7 Historic Sights to See in One Day in Dover

July 9, 2018 24 Comments

I was recently invited to go on a tour of Dover, Delaware with Kent County Tourism, and it was an awesome trip! I’ve driven through Delaware more times than I can count, and even though I lived in Maryland for 10 years and I’ve lived in Philadelphia for 3 years, I’ve never actually explored Delaware. I loved getting to experience some of the state, and here are all the historic sights you can see in one day in Dover! 🙂

7 Historic Sights to See in One Day in Dover

Air Mobility Command Museum

Air Mobility Command Museum

Did you know that the retired Air Force Two is in Dover, AND you can go on it? I didn’t know before visiting the Air Mobility Command Museum, and it was really cool! It’s flown Vice Presidents, First Ladies, and other important people all the way up to the Michelle Obama and Joe Biden, so you can experience how they flew in style (it’s much better than the budget airline cabin seats I fly in).

The museum also has a lot of historical pieces from WWII, and it was really interesting to see how planes have changed over the years. I was in the museum for an hour, but I recommend going for two hours or more to really be able to see it all.

Air Mobility Command Museum

Air Force Two

Air Mobility Command Museum

John Dickinson Plantation

John Dickinson Plantation

Living in Philadelphia, I get to see historic sights from the Revolutionary War almost every day, so it was fun getting to experience a place from that time period outside the city. John Dickinson was one of the Founding Fathers, and his plantation in Dover, Delaware is still in great condition. He was one of the delegates from Delaware, he wrote the first draft of the Articles of Confederation, and he was the President of Delaware, which I learned is what they used to call the governor of Delaware!

John Dickinson Plantation

John Dickinson Plantation

John Dickinson Plantation

I learned how to make my own potpourri!

John Dickinson Plantation

Johnson Victrola Museum

Victrola Museum

I’ve seen Thomas Edison’s phonographs at the Edison and Ford Winter Estate and the Burroughs Home in Florida so it was cool to follow that up with a Victrola museum! Dover native Eldridge Reeves Johnson founded the Victor Talking Machine Company in 1901, and the Johnson Victrola Museum goes through the different developments of the Victrola and the interesting history of Nipper, the company’s famous canine mascot!

Victrola Museum

Victrola Museum

The First State Heritage Park & Old State House

Historic Dover

Dover has a lot of historic buildings around the First State Heritage Park, and the Old State House is one of the oldest. Built in 1792, it served as Delaware’s capitol building until 1933. It has a courtroom and chambers of the state legislature, and it’s been restored to its 1700s original look. 

Historic Dover

Dover courthouse

Dover courthouse

Historic Dover

The John Bell House is where many tours of historic Dover start

Historic Dover

You know how it says “The First State” on Delaware’s license plates? It’s because Delaware ratified the Constitution at the Golden Fleece Tavern, making it the First State of the United States! Our awesome tour guide told us the story behind it and showed us the spot where the Golden Fleece Tavern used to stand. 

The Golden Fleece Tavern

Historic Dover

Grey Fox Grille & Public House

Grey Fox Grille & Public House

If you want a place to stop for lunch, the Grey Fox Grille & Public House was great! It was built in 1881 as a home, and it was later turned into a funeral home and then a restaurant. Instead of looking like your typical restaurant, this restaurant still has the Victorian house feel, and you can dine in one of the former parlors. 

Grey Fox Grille & Public House

Grey Fox Grille & Public House

Walk Around Downtown Dover

Downtown Dover

Dover has such a cute downtown area! There are lots of shops and restaurants in the historic buildings, and I wish I had more time there to explore them all. And I loved how colorful many of the buildings were!

Downtown Dover

Downtown Dover

Dover farmer's market

Downtown Dover

There’s a new Golden Fleece Tavern!

Downtown Dover

Downtown Dover

Downtown Dover

Downtown Dover

Downtown Dover

Historic Belmont Hall

Historic Belmont Hall

Historic Belmont Hall is used for events now, but it has a pretty cool history. It was built in 1773, and it was the first meeting place of the Delaware Assembly. A sentinel was warning the Continental Army when he was killed by British soldiers in the house in 1777, and a plaque dedicated to him still hangs in the house.

Historic Belmont Hall

Historic Belmont Hall

Historic Belmont Hall

Historic Belmont Hall

Historic Belmont Hall gardens

I loved the gardens!

