Over the years, my family has become well acquainted with the town of Lewes, DE (Pronounced like Louis, I swear). Every year, we drive to this quaint little town for a week of camping at the Cape Henlopen State Park. After unloading our car and setting up our campsite (preferably spot 42), we ditch the cars and bike everywhere. This past trip, we decided to explore more of Lewes besides hitting up our typical go-to places. Below, I’ve listed some of our favorite places to eat and things to do while vacationing.
For the past couple of years, my family has religiously gone to The Green Man in Rehoboth Beach as they offer much healthier food choices (compared to the greasy burgers and boardwalk fries). The Green Man has treated us well with their vegetarian options and is definitely a place to visit. But this trip, we decided to expand out horizons and try Nectar Cafe and Juice Bar, located in the center of the historic town of Lewes. Here, you can get an array of juices (I recommend Smarty Pants for a refreshing drink) as well as salads and sandwiches that uses seasonal ingredients. We took the Powerhouse Sandwich, Steakhouse Salad, and The Vedge; all great options! Nectar is not a vegetarian restaurant like The Green Man but they do serve vegetarian options.
Down here in Arlington, we have a handful of great bagel places. My favorite bagel is a toasted cinnamon raisin bagel with cream cheese. Thus, I naturally took one at Surf Bagel but even though it was toasted, it was still soft and doughy, not slightly crunchy. To our dismay, all our toasted bagels were not very toasted and the cream cheese tasted like store-bought Philadelphia cream cheese. We did take some home and they taste much better when they are actually toasted. Their bagels are good but I think it’s best to buy them fresh and toast them on your own if you like toasted bagels. If you don’t like them toasted, you may be perfectly content with a squishy, doughy bagel. They do have a wide variety of bagels, including Old Bay, Spinach, and Coconut, so everyone can find what bagel best suits them. They also serve bagel sandwiches, and if you try one, let me know what they are like! Maybe that’s their specialty.
Like one old man sitting on the bench in front of King’s once said “Life’s to short, eat dessert before dinner.” Ever since our first trip to Lewes, we always bike into the historic town for a little walk and pre-dinner ice cream. King’s Ice Cream is handcrafted in Milton, DE and they serve a variety of flavors. I’m a cup kind of gal (cones just get too messy) and am always happy with a cookie dough or mint chocolate chip cup. The ice cream is very creamy so a small/one scoop is definitely enough for 1 person.
Yes, my family does like ice cream and we always scout out the best ice cream places prior to a trip. We rarely eat it at home (but always have a tub of Costco Vanilla ice cream for my dad) and so it’s a nice treat to have it on vacation. For the past year, our former neighbors have been asking us if we visited Hopkins Farm and now we can finally say YES! This cute farm makes their own ice cream using the milk from their cows, which are located on site. While enjoying one of their many flavors, you can watch the cows (pictured below is one of the cute calves). While enjoying my mint ice cream sandwich, I saw a baby cow being born. The ice cream there is very good but the panel of ice cream flavors can be overwhelming. But remember, sometimes simple is better; a good old vanilla or a hardy chocolate can be just as great when made with the finest ingredients like what they use there.
Elmer’s or Mendoza’s Market
These produce stands are located along the roads into Lewes; Elmer’s on 404 and Mendoza’s on 16. In Lewes, there are very few healthy food store chains; no Trader Joe’s, no Whole Foods, but a new Fresh Market. Because of this, we always stop at either Elmer’s or Mendoza’s in order to get fruits and vegetables. Not all products that are sold in these places are locally grown but the vendor’s are happy to tell you what is local and what’s not. We also find that some vegetables and fruits are cheaper and so we stop by again on our way home.
Because we camp at the state park and bike most places, we mostly stay in the historic area of Lewes. This part of town offers lots of things to do; beach, bike, shops, restaurants, museums, etc. Take advantage of a beautiful day and explore the neighborhoods to marvel at all the architectural wonders of the past and learn about Lewes’ early history. If you want to explore more than Lewes, take the Cape May-Lewes Ferry Boat into New Jersey to visit the neighboring victorian homes of Cape May.
In Lewes, you are destined to find antique store. I typically stop by the one on 2nd St. with the iron fence in front (pictured above). Here you can find all sorts of treasures and may learn more about Lewes while snooping around. The items in these stores make great gifts and great souvenirs.
Lewes has tons of beaches to relax on but don’t drive to them; parking can be a hassle. Instead, bike to the beach! We typically bike to the beach at Cape Henlopen State Park because there are bathrooms and food stands.The downside to this beach is that it can get crowded. If you follow the bike path a bit further south, there are beach entrances through the dunes that are less crowded but still apart of the state park. If you decide to go to Rehoboth Beach, you can take the bike path which ends up the boardwalk and brings you through the dunes. The best time to go to the beach is after 4pm because the large crowds are dissipating and the sun is not as strong. Thus, spend your day exploring Lewes and relax late afternoon on the beach.