bridge pathway into park

Explore new discoveries close to home

As summer settles in, the time is right to explore new discoveries close to home.

For some, that might mean venturing out to a state park they’ve never visited before, or ordering takeout from a restaurant they’ve always meant to try. Whatever your flavor of fun, it’s nice to know in these times of limited options that great experiences aren’t only found far from home.

Here are a few great Delaware experiences for Delawareans to try at last.

Stroll through the gardens of Mt. Cuba CenterExplore the beautiful native plants and flowers that sprawl across this historic site in northern Delaware. Mt. Cuba opens to the public June 17. Visit the website to view hours and more.

Explore Killens Pond State Park: This gem of a park is tucked in central Delaware. A three-mile trail surround the namesake pond where you can canoe, kayak or fish. Bring a picnic lunch, to enjoy at one of the pavilions and try your hand as disc golf. (Note: Visitors to state parks must wear masks.)

Check out Bombay Hook (or Prime Hook) refuge: People come from around the world to visit this bird sanctuary along the coast of Delaware, so isn’t it time you discovered the stunning views and wildlife for yourself? (Note: Visitor’s Center and restrooms are temporarily closed.)

Wander through Old New Castle: It’s surprising that so many Delawareans haven’t already discovered this time-capsule village along the big river, filled with quaint homes and secluded gardens.

Follow your spirit with Delaware on Tap: Download the Delaware on Tap app and take your pick of more than 30 craft beverage locations across the state serving up beer, wine and spirits. Enjoy a brew with a view at Iron Hill in Wilmington, a classy cocktail at the Painted Stave in Smyrna and drink like a viking with a glass of mead from Brimming Horn in Milton. Each location you check into with the app gets you one step closer to a free prize!

Stride through Trap Pond State Park: While this park is known for its excellent kayaking options, the hiking trails are also a must-try. If you have a whole morning or afternoon to spare, try the 7-mile Swamp Forest Trail which encircles the entire pond giving you a great view of the park as you go.

Go to a Delaware farmers’ market: Some of the state’s best produce can’t be found at the local supermarket, so it’s prime time for a visit to the newly opened farmers’ markets that pop up all across the state.

Treat your taste buds to something new: Everyone has their favorite local go-tos, but take this summer to try a restaurant that lies off the beaten path, or something you’ve always had an excuse not to try. Has being a night owl prevented you from trying one of Helen’s Sausage House’s famous breakfast sandwiches? Choose a day to set an early alarm – you won’t regret it!

Spy an eagle flying in Sussex: Veteran birdwatchers know to keep their eyes peeled for bald eagles soaring around the Nanticoke Wildlife Area, which embraces the sleepy Nanticoke River as it winds through western Sussex County. Head for the boat ramp at Phillips Landing, near Seaford, and enjoy a stroll on the walking trail as you keep your eyes toward the sky.

Take a detour to Bowers Beach: Make a stop at this tiny bay beach. Learn about the town’s history at the Bowers Beach Maritime Museum and grab a bite to eat at the waterfront JP’s on the Wharf. The sand is perfect for a relaxing walk and the new jetty is a great spot to fish.