12 Things To Do in Dover, Delaware

Last Updated on March 2, 2024 by Emily Johnson


Dover is the capital city of Delaware located along the St. Jones River. Known for its heritage dating back to the 17th century, Dover has plenty to offer visitors. From historic sites to museums, parks, performing arts, and gaming, there is something for everyone.

With a lively downtown area and a range of attractions just minutes away, it makes for an ideal weekend getaway or even a stopover destination if you are traveling through Delaware.

Visit the Air Mobility Command Museum

Get up close to historical military aircraft at the Air Mobility Command Museum located on Dover Air Force Base. This free museum has an impressive collection of over 30 aircraft on display including the Lockheed C-5 Galaxy – one of the largest military aircraft in the world.

Go on guided walking tours, view memorabilia in the restoration hangar, and watch specialists restore vintage planes. Don’t miss the Escape and Evasion exhibit relaying the stories of US service members avoiding enemy capture.

The Old State House

One of Dover’s most iconic landmarks, The Old State House was built back in 1791, making it one of the oldest state houses in the country still used today by Delaware’s General Assembly and the Governor’s office staff.

Free guided tours run from Tuesday through Saturday taking you back in time as you view the Governor’s reception room and legislative chambers with displays of historical documents and artifacts. The manicured lawn overlooking the river also makes a nice spot for a picnic.

Johnson Victrola Museum

Discover the history of the Victrola and recorded sound at the Johnson Victrola Museum. With a collection featuring phonographs dating between 1897 to 1929, this quirky little museum has one of the largest publicly displayed Victrola collections in the world.

You’ll also see vintage radios and a recreation of an early 20th-century music store. Guided tours run every Saturday between April and December.

The Delaware Agriculture Museum and Village

Get a taste of 18th and 19th century life at the Delaware Agriculture Museum and Village containing a collection of historic homes, barns, and outbuildings to explore.

Costumed interpreters demonstrate traditional skills like blacksmithing, basket weaving, and quilting to provide a window into the past. Kids will love meeting the animals in the farmyard and touring the onsite one-room schoolhouse.

The Old Presbyterian Cemetery

For a glimpse into Dover’s past, take a stroll around the Old Presbyterian Cemetery located downtown. Opened in 1707, it’s the resting place of some of Delaware’s most prominent historical figures like Daniel Rodney a signer of the US constitution.

Gardens surround the grounds shaded by old oak trees with many tombstones dating back over 250 years. Maps outlining notable burial plots are available.

First State Heritage Park

At First State Heritage Park, you can explore Dover’s historical role with interactive exhibits spanning the landmarks, events, and people integral to Delaware’s founding.

Highlights include the Georgian Golden Fleece Tavern once an inn for travelers in the 18th century and the museum displaying an original copy of the 1776 Delaware Constitution. Costumed guides offer tours bringing the history to life.

Dover International Speedway

No trip to Dover is complete without visiting the Dover International Speedway. Nicknamed ‘The Monster Mile’, NASCAR hosts two racedays annually each seating 140,000 spectators.

Experience the thrill first-hand by taking a guided track tour running on non-race days. Led by a former driver, you’ll journey down victory lane and even get to ride in a track vehicle while hearing insider stories.

Killens Pond State Park

Nature lovers shouldn’t miss visiting Killens Pond centrally located just 10 minutes from downtown Dover. Highlights include a 50-acre millpond perfect for boating and fishing.

Over 20 miles of hiking and biking trails ranging from easy to challenging wind through woodlands filled with birds, butterflies, and flowers. Picnic spots, a playground, and a Nature Center museum provide hours of entertainment especially for families.

Dover Mall


Dover Mall offers plenty of shopping, dining, and entertainment all under one roof making it a handy option for rainy days or if you need a quick retail fix. With big name stores like Macy’s and Sephora alongside specialty boutiques, you’re sure to find something you like. Refuel at the food court or catch a movie at the cinema complex.

Dover Downs Hotel & Casino

You don’t have to be into horse racing or NASCAR to enjoy Dover Downs. The entertainment complex has it all – from casino gaming floor with over 2,500 slot machines, table games, restaurants, spa, and Topgolf virtual driving range. Open 24/7, it’s perfect for night owls. Complimentary shuttle buses run daily to the hotel and casino from many local hotels.

Dover Art League

Support local talent at the Dover Art League Gallery downtown which hosts new art exhibitions every month featuring works by regional artists. Mediums range from paintings, photography, jewelry to pottery. Many pieces are available to purchase to take home a unique Delaware-made souvenir. Don’t miss their signature craft show each November.

Dover Opera House


Catch a show or performance at the historic Dover Opera House in downtown Dover. Built in 1904 in the Beaux-Arts style, this intimate cultural venue hosts everything from live bands and theatre to dance recitals, magic shows and comedy acts.

Their calendar spotlights both local and nationally touring performers from jazz singers to jugglers. Take a guided backstage tour to soak up the architecture and history.

Conclusion


From museums and historic sites to a NASCAR racetrack, casino, and performing arts venues, Dover has an appealing blend of cultural, outdoor, entertainment and shopping options guaranteed to please everyone. Its small-town charm combined with a heritage dating back over 300 years makes it the perfect place to immerse yourself in history while creating new ones exploring all this lively capital city has to offer.

Leave a Comment