Historic Belmont Hall gardens

Historic Belmont Hall gardens

Historic Belmont Hall gardens

There are many more historic sights in Dover to see, but these are the some of the best historic sights to see in one day in Dover! I definitely want to go back to explore more now 🙂 And thanks to Kent County Tourism for introducing me to this historic city!

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Julia

24 Comments

  1. Reply

    Tonya Moken

    July 9, 2018

    Wow, this looks like a great weekend away!

    • Reply

      Julia

      July 9, 2018

      It’s an awesome weekend trip from Philly! 🙂

  2. Reply

    Jennifer

    July 9, 2018

    Wow. I usually drive through Dover on my way to somewhere else. Looks like I need to pause and check it out.

    • Reply

      Julia

      July 9, 2018

      Yes it’s definitely worth a stop!

  3. Reply

    Darla Slade

    July 10, 2018

    What?! Where are you from in MD?! I live in Columbia, but frequently drive from MD to visit my hometown in NJ. I rarely stop in DE (“Yay…Delaware….” quote Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure) since we travel with our doggies, but good to know for when they stay with they’re doggie grandparents and we’re passing thru! Always wondered what was there 🙂

    • Reply

      Julia

      July 10, 2018

      I’m from Rockville! You should definitely stop by Dover the next time you go through!

  4. Reply

    Julia

    July 10, 2018

    Dover looks so cute! I love those typical buildings and houses. The restaurant is beautiful, although it’s slightly creepy that it was a funeral house at some point haha.
    It’s great that you got to discover a new place, and thank you for sharing it with us! 🙂

    Julia x
    http://www.juliaspeaksbeauty.blogspot.co.uk

    • Reply

      Julia

      July 10, 2018

      It really is a cute little town! Thankfully the restaurant didn’t look like a funeral home anymore!

  5. Reply

    Sarah | Shades of Sarah

    July 11, 2018

    Wow, it looks beautiful! All I knew about Delaware was that it was the first state, but I can see how it’d be a nice place to explore. Great photos, as always!

    ~ Sarah

    • Reply

      Julia

      July 11, 2018

      Thanks! 🙂 Yeah it’s definitely worth exploring, especially since we live so close!

  6. Reply

    Em

    July 11, 2018

    Dover looks like such a pretty place! I wish we had somewhere like that in the UK!

    • Reply

      Julia

      July 11, 2018

      I hope you can find a place like it! 🙂 It was so much fun to explore!

  7. Reply

    G Windley

    July 13, 2018

    For those traveling to Dover from the DC area, check out the waterfront restaurants on the way or way back at the Kent Narrows Waterfront. Freshest seafood around. Great views!
    Kentnarrowsmd.com. Makes for the perfect Delmarva Experience!

    • Reply

      Julia

      July 13, 2018

      Good tip, thanks!

  8. Reply

    Kristen

    July 13, 2018

    Wow there’s so much to see! I had no idea. I hope to make it out to that part of the US someday.

    • Reply

      Julia

      July 13, 2018

      Yeah I was surprised how much there was to see in such a small area!

  9. Reply

    Tyas

    July 13, 2018

    Dover looks like the ideal place for me to stroll around the area and look around the historical sites! I want to go there, really. You took such awesome pictures, Julia!

    • Reply

      Julia

      July 14, 2018

      Thank you! 🙂 It really is a beautiful place!

  10. Reply

    Kalyn

    July 14, 2018

    Love how many pictures you’ve got here – we want to explore the US a lot more in the coming years, and this seems like a perfect itinerary to start with. Thanks for sharing!

    • Reply

      Julia

      July 14, 2018

      Thank you! 🙂 You should definitely add Dover to your list!

  11. Reply

    Katie

    July 14, 2018

    Wow there is so much to see and do there! I’ve never visited Delaware before – still so much for me to see in the US!

    • Reply

      Julia

      July 14, 2018

      Same! I’ve visited a lot of states, but there’s still so much to see

  12. Reply

    Phoebe

    July 14, 2018

    I can’t believe that this is just in Delaware. I love walking around in small towns like this. We should check it out!. Your pics look amazing.

    • Reply

      Julia

      July 14, 2018

      Thank you! I love checking out small towns, too!

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