Delaware, while not the smallest of the United States of America, was the first state to ratify the US Constitution. Delaware is bordered by the states of Maryland, Pennsylvania, and New Jersey.
Despite being only a hundred miles long and less than thirty miles across at its widest point and covers 2,489 square miles, Delaware is a surprisingly complex and diverse state. The C&D Canal, which bisects the state two-thirds of the way up, serves as a sort of internal Mason-Dixon Line, separating the more urban and industrialized northern portion of Delaware from the more rural "slower, lower" southern part.
You might be from Delaware if you once thought that you might have a White Christmas... and then it rained.
The weather in Delaware varies greatly from season to season. Summers are almost always hot, very humid, and unpleasant. The air quality is accordingly poor, but no more so than surrounding counties. Winters, although it rarely snows heavily, can get bitterly cold. Spring and fall are generally the nicest seasons, although snow storms can arrive in April, and heat waves can hit in late November. Delaware weather is unpredictable, the only real way to prepare would be to carry an umbrella and pray for sunshine. Average monthly temperatures range from a high of 85.6 degrees to a low of 23.2 degrees.
Due to its location as a border state lying between the North and South, people from Delaware have American English accents which vary accordingly based upon location and environment. Southern accents begin to be encountered below the C&D Canal, and increase in volume the further south you go.
Commercial airline service into the state of Delaware is limited, but areas of the state are reasonably close to major international airports in either Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Maryland, or the District of Columbia.
The Amtrak station in Wilmington is a major stop on the system's Northeast Corridor, with frequent high-speed connections throughout the day to NYC, Boston, and D.C. The station is located on Front Street between French and Walnut Streets in downtown Wilmington. It has one inside level which has stores, a cafe, Amtrak and SEPTA ticket offices, a car rental office, and a post office; passengers board their trains on the second story train platforms. It is served by Amtrak trains along the Northeast Corridor going south to Baltimore and Washington, D.C., and going north to Philadelphia and New York. It is also served by SEPTA's R2 Regional Rail Line with service to Philadelphia and Newark, Delaware. Like all stations in Delaware, SEPTA service is provided under contract and funded through DART First State, which also provides extensive local bus service.
Greyhound has a limited number of bus terminals throughout the state. There is also "Chinatown" bus service from Dover, Smyrna, and Wilmington to New York City, Albany, Baltimore, and VA which operates throughout most of the day.
Cars are the main mode of transportation, except in the city of Wilmington, where ample mass transit is available. DART First State is the primary public transportation system that operates throughout Delaware. Although most of its routes run in and around Wilmington and Newark in New Castle County, DART also serves Dover (in Kent County), and Georgetown in Sussex County, and has one route running into New Jersey, which connects with New Jersey Transit buses, and one route into Elkton with connection to the dial-a-ride service of Cecil County.
DART provides connecting service with the R2 Newark line of SEPTA Regional Rail, which travels between Philadelphia and Wilmington, with a few trains continuing on to Newark. The Delaware Department of Transportation subsidizes Regional Rail operations into Delaware.
Delaware has beautiful beaches. The more popular ones are:
You can gamble 'til your heart's content
There's also quite a bit of small town charm, like:
Delaware is well known for having no sales tax. Most Delawareans shop at malls or strip malls with big box stores. Notable malls include:
In addition to the beaches, gambling, and shopping, Delaware has many small and unique historical places and museums. Some things to check out would be:
In New Castle County:
In Kent County:
In Sussex County:
Delaware has many excellent restaurants and a surprising number of brewpubs for a small state, including Dogfish Head in Rehoboth Beach and Iron Hill (in Newark and along the Riverfront in Wilmington).
As the location of the University of Delaware, Newark is the home of a number of bars and restaurants popular with college students and locals. One such restaurant is Klondike Kate's (on Main Street). Ask for a tour of the jail cells in the basement, dating from the late 1700s. The Deer Park (also on Main Street) is a long standing Newark institution with a rich history. Although the current building dates from 1847, there has been a tavern on the site since colonial times. Edgar Allan Poe once stayed at the St. Patrick's Inn, which formerly stood on the same site. Legend has it that he put a curse on the building and the city after falling in the mud outside the hotel. Due to the site's association with Poe, the symbol of the Deer Park is a raven, and there is a wooden raven on display in the main dining room.
In the city of Wilmington, Trolley Square, about one mile from downtown along Delaware Avenue, is widely popular with locals in their 20s-30s. Among the bars in Trolley Square, The Logan House is arguably the most popular drinking location. Just outside of the city on Route 52 in Greenville is Cromwell's, which has quality pub style food and a comfortable ambience.
Some brewpubs include:
Do not drink and drive in Delaware, the penalties are very harsh.
Staying safe in Delaware is a matter of staying smart. In Wilmington, city officials and downtown merchants have formed (armed with two-way radios but not guns) private security patrols that wander the restaurant and entertainment districts in the downtown area to supplement the city police. Most restaurants will summon a security person to escort you to your car if requested. In the city of Wilmington it is best to apply common sense and pay attention to your surroundings(as it is anywhere); listen to your inner voice. If it's telling you that you've wandered into a bad area, you probably have. In general, it's best to avoid walking alone after dark in the downtown area. Interestingly enough, Wilmington has one of the highest concentrations of remote security cameras of any city its size. Of course, these cameras are best at identifying criminals after the fact, so don't take much comfort in their presence.
Despite the above advice, Delaware has less crime than most other states due to its small population. A visit anywhere in the state is safe. Like everywhere else, common sense needs to be used. Outside of Wilmington, there is little to worry about outside of leaving your windows down when it starts to unexpectedly rain.