Camden is a town of about 4,000 residents that’s located near the state of Delaware’s geographic center in Kent County.
Equidistant from the Delaware Bay to the east and the neighboring state of Maryland to the west, it is perfectly positioned to give visitors easy access to the state’s more developed northern portion, as well as amazing beaches along the Atlantic coast to the south.
Most visitors to Camden plan day trips to nearby Dover, and there is an abundance of historic sites and state parks in the region as well.
Below are 15 things to do in and around Camden, Delaware.
1. Brecknock County Park
Located just off US Route 13 a few minutes from downtown Camden, Brecknock County Park is comprised of nearly 90 acres that offer activity-minded visitors a convenient alternative to the region’s more distant state parks.
The park’s amenities include a playground, covered seating areas that are great for picnics, and the Dunbar trail that winds its way for nearly four miles through both treed and open spaces.
The park and trail are open year-round and free to enjoy. It’s okay to bring dogs along for a leisurely stroll, as long as they’re cleaned up after and leashed at all times.
2. Cheddar’s Scratch Kitchen
Cheddar’s Scratch Kitchen is located near the intersection of US Route 14 and Lochmeath Way. It’s been serving up home-style fare to locals and visitors since it was founded in 1979.
As the name implies, nearly all of what you’ll find on the menu is made on-site from scratch daily. Cheddar’s specializes in traditional comfort food like meatloaf, chicken tenders, ribs, and pot pies.
The restaurant has attracted a loyal following over the years and is particularly popular with those who value its relaxed environment, hearty portion sizes, and reasonable prices. They’re open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.
3. Fifer Orchards
Delaware has always been a big agricultural state, and the temperate climate and fertile soil are conducive to growing an impressive variety of fruits and vegetables.
Fifer Orchards is located on Allabands Mill Road in nearby Bridgeville and has been owned and operated by the same family for four generations.
The orchard’s country store is open seasonally from April until December and is well-known for its fresh berries and peaches, as well as corn, tomatoes, and pumpkins in the fall.
They also have a selection of Delaware-made ice cream from local creameries, so consider swinging by for a cone or cup after a long day on your feet.
4. First State Heritage Park
Though Delaware sports a number of large state parks in relatively rural areas, it also has its fair share of open spaces and nature preserves in urban areas as well.
First State Heritage Park was one of the state’s first urban parks. It is often referred to as a park without boundaries because it blends seamlessly into the surrounding area, and includes easy access to historic and cultural sites as well as natural attractions.
The park is located just an easy drive from Camden and is the perfect attraction for history lovers who’d rather not spend a beautiful day inside an old museum.
For visitors to Camden who’ve got access to a car and a willingness to hit the open road, Dover is a great day trip destination.
Though it’s most well-known for its racetrack and gaming, Dover has lots of other attractions as well. On the first Saturday of each month, there are special programs and events in municipal parks.
Events include live entertainment, food, arts and crafts festivals, and seasonal holiday celebrations.
Historical buildings like the Governor’s House and the original courthouse that are typically off-limits to the public are periodically open on First Saturdays as well, so plan on sticking around for a while.
6. John Dickinson Plantation
The John Dickinson Plantation is located on Kitts Hummock Road in Dover and was once the residence and farm of a wealthy tobacco farmer, who played important roles in the creation of both the Constitution and the Declaration of Independence.
Now, the home and plantation are historic attractions, and they’re open to both self and professionally guided tours.
The plantation experience includes staff dressed in period garb using the vernacular of the day. For those who’ve never experienced living history with dedicated actors, it’s truly unique.
The cost of admission is relatively inexpensive, and most visitors stay between one and two hours.
7. Air Mobility Command Museum
Dover is home to one of the largest Air Force bases in the country. Its primary role is that of international transportation and distribution hub for military logistics.
The Air Mobility Command Museum features dozens of vintage and modern aircraft that have outlived their service lives. In addition to transport planes, there are bombers, fighters, tankers, and in-flight refueling planes as well.
The museum is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and is open from Tuesday through Sunday from 9 AM to 4 PM.
Most guests consider the cost of admission moderate, and during peak times in the summer, the museum can really draw crowds.
8. Big Oyster Brewery
Fresh seafood and locally produced beer were meant to be enjoyed together, and visitors to The First State have ample opportunity to do just that.
