The First State
Delaware is located on the Atlantic Coast in the Mid-Atlantic region of the United States bordered by Maryland, Pennsylvania and New Jersey. Spring and fall are the nicest seasons, but remember to carry an umbrellas, as the weather can be unpredictable. Delaware has beautiful beaches that have become popular getaway locations for Mid-Atlantic and Northeastern residents. The most popular beaches are Rehoboth Beach, Lewes (known for its historic district), Dewey Beach (popular with college students) and Bethany Beach (popular with families). The state of Delaware is also well known for having no sales tax and for being the first state to adopt the U.S. Constitution. Points of interests include Delaware Canal historic areas, Delaware Bay and seashore, Fort Delaware, and Dover and Wilmington cultural attractions to name a few. To travel around the state, you will need to rent a car or book a bus or train ticket. For more information visit: visitdelaware.com.
Jump to: Historical Sites & Tourist Attractions | Arts & Culture | Sports & Recreation | Outdoor Activities | Food | Local Festivals | Housing Resources | Transportation | Health & Safety | Help Your Community
Historical Sites & Tourist Attractions
Add some local history to your cultural exchange experience by visiting a nearby historical site or tourist attraction when living and working in the U.S.
The Delaware History Museum features collections and exhibits that excite all its visitors about the natural world. The museum is located in Wilmington and is open daily.
The Hagley Museum and Library is an outdoor museum along the Brandywine River that tells the story of early American industry and 19th century industrialization. Visitors can also see the DuPont estate, the restored gunpowder mill and various machines and equipment used in the DuPont mills.
First State Heritage Park Welcome Center and Galleries is in the state capital and historic city of Dover, Delaware. Visitors will find exhibits on Delaware history at the Visitor Center, historic buildings, museums and walking tours led by guides in traditional clothing from the 18th century.
The Nanticoke Indian Museum is a small museum in Millsboro with artifacts and cultural objects from the Nanticoke Indian tribe, including some artifacts that date back to 8000 B.C.
Learn about Delaware’s history at the Seaford Museum, located in a restored 1930’s post office. The museum’s exhibits and artifacts teach visitors about the Nanticoke Indians, life during the Civil War and other important moments in Delaware’s history.
Rehoboth Beach is an area along the southern coast of Delaware and a popular summer destination. Funland, Jungle Jims Water Park and the Midway Speedway Park are a few of the tourist attractions that can be found around Rehoboth Beach.
The DiscoverSea Shipwreck Museum in nearby Fenwick Island, DE highlights the maritime history and culture of the area and displays artifacts recovered from shipwrecks.
Visit the Rehoboth Beach Museum to learn about the history of the area through exhibits, events, tours, lectures and other programs.
The Delaware State Capitol (or Legislative Hall) in Dover, Delaware. Photo by Joshua Daniel Franklin.
Arts & Culture
The United States offers a wide variety of cultural learning opportunities through the arts. Dance, music, theater, opera, art museums and festivals are just some of the options available to international visitors who wish to experience the U.S. and its culture.
Art Museums & Centers
- Biggs Museum of American Art, Dover
- Delaware Art Museum, Wilmington
- Delaware Center for the Contemporary Arts, Wilmington
- Delaware Division of the Arts Mezzanine Gallery, Wilmington
- Rehoboth Art League, Rehoboth Beach
- Rehoboth Beach Film Society, Rehoboth Beach
- University of Delaware Old College Gallery, Newark
- Clear Space Theatre Company, Rehoboth Beach
- Delaware Comedy Theatre, Rehoboth Beach
- Delaware Symphony Orchestra, Wilmington
- DuPont Theatre, Wilmington
- First State Ballet Theatre, Wilmington
- The Grand Opera House, Wilmington
- Opera Delaware, Wilmington
- Resident Ensemble Players (REP) at University of Delaware, Newark
- Schwartz Center for the Arts, Dover
Sports & Recreation
Many Americans are passionate about sports – and not just baseball and football! Get a glimpse into this part of American culture by watching or participating in a favorite U.S. sport or recreational activity in your local area.
