The Lewes Beach area of the Delaware Beaches offers much to see for travelers interested in stunning natural locales, charming amusement parks, ample outdoor recreation, and an intriguing connection to Coast Guard and United States military history. In this regard, Cape Henlopen State Park provides visitors with an experience that is equal parts history and natural beauty. Read on below to learn more about this wonderful attraction in Lewes Beach!

A Scenic Attraction Close to Lewes Beach

Residing on a former military base, Cape Henlopen State Park is now dedicated to giving visitors and locals alike a space for picturesque hiking and biking, picnicking, fun days spent on the beach, sweeping ocean views, incredible annual events and festivals, and even an eighteen-hole disc golf course.

For those searching for a one-of-a-kind picture to remember their stay along the Delaware Beaches by, Cape Henlopen State Park’s observation tower—which dates back to World War II—is a fantastic place to visit. Here, you can uninterrupted views of the Atlantic Ocean, its shimmering waves undulating out across the horizon as far as the eye can see. This view is particularly beautiful if you happen to visit around sunset, as the sun sinks below the ocean and casts vibrantly-hued reflections over the water.

Cape Henlopen State Park is also home to a lovely swimming beach that also includes rentals for umbrellas and Mobi-Mats, which are thirty-foot mats designed to accommodate visitors in wheelchairs and power chairs so that they can enjoy the beach too. Additionally, this area of the park also has a bath house with changing rooms, showers, and even a concession stand. The beach is patrolled by lifeguards from Memorial Day weekend through Labor Day.

If you’re interested in getting your blood pumping while taking in the sights of the park, you can bike along the three-mile loop, or climb to the top of a former military bunker. Hiking trails include the Pinelands Nature Trail and the Seaside Nature Trail, as well as the six miles of beaches.

The park is open from 8:00am until sunset daily.

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Nestled just north of Rehoboth Beach within the greater area of Cape Henlopen State Park, Gordon Pond Wildlife Area is a place where visitors can enjoy wildlife watching, hiking, biking, and taking in the stunning natural sights that this lovely locale has to offer. Read on for additional details on what makes a trip to Gordon Pond Wildlife Area one of our favorite Rehoboth things to do.

Immerse Yourself in the Beauty of the Delaware Beaches

Cape Henlopen State Park has a trail known as Gordon’s Pond Trail, specifically dedicated to this beautiful region of the park. From the parking lot of Gordon’s Pond, you can hike or bike your way to Herring Point, an easy trail totaling a little over five miles roundtrip. On the way, you’ll see crushed stone, salt marshes, sandy beaches, a charming boardwalk, towering pine trees, and the species of shorebirds and horseshoe crabs that call the region home.

Gordon’s Pond Trail connects the towns of Rehoboth Beach and Lewes Beach, making it an ideal choice if you’re staying in one of these two towns and want to take a walking day trip to the other town. The trail also links up to the historic Fort Miles area, which includes a museum, buildings, and barracks that showcase the military history of the area.

Explore Gordon Pond Wildlife Area’s nearly 5,200 acres of lush greenery and breathtaking views and you’ll encounter what’s called the Great Dune, a dune that rises a staggering 80 feet above sea level.

The park is also home to a diverse range of habitats, attracting a variety of mammal, reptile, and bird species. In particular, piping plovers—a threatened species of shorebird—begin nesting in the park during the summer. The park protects these birds and will warn visitors not to enter areas closed off due to the nests of piping plovers. Other threatened shorebird species that have been sighted here include the least tern and the black skimmer. This is because Gordon’s Pond is one of only four places in North America that is considered a migration super highway for waterfowl.

Gordon Pond Wildlife Area is open from 8:00am until sunset year-round.

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Stretching out over 17,000 acres between Lewes Beach and Slaughter Beach, the Great Marsh Preserve is an immense coastal wetland located along Delaware Bay. With its diverse ecology and its variety of wildlife, the Great Marsh Preserve provides an awe-inspiring glimpse of nature for visitors brave enough to venture into its seemingly uninviting landscape. Read more below about why the Great Marsh Preserve should be on your list of things to do in Rehoboth Beach, Delaware!

Experience the Great Outdoors

The Great Marsh Preserve is one of Delaware’s few remaining wetlands, brimming with a variety of unique local fauna and wildlife. Towering pines and oaks, fields of tulip poplar, long grasses—all set the stage for sightings of red-wing blackbirds, wading birds, hawks, falcons, and more that arrive here for their summertime migration. Additionally, the vast salt marsh was once a vital resource used by locals for farming, shipbuilding, fishing, haying, roofing, insulation, livestock feed, and even artistic works.

