37 Cool Things Delaware is Known For (+ Famous For)

Wondering what Delaware is known for?

From tax free shopping to the Dover International Speedway, Delaware is famous for so many wonderful things and is well worth a visit.

In this guide, we’re going over everything from the food Delaware is famous for to small towns in Delaware its famous for to the history Delaware is famous for to the music and culture that define this state.

How do I know?

I’ve been to Delaware many times during my travels in the US and have really fallen in love with this state.

Let’s jump into the best things Delaware is known and famous for so you can get to know this state even better.

1. First State

Want a Delaware fun fact?

Delaware’s nickname as the “First State” is due to its historical significance as the first state to ratify the United States Constitution on December 7, 1787.

This action marked the beginning of the formation of the United States as a federal nation.

Delaware’s quick approval of the Constitution set an example for other states to follow and solidified its role as a trailblazer in American history.

This legacy is celebrated annually with “Delaware Day” on December 7th, commemorating the state’s pivotal role in the nation’s founding.

2. Tax-Free Shopping

Delaware is known for its tax-free shopping!

Delaware’s tax-free shopping reputation draws visitors from neighboring states, especially during holiday seasons.

The lack of sales tax on most retail goods makes shopping in Delaware an attractive option for those looking to save money on purchases.

This economic incentive has led to the development of numerous shopping centers and outlet malls, such as the Christiana Mall and Tanger Outlets, which cater to both locals and out-of-state visitors seeking great deals.

3. Corporate Law

Delaware’s corporate-friendly legal environment has positioned it as a preferred location for businesses to incorporate.

The state’s well-established corporate laws offer advantages like flexibility in structuring and operating corporations.

4. DuPont Company

Founded in 1802 in Wilmington, Delaware, the DuPont Company played a crucial role in the development of the chemical industry.

It produced a wide range of products, including gunpowder, chemicals, plastics, and textiles. DuPont’s innovations impacted various sectors, from agriculture to aerospace.

The company’s legacy includes significant contributions to science, technology, and the state’s economy.

While the original company no longer exists in its original form, its impact on Delaware and the world is still evident.

5. Delaware River

The Delaware River serves as a natural boundary between Delaware and New Jersey, and it played a pivotal role in the early history of the region.

Its navigability allowed for trade, transportation, and settlement, shaping the growth of towns and cities along its banks.

Today, the river continues to be important for transportation, recreation, and wildlife habitat.

6. Beaches

Delaware’s coastline along the Atlantic Ocean boasts picturesque beaches that draw tourists seeking relaxation and recreation.

Rehoboth Beach, Dewey Beach, and Bethany Beach are popular destinations known for their sandy shores, charming boardwalks, and family-friendly atmosphere.

7. Delaware Bay

The Delaware Bay is a unique estuarine environment where freshwater from the Delaware River meets saltwater from the Atlantic Ocean.

It’s known for its important role in migratory bird routes, providing essential stopover points for species like the red knot during their long journeys.

The bay supports a diverse range of marine life, including fish, crabs, and oysters.

The fishing industry benefits from the bay’s resources, contributing to the local economy.

8. Delaware Memorial Bridge

The Delaware Memorial Bridge is an iconic twin-span suspension bridge that connects Delaware and New Jersey over the Delaware River.

It stands as a symbol of remembrance for military personnel who have served the nation.

The bridge’s construction was completed in 1951, and it has since become a vital transportation link for commuters, tourists, and commercial vehicles traveling between the Mid-Atlantic states.

9. Historical Sites

Delaware is dotted with historical sites that offer glimpses into its colonial past and contributions to the nation’s development.

The city of New Castle, for instance, features well-preserved 18th-century architecture and landmarks like the New Castle Court House Museum.

The Dover Green, a public park in the state capital, is surrounded by historic buildings and has hosted important events throughout Delaware’s history.

10. Biden Connection

President Joe Biden has deep ties to Delaware, having lived and raised his family there for many years.

He represented Delaware in the U.S. Senate for several decades before becoming Vice President and eventually President of the United States.

11. Dover International Speedway

Located in Dover, the Dover International Speedway is a NASCAR track known as the “Monster Mile” due to its challenging one-mile oval layout.

It hosts various NASCAR races, including the NASCAR Cup Series, Xfinity Series, and Truck Series events.

