The First Town in the First State

Since Lewes was first settled by the Dutch in 1631, the townspeople have taken great pride in their historic and seafaring heritage and enjoy the opportunity of sharing both with visitors.

You can find Lewes situated where the Delaware Bay and the Atlantic Ocean meet (Cape Henlopen). This location provides both bay and ocean beaches for swimming as well as all types of sportfishing and pleasure boating opportunities.

In the over 4,013 acres of preserved lands in Cape Henlopen State Park, you find beautiful beaches, miles of nature trails, bird sanctuaries and an education center.

It is considered part of the Eastern Shore and the Mason–Dixon Line is just 34 miles west of Lewes. This central location has made Lewes an attractive tourist destination, weekend get-away, and a home base for those commuting to their jobs in larger cities.

Lewes is a walking town. Within an area approximately a half-mile square, you will find the Historical Society’s complex and the historic district, containing many of the older preserved homes, museums, over 40 full-service shops that provide a wide selection of unique goods, ranging from antiques to modern gallery art, many fine restaurants where you can take time out and have a relaxing meal and several inns, B&Bs and motels where you can enjoy a comfortable night’s rest after a day on the town.

Lewes is a year-round community. We stay busy during the days and relax at night, even during the visitor season.  Fun-filled days, relaxing nights, history and natural beauty everywhere you look…that’s Lewes!!  Please come visit us and enjoy a little of this quality of life with us!

To make your stay more pleasant, here are things to know about Lewes.

Lately, it is becoming more popular for those retirees who wish a more relaxed lifestyle. Lewes, through wise planning and self determination, has maintained the balance between modern living and historic preservation. Growth, both in the business and residential areas, has been encouraged but controlled, so that Lewes continues to be the family-oriented town that has attracted many people over the years.

Sussex County

Sussex County is the largest of the three counties of Delaware, comprising 605,403 acres. The eastern border of Sussex contains the bay and 24 miles of ocean coastline stretching southward from Cape Henlopen to Fenwick Island at the Maryland state line. The southern and western area is bounded by Maryland, with Delaware’s Nanticoke River draining into the Chesapeake Bay.

The composition of the area includes forests, marshland, ocean and bay beaches, bay, river, ocean, and freshwater ponds including the cypress ponds — the farthest north the southern bald cypress tree reaches in south central Sussex.

Recreational activities are available all year within five state parks, two state forests, twenty state fish and wildlife facilities, and a national wildlife refuge.

Sussex County’s economy is divided among agriculture (mainly through the poultry industry), manufacturing and commerce, and recreation and tourism. Sussex County is within a half-day’s ride of Norfolk, Richmond, and New York City, and within two hours of Baltimore, Washington, D.C., and Philadelphia. The cost of living and conducting a business is less than nearby metropolitan areas.


Delaware, located on the Mid-Atlantic coast of the United States, is composed of 1,982 square miles in land area. Over 783,000 people reside in Delaware, making it the fourth least populated state. However, only six other states are more densely populated. New Castle County is the most heavily populated of the three counties. Sussex County has exceeded the national average in population growth. Historically, Delaware was the first state to ratify the Constitution and Lewes was the first settlement in the state.

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