A little bit of everything in Milton
Whether you’re on the way to the beach and want to take a detour or you’re already there and want to explore, historic Milton is a great place to visit for food, music and a heaping helping of history. It’s where you’ll find the makers of Delaware’s buzz-about brews, Dogfish Head Brewery, which is always open for tours. Fine eats with a focus on food with a Celtic flair can be found at Irish Eyes, 105 Union St., and dessert is a must at King’s Ice Cream, 302 Union St. (more on that later). Music will fill Milton Memorial Park on June 6 during the first in a series of free concerts that will take place every Wednesday at 7 p.m. Explore the history of a town with a fascinating story – it was split on who to back during the Civil War and was home to five governors – at the Milton Historical Society, 210 Union St. Those in search of ecotourism will be pleasantly surprised: Milton sits on the banks of the Broadkill River, which features the Governor’s Walk, a path along the river that provides scenic views and a sense of the town’s history. Milton is also near two ponds and is only miles from Prime Hook National Wildlife Refuge. Oh, and three big events to put on your calendar for the summer: The Horseshoe Crab & Shorebird Festival at Milton Memorial Park (May 26), the Milton Garden & House Tour (July 14) and Bargains on the Broadkill, an arts and crafts show at Memorial Park (Aug. 25).
Open for Business: Delaware City
Take a stroll through Delaware City, a historic waterfront community in Northern Delaware filled with unique architecture, ghostly haunts and delicious dining spots! Boaters can easily dock at the Delaware City Marina for access to great locations such as Kathy’s Crab House or Crabby Dick’s for fresh seafood caught from the local docks. Travelers can also pick up a bushel of crabs on their way to the beach or for those seeking an historic adventure, visit Fort Delaware – the Alcatraz of the East Coast!
Although the grand Reedy Point Bridge will only be open sporadically during the next few months – mainly on weekends – there is plenty more to see along this splendid stretch. Please note that the Reedy Point Bridge will be open on weekends from May – October beginning on Fridays at 3:00 p.m. through Sundays at midnight (these times will vary around the weekend of July 21st and after Labor Day). Visitors may also use Route 72 and Gunning Bedford Road as access points to the area.
Smaller stages can be the main attraction
The word theater evokes thoughts of a grand stage, towering balcony and big-name actors. Those looking for a more intimate experience can find it at one of the plethora of smaller community theaters found not far from Delaware’s major arteries. The Second Street Players will serve up shows all summer at the Riverfront Theater, 2 S. Walnut St. in scenic downtown Milford, including “The Wizard of Oz,” “The Little Mermaid” and “Run For My Wife.” Chapel Street Players, who set up shop at 27 N. Chapel St., Newark, have “One Funny Mother Dame Show!” and “The Rocky Horror Show” on tap in May and June. Clear Space Theatre Co., which calls the Rehoboth Theatre of the Arts home, has the classic “Little Shop of Horrors” next month and “Annie” opening June 30. And Clear Space will be taking its “Broadway at the Beach” show to the Freeman Stage at Bayside, which will also offer theater, comedy and musical shows all summer. It’s located in Selbyville, just west of Fenwick Island off Del. 54.
Cool down with hot flavors
Pretty soon we’re all going to be screaming for ice cream, especially when the weather consistently jumps above the high-80s mark that it recently reached. Fortunately, there’s a batch of places scattered throughout the First State offering some of the best ice cream in the region. Woodside Farm Creamery, 1310 Little Baltimore Road, Hockessin, is a long-time favorite where families have been coming for decades to indulge in flavors like Turtle and Dirt (yes, Dirt, and yes, it’s yummy). It’s still made right there, with milk from Jersey Cows that graze on the 64-acre farm. A relative newcomer is the UDairy Creamy, on campus at the University of Delaware in Newark off Del. 896, which cranks out wild, tasty flavors such as the All Nighter and Katie’s Bagged Lunch (raspberry jelly, peanut butter and crushed potato chips) at a more than reasonable price. Those in Sussex County are well aware of the legendary King’s Ice Cream, produced in Milton using buttermilk from local dairies with locations in Milton and Lewes, at 201 Second St. Also, mark your calendars for July 7-8, when the Old Fashioned Ice Cream Festival at Rockwood Park makes its grand return after five years in the freezer. The family picnic-type festival will feature food, music and, of course, ice cream and will be held at Rockwood Mansion, near Penny Hill.
Avast, ye landlubbers: The pirates are coming to Delaware
Maybe pirates were more “in” back when the “Pirates of the Caribbean” craze was at its height, but swashbucklers are never out of style. Dive into the treasure chest of events and attractions taking place this summer starting with the Pirates of Lewes expeditions, which feature tales of Black Beard and Captain Kidd and go into the history of real pirate raids that took place in 1690 and 1698. You don’t need a map to find this treasure – just look for the Sea Gypsy, the only pirate ship in Anglers Marina off Anglers Road. And the second annual Wilmington Pirate Festival, to be held June 30 at Tubman-Garrett Riverfront Park, will feature tours of the Kalmar Nyckel, treasure hunts, photos with pirates and more. The event is still in the final planning stages.
History’s just a short ride away
Did you know that you can wander through a rural village circa 1890 at the Delaware Agricultural Museum & Village? Or that you can see what the Lenni Lenape tribe used to survive and learn about and touch the mining products that gave Iron Hill its name at the Iron Hill Museum? Or that the fascinating history of Delaware’s own Eldridge Reeves Johnson, founder of the Victor Talking Machine Company – instrumental in the development of sound recording – is documented at the Johnson Victrola Museum in Dover? These are just a few of the little-seen museums worth checking out this summer.