College and League Sports
Delaware has no professional teams but college sports often get a large following, especially the University of Delaware Blue Hens. Other college sports teams include:
- Delaware State Hornets, Delaware State University
- Wesley Wolverines, Wesley College
- Wilmington Wildcats, Wilmington University
The Wilmington Blue Rocks are a minor league baseball team playing at Frawley Stadium in Wilmington.
The Dover International Speedway hosts NASCAR races, IRL IndyCar series and other races on the track known as the Monster Mile.
A view of the beach in Rehoboth Beach, Delaware. Photo by Dough4872.
The United States is home to a variety of landscapes and climates to suit all types of outdoor activities. The courageous traveler can find extreme sports and outdoor adventure tours, while others may want to keep both feet on the ground in a national park or forest. Whatever your interests, take advantage of the many outdoor activities available during your time in the United States.
Camping is available in many state parks across Delaware, including cabin and yurt rentals. Note: Some campgrounds are closed in winter months, and reservations are strongly recommended.
Cape Henlopen State Park in Lewes has two designated swimming beaches, a golf course, picnic area, hiking and bike trails and basketball court. The park is also a popular site for events like the Kite Festival and educational programs.
Delaware beaches are a popular destination for visitors and residents of nearby states like Maryland, Pennsylvania, New Jersey and Washington, D.C. Swimming, boating, surfing, kayaking, kite boarding, sailing and other water sports are available on beaches in Delaware. On land, visitors can enjoy biking, running, hiking, basketball, volleyball, baseball and parks.
Fenwick Island State Park is a three-mile area between Bethany Beach and Fenwick Island near the border of Delaware and Maryland. The beach has designated surfing and swimming areas, and visitors can rent chairs, umbrellas and rafts in the summer. Ocean fishing is also popular in this area.
Wilmington State Parks, a group of four state parks, have many attractions and outdoor activities like the Brandywine Zoo, hiking, biking, running, athletic fields and areas to picnic and barbecue.
Find information on outdoor activities in Delaware on the Delaware State Parks website.
One of the best ways to experience cultural exchange is through food and cooking. Visitors will enjoy exploring the regional specialties and local cuisine during their time in the United States.
Delaware has a mixed cuisine, with influences from early English settlers, the cooking styles of the Chesapeake Bay region and recent immigrant groups that have settled in the area. Seafood is common, such as crab cakes, oysters and shrimp. Fresh produce like peaches and apples are also popular in Delaware (check out the peach and apple festivals in our Food Festival section below).
Find a local Delaware farmers’ market for fresh fruit and vegetables and other local goods at the State of Delaware website.
- Rehoboth Beach Chocolate Festival, Rehoboth Beach, March
- Rehoboth Beach Restaurant Week, Rehoboth Beach, June
- Wilmington Greek Festival, Wilmington, June
- Wyoming Peach Festival, Wyoming, August
- Bridgeville Apple Scrapple Festival, Bridgeville, October
For a unique and local perspective on American cultural, be sure to check out festivals and events near your cultural exchange program location. These events are a fun and interesting way to interact with locals and to learn more about American culture by experiencing it firsthand.
Old Dover Days in May celebrate Delaware’s history as the First State with Maypole dancing, parades, food, colonial clothing, walking tours, arts and crafts and other activities and events.
Firefly Music Festival is a large event attracting top bands and artists to Dover over three days in June. Tickets are available for single days or three-day passes and food, drinks, activities and camping are also available during the festival.
DuPont Clifford Brown Jazz Festival is a free outdoor music event in Wilmington’s Rodney Square. Live concerts are held at noon and in the evenings on weekdays and throughout the day on Saturday at this weeklong event.
The annual Delaware State Fair is held in Harrington each July and features carnival rides, agricultural shows, live music, arts and crafts, competitions, many food vendors and much more.
The Nanticoke Indian Pow-wow in September celebrates Native American culture and the heritage of the Nanticoke Indians with music, dancing, art and traditional crafts. Tours of the Nanticoke Indian Museum are also available at the pow-wow, located in Millsboro.
The World Championship Punkin Chunkin in Bridgeville, DE is a November event that revolves around a pumpkin-throwing contest known as “punkin chunkin," and it is the oldest and largest event of its type in the United States. The event also includes carnival rides, food vendors, live music, fireworks, cooking competitions and more.
