Delaware

Wonderful beaches, crystal-clear lakes, and magnificent mansions: Delaware, the second smallest state in the US, has more to offer than you might expect. Follow us to the First State and see for yourself!

Delaware facts

Capital: Dover
Area: 6,447 km²
Population: about 990,000
Location: Northeast of the USA
Nickname: The First State, The Diamond State
Hotspots: Cape Henlopen, Delaware Seashore State Park, First State National Historical Park
Time zone: UCT - 5 (Eastern)

Delaware: location & population

Located in the Northeast of the United States, Delaware is the second smallest US state after Rhode Island. On land, it borders Pennsylvania to the North and Maryland to the South and East. In the West, the Delaware River and the Atlantic Ocean form a maritime border with New Jersey. Delaware consists of only three counties, fewer than any other state.

According to the 2020 Census, about 990,000 people live in Delaware today, but the population continues to grow. Around 100,000 people have moved to the state since 2010. In terms of population density, the small state currently ranks sixth in the USA. The largest population groups in the First State are whites (65 %), African Americans (21 %), and Hispanics (4 %). Native Americans from the Lenni Lenape tribe mainly live around the city of Cheswold. They make up about 0.5 % of Delaware's population.

The largest cities in Delaware

Along with Maine, Vermont, West Virginia, and Wyoming, Delaware is one of five US states that does not have a city that reaches the 100,000 population mark. The largest cities in Delaware are:

Cities Population
Wilmington 71,000
Dover 39,000
Newark 31,000
Middletown 23,000
Bear 23,000

Nature and climate

Delaware has the lowest average altitude of all US states. Its highest point is just 140 m above sea level. In the North, Delaware is more urban. This is also where you find the most populous city, Wilmington, which is part of the Boswash megalopolis. South of Wilmington lies the more sparsely populated Atlantic coastal plain, where smaller towns, farmland, and wildlife parks can be found.

Delaware belongs to the humid subtropical climate zone and has four clearly defined seasons. However, the influence of the Atlantic Ocean is clearly noticeable, especially in the south, where temperatures are milder in winter, and there is less snowfall. In summer, the thermometer climbs above the 30 °C mark, turning Delaware into a perfect destination for beach holidays.

Best time to travel to Delaware

Delaware is worth a visit at any time of year, but most tourists are drawn to the First State in summer and autumn.

Delaware in summer

Dewey Beach, Bethany Beach, Rehoboth Beach – the shores of the Delaware Bay are something to behold! In summer, you can enjoy a relaxing time at the beach with temperatures above 30 °C or enjoy outdoor activities on and off the ocean.

Delaware in autumn

Even in autumn, Delaware's beaches are still busy. Also, there are exciting events waiting for you. You can immerse yourself in the world of rock music every September at Delaware's largest festival, the Firefly Music Festival at Dover International Speedway.

Traveling to Delaware

Delaware is home to several regional airports. The most important among them are:

  • Wilmington Airport (ILG)
  • Delaware Coastal Airport (GED)

The nearest international airport is located in Philadelphia in the neighboring state of Pennsylvania. Another option to get to Delaware at a low cost is to fly to Newark Airport in New Jersey or to JFK Airport in New York. For flights between Europe and New York, you can find ticket bargains for as little as € 400.

You can reach Wilmington from New York with a rental car via the I-95 interstate in about two hours. Furthermore, AMTRAK's Acela Express trains connect Boston, New York City, Philadelphia, Wilmington, Baltimore, and Washington, D.C.

Travel authorization Delaware

Don't forget: If you are not a US citizen or Green Card holder, you will need a visa or ESTA to enter Delaware.

ESTA – visa-free to the USA

With an ESTA, you can stay 90 days visa-free in the USA. Apply online now!

Airport transfer in Delaware

If you prefer to fly to Wilmington in Delaware, you have the following options to get to your accommodation:

Public transport from Wilmington Airport

Public transport in Wilmington consists of DART Transit bus lines. A few steps from the airport, you'll find the Tri-State Mall station, where you can hop on the number 13 bus and head downtown. A single ride costs $ 2.

Shuttle from Wilmington Airport

You will find several shuttle service providers in Wilmington. If you need a shuttle from the airport, we recommend you make a reservation before you travel.

Taxi from Wilmington Airport

For a taxi ride in Wilmington, you pay a basic fare of $ 6.45 plus $ 2.17 for each kilometer traveled.

State parks and natural wonders in Delaware

The state of Delaware is notable for its beautiful coastline on the Atlantic Ocean. These are our tips for a relaxing day in nature:

Delaware Seashore State Park

Some of Delaware's most beautiful sandy beaches stretch along the 10 km coastline of Seashore State Park. Here, you can not only get away from it all while sunbathing but also swim, boat, fish, camp, hike, and bike.

Cape Henlopen State Park

Where Delaware Bay meets the Atlantic Ocean, an idyllic nature park stretches out on the Cape Henlopen peninsula. Observe birds, dolphins, seals, and other wildlife, and visit the two prominent lighthouses, East End Breakwater Lighthouse and Harbor of Refuge.

Tip: Learn about the local animals at the Nature Centre and Touch Tank, get up close to the sea creatures at the touch tank and go on guided tours of the bay.

Trap Pond State Park

You won't find any bald cypress trees in the United States further up North than Trap Pond State Park! The best way to explore this large freshwater wetland in far Southwestern Delaware is to hike the 7.8 km long Boundary Trail. Afterwards, you can enjoy fishing on the shores of Trap Pond or kayaking on the lake.

