Delaware is the first state incorporated in the USA. This Mid-Atlantic state is a peninsula with dune-protected beaches on the Atlantic and the Delaware River and Delaware Bay on the other. The state of Delaware is 1,982 square miles and features the riverfront city of Wilmington and the capital of Delaware -- Dover.
Bordered by Maryland, Pennsylvania, and New Jersey, the state of Delaware obtained statehood in 1787 after the American Revolution and was the first state to ratify the Constitution of the United States. The state bird is the blue hen, and the state flower is the peach blossom. The population density of this northeast state is the 6th highest in the USA. The U.S. Census recorded the population of Delaware as 973,764 in 2019.
What is the Capital of Delaware?
The city of Dover became the capital of Delaware after the Revolutionary War in 1777, a year before Delaware became the first state. The state capital city of Dover is the second-largest city in the state and resides in Kent County. Named for William Penn for Dover in Kent, the town is part of the Philadelphia-Wilmington-Camden combined statistical area.
Now that we know the elementary history of Dover, Delaware, we can get into the fun stuff--like what to do when you visit this legendary city. We must first recognize that the region of modern-day Dover, DE, is L?nape Haki-nk (Lenni-Lenape) and Nentego (Nanticoke) Native American land.
9 Things to Do & See in Dover, Delaware
1. First State National Historic Park
To learn all about the integral history of the Diamond State and its part in forming the United States and its past of slavery and Colonial allegiances, visit the different sites of the First State National Historic Park. Located primarily in the state of Delaware and even extending into Pennsylvania, these national monuments celebrate remarkable landmarks in the state.
In Dover, the main focus is on The Green, a Colonial-era public square that holds yearly celebrations like Old Dover Days and a 4th of July festival. Other National Historic Park sites in the state include Woodlawn, the New Castle Court House Museum, and the Ryves Holt House in Lewes.
2. Air Mobility Command Museum
The only institution in the US dedicated to airlift and air refueling history, the Dover Air Force Base is a beautiful way to see the state's collection of rare vintage aircraft, take guided tours, and witness the top-secret development of rocket weaponry from World War II.
The Dover International Speedway is a gathering point for thousands of Nascar fans yearly. It presents boatloads of fun for visitors of all kids. Connected to the Dover Downs Hotel and Casino, the home of Nascar in Delaware is a sure bet for a fun weekend of racing, gambling, and entertainment.
4. The Delaware Legislative Hall
The State Capitol Building in Dover is the Delaware Legislative Hall, home to the state government and the General Assembly. The building is located on Legislative Avenue. The building is a Georgian Revival colonial structure constructed of handmade brick with an 18th-century style interior. The building is open to the public Monday thru Friday from 8:00 a.m. until 4:30 p.m., excluding New Year's Day, Thanksgiving Day, and Christmas Day.
5. Little Creek Wildlife Area
With over 4,700 acres of nature to discover, Little Creek Wildlife Area is composed of tidal marsh, forests, and agricultural fields. Dedicated to wildlife management, this recreational area provides public hunting and fishing to locals and tourists alike. Permits are required for seasonal hunting and fishing.
6. Rehoboth Beach
Technically outside of the metropolitan area of Dover, Rehoboth Beach sits just under an hour from the city. This charming coastal town has the quintessential boardwalk with eateries, shops, lodging, and entertainment. While there, you can make a trip through the Rehoboth Beach Museum or explore the dunes at Cape Henlopen State Park.
7. Firefly Music Festival
A summer staple for Dover, Firefly Music Festival brings live music, art, and culture to life. The festival is held at The Woodlands of Dover International Speedway in July and has been happening since 2012.
8. Old State House
The Old State House is a free museum in the first Delaware state capitol building during the nation's first years. Built in 1791, the Old State House served as the state capitol until 1933. Tours last around 45 minutes and are available on Wednesdays, Thursdays, Fridays, and Saturdays at 10 a.m., 11:15 a.m., 1:15 p.m., and 2:30 p.m.; and on Sundays at 1 p.m., 2:15 p.m., and 3:30 p.m.
9. Biggs Museum of American Art
Founded by Sewell C Biggs in 1993, the Biggs Museum of Art showcases the private collection of this Delaware graduate and collector of fine art. The collection begins with artifacts dating from 1700 to the present day.