Harrington is a small town in Kent County, Delaware. Despite its small population of fewer than 4,000 people, the town’s main attraction, The Harrington Raceway & Casino, attracts more than a million visitors each year, so this gives the town an air of excitement along with its small-town feel.
Known as a harness racing town for many decades, Harrington hosts a variety of events each year related to this activity. Each July, it also hosts the Delaware State Fair, which is a popular event in the region.
Due to its strategic location within the Dover Metropolitan Area, numerous recreational facilities, parks, and museums are easily reached in nearby towns and cities, and the capital city of Washington DC is less than two hours away.
Below are 15 of the best things to do in and around Harrington, Delaware.
1. Abbott’s Mill Nature Center
Situated a few miles from nearby Milford is a beautiful, natural area where visitors can spend the day participating in various outdoor activities. The Abbott’s Mill Nature Center is home to the Milford Millponds Nature Preserve, which is 377 acres of meadows, woodland area, wetlands, swamps, and streams. In the middle of it all is a scenic pond.
On-site is five miles of hiking and biking trails, where you can spot a variety of plant and animal species. While exploring the park, you can stop in at the visitor center where there are exhibits and an aquatic touch tank.
You will also come across the Ainsworth Abbott’s Mill, which is a historic gristmill that is still in operation. Tours of the mill are available at certain times throughout the year.
2. Try some local craft beer at Mispillion River Brewing
Visitors to Harrington need not travel far to find the perfect place to unwind with some quality craft beer in a cozy, friendly atmosphere.
Mispillion River Brewing, located in nearby Milford, is known for its variety of craft beers and unique, eye-catching branding. This beer is made on-site with the best ingredients available. Yard Bird Lager, Ladybug Rose Lager, Sausage Party Marzen, and Space Otter Pale Ale are just some of the creatively-named options you can enjoy in the tasting room while you watch beer being made through the large windows.
Tours of the brewery are available with advance notice, and various events, such as trivia night and live music, are held throughout the week.
3. Immerse yourself into a world of art at Gallery 37
If admiring fine art is a favorite pastime of yours, Gallery 37 in Milford is home to a variety of exhibits showcasing artisan crafts and various artworks created by more than 45 well-established artists from around the country.
Pottery, clay jewelry, and glass art are among the items on display. Various events, including poetry readings and live music, are held throughout the year.
4. Harrington Raceway and Casino
Harrington is known for its harness racing history, which is still very much alive at the Harrington Raceway and Casino. As one of the main attractions in the town, locals and visitors alike come to this lively venue to enjoy a day of exciting activities.
The harness racing track is the oldest-running track in the United States, and live races are held on about 70 days throughout the year. The casino is home to various table games and 1,327 slot machines. A number of dining options are also available, including Delmarva’s Best Buffet and Bonz Lounge, which hosts some of the best live entertainment around.
5. Spend time outdoors at Schutte Park
The whole family will appreciate the wide-open spaces and leisure facilities available at Schutte Park in Dover. Start your outing with a picnic in one of the lovely picnic spots around the park before heading to one of the sporting fields for a game of softball, field hockey, or soccer.
There are also two playgrounds on-site, and visitors can hike the various trails winding through the park or go for a run on the cross-country course.
6. Enjoy a meal at Main Street Cafe
Delicious, home-style comfort food is always a welcome treat after a day of exploring, and Main Street Cafe in Harrington has something for every taste. Take a seat inside the cozy cafe or enjoy your meal in the outdoor seating area.
No matter where you choose to eat, you can be assured of a laidback atmosphere with exquisite service. Breakfast and lunch are served every day, and dinner is served on select days throughout the week.
On the menu, you’ll find a variety of traditional and modern dishes, including crab cakes and mushroom soup. Everything is made with the freshest, most natural local ingredients available.
7. Take a stroll along the Mispillion Riverwalk
Along the Mispillion River in the nearby town of Milford is a scenic, paved walkway that winds through the pretty downtown area. The walkway is about a mile long and is beautifully-landscaped.
Along the way, you may even catch a glimpse of birds or other wildlife that are sometimes spotted in the area. Depending on the time of year you visit, vendors and markets may be present, or you may just walk into one of the festivals that are held during the warmer months, such as the Riverwalk Freedom Festival.
8. Visit the Milford Museum
Visitors wanting a history lesson on the region encompassing Harrington and surrounding areas can visit the wide range of exhibits housed at the Milford museum in downtown Milford. The displays rotate from time to time, so there’s always something different to see. Past shows include local politics, lighthouses, products made in Milford, the shipyards, and toys from the ‘20s.
9. See real treasure at the Treasures of the Sea Exhibit
The town of Georgetown is home to a unique attraction, where visitors can see real treasure recovered from the depths of the sea. When well-known treasure hunter Mel Fisher set out to find this treasure, he knew he was looking for the shipwreck of the Atocha, but he didn’t know he would find millions of dollars worth of artifacts.
Many of these artifacts, including silver coins, bronze cannons, emeralds, and religious items, are on display at the Treasure of the Sea Exhibit. Visitors can also learn more about the history of the ship and the treasure hunt, and there’s a gift shop on-site.
10. Treat yourself to something Sweet
There’s no better way to take a break in the middle of a busy day than with a caffeinated drink and something sweet. Dolce in downtown Milford is a cute and cozy little cafe where you can kick back and relax while friendly staff prepare a special treat for you.
You can choose from a vast assortment of homemade baked goods, including pastries, cupcakes, croissants, bagels, and cheesecake. Everything is made with the freshest ingredients available.
Ice cream is also on the menu, as well as a variety of beverages, including espresso, lattes, and Frappuccino. The coffee is locally-roasted, fair trade, and organic.
11. Ride around Milford on a bicycle
Milford is well-known as a very pedestrian-friendly town, but it’s also a very bike-friendly town. One popular activity that visitors like to do is rent a bike and ride around the pretty little community.
Lifecycle Bike Shop in downtown Milford rents bikes by the hour and the day. This is the best way to explore the town, admire the unique architecture, and find lesser-known little nooks that you would otherwise not find while driving around in a car.
12. Killens Pond Water Park
Killens Pond Water Park is a state park in Felton. It’s the perfect place to spend a nice summer day, and it’s only minutes away from Harrington.
There are a variety of water amusements on-site, including pools suitable for all ages (even babies), several water slides – including two that are 27-feet high – a mushroom fountain, and a floating lily pad fun walk. Food and beverages can be purchased at the concession stand, and there are lockers and a swim shop available.
13. Head to arena’s deli and bar for a delicious meal
A combination of classic comfort food and modern dishes are served at the laidback and friendly Arena’s Deli and Bar in Milford. Wings, seafood specialties, and a variety of sandwiches and salads are some of the items you’ll find on the menu.
Vegetarian meals are served as well, and you can enjoy your meal at the outdoor dining area overlooking the Mispillion River.
14. Visit the Biggs Museum of American Art
The Biggs Museum of American Art, situated in the nearby city of Dover, features an assortment of artworks by American artists.
As you explore the museum and its various exhibits, you’ll see many styles and genres reflective of periods dating back to the 18th century. Each piece has a story to tell, and visitors of all ages learn about art and how it shaped American culture.
15. Satisfy a craving for Mexican fare at Bibi’s Restaurant
If it’s Mexican fare that you crave, you can head to Bibi’s Restaurant in Milford to enjoy a variety of delicious, authentic dishes, including tacos, ceviche, burritos, enchiladas, nachos, and many other familiar and unique creations.