Due to its expansiveness and its complex network of beaches, waterways, parks, and refuges for wildlife, other popular activities that visitors enjoy in the Great Marsh Preserve include fishing, bird watching, boating, hiking, and spending time on the beach. The beaches of the Great Marsh Preserve are perfect for swimming, sunbathing, kayaking, surfing, and other exciting yet leisurely recreation that allows you to experience the majesty of Delaware’s wild, untamable lands that have remained largely the same since the first days of colonization.

Being located so close to Lewes Beach, the Great Marsh Preserve is a wonderful place to visit if you’re planning a day trip to Lewes or if you’re staying close by. Take hiking trails from the Great Marsh Preserve that lead through town, then spend some time in Lewes Beach’s many museums, such as the Zwaanendael Museum on the history of Delaware, or the old-fashioned ships and lighthouses that the area is known for, such as the Lightship Overfalls and the Harbor of Refuge Light. Historic Lewes is also renowned for having won a number of awards for its gorgeous greenery and flora citywide, including the reputable America in Bloom contest.

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Tucked away near the town of Milton, the Prime Hook National Wildlife Refuge is a gorgeous natural attraction in the Rehoboth Beach area that deserves a spot on your “must-see” list of things to do in Rehoboth Beach. Read on down below to learn more about the Prime Hook National Wildlife Refuge.

See the Wildlife of Delaware’s Beaches Firsthand

In Prime Hook National Wildlife Refuge, visitors come for the breathtaking beauty of the great outdoors. Oftentimes, they capture the stunning panorama that the park has to offer through their camera lens. However, many more visitors still like to either take to the road on a scenic drive through the four state roads that pass through the refuge, or take to the six miles of walking trails that run through the park.

Other recreational activities that visitors enjoy in the park include fishing, crabbing, and hunting. Visitors looking for a taste of the hunting action can try their hand at taking down webless migratory birds, waterfowl, upland game, and deer according to regulations on the state and federal levels.

The ample fishing in Prime Hook National Wildlife Refuge includes species such as crappie, pickerel, white perch, and largemouth bass. Fleetwood Pond has a fishing pier that can accommodate visitors with disabilities, and sections of the refuge are open to both saltwater and freshwater fishing.

Prime Hook National Wildlife Refuge is open from daily all year long, with park hours operating from a half-hour before sunrise until a half-hour after sunset. Additionally, the visitor center—which has videos and displays educating the public on the natural habitat and wildlife that reside within the refuge—is open from 9:00am until 4:00pm daily, on a year-round basis. There is also a gift shop for those wishing to remember their time in Prime Hook National Wildlife Refuge with a souvenir that also supports park operations.

When you visit Prime Hook National Wildlife Refuge, it’s extremely helpful to bring water and bug spray—especially during the warmer months of the year. Poison ivy, deer flies, and ticks are potential hazards in the park, so keep an eye out.

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(Image by U. S. Fish and Wildlife Service – Northeast Region [CC BY 2.0 ( or Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons)

Those seeking the quiet serenity of nature needs look no further than Assawoman State Wildlife Area. This part of the Delaware wildness is a must go for those that want to let go of the city life and spend time with nature. There are so many things to explore here, from bird watching and boating, to self-guided tours and picnic areas. Discover what makes Assawoman State Wildlife Area so special during your next vacation to Delaware!


The Land


The Assawoman State Wildlife Area consists of three large tracts of land that combine to total over 3000 acres of wilderness. This means that there is so much to explore, and each visit allows you to experience something new! Much of the land was once thriving farmland that was abandoned during the Great Depression, along Mother Nature to take over. Today, this area makes for great bird watching, especially for bald eagles, who thrive in this habitat. Also, like the name suggests, the Assawoman wildlife area is true wilderness, so keep an eye out for other wild animals, including river otters and woodpeckers.


How to Explore


The safest way to navigate through the Assawoman State Wildlife Area is to drive along the self-guided auto tour. This will take you through all the most popular scenic destinations. You will also see signage for hiking trails, boat landing docks, and picnic areas. If you feel the need to go off-trail, be aware your surroundings. During hunting season, wearing hunter’s orange is a must for your safety and the safety of others. Also, off the beaten path also means little or no signage, so many visitors bring a compass or a GPS to ensure they make it back safe!




For many people, Assawoman State Wildlife Area is a retreat from the busy ocean areas in the state. It is not uncommon to see locals with binoculars trying to spot a new bird. You can also kayak or canoe along the river, giving you a great change of meeting a river otter or two! Hiking is also a popular activity, and the trails range from easy walks all the way up to vigorous, expert hikes. Fishing and mountain biking are also common. Best of all, Assawoman State Wildlife Area is pet friendly, so bring your pooch with you on your adventure!

Related Attractions:


Holts Landing State Park   Fenwick Island State Park   Delaware Seashore State Park