52 Weeks of Fun

Not Just Destination Finders, But Destination Storytellers


, Visit Delaware

Lewes Chamber of Commerce and Visitor Bureau

The First Town in the First State


Local Attractions

The City of Lewes, Delaware is located where the Delaware Bay and the Atlantic Ocean meet, known as Cape Henlopen. This small historic town was founded by the Dutch in 1631 as a whaling and trading post. Since Delaware was the first state to ratify the Constitution of the United States, Lewes has earned the nickname “The First Town in the First State.”

In 1682, the Delaware colonies were given to William Penn by English King Charles II in payment of family debt. When Penn arrived in the New World, he renamed the settlement as Lewes, in commemoration of sites back in England.

During the War of 1812, Lewes was bombarded by HMS Poictiers, and a cannonball from that assault is lodged in the foundation of Cannonball House, which now serves as the town's maritime museum. In 1941, the United States built Fort Miles on Cape Henlopen, immediately south of Lewes, to defend Delaware Bay and the Delaware River and the oil refineries and factories on its shores, as well as the city of Philadelphia. It was one of the largest and most heavily armed coastal fortifications ever built.

In addition to its history, this charming city offers a variety of activities, including a wonderful historic district, with architecture dating back to the 17th century, museums, special tours, cozy accommodations, restaurants to please any palate, and unique shops and boutiques all within walking distance of each other. Lewes is also home to several iconic lighthouses, including one of only nine surviving lightships in the United States.

, Lewes Chamber of Commerce
, Lewes Chamber of Commerce

A 52 Weeks of Fun Fascinating Fact about Lewes

The First Town in the First State

Upcoming Events

Coming Soon: To do, see, stay, etc