Lewes is the ultimate playground for nature lovers. There are a multitude of outdoor activities: boat tours; organized hikes; sunset and dinner cruises; whale and dolphin watching; bird watching. In Cape Henlopen State Park the visitor can find beautiful beaches, miles of nature trails and bird sanctuaries. Prime Hook Wildlife Refugee offers the largest freshwater marsh systems on the east coast. It is a great spot for canoeing and kayaking.
Hailed as the “first town in the first state,” Lewes Beach is a quaint, charming walking town that contains a beautiful historic district. Lewes has maintained the balance between modern living and historic preservation. This enchanting town lies where the Delaware Bay and the Atlantic Ocean meet (Cape Henlopen), thus providing bay and ocean beaches for swimming, sport fishing and pleasure boating.
Lewes has an awesome historic district containing many of the older preserved homes and museums. Lewes dates back to 1631 and there are numerous homes of both historical and architectural interest.
A walking tour of the historic district makes for a wonderful day. Be sure to check out the Fisher-Martin House (1730) and the Ryves Halt House (1665). Other historic must sees are: Lewes City Hall, Lewes Presbyterian Church (1832); Thompson Country Store (1800); Midway School #178 (1898).
The Historic Complex, Shipcarpenter Square and Pilotttown Road all have several historical homes, buildings and centers which date from 1600 to 1932. Exploring the nooks and crannies of these areas will take you back in time.
While in Lewes Beach, the Cape May-Lewes Ferry cannot be missed. The ferry launched its operation in 1964, connecting the historic town of Lewes with the Victorian City of Cape May, New Jersey. The eighty minute journey on the Cape May-Lewes Ferry takes the passenger on a seventeen-mile scenic voyage across the beautiful Delaware Bay.
Another must see is Lewes Harbor. Lewes Harbor is a set of breakwaters east of Lewes on Cape Henlopen. It is an historic site that is listed in the National Register of Historic Places. Built in 1828, the breakwaters, Lewes Harbor, were the first structure of their kind to be built in the Western Hemisphere–definitely worth seeing.
After a busy day sightseeing, it is nice to relax and sip a drink or eat a good meal at one of the many beach restaurants. Lewes has its share of good quality beach restaurants. Some of them are: Beach House Restaurant, a dining experience in a beach restaurant; The Buttery is nestled in historic Lewes amid lush garden scenery; Fish On, the quintessential beach restaurant, serves steaks, soft-shell crab and local produce.
After a good meal, take a moonlit stroll on the pristine beach. The soft breeze, the moon beams dancing on the water and the gentle soothing crash of the waves is postcard perfect.
Accommodations on Lewes range from condo rentals, bed and breakfasts, to beach hotels. The beach hotels promise spectacular sunrise and sunsets over the expanse of the ocean. Some beach hotels that provide nice amenities are Hotel Blue, Sleep Inn and Hampton Inn. There are many other beach hotels that dot the shoreline and the Lewes Beach Chamber of Commerce is a great place to start to find out more about thesebeach hotels.
Summertime lends itself to beach festivals and events such as the Tuesday Summer Music Program or the Family Movie Night under the stars. Lewes also has a variety ofbeach festivals and events throughout the year. The Farmer’s Market is held every Saturday throughout the year, the annual Lewes Merchants’ Fall Sidewalk Sale is held in October, a favorite beach festival in October is the Fall Plant and Harvest Festival. The most popular event is the annual Christmas House Tour that is held the first Saturday in December. At this event, homeowners of many of the historic homes open them up to the public.
No matter what the season, Lewes Beach is a captivating beach town that offers the visitor a lifetime of memories. From the sandy beaches to the marshlands, the modern to the historic, and the sunshine to the moonlight, Lewes Beach offers something for everyone.