturesque side streets left us seriously considering booking a room at The Inn at Canal Square and making a weekend (or a lifetime) of it. The historic charm, friendly neighborhood vibe, scenic beauty, and locally minded shops are just the tip of the proverbial iceberg in the City of Lewes. Until next time…