By Adam Hlasny
When you think of Delaware, you may associate it with its tiny stature. At 1,949 square miles, it’s the second smallest state in the union. To put it in perspective, 21 Delaware’s would fit into Ohio. Texas could accommodate 134. However, it sure punches above its weight in both the coastal beauty and historical significance departments. There’s no better way to experience the Delaware vibe than by driving the Bayshore Byway, newly designated in 2021. Satisfaction is a shore thing.
As you may remember learning in history class, Delaware was the original state of the United States. Begin your journey in the quaint town of New Castle, home to the first courthouse in Delaware, as well as the former state capitol. Consider that when Delaware voted for independence in 1776, this remarkable building had already been standing for over four decades. Admire its handsome brickwork and buff-colored trim before leisurely strolling the rest of this cobblestoned Colonial mecca. Admire the Delaware River’s glassy expanse, which will widen along with your smile as you turn the car south and continue.
As you approach Bombay Hook National Wildlife Refuge, you may start to realize that this attractive stop is, quite literally, for the birds. The salt marsh sanctuary is home to waterfowl and shorebirds galore. Glimpse an egret gracefully gobbling up a tasty catch, stark white against a green and blue backdrop. Spy a sprinting sandpiper or listen to an Osprey shrieking with the joy of the moment. The list of feathered friends varies considerably by season, so life here is never stagnant.
If you’re feeling crabby, it might be time to hit the beach – Broadkill Beach. In addition to being an official sanctuary for Delaware’s state marine animal – the horseshoe crab – it’s also a place to kick your feet up and get away from the bustle of the road and perhaps of life. Its remoteness from the millions of east coast residents is a huge asset, and you may feel more like you’re in the Carolinas as salty breezes tickle your skin.
There is so much variety packed into these historical environs that you may forget you’re still within a stone’s throw of dynamic metropolises. Delaware’s Bayshore Byway amazes with its historical prominence, sweeping vistas, and broad-ranging magnetism. Being first is no small thing.