12. Dogfish Head Brewery

Founded in 1995 in Rehoboth Beach, Dogfish Head Brewery has gained a reputation for innovative craft beer.

The brewery’s experimental approach to brewing has led to the creation of a wide range of unique and flavorful beers, including the famous 60 Minute IPA and the world’s strongest beer at the time, the “120 Minute IPA.”

Dogfish Head’s influence extends beyond brewing, as its founder, Sam Calagione, has been an advocate for craft beer culture and creativity.

Check out the food and drink that Delaware is famous for!

13. Winterthur Museum, Garden & Library

Winterthur is a historic estate known for its impressive collection of American decorative arts and its beautifully landscaped gardens.

The museum houses an extensive array of period furniture, ceramics, textiles, and artwork, offering insights into American craftsmanship and design.

14. Air Mobility Command Museum

Located at Dover Air Force Base, the Air Mobility Command Museum showcases the history of military aviation and the role of Dover Air Force Base in supporting global mobility operations.

The museum features a collection of aircraft from various eras, including cargo planes, helicopters, and historic military aircraft.

15. Delaware Art Museum

The Delaware Art Museum is a cultural institution dedicated to American art, with a focus on 19th- and 20th-century works.

The museum’s collection includes paintings, sculptures, and decorative arts representing a wide range of styles and movements.

It is particularly known for its collection of Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood works and its commitment to showcasing American artists.

16. Pea Patch Island

Located in the Delaware River, Pea Patch Island is home to Fort Delaware, a historic Civil War-era fort and some of the history Delaware is known for.

The island and the fort are accessible by ferry and offer visitors a chance to step back in time and experience a living history museum.

The fort played a significant role during the Civil War as a Union prison camp for Confederate soldiers.

Guided tours and reenactments provide insights into the island’s military history and its impact on the region.

17. Hagley Museum and Library

One of the things that Delaware is known for is the Hagley Museum and Library, situated on the site of the original DuPont Company powder mills, as it offers a glimpse into the early days of American industry and innovation.

The museum features restored mills, gardens, and the ancestral home of the DuPont family.

Visitors can explore the history of the DuPont Company, the development of early industrial technology, and the social dynamics of the surrounding community.

18. University of Delaware

The University of Delaware (UD) is a prominent research university with a strong emphasis on education and innovation.

Established in 1743, UD has a rich history and offers a wide range of academic programs and research opportunities.

19. Delaware State University

Delaware State University (DSU) is a historically black university that has been serving students since 1891.

It offers a diverse range of academic programs and promotes a commitment to community engagement and social justice.

20. Delaware Blue Hens

The University of Delaware’s athletic teams are known as the Blue Hens.

The nickname is derived from the state bird of Delaware, the blue hen chicken.

The Blue Hens compete in various sports as part of the NCAA Division I, and their athletic achievements contribute to the school’s sense of pride and camaraderie.

21. Delaware Park

Delaware Park is a racetrack and casino complex offering a range of entertainment options.

It features a thoroughbred horse racing track, a casino with slot machines and table games, and various dining and entertainment venues.

The park’s combination of horse racing and casino gaming attracts visitors looking for a diverse entertainment experience.

22. Iron Hill Brewery & Restaurant

Iron Hill Brewery & Restaurant is a regional chain of brewpubs that originated in Delaware.

Known for its craft beer and made-from-scratch menu offerings, Iron Hill has become a popular destination for those seeking a relaxed dining experience and a variety of beer styles.

Each location offers a rotating selection of house-brewed beers, often recognized with awards at prestigious beer competitions.

23. Delaware River and Bay Authority

The Delaware River and Bay Authority is an agency responsible for managing transportation facilities and infrastructure in the Delaware River and Bay region.

Its most recognizable facility is the Delaware Memorial Bridge, which provides a vital transportation link connecting Delaware and New Jersey.

The authority’s efforts contribute to efficient travel and commerce within the region.

24. Delaware Technical Community College

What is Delaware known for?

Delaware Technical Community College (Delaware Tech) is the state’s community college system, providing accessible education and workforce training.

With multiple campuses across the state, Delaware Tech offers a wide range of academic and vocational programs, enabling students to acquire skills for various industries and professions.

25. Wildlife Refuges

Delaware is home to several wildlife refuges and Delaware national parks that play a crucial role in conserving natural habitats and supporting diverse ecosystems.

Bombay Hook National Wildlife Refuge and Prime Hook National Wildlife Refuge are known for their wetlands, tidal marshes, and bird populations.

