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Delaware?
Old 02-01-2009, 07:49 AM   #1
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Delaware?

Anyone live in or know much about Delaware? It is a state "next door" that I have never (to my knowledge) been to and I realize that I know nothing more about it than it is the home of Joe Biden, the DuPonts and at least half the US credit card industry. So:

- Is it mostly rural or urban?
- What areas would you recommend as worthy of spending time in?
- Attractions aside from the DuPon family stuff?
- The good, the bad, the ugly, and the just plain weird?

I'm not thinking about DE as a retirement location, more interested in the state as a weekend to several day destination for a family with small children. We are also toying with the idea of buying a chunk of inexpensive rural land, but that is secondary and maybe not going to happen.
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Old 02-01-2009, 08:30 AM   #2
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Longwood Garden is worth a visit.
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Old 02-01-2009, 09:23 AM   #3
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I know it's not Delaware, but just across the state line is Ocean City, MD. We had a blast there years ago. Beach, parasailing, slick track, miniature golf, catamaran for 1/2 day...fun, fun, fun!

Chincoteague area with the ponies is nice, too.
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Old 02-01-2009, 09:51 AM   #4
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Longwood Gardens is in Pennsylvania
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Old 02-01-2009, 11:58 AM   #5
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Here's a link with some information about Delaware.

After reading about the state online, and gathering info in this thread, I recommend that you get up early on Saturday, drive there, and spend the day exploring. I checked the map, and it is not very far from any part of New Jersey.

If you don't like Delaware, then drive right back that evening! If you do, find a room in a nice motel in an area that interests you, after you get there.

Frank and I love and often take spontaneous day trips like that.
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Old 02-01-2009, 12:15 PM   #6
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Thanks for the link. Northern DE is a couple hours from where we live, so we will explore when the weather turns nice, most likely dragging the camper along.
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Old 02-01-2009, 01:06 PM   #7
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Chincoteague Island .Net

This is a great place to camp . Plus your kids will really enjoy seeing the ponies .
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Old 02-01-2009, 02:08 PM   #8
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I live right outside Ocean City MD, and am about 6 miles from DE. We do a lot of shopping there, no sales tax. There are some nice places along the shore, with Lewes and the state park beaches there. You could go to Cape May NJ, sight-see, then take the ferry over to Lewes to wander through eastern DE. Most of my urban experience is with Dover and Wilmington, which IMHO are industrial junkpiles. There's a fair amount of building and growth going on near the shore due to the tax situation. Or there was until last fall.

As far as Chincoteague in VA, it's overcrowded and over-commercialized! For camping I prefer the national park side of Assateague, in MD. They have a MD state park section too, which is pretty nice. The ponies walk right through the campsites a lot of times, so lock up your food.

SG, if you come back, pm me and we'll get together for some crabs and beer.
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Old 02-01-2009, 02:13 PM   #9
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Oh yeah, there's the Dogfish Head brewery in Rehobeth, too. I've been meaning to do their tasting tour. You could hang out there while DW hits the outlets.
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Old 02-01-2009, 03:52 PM   #10
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I used to live in NJ and drove to the in laws place in Norfolk many times and Delaware seemed like a mostly rural state outside of Wilmington. Delmarva Peninsula is a nice drive.There used to be a nice place to eat/drink in Rehobeth Beach called the Rusty Scupper.
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Old 02-01-2009, 05:37 PM   #11
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Longwood Garden is worth a visit.

Methinks you have Longwood Gardens confused with Winterthur, which is the DuPont estate in Delaware.

We visited Winterthur once, enjoyed it, but wouldn't bother going back.

Delaware is very flat. Large areas are undeveloped or are farmland, much of a piece with the Eastern Shore of Maryland. The beach, on the other hand, is very developed. A lot of retirement developments, calculated for various socioeconomic levels, are located near or even on the beach.

We really like Lewes, Delaware, one of the oldest towns in the U.S. A lot of historical preservation has been done, and there's also a funky, free-spirited air about the place that appeals to us. The beach is a state park. Every time we've visited, the beach has been clean and lovely, with people of all ages (but not huge crowds of them; there is a $5 admission fee) enjoying themselves. The adjoining natural grounds are fun to walk in, and there are WWII observation posts that you can climb up in for a good view.

One thing we didn't like, the "Zwaanendael Inn." We stayed there twice; the second time, in 2003, it had gone seriously downhill, and we decided not to return.

If you enjoy outlet shopping, there are various outlets on Route 1 along the east coast, with no sales tax. We haven't been impressed with the variety or price of merchandise in recent years. It seems to be mostly of the "Made for Outlets" variety.

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Old 02-01-2009, 11:27 PM   #12
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No, I meant Longwood Garden, but it is on the PA side of the border. Brew, don't visit Longwood Garden.
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Old 02-02-2009, 10:17 PM   #13
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Delaware is a sort of secret location. I have two daughters in school there even though we live in MD. Many DE residents commute to Philly or Baltimore for work. Many large companies are incoporated under DE law and some say that is a major source of state income. I hear lots of comments from folks that frequent the beaches that DE beaches (Lewes, Rehoboth, etc.) are like Ocean City,MD was 15 yrs ago (i.e. before it became so popular and overdeveloped in thier opinion). Their beaches never experienced a boom-bust cycle like many Jersey Shore locations. The students at UD have T-shirts that read "Delawhere?" and I think the unofficial slogan is "Small Wonder". No sales tax, low property values and taxes (for eastern seaboard) and lots of poultry farms. Wilmington is the only large city. Dover, the capital is next and has Dover AFB and some nice wine and jazz festivals in the fall. My daughters also tell me alcoholism is high due to the boredom factor. The whole Delmarva peninsula (DElaware, MARyland, VirginiA) is a bit isolated.
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Old 02-03-2009, 09:58 AM   #14
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Ironically, I drive by Longwood Gardens every work day, but I've still never been there. Nor Winterthur, though I've driven by it.

Lots of people in SE PA shop in Northern DE for the tax-free shopping. Technically, you're supposed to write a check to the PA government if you buy something in DE, but no one does.
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Old 02-03-2009, 11:43 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kronk View Post
Ironically, I drive by Longwood Gardens every work day, but I've still never been there. Nor Winterthur, though I've driven by it.

Lots of people in SE PA shop in Northern DE for the tax-free shopping. Technically, you're supposed to write a check to the PA government if you buy something in DE, but no one does.
I don't recall! I always forgot that I was in DE because the border crossing wasn't all that memorable -- until the purchases turned out to be exactly the same as the list price. Ah, those were sweet.
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