Delaware Bayshore Scenic Byway

Details

  • DesignationNational Scenic Byway (2021)
  • Intrinsic QualitiesHistoric
  • LocationDE
  • Length100 miles
Byway Visitor Information
Delaware Greenways
Statewide Byway Partners
Delaware Department of Transportation
Visit Delaware
Glowing orange sunset shimmering off the waters of the Delaware River from Fort Delaware State Park
Fort Delaware State Parks Photo

Overview

The Delaware Bayshore Byway is the perfect route for visitors to take if they want to go up or down most of the coastline of the great state of Delaware. This Byway has about 100 miles of travel and passes by the best nature and history that Delaware has to offer. Along the coast visitors can see some of the great historic river towns while also being able to see the preserved coastal marshlands. With plenty of wildlife and scenery, the Delaware Bayshore Byway has a lot to offer for visitors who want to take the trip.

Local Byway Partners

Story of the Byway

The Delaware Bayshore Byway is incredibly unique in that it runs throughout most of the state along its beautiful coastline. This route contains just about everything needed for a great weekend trip with accommodations throughout the road. There are hotels, campsites, and restaurants galore for a multi-day trip, which is needed if you want to experience everything this Byway has to offer. There is plenty of protected land along this road that provides beautiful scenery for any visitor as well as some important wildlife information that can be taught during the trip. In addition to wildlife, the history throughout this route is rich, with possible stops in the cities of Old New Castle and Dover which are landmarks in the state.

A trip through the Delaware Bayshore Byway would not be complete without recognition of the wildlife that can be witnessed. The coastline of Delaware and this Byway runs directly with the Atlantic Flyway for migrating birds, and the possibilities for birdwatching are endless. Whether it be while driving or at one of the many points of interest, there is the chance to see beautiful migrating shorebirds that are not always there at any other point in the year. Since this Byway runs parallel to the Atlantic Flyway, you have the ability to make the same journey that these beautiful birds do during their migration through the state of Delaware. Other than wildlife, there is also opportunity to see the beautiful, protected marshes and lands that the Byway runs through.

In addition to the wildlife and scenic views along this byway, this route has no shortage of historical significance. Since the Byway spans 100 miles throughout the state of Delaware, there are plenty of different locations that can showcase the rich history. If you start from the northernmost point, you are immediately in the historic city of New Castle. Here, visitors can go through the historic district of the city and visit any of the three museums that detail the significance of the land. Along the way, visitors can travel to the George Read II House, Fort Delaware, the Historic Town of Odessa, and much more. These museums and towns are cornerstones of the state, and the Byway passes right through them all, leading to a great trip full of incredibly significant history.

This Byway has it all for anyone that wants to take the journey through the 100-mile road. When it comes to wildlife, it is hard to find a journey more significant than this one along the Atlantic Flyway. It can be in the spring or in the fall that visitors can see the wide variety of birds on their journey of migration, which is hard to find anywhere else. For those who want to view the scenery and the beautiful nature scenes, the protected marshes, natural beaches, and tranquil open vistas are perfect spots to take a rest and just relax. The Delaware Bayshore Byway can prove to be significant and influential to many who decide to take the trip and is perfect for a nice weekend away.

Driving Directions

With New Castle being the northernmost point and Lewes the southernmost, starting at either end are both great options for this trip. Throughout the Byway, visitors travel along the coast of the state, through the entirety of Kent County and into Sussex County. There are also plenty of stops to local beach towns throughout the byway and runs right past Dover, the state capital.

Points of Interest

  • Historic City of New Castle

    The City of New Castle's historic district that hold history from when the city was founded in 1651 as a Dutch Colony.

  • George Read II House

    A Historic 14,000 square foot mansion built in 1801 by the son of one of Delaware's signers of the Declaration of Independence.

  • Woodland Beach Wildlife Area

    This wildlife area has over 6,000 acres of land that houses a plethora of different animals. The main priority of the area is to give the public reserved land for hunting and fishing.

  • Air Mobility Command Museum

    Visitors can view vintage aircrafts and much more at this amazing museum that is attached to the Dover Air Force Base.

Itinerary

  • A Day along the Delaware Coast

    Starting from New Castle and heading South along the Delaware Bayshore Byway on Route 9, you have the opportunity to take a pleasant drive down the coastline of the first State for about 100 miles. Right from the start, history buffs have the chance to experience the Historic City of New Castle, or even the historic town of Odessa which has been preserved for decades and has museums galore. If the nature and scenery is more of what you are looking for, the Woodland Beach Wildlife Area can be found south of New Castle along the Byway from Route 9. As you head south towards St. Jones Neck, the Byway branches off into multiple different roadways, many of which leading straight to the beautiful Delaware beaches. At this point, the possibilities are truly endless for any visitor. The Southern portion of this Byway has everything from the Prime Hook National Wildlife Refuge to the historic town of Milton that was originally settled in 1672. There is also plenty of opportunity for recreation along the southern portion of this Byway. Locations such as Mispillion Riverwalk and the Dupont Nature Center are great spots to get out of the car and participate in some fun activities. For those that are taking this Byway down to one of Delaware’s beaches, there are plenty of lodging options that can be found along the way as well.

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