The Delaware Legislative Hall, located on legislative Avenue in Dover, houses the chambers and offices of the Delaware General Assembly./Photo by Jeffrey, Flickr
Nestled in Kent County is Dover, Delaware’s state capital. But 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 is 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? Read on for our itinerary featuring the best that Dover has to offer.
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
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 The Loocke. For even more unique goods, stop by the Delaware Store on the Dover Green and stock up on Delaware-themed gear. Or if you’re looking for more mainstream options, the Dover Mall has all of your brand-name favorites.
Dover’s Air Mobility Museum showcases over 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
A Best of Delaware winner for downstate Indian food, Flavor of India is your best choice for lunch in Dover. It’s located at an unassuming location off of North DuPont Highway, but the menu items speak for themselves. Locals recommend the lunch buffet and Samosas.
348 N. DuPont Highway, Dover • 677-0121
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 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 in September 1787, The Old State House, the John Bell House, the Biggs Museum of American Art and more. Nearby is the John Dickinson Plantation, former home of Founding Father and “Penman of the Revolution,” John Dickinson. 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 3 p.m. for a free guided tour beginning at the John Bell House.
102 S. State Street, Dover • 739-9194
Delaware has recently 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 offers 30 minute tours of their facility on a first-come, first-serve basis. If you’d rather sip brews on your own time, the tap room is open until 9 p.m. on weekdays, 8 p.m. on Saturdays and 6 p.m. on Sundays.
1284 McD Dr., Dover • 678-4810
Michele’s is the “crown jewel” of restaurant offerings at Dover Downs Hotel and Casino, according to their website. The restaurant’s specialty is fresh, locally sourced seafood and mouth-watering steaks with wine pairings from world-renowned vineyards. We advise booking a reservation in advance at this coveted dining spot.
1131 N. DuPont Highway, Dover • 857-2120
Dover Downs is one of the most popular attractions in the state of Delaware, and for good reason. The entertainment complex boasts over a dozen restaurants and several bars, a full-service spa, several high-end shops, a .625 mile harness horse racing track and a casino with 2,300 slot machines, 41 gaming tables and an 18-table poker room. Dover Downs also frequently hosts musicians, comedians and entertainers for performances on-site: check out the schedule here. There’s sure to be entertainment abound 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 Highway, Dover • 674-4600