What Is Delaware Known For? 12 Things to Love About the “First State”

Delaware is a state full of rich history, stunning coastlines, and unique cultural experiences. From the historic streets of New Castle to the serene beaches of Rehoboth, Delaware’s attractions draw visitors year-round. Famous for its lack of sales tax and the storied legacy of the DuPont family, Delaware stands out in many ways. But what else is Delaware known for? Whether you’re looking to buy or rent a home in Dover, move into an apartment in Milford, or you’re just passing through, you’ll quickly discover that this state has much more to offer than meets the eye. In this article, we’ll explore what makes Delaware unique and why so many are proud to call it home.

1. First state

People know Delaware as the “First State” because it ratified the U.S. Constitution first on December 7, 1787. This historic moment is celebrated annually with various events and educational programs. Dover, the state capital, hosts many of these celebrations, attracting history enthusiasts from around the nation.

2. Scrapple

Scrapple is a beloved Delaware dish made from pork scraps and cornmeal, seasoned and fried to perfection. People often enjoy it as a breakfast item, with eggs and toast. The Apple Scrapple Festival in Bridgeville celebrates this unique food with tastings, cooking contests, and exciting activities.

3. DuPont legacy

The DuPont family has played a pivotal role in shaping the Delaware’s economy and culture. Starting with the establishment of gunpowder mills in the early 19th century, the DuPont Company evolved into one of the largest chemical companies in the world. Visitors of Delaware can spend a day exploring the original DuPont Company powder yards and workers’ community. The family’s influence extends beyond industry, with significant contributions to education, healthcare, and the arts in Delaware.

4. Beaches and boardwalks

Delaware’s coastline is famous for its beautiful beaches and bustling boardwalks. Rehoboth Beach, known as the “Nation’s Summer Capital,” attracts visitors with its charming boardwalk and lively atmosphere. Bethany Beach offers a quieter, more relaxed vibe, perfect for a serene getaway. A popular event for locals is the annual Sea Witch Festival in Rehoboth Beach, featuring a parade, costume contests, and fun activities.

5. Tax-free shopping

Delaware is a haven for shoppers, thanks to its lack of a state sales tax. The Christiana Mall near Newark is a major shopping destination, featuring over 150 stores, including high-end retailers and popular brands. Additionally, outlets in Rehoboth Beach offer great deals on designer goods, drawing bargain hunters year-round. Downtown Wilmington and Dover also provide unique shopping experiences with local boutiques and specialty shops.

Fun facts Delaware is famous for

  • The Delaware Memorial Bridge: This bridge, spanning the Delaware River, is one of the longest twin-span suspension bridges in the world.
  • Historic celebration: The state is home to the longest-running uninterrupted Fourth of July parade in the nation, held annually in the town of Smyrna since 1777.
  • Tax haven: Delaware is known for its business-friendly laws and is home to more than 1 million corporations, including over 60% of the Fortune 500 companies, due to its favorable tax policies and corporate laws.

6. Horseshoe Crabs and Shorebirds

Delaware Bay is known for its unique ecological phenomenon involving horseshoe crabs and migratory shorebirds. Each spring, thousands of horseshoe crabs come ashore to lay their eggs. This event attracts a variety of shorebirds, especially the Red Knot, which feeds on the crab eggs to fuel its long migration. This natural spectacle is crucial for bird conservation and attracts biologists and bird watchers worldwide.

7. Nemours Children’s Health System

Founded by Alfred I. du Pont, Delaware is home to the renowned Nemours Children’s Health System. The Nemours/Alfred I. duPont Hospital for Children in Wilmington is a leading pediatric care facility. It provides specialized medical treatments and comprehensive healthcare services for children. The hospital’s state-of-the-art research programs contribute significantly to pediatric medicine advancements. Families from across the region seek care at this world-class institution.

8. Punkin Chunkin

Punkin Chunkin is a uniquely Delaware event where teams compete to launch pumpkins as far as possible using homemade contraptions. Categories include air cannons, catapults, and trebuchets, showcasing engineering creativity. The competition is held in the rural areas of Sussex County, offering a festive atmosphere with food vendors and live music.

9. Air Mobility Command Museum

The Air Mobility Command Museum at Dover Air Force Base showcases the history of military airlift and refueling aircraft. This museum is a must-visit for aviation enthusiasts and history buffs featuring over 30 aircraft, including the iconic C-5 Galaxy. Interactive exhibits and simulators provide an immersive experience for visitors. Additionally, the museum hosts special events, such as vintage aircraft fly-ins and educational programs for the community.

10. Bombay Hook National Wildlife Refuge

Bombay Hook National Wildlife Refuge is a haven for wildlife and nature lovers. Located along the Delaware Bay, it spans 16,000 acres of tidal salt marsh. The refuge is home to diverse bird species, making it a prime spot for birdwatching. Visitors can enjoy scenic drives, walking trails, and photography opportunities. The refuge plays a vital role in preserving Delaware’s natural habitats.

11. Delaware Art Museum

The Delaware Art Museum in Wilmington is renowned for its collection of American art and illustrations. It features works by Howard Pyle, a native of Wilmington and a prominent illustrator. The museum’s Bancroft Collection includes British Pre-Raphaelite art, offering a unique perspective. Special exhibitions and community programs make the museum a cultural hub in Delaware.

12. Fenwick Island Lighthouse

The Fenwick Island Lighthouse, built in 1858, stands as a historic landmark on the Delaware-Maryland border. This iconic structure served as a critical navigational aid for boats traveling along the Atlantic coast. Over the years, it has attracted numerous visitors offering them a glimpse into the life of 19th-century lighthouse keepers and the evolution of coastal navigation technology. Today, it’s preserved as a cherished landmark, embodying the heart of Delaware’s coastal communities.

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