Road Trip Idea: Experience History and the Peaceful Outdoors in Delaware’s Quaint Villages

Escape the everyday routine and hit the highway for a relaxing road trip to Delaware’s Quaint Villages. Kent County, Delaware is home to colonial-American history, countless public museums, scenic outdoor areas, local craft libations and delectable restaurants. Come experience Delaware’s Quaint Villages – at your own pace.

Day 1

Start your road trip journey in Smyrna, Delaware. This quaint village located north of Dover is home to historical sites, a national wildlife refuge, craft libations, birdwatching and a primitive forest waiting to be explored.  Escape to Bombay Hook National Wildlife Refuge. This 16,000-acre refuge is home to a multitude of migratory birds, wildlife driving tours, waterways, trails, observation towers and native Delaware wildlife.

Keep up with the nature theme and discover Blackbird State Forest. Outdoor enthusiasts will love Blackbird’s recreational activities including bird watching, cycling, hiking, and horseback riding.

After spending time outdoors, fuel up on lunch. You can find these local restaurants in Smyrna; Brick Works Brewing and EatsSmyrna DinerSheridan’s Irish PubElizabeth Esther Café, or Trevi Ristorante.  Then, sip and savor at some of Delaware’s Quaint Villages’ local craft scene at Blue Earl Brewing or Painted Stave Distilling.

After exploring Smyrna, make your way to Dover – Delaware’s capital city. Start with a free guided walking tour of First State Heritage Park.  Hear stories of the past and learn how Delaware became the First State from 18th-century costumed interpreters. While exploring First State Heritage Park, stop inside Delaware’s first permanent capitol building, the Old State House.  Around the corner from the Old State House, you’ll find the Biggs Museum of American Art. Explore collections and several exhibits from the 18th through the 21st Century including contemporary, folk, American fine and decorative arts.

Later, take a self-guided tour of the Johnson Victrola Museum. Explore the life and achievements of Eldridge Reeves Johnson, the founder of the Victor Talking Machine Company. Discover exhibits including phonographs, memorabilia and several collections that highlight Johnson’s success in the sound-recording industry.

After a full day of exploring, stop into one of these Dover, Delaware local eateries; Governor’s CaféGrey Fox Grille & Public HouseFraizer’s Restaurant & BarRestaurant 55Cool Springs Fish Bar & Restaurant, and Roma Italian Ristorante to name a few. After dinner, recap the night at one of Delaware’s Quaint Villages’ breweries for samples of craft brew tastings at Fordham & Dominion Brewing Company.

Day 2

It’s breakfast time! Try a hearty breakfast meal from Countrie Eatery or U.S. 13 Grill. After an early breakfast, spend the rest of the morning at the Air Mobility Command Museum. Marvel at more than 25 historical military aircraft ranging from an Air Force Two to a Galaxy C-5A. Around the corner, you’ll discover John Dickinson Plantation. Learn how Dickinson was one of America’s Founding Fathers, a signer of the U.S. Constitution and known as the “Penman of the Revolution.”  Next, make a stop at St. Jones Reserve. Reconnect with nature, stroll along the marshes, a nature boardwalk, and wander through the picturesque two-mile trail.

After your Dover visit, head south to the quaint villages of Milford and Harrington. Before traveling to Milford, Delaware, stop in Felton and explore Delaware’s Quaint Villages’ Killens Pond State Park. Spend the afternoon exploring the grounds of this beautiful State Park along the peaceful waters or hike the wooded trails. Not only is Killens Pond State Park known for its recreation trails and seasonal kayak rentals, but Killens Pond is also home to secluded camping, a seasonal waterpark, nature center, birding, and family-friendly activities.

After spending a few hours in nature, head to the quaint village of Milford where you can find a walkable downtown, riverfront art stroll, a nature center and more. In downtown Historic Milford, you can walk along the Milford Riverwalk Art Stroll and spot 4-ft painted yachts. Each yacht on display tells a different story and embraces Milford’s history, shipbuilding past, nature, and art culture.

After discovering downtown Historic Milford, stop in one of the many local eateries to grab a bite to eat. Here’s a list of suggestions for places to eat in downtown Milford; Arena’s MilfordPark Place Restaurant and LoungeBenvenutoRiver Lights Café and more.

After lunch, immerse yourself in Delaware’s nature at Abbotts’ Mill Nature Center. With miles of pet-friendly trails, a scenic lake with seasonal kayak rentals and a historic working grist mill, Abbott’s Mill offers something new for all nature lovers. Take a break and reward yourself with a refreshing craft brew from Mispillion River Brewing or try a hand-made cocktail at easySpeak Spirits.  Or if you’re a wine connoisseur, a trip to Pizzadili Vineyard and Winery and Harvest Ridge Winery is sure to satisfy your wine palette.

After discovering Milford, head west to Harrington. Discover Harrington’s history, culture, and contributions to the railroad industry with a visit to Greater Harrington Historical Society’s three museums. Be sure to stop in the Messick Agriculture Museum for exhibits featuring antique farming machinery, tools, toys, and memorabilia.

There’s always more to see and do in Delaware’s Quaint Villages. This is just a sample of what Kent County, Delaware has to offer for history buffs and nature lovers alike. Now is the time to book your road trip excursion to Delaware’s Quaint Villages and discover the wonders of Kent County, Delaware.

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