Old State House
Central Delaware Getaway – A Three-Day Itinerary for Kent County, Delaware
Kent County, Delaware, is known for its scenic countryside and rich heritage as the First State’s capital. It’s also home to the East Coast’s premier music fest, the Firefly Music Festival a three-day outdoor jam-packed music extravaganza. Kent County has exciting live table gaming at Dover Downs Hotel & Casino. Plus, edge-of-your-seat NASCAR action at the Monster Mile racetrack at Dover International Speedway twice a year.
Looking for culture? Experience the historic and artistic charm of Dover’s unique museums and art galleries. Craving relaxation? Savor the flavor of a local craft brewery or winery, or go bird watching in the salt marshes of Bombay Hook National Wildlife Refuge. Seeking family adventures? Spend the day at the shore or fishing the millpond at Killens Pond State Park. With all its quiet charm, Kent County isn’t far from the bustling city life of Northern Delaware.
Day 1 – “Chill” & Thrills
- Morning: Experience the thundering, jaw-dropping power of a NASCAR stock car firsthand – Monster Racing puts you behind the wheel at the high-banked turns of Dover International Speedway’s famous Monster Mile.
- Afternoon: Go behind the scenes with a guided tour of the Monster Mile. Don’t forget your camera as you get up-close views of the track (banked 24 degrees in the corners), pit road, Victory Lane, Infield Media Center and more.
- Evening/Where to stay: Try your luck at over 2,200 slots, table games, sports betting and live harness racing at the Dover Downs Hotel & Casino. Stay overnight at the luxurious hotel; you’ll want to indulge in the fine dining, first-class entertainment or enjoy a massage at the Bali themed Toppers Spa and Salon.
Day 2 – History & Entertainment
- Morning: Start your day by visiting the historic John Dickinson Plantation, home of one of America’s founding fathers and a signer of the Constitution. Historic interpreters guide you on a trip to 18th-century America. Then, spend an hour or two at the Air Mobility Command Museum, on the grounds of Dover Air Force Base, to learn the history of military airlifts and mid-air refueling. Take a free-guided tour vintage aircrafts.
- Afternoon: Grab a bite to eat in downtown Dover and then, get out your walking shoes to visit First State Heritage Park for tours of the Old State House (built in 1791), Legislative Hall, the Delaware Public Archives, the Johnson Victrola Museum and the Biggs Museum of American Art. Make sure to check their schedule for special events on the First Fridays of each month or visit during the annual Dover Days Festival.
- Evening/night: Stop by the Fordham & Dominion Brewing Company for a tour and tastings of its craft beer. Originally founded in 1703, the company was re-established in 1995. Fordham's finely crafted ales and lagers have been brewed in Dover since 2003.
- Dinner: End the day with fresh seafood and sunset views at Sambo’s Tavern, home to freshly caught clams, oysters, delicious steamed crabs, renowned crab cakes and of course, hush puppies! (Travel tip: This dining location is a tavern and patrons must be 21 or over to enter. For families, go to JPs Wharf Restaurant and Bar for crabs and seafood. Please note these locations have limited hours during the off-season).
- Where to stay: The Hilton Garden Inn has affordable rates and is located on the North DuPont Highway with easy access to the Dover area.
Day 3 – Quiet Countryside
- Morning: Head out early to do some waterfowl watching at Bombay Hook National Wildlife Refuge – make your choice among a 12-mile wildlife drive, five walking trails and three observation towers. Then drive through Amish country, just west of Dover, stopping at Byler’s Country Store and other family-owned shops for homemade crafts, quilts and delectable baked goods, including their rightly famous pies.
- Afternoon: All summer long, something is always in season at Fifer Orchards in Wyoming, whether it’s sweet corn, peaches, blueberries, tomatoes – you get the picture. This fourth-generation family farm also hosts farm-to-table dinners and fun festivals. Just south of Dover, take a tour of Barratt’s Chapel and Museum in Frederica. It’s the oldest surviving church building in the U.S., dating to 1780. Note that the chapel is open weekend afternoons only.
- Evening: Wrap up your day with dinner at an award-winning restaurant, and then hit the slots, table games, horse racing or sports betting action at Harrington Raceway & Casino. It’s open 24 hours, so there’s no need to call it an early night.
- Where to stay: The Holiday Inn Express Hotel and Suites is the perfect resting stop after a long day of adventures in Kent County, Delaware.