Top 10 sightseeing highlights in Delaware

Delaware impresses with beautiful beaches, picturesque towns, and exciting museums – see for yourself with a tour of the ten most popular sights in the First State.

  • Delaware Seashore State Park
  • Cape Henlopen State Park
  • Lums Pond State Park
  • Bombay Hook National Wildlife Refuge
  • Brandywine Creek
  • Winterthur Museum and Country Estate
  • Delaware Art Museum
  • Nemours Estate
  • Hagley Museum
  • Brandywine Zoo

City highlights in Delaware

Wilmington and Dover, the two largest cities in Delaware, will surprise you with many attractions.

City highlights Wilmington

Delaware's largest city, Wilmington, is full of exciting museums, historic sites, and grand mansions, as well as excellent restaurants and breweries. If you're in the hometown of US President Joe Biden, also be sure to take a stroll along its famous riverwalk.

These city highlights await you in Wilmington:

  • Delaware Art Museum
  • The Delaware Contemporary
  • Delaware Children's Museum
  • Brandywine Creek B
  • randywine Zoo

City highlights Dover

Technology enthusiasts will have a great time in Dover. Not only do the most modern fighter jets of the USA circle above the nearby Air Force Base, but the Air Mobility Command Museum also informs you in detail about the history of American aviation. The world's fastest cars take to the track at the annual NASCAR race at Dover International Speedway in May.

Get inspired by these city highlights in Dover:

  • Air Mobility Command Museum
  • Biggs Museum of American Art
  • Dover International Speedway
  • John Dickinson Plantation
  • First State Heritage Park

Roadtrip in Delaware

Our road trip through Delaware takes us on a journey through the long history of the First State. We start our tour in the North of Delaware at the First State National Historical Park, which was established in 2013 under President Barack Obama. The historic site includes the New Castle Court House Museum with the courthouse and the sheriff's house, the Dover Green Historic District, the Old Swedes' Church, the John Dickinson House, as well as Brandywine Valley and Fort Christina.

We continue by boat to Pea Patch Island, a small island in the Delaware River near Wilmington. Fort Delaware was built here in the early 19th century and is now listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The stronghold often serves as a setting for actors who recreate scenes from the American Civil War in historical costumes.

Magnificent mansions await you when visiting the estates of the DuPont family, who had a great influence in Delaware from the 18th century onwards. On the grounds of the Hagley Museum and Library, you can view the family's first home, the powder factories, a 19th-century machine shop, and a Renaissance-style garden. Similarly opulent is Nemours Mansion and Gardens, the estate of Alfred I. DuPont, which features a large French garden with reflecting pools.

Instagram hotspots in Delaware

Shared joy is double joy: let your friends and followers participate in your experiences in beautiful Delaware. You're sure to get great photos at these five places:

  • Bethany Beach
  • Rehoboth Beach
  • Brandywine Creek
  • Nemours Mansion and Gardens
  • East End Breakwater Lighthouse

Food and drinks in Delaware

Be sure to try these regional delicacies when you're in the First State:

  • Blue Crabs
  • Crab Cakes
  • Capriotti's Bobbie (sandwich with turkey and cranberry sauce)
  • Slippery Dumplings (noodles with chicken gravy)
  • Peach Pie
  • Craft Beer

Fun facts Delaware

Delaware may be small, but it has an impressive history. Did you already know these interesting facts?

  • The US state of Delaware owes its name to the Delaware River and the Delaware Bay. These, in turn, were named in 1610 after the former governor of Virginia, Thomas West, Lord De La Warr.
  • On June 15th, 1776, Delaware declared its independence from Great Britain. It was the first state to ratify the American Constitution and has been nicknamed The First State ever since.
  • Delaware is also nicknamed The Diamond State. Legend has it that Thomas Jefferson once called the strategically well-located East Coast area the "jewel among the states."
  • Not far from Delaware's capital, Dover, you can find the Dover Air Force Base, one of the largest US military bases.
  • From 1973, US President Joe Biden represented the state of Delaware in the Senate for a full 36 years until he became Vice President under Barack Obama in 2009.

Immigrate to Delaware

Have you already fallen in love with small but beautiful Delaware? Check out our tips on living and working in Delaware to find out what you need to know to make your move to the First State easier.

Working in Delaware

The economy is booming in Delaware! The headquarters of many large companies, some of them international, are located in this small state. This is mainly due to the generous tax policy of the state of Delaware, which has the most liberal company law in the USA. The Southern part of the state is more agricultural. Important economic sectors are fishing, poultry production, and the cultivation of soy, corn, potatoes, barley, wheat, and cucumbers. There are also jobs in the production of dairy products, paper processing, and the food processing industry.

Living in Delaware

Delaware is a great place to live! The First State is an attractive place to settle, especially for business people, because of its comparatively low taxes. The costs for housing, transport, food, and so on are about the same as the American average. Even in the largest cities, Wilmington and Dover, you don't have to expect higher rents. If you're looking for Delaware’s best cities to live in, we recommend North Star, Bellefonte, and Pike Creek near Wilmington, as well as the coastal towns of Rehoboth Beach, Bethany Beach, and Lewes.

Travel to Delaware with a Green Card

Would you like to live a laid-back life on the shores of Delaware? If so, you'll need a Green Card to live and work in the USA indefinitely. A comparatively easy way to get a card is through the US government's Green Card Lottery. In the annual lottery, a total of 55,000 of the desired Permanent Resident Cards are given away to winners from all over the world. Sign up now!

Green Card Lottery

Win one of 55,000 Green Cards in the official Green Card Lottery of the US authorities!