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Travel Guide

By Land | By Sea | By Air | Map Links

Southern Delaware, as part of the greater Delmarva Peninsula, has long been one of the best kept secrets of the Eastern Seaboard, simply because of its geographical isolation. In fact, it could be said, because of the Chesapeake & Delaware Canal - connecting the Chesapeake Bay and the Delaware Bay - the Peninsula is actually an island.

Southern Delawareans share a common heritage with others on the Delmarva Peninsula, otherwise referred to as "The Eastern Shore", earmarked by rugged individualism, self reliance, self determination and a "can do" attitude.

Modern transportation has brought Southern Delaware in touch with tens of thousands of visitors, tourists, relocating businesses, retirees and new residents. According to the Sussex County Convention and Tourism Commission. More people now visit Southern Delaware yearly, than do Hawaii.

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By Land

Sussex County is within two hours of Philadelphia, Pa., Baltimore, MD., Washington, D.C. and Norfolk, VA. by automobile.

From the North - You have two options - efficient or scenic. The Delaware Turnpike (Route 1) is now finished and provides a four lane, limited access ride directly south from I95 to Dover, then on a southeasterly course to the Beach Areas. For a scenic drive drop down on to U.S. 13 from Interstate 95. Both Route 1 and US 13 will allow you the opportunity to utilize the new St. George's Bridge - over the Chesapeake and Delaware Canal - a engineering feat utililizing a single center suspension span. South of Dover you can continue southward on U.S. 13 or divert eastward on U.S. 113.

From the West - Cross over the Chesapeake Bay from Annapolis to Kent Island using U.S. 50/301 on the Wm. Preston Lane Jr. Memorial Bridge - commonly referred to as "the Bay Bridge". The bridge is high enough to accomodate ocean going craft, including aircraft carriers under it. On a clear day, from the top, you can see several miles north and south, including such sites as the Naval Academy. U.S. 50 turns southward down the peninsula. From 50 you have three major choices:
--- turn eastward on MD Route 404 at Wye Mills, which will bring you out at Bridgeville, DE.
--- turn eastward on MD Route 331 at Easton, three route changes lay between there and DE Route 20 into Seaford, DE.
--- "Webmaster's ~.~ Favorite": turn eastward on Route 54 at a small town named Mardela Springs, its located @ 16 miles south of Cambridge, MD. Route 54 brings you past the #1 Cornerstone of the Mason - Dixon Line, and on, into Delmar - "The Town To Big For One State" and the "Gateway of Southern Delaware". This "well kept secret" is the most efficient way of reaching Fenwick without hassling summer traffic. Besides coming through Delmar, you get to sample Southern Delaware's backroads - AND - travel through The Great Bald Cypress Swamp - North America's most northern stand of Bald Cypress.

From the South - Cross over the mouth of the Chesapeake Bay using U.S. Route 13 on the Chesapeake Bay Bridge Tunnel. The Bay Bridge Tunnel, built in the 1960's, takes you under the Bay in two places to a depth of some 60 feet. These two tunnels allow ocean going craft to access, among other places in the Chesapeake Bay, the harbour at Baltimore and the Naval Yards at Hampton Roads. At Pocomoke City, MD you have a choice of remaining on Route 13 which will bring you into Delmar, or switching to U.S. Route 113, which will bring you into Selbyville.

From the East - Yes, from the east! One more option does exist for accessing Southern Delaware with your automobile. Using the Garden State Parkway, south to the tip of New Jersey, you can cross the mouth of the Delaware Bay using the Cape May - Lewis Ferry. With the Atlantic Ocean on one side of you and the Delaware Bay on the other, this @45 minute ride is an incredible way of entering Southern Delaware at historic Lewis - "The First Town in the First State".

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By Sea

Sussex County has long had an intimate connection with the sea. The area around Lewis was settled by the same mercantile interests that colonized New Amsterdam (later renamed New York). Because of the plentiful timber available, shipbuilders, shipscarpenters, and shipwrights plied there craft in several major locations in Southern Delaware.

