Most first-timers to historic Lewes compare it to a New England maritime town like Nantucket. “We are surrounded by the bay, have homes dating back to the 17th century, and a floating lightship [Overfalls] stands guard as well,” says Betsy Reamer of the Lewes Chamber of Commerce.
In a state that appreciates the charm of old mixed with new, Lewes may be the best example of keeping a past alive and well in a very modern present. Aficionados of historic homes appreciate the Colonial and Victorian houses, as well as Shipcarpenter Square, where historical structures from across the Eastern Shore and one old U.S. Lifesaving Service station were moved to be restored as comfortable homes.
But all is not about living in the past. Lewes is also a resort community with family friendly beaches at Lewes Beach and in Cape Henlopen State Park. The Cape Henlopen School District is the second-largest geographically—and one of the best academic performers. The district, along with Beebe Medical Center, are the town’s largest employers.
The main commercial area, Second Street, offers a diverse collection of shops for antiques, home accessories, quilting, puzzles and toys, art, and jewelry.
Resort style living here is an exceptional value, making Lewes attractive to New York and New Jersey residents looking for an inexpensive second home.