Big Oyster Brewery is located on Kings Highway in Lewes and is a unique combination of traditional oyster house, raw bar, and contemporary microbrewery.
Big Oyster’s brews run the gamut from light and refreshing to dark and brooding. Most guests choose to enjoy their Belgian blond and IPA, which seem to be the perfect match for the beachy vacation atmosphere in Lewes.
They’re open every day from 11 AM until late and have great happy hour deals.
9. The Old State House
Delaware’s Old State House was originally built nearly 250 years ago, making it one of the oldest buildings of its kind in the area.
Though much of the building isn’t original, it’s been restored over the years and is much like it was back during the nation’s most formative years.
For those without sufficient time to visit all the area’s historic sites, The Old State House would be a great place to spend an hour; its exhibits and memorabilia give a thorough overview of the area’s historical significance.
It’s open Monday through Saturday from 9 AM until 4:30 PM, with slightly reduced hours on Sunday.
10. Delaware Agricultural Museum and Village
Though it’s often off the radar of visitors more intent on enjoying the state’s beaches and more commercial historical sites, the Delaware Agricultural Museum usually ends up being a highlight of many visitor’s trips.
The museum has been around for four decades. In that time, it’s grown substantially and now includes the state’s most complete collection of equipment, memorabilia, and first-hand accounts of those who’ve made their living farming in the area over the years.
In addition to the museum’s indoor portion, there are also several historic outbuildings that are particular favorites of little ones with inquisitive minds.
11. Johnson Victrola Museum
It’s not widely known outside the state, but Delaware native Eldridge Reeves Johnson was the founder of the Victor Talking Machine Company, which would later go on to become Victrola.
The Johnson Victrola Museum is located on South New Street in Dover and is open year-round, from Wednesday to Saturday.
It features an impressive collection of machines on which the classic and iconic Victrolas were modeled.
The museum is totally free to visit and spread over multiple floors, the first of which is accessible to those who use wheelchairs. It’s closed on most major holidays, and guests usually leave donations in lieu of admission.
12. Spence’s Bazaar
For generations, Spence’s Bazaar has been a singular Dover attraction. It has been described as a unique mix of flea market, farmer’s market, antique mall, and carnival.
Spence’s is a collection of individual stalls and merchants that sell everything from homemade pickles, jewelry, and vintage clothing to books, fresh vegetables, and arts and crafts.
Breakfast, lunch, and dinner are also served, and they’re known for their tasty coffee, fresh baked goods, and sandwiches.
Seasonal, in-state produce is big in the summer and early fall, and they often host live entertainment on the weekends during the peak season when the weather is warm.
13. Killens Pond State Park
Killens Pond State Park’s centerpiece is the nearly 70-acre humanmade millpond that was originally created in the late 18th century.
Situated on the Murderkill River in Felton and Kent counties, it offers outdoorsy types a variety of recreation options, including kayaking, picnicking, swimming, and fishing.
It’s also a popular destination for campers. Its sites are open year-round and offer a perfect chance to escape the crowds, save a few bucks on lodging, and spend a perfect night or two under the stars.
The park is a mecca for bird watchers as well, and it’s common to see a variety of species along the trails and shoreline.
14. Delaware Seashore State Park
Delaware’s beaches are among the least developed along the Atlantic seaboard, and many visitors choose to spend their vacation time at Delaware Beach State Park instead of more commercialized resort towns like Ocean City, Maryland.
The park is comprised of nearly 3,000 acres and is surrounded by endless stretches of picturesque ocean. In addition to swimming and sunbathing, fishing and surfing are popular as well.
For those traveling without gear, it’s possible to rent umbrellas, beach chairs, and rafts for the day. The park often hosts special events during the peak summer season, like the annual sandcastle building contest in July.
15. Painted Stave Distilling Company
Though Delaware’s microbreweries get most of the attention, there are a number of small-batch distilleries that have sprouted up in recent years. Many of them are churning out world-class products that put the big international players to shame.
Painted Stave Distilling Company is located on West Commerce Street in Smyrna and uses tons of locally-sourced ingredients and traditional, time-tested recipes to make a variety of top-notch liquors like vodka and whiskey.
The distillery is housed in an old movie theater from the World War II era and is open for tours and drinks on Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays.