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What to Do in Dover: A Day Trip Guide to Delaware’s State Capital

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The Delaware Legislative Hall, located on legislative Avenue in Dover, houses the chambers and offices of the Delaware General Assembly./Photo by Jeffrey, Flickr

From fascinating history to top-notch restaurants, here’s how to spend a full day in Dover, Delaware’s picturesque state capital.

By Lindsay Weber and Sydney Kerelo

Nestled in Kent County is Dover, Delaware’s state capital. This charming small city is known for more than just being the seat of our state’s government. It’s also the site for historic state and national events—namely when Delaware became the first state to ratify the U.S. Constitution in 1787.

In this century it’s the home of Dover International Speedway, which attracts thousands of music festival goers and NASCAR fans every year. But did you know Dover also houses the nation’s only museum dedicated to airlift and air refueling history, as well as a National Historical Park that showcases the First State’s fascinating history? Take a look at our guide and then plan your own ideal trip to Dover.

P.S. Don’t forget to tag us @DelawareTodayMagazine on Instagram if you visit any of these spots!

9 a.m.—Eat a mighty breakfast at the Countrie Eatery

This old-fashioned diner is a local gem. They specialize in of all your breakfast favorites: pancakes, waffles, bacon, eggs cooked any which way you please and more. The Countrie Eatery overlooks a gorgeous pond surrounded by greenery, so grab a window seat if you can and enjoy a hearty first meal of the day.

950 N. State St., Dover • 674-8310

 

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10 a.m.—Shop ‘til you drop at Dover’s indie boutiques

Three words: Tax. Free. Shopping. One of Delaware’s many bragging rights is its lack of sales tax, so visitors should make note to explore Dover’s shopping opportunities. The city has several sweet indie boutiques for one-of-a-kind finds like Bel Boutique, BLUVintage and My Roots Boutique. If you’re looking for more mainstream options, the Dover Mall has all of your brand-name favorites.

Bel Boutique, 28 W. Loockerman St., Dover; 741-2340
BLUVintage, 150 S. Governors Ave., Dover; 531-7684
My Roots, 9 W. Loockerman St., Dover; 883-2693
Dover Mall, 1365 N. DuPont Hwy., Dover; 734-0415

11 a.m.—Explore the Air Mobility Command Museum

Dover’s Air Mobility Museum showcases more than 30 aircrafts ranging from cargo haulers to presidential aircrafts, as well as an array of exhibits showcasing war and humanitarian efforts of US airmen and women over the years. This unique museum offers both free admission and free parking, so peruse the incredible history of the US air force to top off your morning in Delaware’s capital city.

1301 Heritage Road, Dover • 677-5938

 

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12:30 p.m.—Grab a bite to eat at McGlynn’s Pub for lunch

Owner Bob Ashby established McGlynn’s Pub in 1983 when he purchased the Drummond Ale House and turned it into a charming Irish pub. The Dover restaurant is just one of three locations across Delaware, with the other two in Bear and on the shoreline of Silver Lake in Newark. Diners enjoy its delicious pub specialties, including the McGlynn’s stuffed burger, colossal crab sandwich and bourbon grilled salmon.

800 N. State St., Dover; 674-0144 • 674-0144

1:30 p.m.—Dive into American history at First State Heritage Park

Dover was established by William Penn in 1683—meaning Dover is technically older than Delaware itself! There is no better place to explore fascinating American history than at The Green at Delaware’s First State Heritage Park. The Green is a gorgeous grassy square surrounded by historic buildings and landmarks. Attractions include the Golden Fleece Tavern, where Delaware first ratified the Constitution, The Old State House, the John Bell House, the Biggs Museum of American Art and more. We recommend blocking out your whole afternoon to explore this rich historic attraction. The park is open sunrise to sunset, but be sure to show up between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. for a free guided tour beginning at the John Bell House.

43 The Green, Dover 

4 p.m.—Enjoy a delicious brew or brew tour at Fordham and Dominion Brewing Company

Delaware has experienced a brewery boom in the past few years. There are so many new ones popping up in the First State, it’s tough to keep track of them all! But Fordham and Dominion Brewing Company isn’t your average trendy new brewery; the Dover staple has been around since 1995. F&D typically holds brewery tours on a first-come, first-served basis but, due to COVID-19, the tours are on hold. Keep checking back to see when they resume. In the meantime, the taproom is open until 8 p.m. on Wednesdays and Thursdays and until 9 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays.

1284 McD Dr., Dover • 678-4810

7 p.m.—Dine on Italian cuisine at Vincenzo’s Pizzeria & Gelato

For the past 10 years, this family-run restaurant has offered delicious, old-fashioned Italian cuisine. Enjoy dishes like its fresh Italian wedding soup, Halpern capers with salmon or bruschetta alla prosciutto. Not only are the Italian dishes scrumptious, but the fresh, gourmet pizzas keep customers coming back for more. Plus, end the meal with a sweet gelato treat, available in various flavors.

1035 Forrest Ave., Dover • 674-0966 

9:00p.m.—Finish the night out at Bally’s Dover Downs Hotel & Casino

Dover Downs is one of the most popular attractions in the state of Delaware, and for good reason. The entertainment complex boasts seven restaurants and several bars, a full-service spa, several high-end shops, and a casino with 2,300 slot machines and 41 gaming tables. Dover Downs also frequently hosts musicians, comedians and entertainers for performances onsite. There’s sure to be entertainment aplenty at Dover Downs, so enjoy a fun-filled evening before settling in for a great night’s rest in Dover Downs’ hotel.

1131 N. DuPont Hwy., Dover • 674-4600

Related: 8 Boutiques Every Delaware Beach Shopper Should Know About

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