For more festivals in Delaware, visit the state’s tourism website and Delaware events page.
The Dewey Arts Festival in May is a fun, family-friendly event featuring arts and crafts, artists, live music, food, children's activities and more!
Enjoy free movies every Monday night at Dewey Beach during the summer. Family-friendly movies are shown in June, July and August. Dewey Beach also hosts Wednesday night bonfires - perfect for making s'mores - throughout the summer.
The annual Sandcastle Contest on Rehoboth Beach attracts over 800 talented participants and 100 teams each August. Visitors can watch the teams in action as they sculpt huge sandcastles and other creative creations out of sand.
Downtown Wilmington, Delaware and the Christina River. Photo by Tim Kiser.
Employers may be able to assist with housing during your time in the United States, but this is not always possible for all participants. When looking for housing during your cultural exchange program, consider the cost of the accommodation, the distance to your work place and the amount of time you will be in the United States.
It's also important to avoid fraudulent housing. It is highly recommended that you secure short-term housing upon arrival (e.g. in a hostel) and conduct your housing search once you are in the U.S. Never give your financial information to a stranger over the Internet. Browse the Housing Information guides for InterExchange participants below for more tips and advice.
General Housing Information
- Housing information for Work and Travel USA participants
- Housing information for Career Training USA interns and trainees
Delaware Housing Resources
Some examples of housing and accommodation resources for Delaware participants include:
- Craigslist - Delaware
- American Homestay Agency
- Hostelling International
Public transportation options can be hit or miss, depending on your location in the United States. Buses are a common transportation option for short and long-term travel in the U.S., while some areas will also have trains, subways and other options.
Visit the American Public Transportation Association website for a complete list of public transportation options in your local community.
Public Transit Systems
The primary public transit system in Delaware is the DART First State system, which includes buses in Wilmington, Newark, Dover, coastal Delaware and Elkton in Maryland, and train service to Philadelphia on the SEPTA rail system.
In Rehoboth Beach, the Jolly Trolley operates a daily shuttle between Rehoboth and Dewey Beach.
A ferry for cars and passengers travels between Lewes and Cape May, New Jersey.
Greyhound has limited bus service in Delaware to Dover, Wilmington and the University of Delaware, connecting to locations like New York City, Baltimore, Cleveland, Philadelphia and Pittsburgh.
Megabus travels between Newark and Baltimore, New York City or Washington, D.C.
Peter Pan has an express bus service between Wilmington and New York City.
Amtrak trains stop in Newark and Wilmington and connect via bus to Dover. Routes include the Acela Express, Cardinal/Hoosier State, Carolinian/Piedmont, Crescent, Northeast Regional, Silver Service/Palmetto and the Vermonter.
Read about biking in Delaware from the Delaware Bicycle Council, including bike maps, safety tips, biking resources and more.
Health & Safety
Participants in Delaware can use the following resources in case of an emergency or extreme weather event in their area:
Emergency Management Agencies
Delaware Emergency Management Agency
- Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) www.fema.gov and www.ready.gov
- Delaware FEMA updates @femaregion3
Help Your Community
Interact with others and expand your skill set by volunteering in your local community. Volunteer organizations are often looking for short-term volunteers or for individuals to help with a single event, making it a great option for InterExchange participants who wish to add to their cultural exchange experience during their time in the United States.
Volunteermatch.org, Idealist.org and Serve.gov are three general volunteer websites that match local organizations with volunteers in their communities.
Help build housing for families in need with Habitat for Humanity in Delaware. Find a local affiliate and sign up as a volunteer – no experience required! Both individuals and groups are welcome to volunteer.
Volunteer Delaware connects organizations in need of help with volunteers looking for opportunities. Use the online search engine to find a volunteer opportunity based on your location, interests and time commitment.
Food Bank of Delaware offers volunteer opportunities for groups and individuals. Volunteers can help sort food, repack items and assemble meals for after-school and summer programs, or commit to long-term assignments in other areas of the food bank.
Volunteer with the Rehoboth Beach Film Society to help with special events like the Rehoboth Beach Independent Film Festival. Contact the society to learn more.