A few weeks ago, we went to the beach for the first time with the camper. Hopefully, this will be the first of many beach trips, since my little Pisces wife is dying here in the Pennsylvania winter! (Had to make an astrological reference to get back in touch with my AVL roots.)
There were a few factors that led to us ending up at Cape Henlopen State Park in Delaware – one of which was the DE State Parks COUPON that Heather found. Girl LOVES a coupon!
Cape Henlopen was EVERYTHING we could have wanted:
- Tons of trails within the park for dog walks and bike rides
- BEACH ACCESS!!
- A lighthouse and fishing pier (people watch the dolphins here but we didn’t catch any)
- Historic Fort Miles
- A SWEET nature center where we touched rays and horseshoe crabs (they have anti-bacterial blood!)
- A Hawk watch – We saw an Eagle!!
- Bike trails from the campground all the way into town
Cape Henlopen is just north of Dewey and Rehoboth beaches, both of which I’d been to as a kid, but I’d never heard of Cape Henlopen. The State Park was in the city of Lewes, which was SO bikeable. Apparently, DE is the most bike-friendly state in the US. And as a visitor and car-wary rider, I found it very safe and non-intimidating. Once we even rode from the campground into town where we explored a bit and then rode on to a brewery and back to camp. It was so easy and ALL on a bike specific path or lane! It was seriously amazing.
Fun story – I got locked in the bathroom at Big Oyster and had to call the restaurant from inside while trying not to sound like a total weirdo. The convo went something like this: “Hey, I know this is going to sound so strange, but I am at your restaurant right now…” Good times!
We didn’t realize until we started exploring how much history there was in Lewes! A few spots we really enjoyed in the town of area:
- Big Oyster Brewery
- Vintage Underground
- Revelation Brewery
- Ryves Holt House
- Dogfish Head – Not in Lewes, but it’s basically a required stop
During our week there we ran on the beach, watched the sunrise almost every morning, met some new friends who shared their campsite dinner with us (hey Mike, Dana and Patrick!), and walked Gertie on the beach for the first time. It was quite cold and windy at times while we were there, but there’s a special beauty in wintery beaches. We were 100% alone for every sunrise and only saw a few people during our daytime walks and runs. I know Cape Henlopen is packed in the summer with all they have to offer – so it was cool to experience it like this. Our campsite neighbors, now friends, had been coming here for 28 years so there is obviously something special there!
The unexpected cherry on top of our stay was the holiday light show.
We were advised by a friend to check it out if we were in Lewes, and it was right in our backyard – literally! The light show was in the campground but not supposed to be “active” until the next weekend. One night we came back from dinner and everything was lit up — we were so pumped! We spent an hour walking around the grounds, loving all the festivity.
From there we escaped impending ice and snow to spend Thanksgiving with family before we head to Hawaii next week!