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! 🙂
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.
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!
I learned how to make my own potpourri!
Johnson 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!
The First State Heritage Park & Old State House
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.
The John Bell House is where many tours of historic Dover start
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.
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.
Walk Around 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!
There’s a new Golden Fleece Tavern!
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.
I loved the 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!