Downtown Smyrna./Photo by Wikimedia Commons/Dough4872 [CC BY-SA 4.0]
If you’re looking for small town charm in Delaware, look no further than Smyrna in northern Kent County. The town’s population and businesses are growing as people are drawn to its quaint beauty, expanding downtown and renowned historic district. Get a taste of the old and the new in Smyrna with this stop-by-stop itinerary.
A former Best of Delaware winner for Best Restaurant in Smyrna, the Smyrna Diner is an ideal breakfast spot. The family-owned diner has been open since 1956 and whips up fresh breakfast, lunch and dinner every day from 6 a.m.-10 p.m.
99 Cory Lane, Smyrna • 653-9980
The Smyrna Museum consists of two historic buildings dating back to the 1700s—The Barracks and The Plank House. Local legend has it that the barracks housed soldiers during the War of 1812. Years later during the Civil War, the building hosted the state of Delaware’s first draft lottery. Today, the two buildings are home to a variety of historic artifacts and paintings, as well as monthly rotating exhibits that showcase local history. Admission is free, but the museum is only open for walk-ins on Saturdays from 10 a.m.-1 p.m., so be sure to book an appointment if you visit outside of those hours.
11 S. Main St., Smyrna • 653-9231
Dari Kabab and Gyro just off of Main Street is a local favorite for Mediterranean eats. Regulars rave about the falafel, chicken shawarma and lamb gyro.
310 N. Main St., Suite D, Smyrna • 389-6209
As Delaware’s first small-batch distillery, Painted Stave Distilling is a staple in the small town. Their tours are incredibly popular and it’s easy to see why: you’ll sip on delicious and unique cocktails, watch the distillery process in action and learn how Painted Stave came to be. Though those under 21 can participate in the tour (but not the drinks!) for free, a distillery tour may not be the most engaging for young ones. If the kids are in tow, consider a visit to Leapin Lizards, a bouncy house destination they’re sure to love.
If brews are more your thing, consider having a few at Brick Works Brewing and Eats or Blue Earl Brewing Company. Brick Works, Kent County’s first brewpub and a 2019 Best of Delaware award-winner for Best Restaurant in Smyrna, prides itself on using locally sourced ingredients in both its food and beers. Blue Earl boasts a taproom with regular live music performances and a newly-opened food spot called The Jukebox.
Painted Stave: 106 W. Commerce St., Smyrna • 653-6834
Brick Works Brewing and Eats: 230 S. DuPont Blvd., Smyrna • 508-2523
Blue Earl Brewing Company: 210 Artisan Dr., Smyrna • 653-2337
In case you didn’t already think Smyrna has it all with its rich history and expanding business sector, the town has natural beauty to boot. Lake Como, located where Route 13 and Smyrna’s Main Street meet, has a sandy beach area, fishing spots, playground equipment and boat rentals. The swimming spot is open between Labor Day and Memorial Day, but Lake Como is a scenic and peaceful destination year round.
The lake is located at the south end of Main Street, where the road meets Route 13. • 653-6834
Located in a historic building on Smyrna’s Main Street, the Lemon Leaf Café is a charming dinner spot. Favored dishes include the cream of crab soup, Chesapeake burger and surf and turf. They often have special discounts such as half price appetizers and kids eat free—check out their Facebook page to plan your visit accordingly.
2 N. Main St., Smyrna • 389-8454
There is no shortage of live music in Smyrna, and many performances are free to attend. In addition to the annual Smyrna at Night music festival (held in June), the George C. Wright Municipal Park hosts the Smyrna Summer Concert Series featuring free live performances every week. The historic Smyrna Opera House also frequently hosts music and theater acts throughout the year. There’s sure to be something for everyone, so check out the schedules to see what looks exciting.
Smyrna Opera House: 7 W. South St., Smyrna • 653-4236