Camden is a town of approximately 4,000 residents located near the geographic center of Kent County, Delaware.
From Delaware Bay to the east and neighboring Maryland to the west, it is ideally located for easy access to the more developed northern parts of the state, as well as the stunning beaches along the southern Atlantic coast.
Most visitors to Camden plan a day trip to nearby Dover, which also has a plethora of historic sites and state parks.
Here are 15 things to do in and around Camden, Delaware.
1. Blakenock County Park
Located off U.S. Route 13 and just minutes from downtown Camden, the nearly 90-acre Blake Nock County Park offers active visitors a convenient alternative to the area’s further afield state park.
Amenities at the park include playgrounds, covered seating areas perfect for picnics, and the Dunbar Trail, which winds for nearly four miles, through wooded and open spaces.
Parks and trails are open year-round and free to enjoy. Dogs can be taken on leisurely walks as long as they are cleaned and kept on a leash at all times.
2. Cheddar Kitchen
Cheddar’s Scratch Kitchen is located near the intersection of US Route 14 and Lochmeath Way. Since its establishment in 1979, it has been serving home-cooked meals to locals and tourists alike.
As the name suggests, almost everything you’ll find on the menu is made on-site from scratch every day. Cheddar’s specializes in traditional comfort foods such as meatloaf, chicken tenders, ribs and pies.
Over the years, the restaurant has attracted a loyal following, especially among those who value its relaxed setting, generous portions and reasonable prices. They are open for breakfast, lunch and dinner.
3. Pfeiffer Orchard
Delaware has always been a powerhouse of agriculture, with a mild climate and fertile soils conducive to growing a wide variety of fruits and vegetables.
Located on Allabands Mill Road near Bridgeville, Fifer Orchards has been owned and operated by the same family for four generations.
The Orchard’s Country Store is open seasonally from April through December and is known for its fresh berries and peaches as well as fall corn, tomatoes and squash.
They also offer a selection of ice cream from local dairies in Delaware, so you might consider grabbing a cone or cup after a long day of standing.
4. First State Heritage Park
Although Delaware has many large state parks in relatively remote areas, it also has a fair amount of open space and nature reserves in urban areas.
First State Heritage Park is one of the first urban parks in the state. It is often referred to as Borderless Park because of its seamless integration with the surrounding area and easy access to historical and cultural sites as well as natural attractions.
The park is a short drive from Camden and is the perfect spot for history buffs who don’t want to spend a good day inside the old museum.
Dover is a great day trip destination for Camden visitors who can use a car and are willing to take the open road.
While it’s best known for its tracks and games, Dover has many other attractions. The first Saturday of every month, the Municipal Park has special programs and events.
Events include live entertainment, food, arts and crafts festivals, and seasonal holiday festivities.
Historic buildings such as the Governor’s Palace and the former courthouse usually open regularly on the first Saturday, so plan to spend some time here.
6. John Dickinson Plantation
Located on Kittshammoke Road in Dover, the John Dickinson Plantation was once the residence and farm of a wealthy tobacco farmer who was instrumental in both the constitution and the Declaration of Independence.
Homes and plantations are now historic attractions, and they are open to self-guided tours and professional guides.
The plantation experience includes staff dressed in period costumes using the vernacular of the time. It is truly unique for those who have never experienced living history with dedicated actors.
Admission is relatively cheap, and most visitors stay for one to two hours.
7. Air Mobility Command Museum
Dover is one of the largest air force bases in the country. Its main role is as an international transportation and distribution hub for military logistics.
The Air Mobility Command Museum houses dozens of vintage and modern aircraft that have passed their useful lives. In addition to transport aircraft, there are bombers, fighter jets, tankers and aerial tankers.
Listed on the National Register of Historic Places, the museum is open Tuesday through Sunday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Most guests find admission to be moderate, and the museum can really draw crowds during peak summer hours.
8. Great Oyster Brewery
Fresh seafood and locally produced beer are meant to be enjoyed together, and visitors to the First State have ample opportunity to do just that.