Disclaimer - Modern mariner's should be aware of tides, weather conditions and navigating hazards, as well as the draft or keel designations of your own vessels. The waters of Southern Delaware have claimed their share - from the exploits of Captain Kidd, himself, through the Revolutionary War up to modern day, including World War II.

From the North - From the Delaware Bay, access can be made north of Slaughter Beach in Cedar Creek and the Mispillion River. The Mispillion flows from Milford, so named for the many "mill fords" that existed there.

From Roosevelt Inlet --- going north --- Broadkill River will lead you into what was once one of the two Sussex County shipbuilding centers - Milton. --- going south --- The Lewis - Rehoboth Canal leads you into the harbour at Lewis and on to Rehoboth Bay. The canal is part of the Inland Waterway .... as is the Little Assawoman Canal, these waterways are not for all types of vessels.

From the East - From the Atlantic Ocean, access can be made at the Indian River Inlet ... which leads into Indian River Bay & Rehoboth Bay. From Indian River Bay Pepper Creek and Indian River down to Millsboro can be accessed.

From the South - Access from the South is through the Assawoman Inlet at Ocean City, MD - an inlet created in 1938 by a hurricane. Going north up Assawoman Bay to Little Assawoman Bay allows access to Fenwick Island.

From the West - Yes, from the west! The other ship building capitol of Sussex County in years gone by is Bethel, east of Seaford on the Nanticoke River. The Nanticoke River can be accessed from the Chesapeake Bay.

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By Air

Major City Airport Information

Philadelphia International Airport -- Philadelphia, PA. (215)937-6937. Philadelphia International Airport is located 2 hours from Southern Delaware.

Baltimore Washington International Airport (BWI) --Laurel, MD (800)435-9294. BWI is located 1 1/2 hours from Southern Delaware.

Dulles International Airport --Washington, D.C. (703)661-2700. Dulles International Airport is approximately 2 1/2 hours from Southern Delaware.

Ronald Reagan International Airport -- Washington, D.C. (703)661-2700. Formerly Washington National Airport, it is located 2 1/2 hours from Southern Delaware.

Regional Commercial Airports

New Castle County Airport -- New Castle, DE (302)571-6300. On US 13, just south of Wilmington. New Castle is located less than an hour from Southern Delaware.

Ocean City Municipal Airport -- Ocean City, MD. (410)213-2471. Located less than a half an hour from Southern Delaware.

Salisbury - Wicomico County Airport -- Salisbury, MD. (410)749-1251. Located less than a half an hour from Southern Delaware.

Area Public Airports

Laurel Airport -- Laurel, DE (302)875-9828. The Laurel Airport has a 3,120 foot turf runway.

Sussex County Air Park -- Georgetown, DE (302)855-2355. The Sussex County Air Park has a 5,000 foot paved runway.

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Map Links

Free Maps

Delaware Tourism Office - Free Delaware travel planning kits including full color Vacation Guide and a state map. Delaware Economic Development Office 99 Kings Highway Dover, DE 19901 (302)856-1818

Sussex County Convention and Tourism Commission - A guide to the Southern Delaware Heritage Trail. P.O. Box 240 Georgetown, DE 19947 (800)357-1818 (302)856-1818

Delaware Division of Fish and Wildlife - Wildlife Area Maps - Free maps for all state wildlife areas may be obtained from the Division of Fish and Wildlife Office, 89 Kings Highway, Dover, Delaware 19901.


Internet Map Links

Map Blast Create, print, publish, email, or save maps.

MapQuest Get and print maps worldwide. Driving directions online.

Expedia.com Interactive maps, book a flight, rent a car.

Map Machine Dynamic maps, Atlas Maps, Flags and Facts.


~.~ For The Hardcore Map Lover ~.~

International Map Trade Association (IMTA) The IMTA links all map and cartographer companies..

United States Geological Survey USGS National Mapping Information.

National Imagery and Mapping Agency NIMA's public homepage.



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