Aptly situated right smack in the heart of Delaware is the capital city, Dover. This Kent County community was once the center of history-making events tied to the Constitution era. Today, as a travelers’ destination, Dover adds exciting entertainment to its unique historic sites.
The Old State House (built in 1791) and the John Dickinson Plantation, where United States Constitution signer John Dickinson once lived, reveal Dover’s strong governmental and British-American colonial roots. Since Delaware was the first state to approve the U.S. Constitution in 1787, Delaware tourists might be interested in standing on the very same grounds where colonial leaders gathered to cast their momentous votes for the law of the land. The historic voting took place at Dover’s Green historic park on State Street. Since 1933, this Dover attraction has been center stage for enlightening festivals and parades that celebrate the past during the annual Dover Days events in May.
If visiting Dover at other times of the year, discover more remnants of history in the city's museums. On North Dupont Highway, the Delaware Agricultural Museum and Village eagerly shares with the public its Loockerman Landing exhibit, which replicates the village communities of the 1890s. Venture through the Biggs Museum of American Art, on Federal Street, to see art preserved since the 1700s and antique clocks and chairs salvaged from the 1800s. On Heritage Road, Dover’s Air Mobility Command Museum enlightens patrons on the history of military airplanes with exhibits of actual aircraft used in previous wars.
Those visiting Dover should not overlook the Amish community on the west side of the city. The Amish enclave, which has been a part of Dover since the early 1900s, welcomes visitors into its neighborhoods, stores and auctions. Byler’s Country Store on Rose Valley School Road beckons customers to its Bake Shoppe and Deli, stocked with cheeses and cinnamon rolls. Spence’s Bazaar and Auction on South New Street lets the public shop for antiques in a flea-market-like environment. Participating in the Amish Country Bike Tour is one of the best ways to get a feel for the Amish countryside in Dover. Participants can cycle past Amish farms and houses, viewing their neat layouts and colorful accoutrements. This annual Dover attraction has drawn huge crowds of cyclists of all ages.
About six miles east of the quiet Amish community is the much noisier and faster-paced Dover Downs, right off North Dupont Highway. The complex includes the Dover International Speedway and accommodates both NASCAR and harness racing events. Reserve a day during your stay in Dover to cheer on your favorite drivers or bet on the horses. The Dover Downs Hotel and Casino caters to tourists, with lively bars and spa amenities for gearing up or winding down. A fitting end to a trip to Dover, a day at the races may well be history in the making.