Located on Kings Highway in Lewis, Big Oyster Brewery is a unique mix of traditional oyster house, raw pub and modern microbrewery.
Big Oyster’s beers range from light and refreshing to deeply contemplative. Most guests choose to enjoy their Belgian blonde hair and IPA, which seems like the perfect match for the Lewis Beach resort vibe.
They are open daily from 11am to late and have great happy hour deals.
9. Old State Capitol
Delaware’s Old State Capitol was built nearly 250 years ago and is one of the oldest buildings of its kind in the area.
While much of the building is not original, it has been restored over the years, just as it was during the country’s prime.
For those who don’t have enough time to visit all the historic sites in the area, the Old State Capitol will be a great place to while away an hour. Its exhibits and memorabilia provide a comprehensive account of the area’s historical significance.
Hours of operation are Monday through Saturday from 9am to 4:30pm, with slightly reduced hours on Sundays.
10. Delaware Agricultural Museum and Village
Although tourists tend to enjoy the state’s beaches and more commercial historic sites, it’s often out of sight, but the Delaware Agricultural Museum often ends up being the highlight of many tourist trips.
The museum has existed for four years. It has grown considerably during that time and now includes the state’s most complete collection of equipment, memorabilia and first-hand accounts of people who have made a living in the area over the years.
In addition to the indoor part of the museum, there are several historic outbuildings that are especially enjoyed by curious kids.
11. Johnson Vidola Museum
It’s not widely known outside the state, but Delaware native Eldridge Reeves Johnson was the founder of the Victor Talking Machine Company, which would later become Victrola.
The Johnson Victrola Museum is located on South New Street in Dover and is open year-round from Wednesday to Saturday.
It has an impressive array of machines on which the classic and iconic Victrolas are modelled.
The museum is completely free to visit and is spread over several floors, the first of which is wheelchair accessible. It is closed on most major holidays, and guests usually leave donations in lieu of admission.
12. Spencer Market
Spence’s Bazaar has been a unique attraction in Dover for generations. It has been described as a unique combination of flea market, farmers market, antique mall and carnival.
Spence’s brings together booths and merchants selling everything from homemade pickles, jewelry and vintage clothing to books, fresh vegetables and crafts.
Also open for breakfast, lunch and dinner, they are known for their delicious coffee, freshly baked goods and sandwiches.
Seasonal in-state produce is popular in the summer and early fall, and they often host live entertainment on weekends during the warmer season.
13. Killens Pond State Park
The heart of Killens Pond State Park is a nearly 70-acre man-made pool originally constructed in the late 18th century.
Located on the Murderkill River in Felton and Kent counties, it offers a variety of outdoor options including kayaking, picnicking, swimming and fishing.
It is also a popular destination for campers. Its website is open year-round, offering a great opportunity to escape the crowds, save a few bucks on lodging, and spend a perfect night or two under the stars.
The park is also a mecca for bird watchers, and it is common to see a variety of species along the trails and shoreline.
14. Delaware Waterfront State Park
Delaware’s beaches are among the least developed on the Atlantic coast, and many visitors choose to spend their vacations at Delaware Beach State Park rather than a commercial resort town like Ocean City, Maryland.
The park covers nearly 3,000 acres and is surrounded by a picturesque ocean that stretches as far as the eye can see. Besides swimming and sunbathing, fishing and surfing are also popular.
For those travelling without gear, umbrellas, beach chairs and rafts can be rented for the day. The park often hosts special events during the high summer season, such as the sandcastle building competition held every July.
15. Painted Wood Distilling Company
While Delaware’s microbreweries have received the most attention, a number of small-batch breweries have also popped up in recent years. Many of them are producing world-class products that put big international corporations to shame.
Located on Smyrna’s West High Street, Painted Stave Distilling Company uses a wide range of locally sourced ingredients and time-tested traditional recipes to create a wide range of premium liquors such as vodka and whisky.
The distillery is housed in an old World War II movie theater and is open for tours and drinks on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays.
Where to Stay: Best Hotels in Camden (DE), Delaware
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