These refuges provide sanctuary for migratory birds, wildlife, and plant species while offering opportunities for visitors to experience the beauty of nature.

26. Dover Downs Hotel & Casino

Dover Downs Hotel & Casino is a resort and casino complex that provides a mix of gaming, entertainment, and accommodations.

The facility features a casino with slot machines, table games, and poker rooms, as well as dining options, live entertainment, and a full-service hotel.

It serves as a popular destination for those seeking a lively atmosphere and a variety of entertainment options.

27. Lewes

Lewes is one of the earliest European settlements in the United States, with a history dating back to 1631.

The town is known for its charming historic architecture, quaint streets, and coastal charm.

Visitors to Lewes can explore historic sites, museums, art galleries, and boutique shops while enjoying picturesque views of the Delaware Bay.

28. Delaware Children’s Museum

The Delaware Children’s Museum is an interactive museum designed to engage children in hands-on learning and play.

The museum’s exhibits and activities are designed to promote creativity, problem-solving, and exploration.

29. Delaware Agriculture

Delaware’s agriculture industry is significant, with poultry production being one of its primary sectors.

The state is a leading producer of broiler chickens, contributing to the nation’s poultry supply. Additionally, Delaware’s fertile soil supports vegetable farming, including crops like corn, soybeans, and watermelon.

30. Brandywine River Museum of Art

The Brandywine River Museum of Art is known for its collection of American art, particularly works by the Wyeth family and American illustrators.

The museum is housed in a historic mill building and showcases a diverse range of art, including landscapes, portraits, and illustrations.

Its location along the Brandywine River adds to the museum’s charm and provides a serene backdrop for visitors.

31. Tax Haven

Delaware’s reputation as a tax haven is due to its business-friendly tax laws and incorporation policies.

Many businesses choose to incorporate in Delaware to take advantage of its favorable legal framework and tax benefits.

The state’s Court of Chancery, which specializes in business disputes, provides a consistent and experienced legal environment for corporations.

As a result, Delaware has become a preferred location for corporations seeking to optimize their financial and legal structures.

32. Delaware Contemporary

The Delaware Contemporary is an art space dedicated to contemporary art exhibitions, education, and community engagement.

The museum features rotating exhibitions that showcase a diverse range of artistic mediums, styles, and perspectives.

It serves as a platform for emerging and established artists to share their work with the public and encourages dialogue about contemporary art and culture.

33. Delaware Theater Company

Delaware Theatre Company’s 2022 production of One Man, Two Guvnors, by Richard Bean, directed by Bud Martin, with songs by Grant Olding, based on Servant of Two Masters by Carlo Goldoni. Photos taken January 31, 2022 by Matt Urban.

The Delaware Theater Company is a performing arts organization that offers a variety of theatrical performances to the community.

It stages a range of productions, from classic plays to contemporary works, and provides opportunities for local actors, directors, and playwrights to showcase their talents.

The theater’s contributions enrich the cultural landscape of Delaware and provide entertainment and thought-provoking experiences for audiences.

34. Trap Pond State Park

Trap Pond State Park is known for its bald cypress trees and serene landscapes.

The park features a large pond surrounded by forested areas, making it a popular destination for outdoor enthusiasts.

Visitors can enjoy activities such as boating, fishing, hiking, and wildlife observation.

The cypress trees that emerge from the water add to the park’s unique and picturesque atmosphere.

35. Dover Symphony Orchestra

The Dover Symphony Orchestra contributes to the cultural scene of Delaware by providing musical performances that encompass a wide range of genres and styles.

The orchestra’s concerts showcase the talent of local musicians and offer the community opportunities to enjoy live orchestral music.

36. Delaware Seashore State Park

Delaware Seashore State Park protects and preserves coastal ecosystems and offers a variety of recreational opportunities along the seashore.

The park’s beaches provide space for swimming, sunbathing, and beachcombing, while its trails and natural areas allow visitors to explore coastal habitats and observe wildlife.

37. Delaware History Museum

The Delaware History Museum offers a comprehensive look at the state’s history through engaging exhibits and educational programs.

The museum’s collections encompass a wide range of artifacts, documents, and interactive displays that highlight Delaware’s past, from its colonial roots to its contributions during pivotal moments in American history.

Want to know what things the other US states are known for? Check out our other guides!

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